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Detailing Library - Plastic Trim

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Introduction

Moulded plastic trim (matte black unpainted plastic) needs to be cared for from day one, just like the rest of the car to maintain that fresh new look.

Wax and polish stains, or faded plastics due to lack of protection will age the vehicles appearance dramatically. And once the plastic is damaged, it is virtually impossible to restore back to perfect original condition.

How Often Should I Maintain Plastic Trim?

We recommend dressing your plastic trim with a UV protective dressing every 1-2 months. For faded plastics that have been restored, these will require maintenance as per when the fading begins to reappear depending on the type of product being used.

How To Treat New Plastic trim

The first step to caring for new plastic trim is to clean during your regular washing process. This alone will remove a majority of contamination from the plastic.

Once the vehicle is washed and dried, check over the surface of the trim for any embedded contamination or marks. Anything remaining, such as wax and polish residues can easily be removed using a product such as "Pre-WOW trim Cleaner.

Contaminated or not, the Pre-WOW process should be completed when applying any type of plastic coating such as Opti-Coat.

Now that the trim is clean and decontaminated, it's time to apply your protection. A simple spray on UV protectant is all you need for new trim, or for maximum durability a coating can be applied.

NEVER apply trim products that are intended for faded plastic to new plastics. These products often contain silicone that are intended for restoring colour back to the faded trim. This can potentially accelerate the aging of your new unfaded trim.

How To Treat Faded Plastic Trim

If you didn't care for your trim initially, or purchased the vehicle second hand, you may be dealing with plastics that have already been damaged by UV and faded to a pale grey.

Often your standard plastic dressings don't restore the colour completely, or if they do, the fading returns too quickly. This requires a product to restore the plastic trim on a more permanent basis.

Depending on how far gone the plastic is, you may be able to restore the plastic permanently using a coating such as Opti-Coat. If not, then silicone based dressings will product you with weeks of restored trim rather than days.

the first step is to clean the plastic during your regular wash process to remove any loose surface contamination.

Once the vehicle is washed and dried, decontaminate the surface using a plastic cleaner such as Pre-WOW to remove as much oxidation and contamination as possible.

Next apply your silicone based dressing to the plastic. Multiple coats may be required. Avoid contact with the paint by taping off if necessary. Aloow the product to penetrate and then wipe away any excess.

If applying a coating to the plastic, allow the plastic try completely dry from the pre-cleaner and then apply sparingly. Wipe away any excess or reapply to remove any inconsistency in colour.