Tips: Removing wax from plastic trim and water spots from windshields
I stumbled on a solution to one of my pet peeves and thought I would share an easy way to remove wax stains from plastic trim and rubber. In years past before I started buying better products and being much more careful applying them, some wax would invariably get on some of the trim pieces (like when a car dealer preps a new car with cheap paste wax and the guy doing the prep work is in a rush.)
I researched removal techniques on the web and tried a lot of different stuff. Some people recommend Mr. Clean magic eraser, but you have to be careful with that. By accident, I found that applying leather conditioner to a microfiber cloth and cleaning or gently scrubbing the trim will remove the wax residue. Then just wipe off any remaining oils. I think it's similar to the concept that an oil-based cleaner works as a solvent to remove oil stains. Like cleaning greasy stains from your hands with hand cream after working on a car.
This is also a solution for another pet peeve: the greasy, multi-colored stains that coat high-gloss plastic trim pieces on BMWs and other vehicles. BMWs with sport package have "Shadowline Trim" that is very shiny, high-gloss black plastic trim around windows. I noticed an oily sheen on that trim that was nearly impossible to remove (wax, cleaners, goo gone, etc.) I eventually figured out the cause, which was the multi-colored "wax" spray in automatic car washes (touch free to clean the under carriage, never ever ever allow a car wash brush or cloth to touch your paint). That greasy film bakes onto the car and I stopped buying the washes that apply that "wax". Then by accident I found that the leather conditioner on a microfiber cloth cleaned it right up, which lead to using it to remove wax stains on other plastic trim also.
The final part of my ramble is this: I've tried many methods of cleaning hard water/acid rain spots and wiper marks from windshields (you know, the kind that you can't see when dry but become very visible when the windshield is wet or sunlight is at an angle). The only product that I've found that will actually reduce those stains is Diamondite Spray Clay. One or two applications made a big difference. The spray clay works great if the water spots are only on the surface and deeo etching hasn't happened. Then I apply the Diamondite glass shield. The wipers glide silently over the glass instead of squeaking.
I'd love to hear other ways to getting those stains off windshields if you know of more.
Last edited by NorthernVaBMW; 09-04-2010 at 02:02 PM.