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Old 09-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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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 01:02 PM.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: Tips: Removing wax from plastic trim and water spots from windshields

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernVaBMW View Post
I

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.)

The above is a horrible scenario that plays itself out ever day somewhere...

Anytime pebble textured black plastic trim, or even the gray stuff is involved it's a recipe for some ugly trim...

Thanks for sharing your tips...


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Old 06-01-2011, 12:39 AM   #3
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Re: Tips: Removing wax from plastic trim and water spots from windshields

Quote:
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'm a new user here, and pretty much a detailing newbie. (in fact, this is my first forum post!) I spent the long weekend doing my first detail on my new 2011 Kona Blue Mustang GT. Though I was careful, there were inevitably some 'mistakes' running near the textured plastic along the rocker panel that now stand out against that dark blue like neon at night. I gingerly tried a damp toothbrush with some of my leftover "clean bucket" wash. It worked, but I was more concerned with overspray from the bristles stripping away my hard work. The damp MF cloth (same solution) was easier to control, but the results were poor - after drying, it appeared all I did was thin/spread the haze. Then it dawned on me to come here...

Awesome tip!! I'm going to try it tomorrow - THANKS!
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: Tips: Removing wax from plastic trim and water spots from windshields

Interesting tip. You made some great points. Thanks for the post
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: Tips: Removing wax from plastic trim and water spots from windshields

Great tip! I'll have to give it a try! In the past I've tried everything from peanut butter to WD40 with varying results. Alot of people swear by the Magic Erasure but be forewarned it's easy to overdo it and damage the trim. Ask me how I know! LOL

With alot of the newer waxes and sealants, stained trim is less of an issue these days! With all the choices available I definitely don't use any LSP that could possiby stain trim anymore.

Polishes on the other hand.......... well thats what tape is for!
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