| Caring for your Black Trim | 

Whether we like it or not, plastic is becoming more and more prominent with each turn of the year in the automotive industry. Fenders, wiper cowling on hoods, bumper guards, you name it - plastic is all over and fading fast! Plastic trim is a cost effective way to offer customers a finished product without the hefty price tag of color matched fenders or metal components.

What Is The Worst Nightmare For Plastic Fenders?

The Sun! Plastics get faded and oxidized over time due to the UV rays of the sun ‘burning’ their way through the surface and draining out the pigment, or color, in the plastic. Weather and the elements will also wash out the surfaces and age your vehicle in dog years! Painted surfaces, windows, and other surfaces have some form of protection or sealant against harmful UV rays, in the form of UV inhibitors in the clear coat and so on, but exterior plastic trim pieces always seem to get the short end of the stick.

Are All Plastics The Same?

With 7 different main types of plastic compositions, those 7 separate out into thousands of variations in creating plastic components. In the automotive industry, a mold release agent is added when the plastic fenders, bumpers, trim, or exterior pieces are formed. The releasing process can create a glaze on plastics, making their finish appear satin and textured, or gloss and wet in appearance. In other words, it’s fair to say that not all plastics are created equal!

Even though plastics can behave very differently over time, cleaning and prepping each plastic type is a similar regiment. Using caustic cleaners, or non-pH neutral cleaners can risk staining these surfaces and remove pigment from the finished surface. For instance, if you useAdam’s Iron Remover on the painted surfaces to remove iron contaminants and it then runs or drips down onto trim and plastic, it can stain these plastic trim pieces, since its chemical makeup could be too strong for these plastic materials. If Iron Remover does contact plastic trim pieces, rinse it from these areas immediately using water from the garden hose.

To keep it simple, ourTire & Rubber Cleaner effectively removes oxidation, contamination, and buildup from your plastic and leaves it looking dark and refreshed, just after cleaning alone. As most cleaners are designed to remove any and everything, our Tire & Rubber outperforms most in its category, as it carefully targets silicones and common emulsions found in tire, trim, and rubber dressings! Using Tire & Rubber Cleaner with anEdgeless Utility Towel is an excellent combination to effectively remove dirt, oxidation, and more from textured plastic trim pieces. Once thoroughly cleaned, the trim is ready for the final wipe with someSurface Prep to remove any remaining chemical and restore it back to a brand new look.

How Can I Regularly Maintain Exterior Plastic After Routine Washes?


During your normal wash cycle, using Adam’s Tire & Rubber Cleaner with asoft bristle brush can help remove any films or contaminants your normal wash may not rinse off of plastics entirely. Given that the plastic is a porous surface, using a brush helps target those pores and remove any grime, dirt, tar, etc. that theWash Pad could pick up during the vehicle wash process. This, in turn, keeps the Wash Pad less contaminated with heavy debris and allows it to last longer before needing to be replaced.

If you do not have a brush, always be sure to wash your plastics last to reduce the risk of picking up any unwanted debris in your Wash Pad orWash Mitt, to reduce the chances of scratching your vehicle! After the wash cycle, maintain unfaded plastics, or temporarily dress faded trim withAdam’s VRT - Vinyl, Rubber, & Trim Dressing for a clean, factory-like appearance. For further longevity, but still not a permanent solution, we offerGraphene VRT™ as well. Graphene VRT™ uses the same reduced graphene oxide resins found in our Graphene Ceramic Coating™ to provide enhanced durability and water-repelling behavior on plastics, while leaving them with a nice and dark satin finish, without too much shine. Please note that for seriously faded trim, these are not solutions, but rather cost-effective means for temporary improvements in appearance. If you need to dye color back into seriously faded trim for a longer-term solution, we’ll discuss that next!


How Can I Restore Heavily Faded Black Trim?

For years, you could use other brands to lather your plastics in a shiny/greasy product packed with silicone that really just sped up the fading process behind the scenes, but as technology advances, there are much better, safer, and cost effective options right at your fingertips. Adam’s Black Trim Restorer is a solvent-based product that restores the pigment back into the plastic! This product not only penetrates the plastic and puts the color back where it belongs, it also creates a UV blocker for several months once it is fully dried. Prior to using Black Trim Restorer, you must thoroughly clean the plastic then prep the surface with our Surface Prep to remove any films left behind from cleaning. We recommend our Suede Applicator for application in tight areas and small trim pieces or the Gray Microfiber Applicator Pad for treating larger areas of plastic.

How Long Does Black Trim Restorer Last On Its Own?

Black Trim Restorer is an MVP in our product line for effectively restoring pigment back to your black plastic surfaces. The 2% black dye formulation is solvent-based, meaning that your plastics think they’re being cleaned, but in reality, they are being restored and re-dyed.

In terms of longevity, Black Trim Restorer can last up to 6 months or more on exterior plastic without any boosting. It is recommended to seal in the results with ourGraphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ Advanced orGraphene Ceramic Coating™ once it is fully dry, to extend the life by up to 2 years or more.

What Surfaces Can I Use Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ Advanced On?

Adam’s Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ Advanced provides protection to an extreme range of areas on your vehicle. Paint, wheels, glass, headlights, plastic trim, bed liners, tonneau covers, canvas convertible tops, all weather floor mats, chrome, and metal - all of these materials can be protected with Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating™. We strongly recommend that you apply the product panel by panel to ensure thorough application, and have as much control of overspray as possible. For a quick how-to on how to apply it, check out the video here:How To Apply Adam's Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating Advanced

How Can I Prevent Restored Or New Trim From Fading In The Future?

With advances in modern technology, ceramics are quickly becoming the king of the block. Older waxes and dressings can leave a white, chalky buildup if used incorrectly, but ceramics apply a 9H coating to plastic, vinyl, trim, and non-painted bumpers. With Adam’s Graphene Ceramic Coating™, you’re pressing pause on the beautiful state of your plastics, while the rest of the car plays on. This coating will last a minimum of 2 years on plastics, usually much more, and makes the surface extremely hydrophobic! The good part about Black Trim Restorer and Graphene Ceramic Coating™ combo is they work extremely well together, meaning that you can restore your black trim THEN ceramic coat it! Not only are you hitting pause now, but you hit rewind to the day you drove home your prized possession.

For extra help and assistance, our team is standing by to provide you with any further information you may need. If the methods above do not work for you, or you need an extra hand with clarifying something, please feel free to email us directly at tips@adamspolishes.com or give us a call at 1 (866)-965-0400.

Adam's Polishes Black Trim Restorer

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