Armor All Outlast Trim and Plastic Restorer
Another brand you have likely heard of, Armor All’s Outlast Trim & Plastic Restorer comes in an eight-ounce bottle at an affordable price. This product is designed to restore plastic, vinyl, and rubber trim, while claiming to protect for over 100 car washes. The formula also helps prevent fading, discoloration, oxidation, and damage caused by UV rays and is safe to use on all trim colors.
This product can be used on bumpers, side mirrors, door handles, vinyl roof tops, as well as interior trim so long as it’s a plastic, rubber, or vinyl surface. Like other plastic and trim restorers, you’ll want to quickly wipe off any product that comes in contact with glass or a painted surface.
Using Armor All’s Outlast Trim and Plastic Restorer is straightforward, simply apply it onto a damp microfiber towel or directly onto the surface, spreading it evenly so it leaves a light coat. You’ll want to let it sit for five minutes to penetrate the surface before using a damp terry cloth or microfiber towel to wipe up any excess product.
Pros/Price, restores plastic, vinyl, and rubber trim, claims to work for over 100 car washes, protectant
Cons/May requires several coats, some users say it doesn't last very long
Turtle Wax Trim Restorer (50601)
Another well known brand in the car care market is Turtle Wax. The company offers a competitively priced trim restorer in a 10-fluid ounce bottle, which can be used on plastic trim, body cladding, window seals, molding, plastic wiper arms, door handles, tonneau covers, and more. It’s designed to instantly restore dull, faded trim and body cladding to its original appearance while leaving behind protection against future fading. It also provides an invisible protective barrier to prevent staining caused by waxes and polishes.
It can be used on any color plastic trim, shining and protecting for over 60 days in normal weather conditions with weekly car washing.
Applying this product is similar to other plastic and trim restorers. After shaking the bottle well, squeeze a ribbon of the restorer onto a foam applicator. You will want to wait five to 10 minutes for the product to penetrate the surface before lightly wiping with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Extra applications may be needed if your trim has wax residue, or if it’s badly oxidized.
Pros/Price, easy to apply, works on a variety of surfaces, protects for up to 60 days
Cons/May not be effective on heavily oxidized trim
Vinyl Magic Plastic and Trim Restorer
The final plastic and trim restorer on our list comes from Vinyl Magic. Sold in an eight-ounce bottle, this solution offers advanced protection in rain or shine. It features a powerful and effective formula that fights against fading and cracking and is said to not leave streaky residue after rain or a car wash. Vinyl Magic says its restorer will last up to three months.
In addition to shining and darkening surfaces back to black, Vinyl Magic’s product repels water, dirt, and salt. It’s safe to use on faded plastic, vinyl, rubber, and other car surfaces and works on any vehicle with black or dark grey faded trim.
This product is not a silicone-based solution and is made in the U.S.
Pros/Non-silicone based solution, promises to not leave a streaky residue, lasts up to three months
Cons/Price, may require several applications
What is a Plastic and Trim Restorer?
Plastic and trim restorers are car care products designed to restore black plastic and trim pieces to a “like new” appearance. A quality plastic restorer will do more than just dye the plastic or sit on top of the surface, instead it gets absorbed by the plastic and breaks down any oxidation that has occurred causing the black trim to look grey. When properly applied, these restorers will nourish the plastic and could even last several months depending on your weather conditions.
Most plastic and trim restorers are affordable and doesn’t require a lot of effort to apply.
Why do I Need a Plastic and Trim Restorer?
If the plastic or trim pieces on your vehicle are fading and looking more grey than black, then you want to invest into a quality plastic and trim restorer. Not only will it bring the shine back to your bumper or trim piece, some products offer a layer of protection against harmful UV rays and other grime or dirt, extending the life of your trim pieces. Generally, the jet black appearance of plastic trim pieces look much better and cleaner than faded or even cracked grey plastic.
More importantly, most of the products are simple solutions to apply and use, and doesn’t requires a lot of time for them to work. It’s a small monetary and time investment in making sure your plastic trim pieces last as long as your car.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Plastic and Trim Restorer
Most plastic and trim restorers available in the market advertise similar features and properties. Some are oil-based while others are liquid-based. You ideally want to avoid silicone-based solutions as they generally do not last as long and will require constant applications. When shopping for a product, make sure it’s not simply just a dye that goes on the surface of your trim. You’ll want a quality product that not only makes your plastic trim pieces shine black, but help protect them from further wear and tear.
Just keep in mind that these products aren’t permanent fixes. Eventually you will need to re-apply the product, so find something that’s easy to use so you don’t mind doing the process often if necessary.
You’ll also want to look for a product that doesn’t leave behind an oily or greasy finish. Most products will advertise a dry-to-the-touch feel.