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4 Jaw Chuck 04-17-2010 12:17 AM

Wax removal from textured trim plastic
Last year I waxed my 2008 Dodge Minivan with Meguir's liquid wax using a power buffer to apply and remove the wax. Vehicle looks great even today after a long winter but after I did the deed some of the wax got onto the black plastic trim pieces.

At the time I tried alchohol, hot soap and water, even tried the pressure washer to get the wax out of the pores. I've tried tooth brushes and nearly every household chemical including MEK to get this white wax out of the pores of the plastic.

The van is black on black so the white residue sticks out like a sore thumb on an otherwise flawless finish, the trim pieces are a textured black plastic which is where the problem is.

I got rear ended last month and finally had a chance to take the van in for a new bumper cover etc and while I was there asked to talk to the painter to ask him his advice on how to get this stuff off. We tried everything with no luck, we didn't try paint thinner since it would melt the plastic in the test area we tried it on.

So my question is, anyone know how to get this nuclear car wax off? Nothing seems to dissolve it? The painter recommended painting the trim black again which is crazy since the thing is like new.

Any tricks/hints or chemicals you guys know off I haven't tried yet would be greatly appreciated...I am not painting perfectly good plastic trim just to make it black again!

EDIT: Just had a peek at the FAQ at Meguirs and they recommend the following;

7. "How can I remove white stains from my vinyl trim?"
Spray some "Extra All Surface Cleaner G9332" onto a clean terry towel rag and wipe the residue. Follow with the application of some "Trim Detailer G10810" or "Natural Shine Vinyl Protectant "

Anyone have any experience with these products? Hate to buy some special product only for it be something similar to a household cleaner I already have laying around.

Here's the MSDS;

cobalt327 04-17-2010 05:28 AM

Have you tried a household spray cleaner like 409 or that type of cleaner on a small inconspicuous area w/a Q-tip?

FWIW, supposedly a pink eraser rubbed on the white will remove it, too.

red65mustang 04-17-2010 05:49 AM

I agree with cobalt and use 409 first specifically to determine what solvent type direction to try next if I don't know what is on there...
(it does no harm to most surfaces so it is a safe start point)

scrub with a Q-tip,,,if OK then spray soak a area with 409 and spray soak a paper towel and press/lay that on the area...
let it sit for an hour plus and then try a scrub brush with more 409...

do you know which Maguirs wax is on there???

many products (like Nu-Finish) are not "wax" at all....

you need something with the original carrier/liquid chemicals to "re-disolve" some of those....

if you know what it was (and maybe still have some?) re-apply it to re-disolve the residue and use a scrub brush with 409/water rinse to get it all off while still damp...

Old Fool 04-17-2010 07:03 AM

302 Z28 04-17-2010 07:05 AM

Next wax job you need to mask off those areas you do not want wax on.


Shelby1 04-17-2010 10:20 AM

I removed a small amount off of the trim on my Bronco by spraying it with PB Blaster and scrubbing it with a old tooth brush ,took it off but left a haze that I finished removing with Armour All.............The wax was Eagle1.........
Good Luck!

dinger 04-17-2010 10:44 AM

Hows about Goof Off?

4 Jaw Chuck 04-17-2010 10:51 AM

Thanks for the help guys, that dried on wax remover looks promising if I can find it here. Yes I know I should have masked the car but I just got the orbital buffer and was anxious to wax this thing since it was one of the few cool days we get in the summer.

Lots of things to try, I would have to try some goof off in an inconspicous area to see it it melts the plastic. I will let you know how it works out, I'm just amazed at how tenacious this stuff is. It has been pressure washer within an inch of its life over the winter and has not moved.

Stay tuned.

cobalt327 04-17-2010 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by 4 Jaw Chuck
I would have to try some goof off in an inconspicous area to see it it melts the plastic.

I also thought of that later. I've used Goof Off on plastic medicine bottles, plastic spray bottles, my Malibu's interior surfaces, and other than marring paint have been unable to find any plastic that was adversely affected by it. Obviously caution must still be used.

Another 'idea' is WD40 applied gently.

Chevrolet4x4s 04-17-2010 02:04 PM

You mightgive Back to Black a try.

TucsonJay 04-17-2010 03:25 PM

In the bodyshop biz we use a little thing called "silicone, wax, and grease remover", or also known as "wiper". It is a mild solvent that is made for the specific purpose of removing silicone, wax, and grease.

Normally will not hurt finished paint at all, so you should be fine using this. Use a soft rag or toothbrush. Any supply house will have it.

302 Z28 04-17-2010 03:39 PM

Most of those concoctions advertised for black trim contain silicone. I do not use any silicone containing products (Armor All) on any of my vehicles.


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