Best Plastic Restorers: Recondition Bumpers and Trim
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It can be frustrating to look at a car’s bumper or trim that is faded and tired-looking. What was black becomes spotted and gray, and what was bright red can turn pink. Fortunately, you can remedy this situation with just one bottle of plastic restorer. Here are three restorers that may surprise you with how good the plastic on your vehicle can look. Use them on trim, bumpers, mirror housings, and any other plastic, vinyl, or rubber-based part.
- Best OverallCarGuys Plastic RestorerSummarySummaryThe manufacturer bases this product’s patented formula on advanced nanoscience. It is not petroleum-based or silicon. This restorer survives the rain, yet
it doesn’t streak and isn’t oily.ProsProsCustomers back up this product’s claim that it lasts for months. It is environmentally friendly and contains no harmful chemicals. It includes an applicator.ConsConsThe product may attract dust, dirt, and lint to vehicle parts. It is also oily/greasy and may not dry completely.
- Best ValueTriNnova Plastic and Trim RestorerSummarySummaryThis product is a gel that gives surfaces a protective coat that repels dirt, salt, and rain. The product helps retain the shine on plastic parts even after a trip on rough, dusty terrainProsProsEasy to apply and use, this restorer helps prevent cracks and fading. Because it’s a gel, not a dye, you don’t have to worry about stains. Holds up well under wet conditions.ConsConsThe product may not last very long. If you accidentally get it on surrounding painted areas, it may be difficult to remove.
- Honorable MentionArmor All Outlast Trim & Plastic RestorerSummarySummaryThis restorer is safe for all trim colors and reconditions vinyl, plastic, and rubber. Price is about two-thirds the cost of competitor brands. The product remains effective between car washes.ProsProsAdding a second coat now and then makes the product lasts longer. It keeps dust, mud, and dirt off of plastic body fenders. Leaves a smooth finish.ConsConsYou may go through the contents of the bottle quite fast, and it may not work on bumpers made of recycled plastic.
- To avoid streaks, first, shake the contents, then spread the restorer slowly and evenly on the surface of the part. After applying, wipe off any excess with the dry, reverse side of the applicator or towel.
- You may need to apply several coats to bring the part back to its original look. Applying additional coats over time will keep the part looking fresh and new. Gauge re-application on climate factors such as rain, snow, and dust, as well as the part’s appearance.
- You may want to add a separate clear coat to the treated parts. This can help prevent UV damage and enables the restorer, and the part, to last longer.
Q: Will the restorer remedy cracks and gouges?
A: No. You need to apply a plastic body filler for those issues. A restorer only rejuvenates the surface of a plastic, rubber, or composite part; it does not fill holes, cracks, or gouges.
Q: How many coats should I apply?
A: This depends on the part’s age and the wear that has occurred. It may take two or three coats, but you will notice an immediate improvement with one coat.
Q: Do these restorers work only for cars?
A: No, you can use these restorers on any vehicle that has plastic, rubber, or composite body parts and trim. This includes light trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.
Our pick for the best plastic restorer is the CarGuys Plastic Restorer.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the TriNova Plastic and Trim Restorer, which is a gel that helps prevent cracks and fading.