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OK, I am a moron.
Last summer I when mudding and wasn't able to get a good wash in for about 2 weeks (hey I work). Now no matter what I do I can't get these stains off the panels (tried 303, soap, even foaming tire cleaner which worked for about a week, then they come back) Please help this looks really bad.
 

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Try...

Mother's Back-to-Black...

Doc, just washed my LunchBox for the 2nd time to put some wax on her and I noticed on my black cowlings that I had this whitish-gray type discoloration on the top/above the door and below (where I'm guessing this fluid ran out)... Tried Armor-All and didn't work... Thought it was acid rain or something similar so I started with Windex, soap and water and it really became easily seen...

When I went looking for a wax at Wally World for the E, I saw the Mother's B2B (don't worry, it's a milky white fluid, NOT BLACK) and since Chip Foose (of OverHaulin' fame) endorses it, it must be good right...?

Well, I'll be damned... The only problem that I can see is that it does penetrate really well AND you have to wipe it off after it "dries"... Not too sure what it meant to "dry" but I gave the whole truck a once over and went back to wipe off the stuff and lo-and-behold, it was sticky... Wiped off the excess... A clean, shiny, AND smooth result...

Hope this helps...

LBD
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mother's Back-to-Black...

Doc, just washed my LunchBox for the 2nd time to put some wax on her and I noticed on my black cowlings that I had this whitish-gray type discoloration on the top/above the door and below (where I'm guessing this fluid ran out)... Tried Armor-All and didn't work... Thought it was acid rain or something similar so I started with Windex, soap and water and it really became easily seen...

When I went looking for a wax at Wally World for the E, I saw the Mother's B2B (don't worry, it's a milky white fluid, NOT BLACK) and since Chip Foose (of OverHaulin' fame) endorses it, it must be good right...?

Well, I'll be damned... The only problem that I can see is that it does penetrate really well AND you have to wipe it off after it "dries"... Not too sure what it meant to "dry" but I gave the whole truck a once over and went back to wipe off the stuff and lo-and-behold, it was sticky... Wiped off the excess... A clean, shiny, AND smooth result...

Hope this helps...

LBD
Worked like a charm!!!!, used most the bottle but the stains are finally gone!!:grin::grin::grin:Thanks LBD! owe you one!
 

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Worked like a charm!!!!, used most the bottle but the stains are finally gone!!:grin::grin::grin:Thanks LBD! owe you one!
Not a problem...! That's what the forum is for right...? Glad I could be of some use on here...!!! I've only owned my 'ole LunchBox just under 7-months and I'm getting to know her more and more everyday...!

Oh, I found out what the "white stuff" was... At first I thought it must been bird-poo from a radioactive pterodactyl but I went back through all my pics of the E from last year to compile a yearbook and found what I think was the cause...

When I went camping at Lake Camanche this past summer, I jerry-rigged a blue 7' x 9' tarp using a long pole plus bungies on the roof rack as well as poles and guy-lines to keep the open side up and stable (windy)... I went over my old pics of the E and I saw the before-and-after... It must of been some type of coating on the tarp that the morning dew must have condensed and leeched onto the cowling... Now I know better...! LOL!!!

Great stuff the B2B...! I love the EOC...!

LBD
 

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I'm glad you were able to restore the appearance of your panels.

Just as an aside, if the panel material was actually stained, rather than something coating it, 303 would preserve the discoloration, Armorall would at best make it shiny. B2B would hide it.

If something was deposited on the surface, neither 303 nor Armorall would remove it- neither is a cleaner. Same goes for B2B, though it might dissolve or suspend it so it could be polished off. I'm surprised you didn't try peanut oil or peanut butter.

My experience is that the best time to worry about panel discoloration is when the panels are new, while the original waxy protective coating is still wearing off. I chose to clean the panels aggressively to get rid of the waxy crap, and use 303 after every couple washes. It's equally valid to use a decent wax and keep waxing. Either way, regular hosing off should prevent crud from sticking to, accumulating on, and permanently staining the plastic.

Since I have 5 winters on my Element, I'm now more concerned with cleaning and preserving the under body than the appearance of the topside paint and panels.
 

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I'm glad you were able to restore the appearance of your panels.

Just as an aside, if the panel material was actually stained, rather than something coating it, 303 would preserve the discoloration, Armorall would at best make it shiny. B2B would hide it.

If something was deposited on the surface, neither 303 nor Armorall would remove it- neither is a cleaner. Same goes for B2B, though it might dissolve or suspend it so it could be polished off. I'm surprised you didn't try peanut oil or peanut butter.

My experience is that the best time to worry about panel discoloration is when the panels are new, while the original waxy protective coating is still wearing off. I chose to clean the panels aggressively to get rid of the waxy crap, and use 303 after every couple washes. It's equally valid to use a decent wax and keep waxing. Either way, regular hosing off should prevent crud from sticking to, accumulating on, and permanently staining the plastic.

Since I have 5 winters on my Element, I'm now more concerned with cleaning and preserving the under body than the appearance of the topside paint and panels.
Thanks buddy...!

Makes sense... That's why I didn't worry about it too much... The stuff did wash off because I remember hosing it off after the camp... The residue was slightly visible... If after using the B2B (when it wears off) the stain comes back, I'll definitely go the peanut butter route... Otherwise, it looks my plastic trim is holding up pretty well...

Thanks again PSS...

LBD
 

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I've heard of peanut butter/oil working. WD-40 also works - followed by a plastic dressing like B2B. I was a former tire shine user left over from my Avalanche that had acres of plastic. I bought my first bottle of B2B this weekend. Goes on a bit easier and buffs more evenly than the tire shine gel. So, I have to agree that B2B works very well. I'll keep the tire shine for the tires ;-)

Thanks for the informative thread!
 

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Glad to be of service...!

I've heard of peanut butter/oil working. WD-40 also works - followed by a plastic dressing like B2B. I was a former tire shine user left over from my Avalanche that had acres of plastic. I bought my first bottle of B2B this weekend. Goes on a bit easier and buffs more evenly than the tire shine gel. So, I have to agree that B2B works very well. I'll keep the tire shine for the tires ;-)

Thanks for the informative thread!
Hey Mikement...!

Glad I found something that almost everyone can find that works...! I know a lot of folks do recommend the 303 stuff and I respect that... Maybe one day I'll be able to get some to try it but it is a bit expensive so maybe one day... After all, the weather is not as bad in Northern Cali and the B2B is holding up after our 3 one-day showers here...

As for the Turtle Wax Tire Shine, I used it as a budget tire shiner... It's the best bang for your buck compared to everyone else and that's what it's all about...

Glad everyone over here doesn't try and ram the idea of the different high-end waxes, polishes, & sealants... I'm glad they have the time to use those products but I'm a bit more constrained with my time...

Sorry for hijacking the thread Doc...!

LBD
 

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Has anyone tried something like Formula 409 or TSP for getting stains off the panels? TSP is a surface prep for painting and would probably do a good job of getting stains off and not just hiding them.
 

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I just cleaned mine last week. I posted my pics on a thread around here somewhere but I had pretty bad water stains and I used the Mothers Back to Black and it worked really well. I doubt that the panels had been treated since it was built so they were pretty bad, the pictures don't show it though. Here are a couple of before and after.
 

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I have found this one to be the best for returning the panels to a "like new appearance":

<cut out pic to save bandwidth>

After cleaning just spray it on. It doesn't get the runs like B2B after it rains. Heck, it even has a pic of an Element on it!

Regards,
Greg
Nice Greg...! I'll give Wally-World a look around to see if they have it there... I heard that a bunch of the Meguiar's stuff is on sale this week... Thanks for the report...! Don't you E-ople LOVE this place...?

LBD

PS: EL-MT... Sorry, almost forgot... Good job on the cleanup...!
 

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My 2 Cents

I wish i had before pictures, but when I acquired my E the panels were milky and had runs and such. I assumed a little ArmourAll and I'd be good to go; it did nothing. So! I searched here! And decided to try Peanut Oil, but when I went to I find it I had a hard time; then when I did it was $$$! So I just bought a generic brand of peanut butter and went to work.(I applied with paper towels as a cheap throw away applicator, and I wiped off with a beach towel)
It was messy and by the end I started to really hate the smell of peanut butter, but the results were unbelievable. They looked better than new. I then went to buy Meguiar's trim "stuff" to maintain the shine but after searching at several major car stores I couldn't find it. So instead I bought their new dash and trim, that too works great. I use the Meguiar's every two weeks and she always looks new. I think you could even stretch the intervals of applying trim and dash, but I do a lot of beach driving and the dust really seems to stick to the panels so I have to do it more often. Again my 2 Cents!!
 

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I've been building up the courage to smear pb all over my Element. Probably going to do it at my parents though since I live in an apartment and don't want the neighbors to think I belong in a mental ward because I'm covering my vehicle in pb. :twisted: If I get this done I will post pics along with results after using something like B2B.

nas660, your Element has to be one of my favorites! The color scheme is awesome, especially with the white letter tires! Love it!
 

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OK, I am a moron.
Last summer I when mudding and wasn't able to get a good wash in for about 2 weeks (hey I work). Now no matter what I do I can't get these stains off the panels (tried 303, soap, even foaming tire cleaner which worked for about a week, then they come back) Please help this looks really bad.
go out and get Mothers back to black. costs aroudn 7$ for the plastic bottle. i used it on my 04 element, lots of stains and faded gray panels and using it made it look like new!! really easy to put on and all.
 
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