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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2005 NBP with black panels and black trim.

I let someone else wash, and clean my E. I have never allowed that to happen, I cleaned it myself. Unfortunately, the person who cleaned it applied Mothers Back to Black incorrectly and now all of my trim is discolored. I have tried washing the car thoroughly (used Meguiars Gold Car Wash, always have). The discoloration is still there. In one spot, I washed the car thoroughly, let it dry then used Mothers Back to Black (properly) and the discoloration is still there.

Does anyone know if there is anything that I can do to bring my beloved E's trim back to its original condition and color? My trim is black and still looked black because I often use the Mothers Back to Black a few times a year.

What was done to my car that I know of:

He washed it with Turtle Blue ice car wash. He applied Mothers back to black with a cloth that was damp. He says that it was damp due to applying Mothers Back to Black and that was all the cloth was used for. How he applied the Mothers Back to Black: He would rub Mothers on with one cloth then immediately with a dryer cloth wipe/rub Mothers off. He was "touching up the trim this way too. I discovered this and told him that he was supposed to put Mothers on, let it dry to a white haze and then BUFF the white haze off. He looked surprised and began to read the bottle. [email protected]#$%

I didn't know this was happening until the end of the entire car cleaning when I came out to see how my car looked. He was touching up spots but I immediately noticed streaking spots on the trim.

The discoloration looks worse in person than what I could capture on camera (a cloudy day too). With the naked eye the discoloration almost has a yellowish/gold color, not grayish. (see photos). Click each to enlarge.

If you have any advice please post to this thread or PM me.

Thanks in advance.

-g
 

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To me it looks like the plastic wasn't quite clean enough before the product was applied. What I'd recommend is to get a clean spray bottle fill it with a 50/50 cut of water and alcohol. Then spray it on a clean cloth/towel (folding it to a clean side each time) and then wipe those areas clean. Then follow it up by reapplying the product. Hopefully this should fix your problem.
 

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Keep in mind that the textured and porous plastics do need to be clean, and sometimes a gentle scrubbing with a soft brush and/or cotton terry cloth towel using a warm car wash solution to remove collected soil and oxidation residue can be an important step.

Back-to-Black, like many trim products, seems to work best when applied with a cotton terry cloth and worked into the surface a bit. Let it penetrate -- it doesn't really dry, despite what the label says, and instead should be buffed after it is left to penetrate for a few minutes. Usually by the time I work my way around my E with application it is ready to be buffed to remove excess and help create a more even "like new" look.

Granted, if oxidation has gotten bad, most any product won't save it, but like most any product, Back-to-Black does need follow-up applications periodically.

For the piece around the rear door handle I usually find plastic polish works well -- it's a different plastic.
 

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I'll second the peanut butter, and a thorough washing, but I would not retreat with the Back to Black until the "stained" portion is completely gone. It may take a couple of times. JMO
 

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Wow D !!!! I thought you had fallen off the face of the earth !!!


I have missed you.

I use DCBoxes method of cleaning the plastic. It's workrd the best for me over the years. I have had rather poor luck with back to black.


Dom
 

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Wow D !!!! I thought you had fallen off the face of the earth !!!


I have missed you.

I use DCBoxes method of cleaning the plastic. It's workrd the best for me over the years. I have had rather poor luck with back to black.


Dom
Back to black does a poor job...

Btw Dom Tony says hey!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've used Mother's Back to Black religiously since I got my E. The product works well when applied properly. I did not have oxidation issues with my plastic trim. Someone else cleaned and detailed my E. I know for a fact the product was not allowed to penetrate and was improperly applied. I now suspect my E was not washed well--not clean, when the product was applied. :(

Thanks for your input.

Keep in mind that the textured and porous plastics do need to be clean, and sometimes a gentle scrubbing with a soft brush and/or cotton terry cloth towel using a warm car wash solution to remove collected soil and oxidation residue can be an important step.

Back-to-Black, like many trim products, seems to work best when applied with a cotton terry cloth and worked into the surface a bit. Let it penetrate -- it doesn't really dry, despite what the label says, and instead should be buffed after it is left to penetrate for a few minutes. Usually by the time I work my way around my E with application it is ready to be buffed to remove excess and help create a more even "like new" look.

Granted, if oxidation has gotten bad, most any product won't save it, but like most any product, Back-to-Black does need follow-up applications periodically.

For the piece around the rear door handle I usually find plastic polish works well -- it's a different plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Dom (Hugs to Patti),

I will try DCbox's suggestion if the current "oil treatment" doesn't work or hold up.

Wow D !!!! I thought you had fallen off the face of the earth !!!


I have missed you.

I use DCBoxes method of cleaning the plastic. It's workrd the best for me over the years. I have had rather poor luck with back to black.


Dom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for suggestions...

Hi everyone,

Thank you for the suggestions in this thread, via email, and PM.

I have applied oil (safflower oil is what I had on hand) to select areas doing a sort of rub-buff motion. I wiped and wiped. Then I went back and washed those areas with the Meguiars Gold car wash. I'm waiting a bit to see if the cleaning holds. So far the weather conditions have been sunny, warmish, rain, torrential downpours, and very cold & sunny and those newly treated areas look okay.

I shall keep you posted.

-g
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

Applying the oil (see above) was only a temporary improvement. The discolorations are reappearing. :(

I tried washing, then wiping clean with windex too. That didn't improve the look/discoloration at all.

Stumped,

-g
 

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The Element's exterior plastics aren't "porous", they're solid, but they can deteriorate with exposure to UV and they can become coated or stained by chemicals that bond to or disssolve their outer surfaces.

The best things I know for removing surface contamination are solvents that don't damage the underlying material. The gentlest is peanut butter, applied, left in place for a day or more, and thoroughly cleaned off with automotive soap and water. The most aggressive is acrylic paint cleaner, used according to the manufacturer's directions.

Peanut butter works by a combination of a light oil solvent, and fibers and starches that work as absorbents. Peanut butter takes time, sometimes several applications and cleanings over several days, and will only work on organic oil-soluble contaminants like waxes. Acrylic paint cleaner will remove most silicones, but it can also dissolve some plastics, so it needs to be used carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I read this a while ago. Thanks for commenting.

The Element's exterior plastics aren't "porous", they're solid, but they can deteriorate with exposure to UV and they can become coated or stained by chemicals that bond to or disssolve their outer surfaces.

The best things I know for removing surface contamination are solvents that don't damage the underlying material. The gentlest is peanut butter, applied, left in place for a day or more, and thoroughly cleaned off with automotive soap and water. The most aggressive is acrylic paint cleaner, used according to the manufacturer's directions.

Peanut butter works by a combination of a light oil solvent, and fibers and starches that work as absorbents. Peanut butter takes time, sometimes several applications and cleanings over several days, and will only work on organic oil-soluble contaminants like waxes. Acrylic paint cleaner will remove most silicones, but it can also dissolve some plastics, so it needs to be used carefully.
 

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Search "SEM Trim Black". It is a nice matte black trim paint designed for matching factory black trim pieces. It retails for around 16 bucks a can at your local autobody paint supply store
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Search "SEM Trim Black". It is a nice matte black trim paint designed for matching factory black trim pieces. It retails for around 16 bucks a can at your local autobody paint supply store
I will check it out. Thanks.

-g
 
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