How to Remove Car Wax Off Plastic Surfaces

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Removing car wax off of plastic surfaces, such as the bumper, is easily done by gently brushing the surface with a toothbrush to remove the residue or using a small amount of denatured alcohol to remove stubborn wax buildup. Eliminate unsightly white wax residue from a car with auto advice from an ASE-certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Body Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Mark. In this segment, I'm going to cover how to remove car wax, from plastic surfaces, and actually, a lot of the wax that we're applying to, is a plastic or vinyl surface, like the front bumpers, a lot of the new hoods. Some fenders are made out of vinyl and plastic, to reduce weight. What most commonly happens, and I think what we're going to cover here, is as you get wax on the black matted surface, plastic surface of the car, you get that white residue. The unsightly white residue, builds up around the edges, and that's what I'm going to show you how to remove, and this can be done with a little cuticle, or fingernail brush. A toothbrush works real well in tight, confined places, and after you get the wax off, a little trick I'll show you. There's a product by Mothers, it's called Back to Black, and we can reapply that on the black matted plastic surfaces, to get that unsightly white edge of the wax, and that brings him back to a real shiny luster of black again, and so basically what you need to do, is you just any wax buildup you might have on a plastic surface, you just want to take a gentle brush, and you can just brush off the edges. If it gets down up underneath the cracks, you can use a smaller toothbrush. A toothbrush works well up around small emblems in the grill, in that area, just light brushing will get that extra wax buildup off the plastic, and that's what's most commonly done. If it actually gets on vinyl, or something inside the car, a denatured alcohol, a little bit of denatured alcohol on a wet rag, and just be very gentle and easy with it. You don't want to rub the alcohol, it could damage the plastic, if you really put too much into it. You just want to go a light easy dab, and just dissolve that wax, and remove it , without damaging the plastic. Denatured alcohol works pretty good for removing the wax, without damaging plastic. You just want to be very gentle with it, and make sure you're not just rubbing into it, with a harsh chemical, that can actually damage the plastic finish itself. Once you get the wax off, you can restore the luster of that black plastic, by just applying a little bit, read the directions, follow the directions. They're basically just going to have you apply a little bit to a rag, and then just wipe over the surface of the black area, and that will restore all that black matted plastic, to a nice new luster, and also matches real good, and keeps the shininess of it, as well as the waxed car. That's how you remove wax from plastic.

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