Best Black Plastic Restorer | The Best Black Plastic Restorer of 2018
Have you ever heard about a product known as black plastic restorer? You’ve probably spent at least a little time wondering what it is and how it works. Essentially, it’s a product designed to bring the faded black plastic hardware of your car or vehicle back to its former glory. But how does the best black plastic restorer work, and why do you need it?
Since the first Model-Ts rolled off assembly lines, car brands have followed style trends and competed for customer attention. Over the last several years, that’s led to an increase in black plastic trim. It’s a trendy, stylish and sleek-looking design element that’s all but taken over a wide range of car styles and types. Just look at some of the more recent Jeeps or Range Rovers. Basically, black plastic trim serves to tie in the car’s colors and style in a sleek, eye-catching yet subtle way. But unfortunately, as is the case with most car-related issues, the black plastic loses its luster over time.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this article to help you get your black plastic hardware looking good as new. We’ll take a look at seven of the best black plastic restorer products available on the market today. But before that, let’s get a better understanding of why black plastic needs restoring in the first place.
The Best Black Plastic Restorer (Full Black Plastic Restorer Reviews Below)
What happens to black plastic trim on vehicles?
If you’ve ever wondered what gives plastic trim its smooth, shiny appearance, get ready for a minor science lesson. Plastic of almost any kind has a sort of oil on its surface. This oil is what makes it look reflective, shiny and new. But over time, especially in situations where the plastic faces the elements, that look begins to fade. This is because the oils in the plastic’s surface have begun to dry out. The plastic also suffers from a process known as oxidation from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The resulting look is that of a faded, light-grey or chalky looking surface that no one wants on their car.
Not only is that look inconvenient for you, it can also make your car look older and more worn-down when it comes time to sell. While minor cosmetic concerns shouldn’t make or break a sale, they often do. They can leave sellers wondering what other parts of your car wore down or weathered, leaving them skeptical of buying. But more than anything, you just want to drive in a car that looks nice, right? The cosmetic issues like worn plastic aren’t hurting anything or causing any damage, are they? Well, the truth is that when it comes to the importance of black plastic restorer there’s more than just what meets the eye.
It turns out that plastic material that dries out isn’t just visually bland and worn looking. The loss of those oils within the plastic can also have another effect. When plastic becomes dry and devoid of oil, it also becomes extremely brittle. This means that your plastic hardware will be more prone to crack, break and snap off in pieces. And nothing looks worse or lowers the curb appeal of your car more quickly than busted hardware. So if you think that black plastic restorer is just about a slightly shinier look—think again. It might mean the difference between a broken chunk of hardware or protection against damage.
But how do I know the best approach to restore my trim?
So how can you save your black plastic hardware from fading, cracking or growing brittle? As with all things in the internet age, you’ll find tons of advice about the best way to restore your trim. The web offers countless DIY solutions, each one touted as the cheapest, most effective, and longest-lasting alternative. But is there any real alternative to buying a dedicated black plastic restorer? Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular alternative DIY solutions and see how they do. Then we’ll compare these methods to the approach taken by pre-packaged black plastic restorer for cars.
Using Everyday Oil
Because faded plastic comes from a lack of oil within the material, DIYers came up with a solution. They figured that they would simply apply an oil or oily substance to the plastic, and presto—shiny, nice-looking hardware once more. Many even insisted that peanut butter is the best solution to restore black plastic car trim. But were they right?
As it turns out, applying oil to your hardware does a fairly solid job of instantly making it look nicer and newer. However, there are some caveats. First of all—peanut butter isn’t necessary. It’s very messy, and all you really need is oil. Consider something like linseed oil or another simple oil substance. Any basic oil will do the trick.
The other point worth noting is that while this is a quick, easy solution that looks nice, it’s not lasting. Your shiny black plastic hardware will revert back to its faded look within a few weeks, if not days. That’s because you’ve simply applied an external oil to the plastic, rather than bringing out the existing oils themselves. As soon as they are washed or faded away, your plastic will return to its faded look.
It’s a scientific fact that applying heat to plastic will draw out the oil within. So many people have taken the approach of using a low-level heating product to restore their black hardware. And it works! Well, for the most part. Aside from the safety concerns, this approach also runs the risk of getting to hot and permanently damaging the plastic. It also has the same issues as the external oil approach. Before long, the effects of the treatment wear off. Even worse, eventually you might strip the plastic of oils completely. Then you’ll have no way of restoring your black hardware to its original luster. No amount of black plastic restorer can save you at this point.
There is one approach that’s much more permanent than the previous two. You can simply decide to remove your plastic hardware and repaint it. It’s as simple as buying some paint primer and black paint from your local hardware shop. This is a relatively inexpensive option, but it comes with its own drawbacks. First of all, working with pain is a very involved process. You’ll need to remove your hardware, tape areas where you don’t want paint, and more. This approach also requires a large time investment. It’s not as simple as applying oil or black hardware restorer to the surface of your hardware.
That being said, it is a relatively permanent solution that will last as long as it takes for the new paint to wear off. If this approach appeals to you, feel free to give it a shot. But we still submit that the most effective, most dependable and longest-lasting option is to use the best black plastic restorer product on the market.
How black plastic restorer works:
Most prepackaged black plastic restorer products work roughly the same way. They involve applying a wax-like substance using a cloth or specialized applicator. Some brands recommend multiple passes, followed by a wipe down with a clean cloth to get rid of any residue. This waxy substance is designed to achieve two goals. The first is to draw out the oil in the plastic to return its sleek, shiny look. The second is to form a protective shield over the hardware to keep it from fading more in the future. Each of the products we’ll review below achieves these goals with different levels of success. Some get results that last years, while others will only make an impact for a few weeks.
We’ll rate the seven products below based on a few unique factors. First, we’ll take a look at price. Everyone wants to get good value for their money, so we’ll make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Then we’ll look at effectiveness—does each product do what it’s designed to do? From there we’ll compare ease of use so that you don’t spend hours wiping away at your hardware. Finally, we’ll look at just how long-lasting the effects of each product can be.
Before we get to our list of the best products on the market, it’s important to remember that your needs and preferences are unique to you. What’s considered the best black plastic restorer for one person might not mean it’s perfect for you. Use this listing as a guide during your search. But don’t feel as though you have to follow it to the letter. Find the product that works for you and you’ll enjoy easy, effective black plastic restoration in no time.
Without further ado, let’s get to our rankings.
This restorer earns number-one on our list thanks to its perfect combination of effectiveness, price and long-lasting quality. Let’s look at each of its features to find out why it’s the best black plastic restorer on the market.
Available for as little as $11.39 on Amazon, this restorer won’t break the bank. It’s a great value at 12 oz. per bottle, and you can order it directly to your home with no problem.
It’s number-one for a reason. The Meguiar approach to black plastic restoration is incredibly powerful, instantly transforming your faded plastic to look brand-new. You’ll be feeling like you’re in a brand new car in no time.
Ease of Use
The solution used by Meguiar is not only effective, but also fast-drying and non-greasy for your convenience. That means you won’t spend hours on the project or its cleanup, so you can get back to driving.
With breakthrough UV protection designed into the solution, you’ll enjoy protection from the sun’s rays. That means this black hardware restorer can keep your plastic looking good for as long as several years to come.
With an unbeatable combo of value, effectiveness, ease of use and long-lasting strength, Meguiar earns the number one spot. You can’t go wrong with this high-quality product for your black plastic hardware.
Coming it at number two is the Mothers brand Back-to-Black plastic trim restorer. While it can’t match the first spot on our list, it’s still a force to be reckoned with when restoring dark hardware.
The $7.49 price point is definitely worth noticing, as it’s a few bucks cheaper than the Meguiar pick at number one. For less than a ten-dollar-bill you can get powerful hardware restoration delivered to your door.
Back-to-Black is extremely effective, offering strong removal of grit and oxidation plus protection for the future. It promises to bring back that brand-new looking color of your trim and mostly delivers.
Ease of Use
Just as easy as our number-one pick, just apply a coat or two and then wipe clean. It’s that easy, and it’s that simple.
While it might not last quite as long as the Meguiar product, the Mothers brand restorer kit still lasts a long time. You can count on this solution for at least a year, if not more.
At an impressively low price and offering strong cleaning, restoring and protection, this is a great value overall. You’ll want to have this product in your garage for years to come.
The packaging for this CarGuys brand restorer is shiny, black and sleek. But can it bring that same finish to your exterior hardware? Let’s find out.
At $14.99, the CarGuys plastic restorer is a bit more expensive than the top two choices on the list. But it’s still available for less than $20, which makes it a solid deal.
The CarGuys brand is known for professional-level effectiveness, and they hold up to that standard here. This restorer is guaranteed to give you an eye-catching improvement in the sheen and clarity of your hardware.
Ease of Use
This product gets a boost in ease of use because it comes with an included applicator sponge. That makes it a black plastic restorer that has everything you need right out of the box.
This restorer will keep your plastic looking brand-new for at least several months, if not as long as a year. While the higher-rated products on our list last longer, this is still a respectable length for any product.
While it’s a bit more expensive, this restorer comes with an included sponge and guarantees a long-lasting effect. It’s the whole package, available now from the CarGuys.
From TriNova comes this sleekly packaged, moderately priced product for black hardware restoration. But does it live up to its high-end looks? There’s only one way to know for sure.
At $11.97, this product won’t break the bank. It’s reasonably priced and offers a solid value for the money. Score one in the price department.
In terms of the effectiveness, TriNova’s black plastic restorer has done wonders for thousands of users based on their reviews. It features the same sleekness-restoring and protective qualities as other products.
Ease of Use
The included sponge is a nice touch, making this a feature-rich product that will get the job done fast. What more can you ask for?
TriNova’s finish won’t last quite as long as some other products on the list. That said, you should get a few months of protection and sheen out of it.
While its effects aren’t quite as long lasting as higher-rated items on our list, the TriNova kit offers a solid combination of price, features and effectiveness.
The Adam’s brand name is simple, and its products match that simplicity. But underneath the straightforward packaging you’ll find a moderately impressive black plastic restorer.
This is the one area where Adam’s brand loses out—at $16.99, it’s one of the more expensive products on our list. And without a long-established reputation to back it up, the price is a bit of a head-scratcher.
In terms of effectiveness, the Adam’s product mostly gets the job done. Black trim and hardware looks noticeably newer and cleaner after application, at least in the short-term.
Ease of Use
In addition to the bottle of solution you’ll also receive a rectangular application sponge. This keeps you from having to buy one separately or using something from home. For that, Adam’s scores points in ease of use.
The Adam’s product is advertised as lasting “several months,” but we’ve found that generally it lasts closer to a “few” months. That being said, it provides a solid protective shield during that time.
Adam’s has created a dependable, solid product. But it’s unfortunately brought lower in the rankings due to its price and relatively short-term effectiveness.
This Solution Finish brand product is far and away the most expensive on our list. With that in mind, you would hope that it has the power to back up its price tag. Let’s find out if that’s the case.
This finish is listed at a whopping $29.73, almost twice as expensive as the next priciest on the list. And at only 12oz in size, it doesn’t offer significantly more solution than the other products.
Price aside, the Solution Finish black plastic restorer does get the job done. Is it impressive enough to be worth the price tag? No. But if it’s the choice you make, you won’t be disappointed.
Ease of Use
This matches the ease of use of other products—simply apply with a rag or sponge, then wipe off. It’s that simple.
When applied correctly, this solution should offer you several months of protection from further wear and tear. That will keep your plastic looking good for some time.
It’s an effective product, but overall it’s simply too expensive to be recommended higher on our rating. With a bit of a price cut, it would definitely become a contender for best black plastic restorer on the market.
Coming in at the final spot on our list is the long-respected brand Turtle Wax. Does their trim restorer product live up to their company reputation? The answer is, mostly.
Turtle Wax has often prided itself on offering affordable products, and this is no exception. At $6.90 it’s one of the cheapest options on the list.
Turtle Wax has made a generally effective black plastic restorer that should get the job done for your exterior trim. That being said, it’s number seven on the list because it can’t match some of the higher-rated products.
Ease of Use
Simply apply and then wipe off. It’s a simple, quick and straightforward process.
You can expect at least a few months of protection and sheen with Turtle Wax. As they say, it gives that “hard-shell finish.”
Generally, what gives Turtle Wax a spot on our list is the phenomenal price. It makes this an excellent value even though it’s not as powerful as some of the other ranked products.
That wraps-up our roundup of the best plastic restorer for cars. While there are definitely other products on the market, we believe these seven account for the best available. You won’t go wrong choosing one of the above options for your vehicle. We also hope you’ve received a better understanding about the approach will best help you restore your hardware.
Which black plastic restorer you decide to use is ultimately up to you. You might care more about long-lasting durability than price. Or you might prefer to go for a budget product that you can easily re-apply down the road. Whatever your preference, we believe that there’s a product in our rankings that’s right for you. While we believe that the Meguiar product at #1 is the best choice on the market, you might think otherwise.
Just remember that keeping your black plastic hardware in good condition isn’t just about visual appeal. It can also protect you from sun damage and even cracks and breaks along the way. If you want to keep your vehicle looking brand-new for years to come, invest in a black plastic restoration product. Your car is guaranteed to thank you for it later on.