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Best Car Plastic Restorer for 2022: Chemical Guys, Meguiar's and More

Get your car's trim looking brand new with our favorite plastic restorers on the market.

sean-szymkowski-headshot
sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
4 min read

When it comes to car restoration, not only do you have to think of your car's paint, body and leather but also its plastic. A car's plastic can become battered just like the rest of your car, but it can also fade and look old after increased exposure to the sun. Thankfully, there is a fine selection of plastic restorer products that can make it look new again. These products restore the faded plastic to a dark, deep black color reminiscent of how it looked when it rolled off the production line. We've collected the best products out there that are capable of beating that unattractive gray plastic look.

Read more: Best Rust emover in 2022

But it doesn't have to shake out that way. Read on below for CNET Cars' top picks.

Chemical Guys VRP Dressing
Chemical Guys

I mentioned Chemical Guys Vinyl, Rubber and Plastic Dressing, or VRP for short, when I talked about the best tire shines, however, as the name implies, this stuff is versatile. While I personally wouldn't apply it on a car's interior, it works wonderfully well on exterior plastic trim.

The best part is, I didn't notice any slinging after a rain shower. That's a big stress factor when it comes to these kinds of products, but VRP holds up in my experience.

Best car plastic restorer details

Best car plastic trim restorer BrandNamePrice
Overall CerakoteCeramic Trim Coat$20
For the money Chemical GuysVRP$9
Spray plastic restorer Meguiar'sUltimate Black$12
Premium plastic restorer CarfidantTrim & Plastic Restorer$17
Without a budget LithiumTrim Restorer & Protectant$37

Car plastic restorer tips

  • Make sure you wash and dry the area: Ideally, you'd do a exterior plastic trim restore session after a car wash anyway, but make sure the plastic surface area you plan to apply your choice of trim restorer product to is thoroughly cleaned and dried before using any of these products.
  • Go slow, be thorough: Don't do a quick pass with the trim restorer product and think you're fine. Some of these areas may take more time and might require time to cure, too, before you buff them out with a microfiber cloth.
  • Stay out of the sun: The sun's UV rays is exactly what causes car plastic trim to fade. Don't apply the trim restorer products in the sun.
  • Reapply as needed: Some of these solution finish products will last much longer than others. None of these are a permanent fix. Once you see you need more, go ahead and apply more.
Meguiar's Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer

Ultimate Black is great for areas just like this.

Meguiar's

Enjoy your CNET Cars-approved, restored trim

It's the little things that matter when it comes to making a car look clean and well maintained. Car plastic exterior trim is one area that's easy to overlook, but with one of these, you will have a great looking car guaranteed.

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