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How to Restore Rubber Trim

As rubber trim ages and dries out, it eventually fades and loses its color. UV exposure is particularly harmful to rubber trim and results in discoloration. It's a good idea to thoroughly wash rubber trim every two weeks to keep it free of dirt and contaminants. Applying a protectant to the trim helps to repair minimal discoloration and provides a protective coating. Rubber trim dye can mask rubber trim that is severely faded.

Wash the trim with water and a mild detergent. Clean off the the dirt, grease and other debris that have accumulated on the rubber trim.

Remove the old layers of silicone dressing with a spray conditioner and color. The old layers of dressing result in discoloration. Spray the rubber trim with the conditioner and then wipe it with a clean rag or cloth. It may be necessary to repeat the step. Allow the rubber trim to dry after you have finished.

Restore the color and protect the rubber trim against further UV damage with a rubber protectant. Purchase a product such as Pinnacle Rubber and Vinyl Protectant or 303 Aerospace Protectant. Spray the protectant on to the trim. Wipe the trim dry with a clean cloth.

Dye the rubber trim with a rubber dye if the discoloration is too severe to restore with a rubber protectant. Use a product such as Forever Black. The bottle has an applicator tip. Hold the bottle upside down until the tip is saturated with the dye. Apply the dye systematically to trim in a smooth and even fashion.

Wipe off areas around the rubber trim with a wet towel to remove any dye that inadvertently gets on them. Examine the trim. Apply an additional coat of dye if needed.

Things You Will Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Rubber and vinyl protectant
  • Rubber trim dye

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.