Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Stewart

Choosing the right trim restorer or dressing is a key part of any car detail. For trim that isn’t looked after, it can really bring down the entire appearance of the car.

Be wary though regarding the extremely cheap dressings and restorers found on the likes of Wish. Whilst they do work for a short time, a lot of them can actually permanently damage the trim. Instead, choose one of the products below to ensure that your trim looks great, and that there won’t be any damage to it.

It’s also important to note that the correct applicator should be used when it comes to applying a dressing. A full rundown of the best applicators can be found at this link.

However, bear in mind for the Gtechniq product mentioned below, this comes with its own dedicated applicators so if you choose that one, you don’t need to buy others for this purpose.

I would also recommend some generic microfibre cloths as well for removing the residue of the products. Since you can’t scratch plastic trim, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on expensive microfibre cloths. In that case, the Amazon Basics 12 pack offers great value for money, and can also be used to clean the dash board, wheel arches, the back face of alloy wheels and depending on the glass cleaner you’re using, use it to buff off that as well. I wouldn’t recommend these to remove wax or sealants though, invest the money in a better product for that.

Amazon Basics Microfibre Cleaning Cloth, Pack of 12, Multi Color, Blue, Orange & White, 30.5 cm x 40.6 cm
  • Material: 90% polyester 10% polyamide, Ultra soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloths will not scratch paints, coats or other surfaces

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care

Autoglym have had Vinyl and Rubber Care on the market for years, and it’s as good as it’s ever been.

Whilst it was more designed to be used in the interior of the car, I’ve found that it also works wonders on the trim as well. Generally speaking, I can get around 6 weeks of it before I need to apply it to the trim again. Whilst it’s no where near as long as the length of time you’ll get with the Gtechniq C4 mentioned below, it’s also a quarter of the price of the C4, and it’s also much simpler to apply. A little bit of Vinyl and Rubber Care goes a long way.

In addition to this, you can also use it for the interior of the car (but not on rubber mats, the steering wheel, gear stick or the pedals). It’s great for cleaning doors, as well as leaving a fresh lemon scent in the car as well. Plus, it has a small amount of UV protection in it as well.

It’s also a great way of quickly sprucing up the engine bay, particularly after a harsh winter. For those that are short of time, but want a great trim dressing and restorer, Vinyl and Rubber Care should be the first choice.

Autoglym Vinyl And Rubber Care, 500ml - Fresh Lemon Scented Interior Car Cleaner Spray Designed To Protect Your Dashboard and Other Interior Plastics, White
  • This Autoglym car interior cleaner restores original surface colour and provides a clear protective coating to dashboards and other interior plastic and rubber components

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer

This is a great product from the good folks at Gtechniq. I put it on my car four years ago, and there’s still parts of it that are protected by it. Granted, these are areas that aren’t fully exposed to sunlight. However, given that Gtechniq quote a two year lifespan, getting double from it is really great.

The application is a bit different from the others on this list, and it does require a full decontamination with an all purpose cleaner, such as Gtechniq W5 Citrus APC. However, it’s well worth it.

Another small problem is that to apply this trim restorer, you need to make sure you’ve got at least 12 hours of good weather for it to properly bond to the trim. If you don’t, it won’t cure properly and you’ve wasted the product. Given that it’s a bit more expensive than others on this list, it’s something should consider if you live in an area that sees a lot of rainfall.

Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer for Car and Vehicle Trim, Revitalises Tired, Faded, Discoloured Plastic and Rubber, Easy to Apply - 15ml (Sufficient for 1 Small-Medium Car)
  • RESTORES TRIM LIKE NEW - bring old, tired plastic or rubber back to life, with an invisible, exceptionally thin, coating that revitalises the colour, look and feel of all car trim, and protects from rain and UV

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Gtechniq W5 All Purpose Cleaner - Car Degreaser Spray for Oil, Grease and Stain Remover. Suitable for Most Surfaces and Car Wheel Cleaner, 100% Biodegradable Car Cleaning Products. 500ml
  • HEAVY DUTY CAR DEGREASER - unique citrus based formula completely removes tough stains caused by oil and grease, it doesn't just clean, but breaks the bond between the grime and the surface

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Black Plastic & Trim Restorer

The middle priced product comes from Meguiar’s who have a great reputation in the detailing world.

As opposed to the spray product of Vinyl and Rubber Care, this product has a consistency which is similar to sun tan lotion. It works well at reviving old and tired looking trim, which is the whole point. However, it is also a great way to protect the trim on a new car as well. It has UV barriers in it, meaning that the trim will be protected for longer.

In terms of durability, it’s just a bit shorter than that of the Vinyl and Rubber Care. On the flip side of this, it can be layered to give a blacker appearance, as opposed to the OEM finish you’ll get with Vinyl and Rubber Care. I found it really easy to apply and remove the excess and it was dry within ten minutes of applying it.

The downside with this is that it isn’t multipurpose in the way that the Autoglym offering is, which is a shame if you’re wanting a one size fits all product. However, for the UV protection, it’s a great option.

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.