How To Remove Dried Car Wax From Plastic Easily

When waxing your car, you might get car wax onto the plastic surfaces of the exterior by mistake. Don’t worry! It is not something your plastic will die from. Yet, you will surely want to remove it to keep your beloved car as sharp as possible. Wondering how to do it?

To completely remove dried car wax from the plastic surfaces of a car, carefully scrub the wax with a pink or white pencil eraser. For a more potent alternative, use a magic eraser or a chemical product such as wax remover. Avoid using all-purpose cleaners or heat guns.

These options are some of the most effective and known. Learning how to use them will make this process easier for you. With all the information at hand, you will be able to choose the option that suits you best. Let’s take a closer look at them.

How To Best Remove Unwanted Car Wax

Having car wax stuck to the plastic surfaces of your car is something very common. Removing the unwanted wax could be troublesome since the wax adheres to the pores of the plastic. There are several methods that can help you take on this task.

Pencil Eraser

Using a pencil eraser to remove dried wax is one of the most practical and easy alternatives you can find. Without the need for other products, it is also a cost-effective solution. Pencil erasers are a great tool when it comes to working on little spaces that require lots of detail. 

It is as simple as scrubbing the dried car wax using the pencil eraser and watching it disappear. For this task, both white and pink pencil erasers will do the trick. Not even water is necessary to scrub off car wax using erasers. 

Magic Erasers

Magic erasers (or scrubbers) are a great way to remove dried wax without damaging the plastic surfaces of your car. It is as easy as scrubbing the wax off. In some cases, these magic erasers could even scrub off some unwanted paint or other contaminants from the plastic.

Since they are not too abrasive, they can rid the plastic from the dried wax without harming the surface. For the cases where the pencil eraser is not strong enough, the magic eraser is the next best option. 

Something to bear in mind is that they are still abrasive utensils, so avoid using them on painted surfaces. You could remove or scratch some of the painting without noticing it. 

Wax removers

The next option is directly attacking the wax with a product designed for this purpose. There are several wax removers on the market that work not only for plastic but also for other surfaces. 

Some of these versions include a nylon brush, which can help make this task more practical. Wax removers are designed to disintegrate the dried wax, giving you a helping hand with this task. Furthermore, there is no risk of damaging the plastic with wax removers.

Extreme cases might strictly need products like these if the wax is too attached to the plastic pores.

Apart from wax removers, there are some other products created with the sole purpose of cleaning vinyl and plastic surfaces. These can also be useful if the wax is too stuck on the plastic of your car. 

Honorific mention: toothbrush

For mild cases of dried car wax on plastic, using a toothbrush could suffice your cleaning needs. The toothbrush can enter the porous surface of the plastic, removing the wax lodged in it. Old toothbrushes are great to perform this task, and along with pencil erasers, they are the cheapest option. 

You need just to scrub the wax with a toothbrush, and it will go away. This method is also useful for other weak contaminants. In some cases, you could use a bit of liquid to help scrub off the wax. 

I would strongly advise you against methods such as heat guns. This method could compromise the integrity of the plastic surfaces of your car. 

A nice finishing touch after removing all the dried wax could be the addition of a plastic protectant to all plastic surfaces.

Why Is It Hard To Remove Dried Wax From Plastic?

Car wax invades the pores and rough surface structure of the plastic parts on a car easily. The rough surface makes it easy for the wax to adhere to and makes it very hard to remove car wax successfully. Due to that, using water and soap is not enough to remove it.

The more the wax dries, the harder it is to remove it. My recommendation would be to prevent the wax from reaching the plastic surfaces in the first place. You might not be able to avoid this from happening, but being conscious about it can reduce the amount of dried wax.

Why You Should Remove Dried Wax From Plastic

When car wax adheres to the plastic surfaces of a car, these surfaces start looking dull and damaged. Furthermore, some car waxes dry white, leaving white marks on the plastic that affect the overall look of the car. Removing dried wax can help revitalize the plastic and prevent decolorization.

For black plastic, the white drying of car waxes is even more noticeable. After taking good care of the paint with car wax, there is no need to be sloppy with the plastic surfaces. That would downgrade the level of detail of the car.

The plastic surfaces of the car can start looking as if the color was fading away. In fact, the dried wax hidden in the pores starts losing its color and giving a dull look to the surface. Sometimes, it is difficult for the naked eye to notice these remnants of wax.

If wax reaches the plastic surfaces of your car, try to remove it before it finishes drying. Once it has fully dried on the plastic, it will adhere strongly to its porous surface. Not only will it be more complicated to remove it, but it will also cause more damage to the plastic.

Do’s And Don’ts When Removing Car Wax From Plastic: A Summary

Just as there are many recommendations for the removal of car wax from plastic surfaces, there are also many contraindications to this process. Cleaning and protecting the plastic are the two pillars of wax removal. There are things to do and things not to do in order to respect these pillars.

In the table below, you can see the dos and don’ts when removing the wax.

DosDon’ts
Use a pencil eraserDon’t use a heat gun
Use a magic eraser or scrubberDon’t scrub on painted surfaces
Use a car wax removerDon’t use all-purpose cleaners
Use a toothbrush for easy casesDon’t use soap and water
Prevent the wax from reaching the surfaceDon’t let it dry completely

You can never be too careful when it comes to the care of your car. For that, it is paramount not to forget these insights and always work based on reliable information.

It is better to work smart than to work hard. There are many efficient ways to solve this problem. Pick yours!

Key Takeaways

  • Removing dried car wax from plastic is a must
  • Soap and water are not effective
  • Dried car wax left on plastic can make it look dull
  • There are cheap options to remove dried car wax

Here Are All My Favorite Car Detailing Products

Proper car detailing requires a lot of products. Given that the market for car detailing products is huge and there are many different products available, it can be very confusing and hard to find seriously high-quality products online.

I want to make sure that you as my reader get great car detailing products, so I decided to list my favorite products down below. I am sure you and your car will love them! 🙂

Microfiber Wash Mitts: Microfiber wash mitts are the go-to piece of equipment for every car cleaning enthusiast. Without a proper wash mitt cleaning a car is impossible. These are my favorites:

  • Amazon Basics Deluxe Microfiber Car Wash Mitt: Click here
  • Armor All Microfiber Car Wash Mitt: Click here
  • The Rag Company – Cyclone Wash Mitts: Click here

Car Shampoo: Car shampoo is the only suitable shampoo for washing cars safely. Make sure to get a high-quality car shampoo to prevent scratches. Check my favorites here and get yourself a good car shampoo!

Pressure Washers: If you are serious about car detailing and about cleaning your cars properly, there is no way around a high-quality pressure washer. I know that they are expensive, but trust me, a good pressure washer is a game-changer. Check out my recommendations below!

  • Karcher 13246440 K 5 Premium Full Control: Click here
  • Greenworks Electric Pressure Washer GPW2003: Click here
  • Karcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer: Click here

Paint Protection: Paint protection is something that belongs to every car detailing routine. As it is so important, there are many different products and many different use cases. Check the list below to find my favorite paint protection products.

Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge