Every car window has this thin layer of black rubber at the bottom of the window. But why?
Well, this rubber trim serves a very important purpose; it protects the car electronics and frame from moisture and debris. It also creates a sound barrier between the exterior and interior of the car. If you don’t take care of this small rubber seal, it’s possible that your car could suffer some unexpected damage.
This rubber lining is something that is usually overlooked when we clean our car’s windows. However, it’s every bit as important to clean this section of the car as it is to clean other car parts. If you are wondering how to clean rubber trim around car windows, then continue reading.
In this article, we’ll answer some questions about the rubber trim around car windows, like ‘Why does my car have rubber trim around its windows?,’ ‘Is it important to clean the rubber trim?,’ ‘How do you clean it?,’ and more.
*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Why Is There Rubber Trim on Car Windows?
Your car window and exterior are exposed to all kinds of nasty things every day, like insects, dirt, dust, moisture, and more. The purpose of a rubber sealant, or trim, around the car windows is to keep rain and other elements out of the car.
Additionally, it serves to form an insulating barrier between the window’s metal frame and glass, helping prevent corrosion and rusting of the car door metal frame. It helps keep the electronic window controls safe too, protecting against contamination caused by dust, moisture, and bugs.
The insulating layer also keeps noise from the outside out and regulates the interior temperature, ensuring that the automobile is kept at a comfortable temperature. In the event of an accident, it also protects the glass.
Without the rubber sealant, it would be easy for water and debris to get inside the car, possibly causing damage or even impairing visibility. You can make sure that your vehicle is always secure and comfy no matter the circumstances by keeping the rubber sealant around its windows in good condition.
To keep your car in excellent shape, replace any damaged sealant as soon as you can.
How Often Should You Clean the Trim?
You can clean rubber trim as often as you’d like. It might be good to clean the trim every time you wash your car. However, keep in mind that due to the frequent exposure to UV radiation, the trim will deteriorate considerably more quickly in sunny locations.
You may wish to treat your rubber trim at least once a month if you reside somewhere sunny. However, if you live somewhere where there are more cloudy days, treating it once or twice a year should be enough.
How to Clean Black Rubber Trim Around Car Windows
You may be wondering how to prevent the rubber trim from deteriorating now that you are aware of how crucial it is. The easiest approach to slow down the process is to frequently repair and clean it, just like you would with any other component of your vehicle.
Cleaning rubber trim is not difficult, but just takes some care and tme.
So, here’s how to maintain your exterior trim and achieve the best results!
What You’ll Need
Car shampoo is easy to find. You can purchase some at your local grocery store, your nearest automotive shop, or even online. Car shampoo is very affordable and is made specifically for cleaning cars. There’s no need to purchase high-end products because most car shampoos offer similar results and will be able to do the job. If you don’t want to buy car shampoo, you can make your own.
To make a simple cleaning solution yourself, you’ll need baking soda and dishwashing liquid. Baking soda cleans grease, while dishwashing liquid removes grime and dirt. Combine equal parts baking soda and dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. To clean the rubber trim of your car window, start by spraying the solution onto the rubber seals and then add a little bit of water and wipe with a car-safe cloth. Once you’ve finished washing, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry off completely.
Using a brush with stiff bristles on the rubber is not a good idea because rubber is a soft material. Using a brush with stiff bristles could leave scratches that are much harder to remove or repair than certain dirt. If you don’t have a brush at home, you can use a toothbrush or a very soft sponge instead of purchasing a brand-new brush for your car. A toothbrush is delicate, manageable, and small enough for intricate work.
Use a clean microfiber towel or soft cloth to wipe the trim clean. Microfiber towels are softer than regular ones, so they are perfect for sensitive areas around the window. The soft cloths won’t leave any scratches on the trim, but they’ll also be gentle on the car polish and the window itself.
Your trim will last longer and be more resistant to the sun, dust, and elements if you apply rubber trim protectant. Buy a rubber-specific protectant to get the greatest results, and make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. Additionally, make sure to always check for UV protection.
What to Do
Now that we know what product we are going to use let’s take a look at the steps we are going to take to clean the rubber trim in this step by step guide. Firstly, take the car through a car wash or do it yourself.
Open All Windows
First, start off by opening all the car windows. You’ll want to roll down the windows completely for the best cleaning results. Wipe away any dust or debris on the exterior and interior rubber trim with the microfiber cloth before moving on to the next step.
Apply Soap Solution
Next, apply the soapy water solution or car shampoo that you bought to the rubber trim. Make sure to cover all the window trims before you start scrubbing them clean. This allows the product to work its magic. Now take a soft brush or an old soft bristled toothbrush and start scrubbing.
You can even use some dish soap and warm water as a cleaning solution to gently rub the rubber trim clean with a soft scrub brush.
Take the damp microfiber towel and start wiping off the car shampoo with the towel. Once all the excess shampoo has been removed, you can rinse all the shampoo residue off until there’s nothing left.
Inspect and Repeat
Before you dry the trim off completely, inspect it to see if there’s any dirt, stains, or shampoo residue left. If you find any debris, you can repeat the process until the trim is squeaky clean.
Once you’re certain there are no stains, dry the trim with the microfiber towel and let it air dry for a few minutes afterwards.
Apply Rubber Protectant
Once the trim has dried completely, you can apply the vinyl or rubber protectant solution to the window molding by simply following the manufacturer’s instructions. The rubber protectant will protect the rubber from further damage, especially damage from the sun’s UV rays. Make sure to wipe clean any metal detailing around the windows.
Restoring Older Trim
To restore older and faded trim, you can follow the exact same steps as above, but instead of applying rubber protectant, you can apply trim restorer with a foam applicator or microfiber cloth. A trim restorer can be purchased at your local automotive retailer, or you can buy it online on Amazon. Cover the car paint so that now of the restorer gets on it.
Ensure that the product is spread evenly through overlapping back-and-forth motions. Allow the product to dry for 10-15 minutes before adding an extra layer. You can add up to 2-3 additional layers to darken the trim to its original black hue. Trim restorers can last for a few months. We recommend reapplying it at the start of every season.
Can Rubber Trim Always Be Restored?
Although the first step is always to see if we can restore rubber, unfortunately, not all car window rubber can always be restored. No amount of product will be able to repair too much damage to the rubber trim on your automobile windows. When the trim practically flakes off when you touch it, it’s past the point of restoration and will need to be replaced.
The black rubber trim on your car windows serves a very important purpose, and it is important to take care of it and clean it properly. If you follow the steps given above, your rubber seal on the windows will not only last long but will also look brand new.
Let us know in the comment section if you’ve found this article helpful, and don’t forget to share it with your friends!