Rubbing alcohol on my black plastic side door panels

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  #1  
Old 08-26-14, 11:28 PM
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Rubbing alcohol on my black plastic side door panels

Sorry, "Black plastic side door HANDLES not panels" but I guess they could be panels too.

I was just prepping the surface of my plastic black side door panels
to clean it but quickly after drying I noticed this whitish stain and in the light
it actually looks like the colors of the rainbow.

Does anyone know what this is? How do I remove it safely? The other side didn't seem to be affected by the alcohol, just one side.

I tried to use soapy water many times and everytime it dries up it would reappear again. I used some windex also and same thing. It may have helped just a bit but still looks whitish where I was rubbing the alcohol.

Not sure if it's just car wax that I already had on there by mistake when waxing a couple months ago and the alcohol is making it turn white or if the alcohol may have actually done some permanent discoloring on the black plastic material?
 

Last edited by guy293482; 08-27-14 at 12:01 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-14, 03:33 AM
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You didn't say - are you prepping it for paint? If so, I'd wet sand them and see if that helps.
 
  #3  
Old 08-27-14, 04:16 AM
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oh sorry, no just prepping it to put on a clean sticker. I'm supposed to always clean the surface area before applying it and I did then this happened. Anyways, my best guess is that it was just some car wax that spread all over it and was most likely not visible until the alcohol was applied to it. The alcohol dries out the wax really fast and makes it appear whitish, especially on a black colored materials.

So what I did to fix it was simply rub some olive oil over it and now it's black again and doesn't dry out. But this probably means I can't apply any stickers on there for a while.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 04:28 AM
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Ya, you'll need to remove all the wax and oil before you can expect the sticker to adhere long term.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 07:09 PM
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any tips on best way to remove wax and oil?
 
  #6  
Old 08-27-14, 07:53 PM
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I used denaturated alcohol.
 
  #7  
Old 08-27-14, 08:22 PM
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I have used one product that was made just for the purpose of darkening black plastic and it worked well. Not only well but was more or less a permanent solution. I had this problem when I lived in places that had snow and winter salt. I probably picked up the product at a parts store. I forget the make but it was from the same guys that make automotive scratch coverup and other wax products.
 
  #8  
Old 08-27-14, 10:42 PM
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You can also use lighter fluid. Lighter fluid is not harmful to most plastics or vinyls. I ran a mobile electronics store for many years and I used lighter fluid as a prep for decals or self sticking products. It also make an excellent degreaser for automotive upholstery. I used it on leather as well as cloth seats with no ill effects. It also removes grease and tar from painted surfaces.
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-14, 05:48 AM
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thanks for the tips!
I'll take a look into those and give it a try if the whitish color comes back. For now, the olive oil has made it black brilliantly and it's not as greasy anymore as I thought (but probably not good idea to stick decals on it).
 
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