Back to Blog

06.01.2012
How To Clean Unpainted Fender Flares

how to clean unpainted fender flaresI think everyone can agree that 4×4’s deserve to get dirty; it’s what they’re built for. Sure cleaning them isn’t fun, but keeping the dirt off is a necessary step in the maintenance process. A little TLC can make all the difference between a corroded rust bucket, and a healthy daily driver.

If you’re like me and is someone who likes to hit the trails as frequently as possible, then cleaning can get a little mundane and tedious. After a few months of consistent wheeling I began to notice that my Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires looked a little worn. In particular they were showing rock crawling rub marks, which weren’t coming out.

how_to-clean-fender-flaresSo last weekend I bounced over to AutoZone and picked up some Turtle Wax platinum wheel & tire cleaner, as well as some Turtle Wax wet n’ black. After a standard wash I applied the wheel and tire cleaner liberally, and literally watched the dirt melt off. This left the tires stripped. The Turtle Wax wet n’ black immediately gave them a soft sheen, and a brand new look and feel.

Cleaning Unpainted Fender Flares

Seeing how well this worked, I decided to give it a try on my unpainted TPO Flat Style Fender Flares. Turtle Wax states that their wet n’ black is safe to use on any exterior automotive rubber or plastic material. So I chose an inconspicuous spot on the inside of the rear passenger flare to test this out.

how-to_clean-fender-flaresNaturally the underside of my flares were the dirtiest. So after testing the wheel & tire cleaner – I gave a light coat to the underside only, and washed off after 30-60 seconds. I dried the surface with a shammy cloth, and then sprayed the Turtle Wax wet n’ black onto a clean lint free shop towel. I then wiped down the entire flare and edge trim.

The difference was immediate; my unpainted Flat Style Fender Flares looked brand new. So I applied a light coat to each piece of Jeep Trail Armor and noticed the same results.

Steps:
  1. Read all directions and warning labels of your cleaning supplies. The products should say if safe to use on rubber and plastic. Do not use wax, chemicals or abrasive cleaning products to clean your fender flares.
  2. Using car soap and a sponge, clean the surface area of the fender flare until dirt free. Repeat as necessary.
  3. Dry the surface area with a clean lint free rag or shammy cloth.
  4. Apply a coat of certified exterior automotive rubber & plastic cleaner to flare’s underside. Wash off after 30-60 sec
  5. Dry the surface area with a clean lint free rag or shammy cloth.
  6. Apply the same cleaner in step 4 to a lint free rag and wipe down entire surface area.

Protecting your flares with a cleaner will extend their life by reinforcing the material compound, and guarding them from harmful UV rays. Other cleaners that I’ve used with success are KillerWaxx Pro Shine rubber and vinyl spray, and GUNK cleaner

Please note: these steps are intended for unpainted fender flares only. Results will differ if flares are painted or coated with alternate substance.