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Vendor [DIY] How you can safely clean the exterior trim on your Tesla.


Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
Atlanta, GA.
How to safely clean the exterior trim on a TESLA

At some point you may find yourself in a position where you wish to perform a heavy cleaning on the exterior vinyl on your Tesla automobile. This DIY is a great solution for most folks needs in terms of cleaning typical dirt, polish or grime. If you have road paint, some tars or other heavy petroleum distillates that need to be cleaned, the solution will probably be a different one. Though, it can't hurt to try this safe cleaning method first.

I will attempt to make this tutorial as easy to understand and digestible as possible so that even someone with limited car care knowledge can tackle this task. The bottom line is that you don't have to be a professional car detailer to understand proper car care. You may not always have a professional car detailer readily available to address your needs. In that case, this tutorial will guide you through the right steps to perform this task.

Two weeks old and we see this on the first visit


The owner of this Model S visited us 2 weeks after purchasing the car. The polish was left on the trim by either a delivery center or the factory and it needed to be addressed. If left on long enough or with enough heat, it will literally bake into the vinyl surface and can become near, or outright, impossible to clean. Once stained, the best someone can do is layer a vinyl conditioner over the surface to mask the problem. Once the conditioner/dressing wears off, the damage will show through in all its ugly glory.

Our goal is to remove the polish(or in your case, any surface dirt/grime) safely. This means we do not use too aggressive of mechanical abrasion/agitation or too strong of a chemical to cut the contaminant. We are huge fans of using horse hair brushes as our means to agitate the chemical and surface. Horse hair brushes are fairly soft, but not too soft. These shorter brushes allows for better agitation of the surface without damaging it. *As a side note -horse hair brushes can scratch paint. Use caution near paint*

The chemical of choice for us is either 1z Einszett Plastic Deep Cleaner or a quality pH balanced cleaner like p21s Total Auto Wash. In this case we used 1z Einszett.


Spray your cleaner to the brush of choice

Agitate the surface with a back and forth motion ensuring you do not overlap onto a painted surface

After agitating the surface for a short period of time, you will have a slurry of cleaner and hopefully the contaminant

Using a microfiber or terry cloth towel, remove the slurry and inspect the surface. If you notice there is still area that needs attention, repeat the cleaning steps.

Once the surface is free of the contaminant, you should flush the surface with water to remove any residues left over from the cleaner.

Wipe away the water with a different clean towel so that you have a surface free of bonded materials as well as residue.

Once you've finished cleaning the surface, it will be ready for a conditioner or coating. I advise that you steer clear of the oilier over the counter options for conditioning. For easy to apply and beautiful satin finishes, we are big fans of Ultima Tire and Trim Guard Plus, 1Z Einszett Vinyl-Rubber Care and Protectant Tiefenpfleger. Applications should be light and wiped free of residue after 10 minutes. Reapply for additional sheen.

Feel free to ask any questions that you may have and I will do my best to answer them.

If you're interested in any other specific topics in terms of car care, you're welcome to shoot me a request or leave it here.

Thanks for taking the time to read my take on proper vinyl care. :wink:​
Last edited:


Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
Atlanta, GA.
cool. hate the white left on that black plastic from service washes. have had a little for over 2 years :frown: must try a brush

typo in 'Agitate the surface with a back and forth motion ensuring you do you overlap onto a painted surface'
..... not

Thanks for the correction! I've corrected it so no one gets confuse.

Sometimes, different cleaning chemicals respond differently to different types of contaminants. For instance, we have certain all-purpose-cleaners that we buy just for cleaning greasy tire dressing off tires. You can try different cleaners on your baked on polish.

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