There are various black plastic and rubber parts under my hood I would try to make look nice such as my cold air intake box:

enter image description here

I tried cleaning it with water that had a little vinegar added to it, which pretty much didn't do anything. I bought a bottle of Son of a Gun Protectant, but thought I'd ask a little advice before I used it.

My concerns are that the product won't cause damage, and won't get me into a never ending cycle of having to apply it every few weeks.

EDIT May 5th 2016

So I washed it with regular dish soap, and it seemed pretty dirty still, so then I sprayed and scrubbed it with some purple bottle heavy duty degreaser and scrubbed and rinsed it:

enter image description here

It's still not perfectly beautiful, but it's pretty decent. I'm not sure, maybe I'll try the polish stuff on the underside, and then check it after a few weeks to see what it looks like.

EDIT March 21st, 2017

Kind of forgot about this post. I did in fact use the STP on this part, but I only have a picture of the underside from when I did it:

enter image description here

However, I do have a picture of it installed probably not too long after I polished it. Don't know that the STP made that noticeable of an additional difference after cleaning it with the degreaser:

enter image description here

Maybe I'll try and update with a current picture to see what it looks like after almost a year.

  • The never ending cycle part is what puts me off many self-proclaimed products - in my experience the blackness they impart is temporary, the dullness thereafter is a more permanent feature
    – Zaid
    Apr 19, 2016 at 10:34
  • Looks really clean!
    – Zaid
    May 5, 2016 at 17:27
  • @Zaid But not deep black, shiny and beautiful. Of course this car is almost 20 years old... May 5, 2016 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


If your climate is anything like where I'm based, the picture shown is a part that is dirty mainly due to fine dust. I would advise against using any sort of chemical product without removing that dust first.

To remove the dust, in my experience, there is no decent substitute for the soapy water, toothbrush and elbow grease genre. The end result is usually clean enough for me (this is an engine bay after all!).

UV protectant never really worked for me. It goes from black to gray very quickly and makes it even more difficult to clean out embedded dirt.

  • I'm not sure what your climate is like but I live in Jerusalem on the edge of the Judean desert and it's quite a dusty here. I actually took the part in the sink and wash it with a sponge and soapy water and improved a bit but still not that good looking. Apr 19, 2016 at 14:07
  • @RobertS.Barnes Oh it's a dust bowl out here as well. Give it a shot with a toothbrush, a sponge won't cut it
    – Zaid
    Apr 19, 2016 at 14:11
  • When I get home later I'll upload another picture of it post washing. Apr 19, 2016 at 14:12
  • Take a look at it now. May 5, 2016 at 12:57

I use this easily applied Silicone Lubricant for rubber parts both inside and outside the hood. I also squirt it down the slit for the windows to keep my electric windows running smooth. It keeps all rubber lubricated, less prone to craks and shiny. lubricant

  • 1
    Does it not attract dust even more? Apr 19, 2016 at 12:54
  • In my case I haven't an increment noticed dust or small debree. But my main concern is keeping tubes and rubber lubricated and in good shape
    – EChan42
    Apr 19, 2016 at 14:20

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