How to Restore Windshield Rubber

Updated April 17, 2017

The rubber gasket around the windshield of your vehicle helps to secure it by forming an airtight seal that prevents leakage. Sunlight, harsh weather conditions, ozone, and various forms of grime and debris are all detrimental to rubber. As rubber ages it fades, becomes hard and brittle, and cracks. A faded and worn rubber windshield gasket detracts from your vehicle's appearance and makes the windshield less secure. Repairing and restoring the rubber gasket is an easy procedure and much more affordable than having it professionally done.

Protect the surrounding areas of the windshield and car with blue painter's tape.

Wipe the rubber seal with white spirit and a rag.The white spirit will remove dirt, debris, grime, and oxidation. Continue wiping until very little black comes off on the rag.

Clean the rubber trim with an auto cleaner and degreaser. Spray the trim with the cleaner and use an abrasive pad to clean it.

Trim off loose and rugged edges of the rubber with a utility knife. Sand the damaged areas with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges.

Fill in nicks, cracks, and gouges with urethane caulk. Smooth the caulk with a damp cloth and then allow it to completely dry. Lightly sand the repaired areas with 220-grit sandpaper until smooth.

Apply a rubber dye to restore the colour. Rubber trim dye is the best way to restore the colour. Purchase a rubber trim dye, such as Forever Black, at an auto parts store. Trim dye is easy to use and comes with a foam applicator tip. Apply the dye evenly and smoothly with the applicator trip. If the trim is severely faded, you may need to repeat this step.

Spray the trim with a rubber protectant. Protectants such as Pinnacle Rubber & Vinyl Protectant are also available at auto parts stores. They are easily applied and will protect the rubber gasket against UV and ozone damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Blue painter's tape
  • White spirit
  • Rags
  • Auto cleaner and degreaser
  • Abrasive pad
  • Rubber trim dye
  • Rubber protectant
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.