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Getting brake fluid stains off plastic

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by blackjacket, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Well I went about fixing my soft brake lever on the weekend. Took all my fairings off, put some rags around the master cylinder and went to bleed from the MC nipple. Unfortunately, I managed to bump the table on which my catcher bottle was on (kept higher than the MC) and spilled the stuff onto my bike :furious:

    I instantly got a bucket of water and wiped everything off, then hosed the bike down, but in those few seconds there is now a "mistyness" on the black plastic intakes it fell onto, and few drops of white. What's the best way to treat this? My instruments also have some "droplet" stains like dried rain, can they be polished out?

    I thought I took enough precautions, but I guess when you're as clumsy as me, it's best to cover EVERYTHING. *sigh*

  2. From what I've learned (through being told, not personal experience thankfully) is that plain water is the best instant fix, to wash it off as fast as possible. Brake fluid is like a weak paint stripper... if you wipe it off, its likely to take some paint with it so try to avoid that until you're sure most of it is gone and then just be gentle. For the dash, I would assume that plastic is dyed rather than painted so should be washable.. and clear plastic the same, should wash off even after its dried. If the fairings are visibly marked from it, they may need to be touched up with paint, but I didn't read anywhere in your post about spilling on the fairings which is a good sign. Worst case scenario is that it's permanently removed colour from a few components which will need to be painted over. Good luck, hope it cleans up easily for ya.
  3. I removed the fairings thankfully, it's only the plastic bits around the dash. I was wondering if there was some way to re-blacken that plastic. Worst case I guess I can just paint over it.

    My lesson for next time: keep a bucket of water around and just flood the whole spill. Wiping with a damp rag can evidently still leave traces.
  4. Also pays to ensure a good coat of polish on the fairings before playing with the brakes. CRC can be used as a temporary protective coating on other parts.

    As for re-blackening the plastic depends on how large an area it is, and how fancy you want to get. There are auto products out there designed to bring the colour back to things like bumpers which have faded over time and some do certainly work, though the effect isn't permanent and you may need to re do it every few months. The cheap alternative to painting the whole thing would be to use a black permanent marker or paint pen on the affected spots.