Has anyone tried to steam clean their vinyl top?

Restoration

  1. FURYGT

    FURYGT Senior Member

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    Pros? Cons? Thinking about trying a portable home use steamer to get out the original vinyl tops on 2 of my C Body's looking better.
     
  2. MarPar

    MarPar If it weighs, it pays FCBO Gold Member

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    How do they look? Could it be they just need to be cleaned and moisturized?
     
  3. FURYGT

    FURYGT Senior Member

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    They look okay but using 303 or professional vinyl cleaners just doesn't get them looking the way I want them to look and the protectants just seam to moisturize and make them look good for a short period of time or until it rains or the car needs to be washed.
     
  4. MarPar

    MarPar If it weighs, it pays FCBO Gold Member

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    I used Lexol Vinylex for my Newport when I first purchased it and it went from dull, faded and just plain ugly to almost new. It held up great up until I ripped it off and put a new one on. lol

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    New top...

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  5. Rapidtrans777

    Rapidtrans777 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't. The heat from the steam is liable to loosen the adhesive. I think that would be a sure fire way to remove a vinyl top.
     
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  6. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    Baby oil works incredibly well for cleaning and moisturizing, although it does not have any protective qualities, so you will need something else to seal it with. All you have to do is liberally apply and let it soak in overnight then wipe it off, and apply a vinyl wax.
     
  7. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    I wouldn't steam clean it. As said, it might just soften the adhesive and I'd be worried about what it could do to the ancient vinyl.

    Here's just a thought, maybe a low speed drill with a soft brush like these: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0727NJ...olid=37FPUUXHT633A&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    Use some strong cleaner like Purple Power or something like that with the brushes.

    That said, you may be better off living with the issue. The top is going to be kind of fragile due to age and baking in the sun. You could ruin it.

    More food for thought:
     
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  8. 70NEWYORKER

    70NEWYORKER Active Member

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    I've had cleaners like Purple Power discolor trim on some newer cars...be careful where you let it run.
     
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  9. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Good point. Let me back peddle a bit on that.

    I use Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner for a lot of stuff. I mix it weaker/stronger as needed and it's really good on interior stuff. It would probably work real well on the vinyl top and not cause any other issues.
     
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  10. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    When I got my '67 Newport in '81, I used a soft bristle tire brush to gently scrub the top, using either Meguiar's car wash soap or a vinyl cleaner as such. It worked pretty well. Then I followed it up with a sponge-applied coat of STP Son-of-a-Gun protectant. It didn't have the slick shine of ArmorAll. Then I'd park the car under the carport for a few days for it to soak in. Then, I'd buff it with an old bath towel to remove the excess (I'd had enough of the ArmorAll running down on the windows when it got wet with moisture).

    What color is the top? Remember, too, that Chrysler used "pearl" trim codes, which gives the vinyl tops and the interior vinyls that "pop" that '74+ Chrysler trim codes don't have. With time, the pearl can deteriorate and on white, it can give it a dirty/grimy look which won't come off. I found that out on the white vinyl of my '67 Newport's interior seat fabrics. Only way to get rid fo that is to replace the vinyl with the correct NEW stuff.

    So, gently clean and then protect. Aim to make it look as good as it can, even be soft enough for a finger nail to deflect it. BUT the only way to get that "like new" look is WITH NEW.

    Steam cleaning is NOT a good idea. Using warm water with soap (applied with a soft car wash sponge) would work just as good without causing any problems with the existing roof covering's integrity.

    CBODY67
     
  11. FURYGT

    FURYGT Senior Member

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    The tops are black, '66 300 & '68 Sport Fury. Both cars are 80% original paint cars so replacing the tops is not going to happen as they are in good shape and original.
     
  12. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    I used 303 convertible top clean and a Scum Buster with a soft brush attachment. Let the 3o3 sit for 5 minutes and hit it with the Scum Buster and hose it off. It worked pretty good and looks like new.
     
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  13. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Trev swears by a particular cleaner , used mostly for boating applications. I can never remember the name of it though.
     
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  14. commando1

    commando1 Mr. Normal FCBO Gold Member

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  15. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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  16. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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  17. 3C's & a D?

    3C's & a D? Well-Known Member

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    I used to clean it really well and use the 303 and that looked good for awhile. Then someone told me their trick. Prep with half strength spray nine cleaner/degreaser, probably any fairly strong cleaner/degreaser would work. Then hit it with the 303. This works wonders.