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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 03-25-2007
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What cleans vinyl parts?

We're looking for something that will clean up and restore the look of our winch handle holders and the "white" vinyl cowls on our dorade vents.

Any of you got something that works? In the past we've used some harsh solvents, but they seem to also attack the material and ruin the finish.
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ArmorAll or something similar will do a pretty good job of cleaning and protecting the vinyl. However, be careful not to spill it on the fiberglass, as IIRC it has some silicones in it that are very hard to get off of fiberglass and make future repairs or painting of said fiberglass difficult.
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Old 03-26-2007
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hot water and dish detergent takes most silicon treatments and lubicants off , no problem , even amorall . and it does not attack the fiberglass like solevents do.
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One product, I can't recall the manufacturer, that works is simply labeled Inflatable Boat Cleaner. It works on most Vinyl and PVC materials but is fairly caustic though safer for the stuff than acetone or other solvents.
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I can't get to a west marine catalogue at the moment, but Nicro puts out a spray can product that puts a new coating on vinyl and makes it look "like new". I've seen it in the WM catalogue, selling for about $24.99. I haven't tried it myself.
Frank.
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Suggestion for greasy dirt: WD-40

Try it, it works on almost everythng!
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Thanks for all that, folks. I'll try and report back on your suggestions.
Cheers
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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works great on vinyl. In fact, it seems to work on everything, including gelcoat.
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Old 03-27-2007
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The best product I have found, hands down, is called "Awesome". You get it at the Dollar Store for, you guessed it, a dollar. I tried it last year after I saw a guy in my marina using it to clean-up grimey old fenders. I used it on my dorade vents, fenders, etc... It is the best thing I have ever used for that stuff. (And the price is right!)
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The Dollar General store has a lot of good cleaning products and such that work just fine on a boat. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are pretty amazing too. I would highly recommend getting them at Home Depot or CostCo rather than buying the marine package of them... which is a good deal more expensive.

BTW, I don't recommend WD-40 for cleaning vinyl or plastics, as it can attack some of them... It is a hydrocarbon-based solvent... If you're ever curious about it...get a pair of latex gloves and spray them with gasoline or WD-40 and see what happens... and try the same with styrofoam. Not pretty.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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