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  Mustangsandmore Forum Archive
  '64 1/2 to '68 1/2 -- The Classic Mustang
  Interior vinyl cleaner question

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Author Topic:   Interior vinyl cleaner question
soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-23-2002 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring        Reply w/Quote
What is recommended to clean the vinyl interior of my 65 coupe?

RICKS
Gearhead

Posts: 438
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-23-2002 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RICKS        Reply w/Quote
Fantastic, 409, soap and water, any of the above will work fine.

69 Sportsroof
Gearhead

Posts: 2814
From: Valley, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-23-2002 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof        Reply w/Quote
Be sure and use a vinyl protectant when you are done cleaning such as Armor All, etc...

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-23-2002 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
Armor All makes vinyl crack. Avoid it like the plague.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

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cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
In my experience, 'Armor-All' actually hastens the aging process of drying out plastics and vinyls.
I started driving my 71 before Armor-All, or any vinyl protectant for that matter, was even availible. I used what my dad showed me...Baby Oil! It works awesome. after cleaning the piece, apply liberally, let sit for a while, then wipe down and buff with a dry towel and the shine is perfect! That is all I have ever used on my 71's dash, and it is still new looking! Not a single crack, and still pliable enough to push on and not crack the vinyl.
My mother's(mine now)'73 though is another story- She used 'Armor-All' all the time. That dash is now dry, brittle and so cracked it looks like the Sahara!
Plus, the baby oil leaves a clean aroma in the car.
I think the problem with 'Armor-All' is that it is water based, so there is no actual penetration of the product into the vinyl.
Just my theory though. I've never found anything that works as well as Baby-Oil, even on tires and its cheap too!
I would be interested to hear others opinion on this.

mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 8198
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-23-2002 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
Armor All makes vinyl crack. Avoid it like the plague.


One of those merchandising blow it out of proportion hypes on a product. Have NO idea what that stuff is good for!

Like slick 69 or whatever that stuff was! School's out on that stuff too!

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-23-2002 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mellowyellow:
Have NO idea what that stuff is good for!

Selling dash pads.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

Be sure to remember our sponsors, Mustangs Plus, NPD, and Osborn Reproductions.

horseballz
Gearhead

Posts: 296
From: LasVegas,NV
Registered: Dec 99

posted 12-23-2002 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for horseballz        Reply w/Quote
As a young man (many moons ago) I scrubbed the vinyl with a soft brush and a solution of "Tide" laundry detergent and then after drying, used "Lemon Pledge" furniture polish. It looked great, made any dust easy to wipe off, and left a fresh smell. I never had any cracking, but then again, I seldom kept a car for more than a couple or three years. If anyone has used a similar combination I would be interested in your experiences and opinions over the long term, as I plan to keep my Mustang for a long time. I too have been warned of the long term affects of "Armor-All" and avoid it.
????????????
Gene (horseballz)

------------------
'68 coupe
289/3speed(soon to
be 5.0/5speed)
'85 F150 Beater
300/Overdrive Stick
Pre-dented&scratched
'02 Ranger 4x4 Edge
'02 Miata
74 Chebbie C-10
Really Beat Beater

[This message has been edited by horseballz (edited 12-23-2002).]

cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
Dear horseballs,(thats a pretty tough intro to write)
The Lemon Pledge thing is great! I have been using it for years on everything except the dash and tires. Also, if you put one of those old-style 'Renuzit' air freshners under a seat, and an open box of 'Arm & Hammer' under the other one, it keeps the car from getting that mildewey or 'old vinyl' smell.

mustangs68
Moderator

Posts: 27681
From: Hampton Va MCA#39406 M&M #12 Member Mustang Club of Tidewater
Registered: May 99

posted 12-23-2002 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mustangs68        Reply w/Quote
Armor All has (or had it's been so long since I used it) Tolune in it..

soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-23-2002 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring        Reply w/Quote
Thanks for all the advice gents. I will immediately chunk my ArmorAll in file 13.

cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
You know, if the makers of 'Armor-All' puposely and knowingly put toluene in thier product, then they should be sued. Or at least, beat to death. Then sued. To death.

mustangs68
Moderator

Posts: 27681
From: Hampton Va MCA#39406 M&M #12 Member Mustang Club of Tidewater
Registered: May 99

posted 12-23-2002 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mustangs68        Reply w/Quote
If I remember,like I said it's been a long time since I looked at a bottle,Toluene was list 4th or 5th on the list of ingredients so it was a trace amount.

Someone look at the bottle if you have one,is it still listed?

69 Sportsroof
Gearhead

Posts: 2814
From: Valley, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-23-2002 10:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
Armor All makes vinyl crack. Avoid it like the plague.


Do what? That's the first time I've heard that and I've been using it on every car I had since they came out with the stuff.

cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 11:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
It seems to make dashs' crack only if you don't use it on a regular basis. Once or twice and then not for a long time (Year or so)seems to be what makes it damage the plastic.

69 Sportsroof
Gearhead

Posts: 2814
From: Valley, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-24-2002 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof        Reply w/Quote
So it's good to use as long as you use it?

If you never use it your dash will never crack?

Your dash will only crack if you put ArmorAll on it?

If your dash hasn't been treated with anything in 20 years and you put Armor All on it and it cracks a year later, is it the Armor All that caused the dash to crack?

soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-24-2002 02:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring        Reply w/Quote
Looks like I kicked the top off an anthill here ....
I'll bite....What is Toluene, and how does it harm vinyl? I have been using the stuff for many years, but until I bought the Mustang 10 years ago, I hadn't kept cars long enough to get cracked dashes. I replaced my dash pad a few years and have been using Armorall about every time I wash the car, which is about every 2 weeks during the summer, then I put it to bed during the winter. However, if there is some caustic substance in Armorall, I will have an issue with the company.
Thanks for all your posts guys. You have been very helpful.

cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-24-2002 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
What I'm saying is that the Armor All seems to speed up the drying out process if you don't use it regularly once you have started to use it.
I feel that if you never used it, the dash would last longer than if you just used it sporadically. I know this sounds goofy, but that is what seems to happen.
I'm guessing that the product sits on top of the vinyl, it doesn't penetrate. The natural 'oils' or 'moisture' in the vinyl are drawn up and into the product sitting on top, and as the product is slowly wiped away during normal exposure and use of the car, the protectant takes the natural oils from the vinyl with it. Now you have a dash that is dryer than if you would have just never put anything on it to begin with. I suppose if you kept it slathered up with 'Armor All' from this point on, it might be OK. But you could never let it get too un-protected between reapplications.
Again, there is no 'proof' of this, just a lot of years of practical experience.
And as I'm writing this, is sure does sound like a bunch of malarkey, but I really think that's what happens.

[This message has been edited by cobravenom71 (edited 12-24-2002).]

RICKS
Gearhead

Posts: 438
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-24-2002 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RICKS        Reply w/Quote
I don't use any type of protectant in the interiors of either my old cars or my new cars. The modern materials used in today's interiors are SO much more durable and resiliant against UV damage, that I won't live long enough to see the dash or console or door panels crack in anything new. There's no point in protecting something that flat-out doesn't need it. I don't use any protection on the classics because I don't drive any of them daily for years on-end. The sun exposure they get is again, not enough to effect anything in my lifetime. The salt in your sweat is an upholstery killer, so frequent wipe-downs are the best preventative maintenance. Unless I'm dealing with grime or scuffs, my weapon of choice is usually nothing more than a damp towel, buffed dry with a dry towel. Because you want to wipe your interior down frequently, don't use detergents or cleaning products unless you HAVE to. The bleach and soaps in most cleaners are aggressive for frequent use, will eat away the stitching in your upholstery, and most times it's just not necessary. I see alot of "car care product abuse" at car shows, where owners are starting with a fairly clean interior that's just a bit dusty, and attacking it with gallons of cleaners and protectant schmutz. There's no need for that, it's counter-productive and will ruin your interior prematurely. Always try plain old water first, and then spot-clean bad areas as needed with something more aggressive. I really dislike the appearance of an interior sopped in armor-all, all that shine and gloss is not how the interiors were intended to look, and not how they looked when the cars were sitting in showrooms. It also attracts dust and lint like a magnet, which looks lousy. I like the new-car-look, even in 40 year old cars, for things to look "time-warpish", and an interior dripping in armor-all ruins that crisp new-car effect I shoot for. Now on the OUTSIDE of the car, I use armor all over the place. The whole "it'll cause your tires to dry-rot" is urban-myth B.S., I've been soaking armor all into the tires of some of our classic cars for over 15 years, and there's zero adverse effect, just nice black tires. I also use it on plastic splash shields, you've gotta have your fender wells detailed out to cruise successfully!! I've never seen any exterior plastic or rubber go to pot due to armor all, and I prefer it for the outside of the car for the very reason that it IS water based and doesn't go on looking like you soaked your tires and plastic bits in 20W-50. But inside the car, I don't think there's any better preventative maintenance than frequent wipe-downs with a damp towel to keep surfaces clean, dry and free of any perspiration or filmy builup from exhaust and chemical fumes that "perk" up out of all the interior materials and settle all over everything (that's that greasy haze that builds up on the inside of your glass. It's everywhere in your interior).

cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1349
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-24-2002 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71        Reply w/Quote
Yeah, new materials are far better than the old stuff, but I don't think they are totally impervious to the elements.
I have never had a bad experience with 'Armor-All' on exterior pieces, but it definately is NOT your cars best friend when it comes to the interior.
It was the first, really succesful of the supposed 'protectants', and a lot of others that are far superior have come along later. I just don't trust them.
I do agree wholeheartedly with the wipe down with water and a towel only technique, if that is possible under your particular circumstances.
Again, for over 25 years I have had excellent results using Pledge, Baby Oil and water. Even on the wife! (just joking).
For the really obsessed, I have a procedure for tires that makes them look excellent, and with just the right amount of semi-flat sheen.I HATE the slimy, shiny-tire look. Almost as much as I hate seeing a white-letter or white wall tire that is almost bald and still has the blue 'protectant'(?) on it from the manufacturer!
Anyway, for the tires: (For best results, remove from car)Clean THOROUGHLY with 'Westley's Bleach-White' and a stiff white-wall brush (don't scratch those rims!)
Then, clean the whole tire AGAIN with straight 'Dawn'-type dishwashing soap, using only enough water to 'activate' the soap. Scrub it in real good, and let it sit, all sudsy in the sun until it totally drys off. When dry, clean it again and buff off.

69 Sportsroof
Gearhead

Posts: 2814
From: Valley, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-24-2002 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RICKS:
I don't use any protection on the classics because I don't drive any of them daily for years on-end. The sun exposure they get is again, not enough to effect anything in my lifetime.

I drive my car daily (at least when its put together) and at this time have no garage to park it in. Also, the upholstery in my car was installed in 1983 so I'm going to keep using the armor all. My dash has a huge crack along the speaker grill because the previous owner never used anything on it.

For tires I only use Wesley's Bleach White and follow with Wet n Black. I like that blinding shine..

soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-24-2002 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring        Reply w/Quote
Man, there has been a wealth of information expoused here. For what it's worth, I have learned a great deal about vinyl interior upkeep, and I hope all who have read these posts have also learned a lot. Wheher it's baby oil or ArmorAll, I think the lesson learned is that the vinyl interiors on our vintage Mustangs need constant attention.
Thanks for all your excellent advice through your posts gentlemen.

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