Cadillac Detailing and Bodywork - Interior and Exterior including Body and Wheels Discussion, Bleaching a white vinyl top? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Alright, so this weekend I had to give the old Brougham a wash because she was looking pretty poor from ...
Alright, so this weekend I had to give the old Brougham a wash because she was looking pretty poor from all of the recent rain. After I got done washing the body, she was mighty white, except for that vinyl top. It was getting dingy and had some mildew spots on it. I figured I could treat it a little rough since it's vinyl, broke out a mop and bucket, and slapped some bleach on her. Now the top is as white as it was new! Anybody else bleach their tops? Could I possibly damage anything by doing so?
Had the EXACT same problem (well, not the shit one... ) with both our Fleetwood and Roadmaster, both of which are white with white vinyl factory tops. They were both mildewed when we got them, so took a bleach/water mixture, some thick gloves, and a scrubber/scratchy pad from the kitchen and scrubbed away. Back to clean and bright white.
After a year or so, the Fleetwood got REALLY bad again, mostly gray and with weird run marks down the side. Thought it was actually ruined there for a while, but then decided to try the bleach fix again and got it back to near perfect. Check out the thread I started (with lots of pics) here:
So I guess the bleach doesn't dry the top out and cause it to crack then, huh? I didn't even have to scrub it, I kinda just slapped the mop on the top and pushed it around a little and the thing came whiter than the white paint. It even got rid of some of the old mildew the previous owner tried to hide with white paint. What a jerk!
Well, just to be sure, I would probably use a product like Meguiar's rubber and vinyl cleaner and protectant, the stuff in the little red bottle once the top is clean. I think I'll give it a try this weekend.
Bleach definately is not the mildest of cleaners for the top, but a lot of the time, it's the ONLY thing that'll work, especially on white ones.
The key is making sure you keep it protected ALL THE TIME afterwards, via some sort of protectant for vinyl or anything similar. Right now, after the last cleaning of mine, I started using a different brand of something identical to Mop N' Glow, because it not only makes the vinyl bright and shiny, but gives it a good acrylic coat that allows water/dirt to roll off easily. Just gotta make sure to re-apply whatever you use often, so it doesn't start going unprotected for long. Also, if your car sits outside like mine does, making sure that you clean off anything that lands on it, from leaves to bugs to poop, as soon as possible, will prevent staining.
My Olds had a vinyl top, alabaster color (off white, almost beige). I used to use a mix of 1/3 bleach to 2/3 water in a spray bottle. After i washed the car and top the best I could, I would spray this mixture onto the already wet top and rubbed it with just my hand and then rinsed it off. It did the job superbly for 4 years without causing any damage.
Yeah, I had a few people suggest putting something else on the top now that I've bleached it. I have a whole bottle of McGuires vinyl stuff since my '67 has vinyl seats, so I'll just spray 'er down this weekend. Check out how white that top is now though: