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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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What is the best way to clean the dirt from a vinyl top? Material is "elk grain" and there is dirt in the impressions. Car is 1979 Sedan deVille. Mild soap and a brush? Thanks!!! Dave
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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My top was alabaster color (similar to light beige). I used a spray bottle of water with a little bleach in it. I just sprayed, rubbed the vinyl top with a wet sponge to disperse it evenly, waited about 20 seconds and then washed it with a car wash sponge with soapy water.

There is color safe bleach you can use since your top is a darker color than what I was dealing with. Plus you only need a little bit of bleach added to your water. I would fill a spray bottle with about 1/5th bleach, the rest water.
 

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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice! The color of the top is yellow. I'll afraid of using bleach but it seems like a good idea. Dave
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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Oops, I thought I read Elk Green. Now I see...Elk Grain. Mine had the grain also.

I understand the concern about bleach. If you decide to use it, Water it down good, test in a small area first, and there is no need to leave it on too long. Just leave on long enough to get the grime and mildew loose.
 

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'93 Fleetwood Brougham...Dad's
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Yep, what he sadi^^

After several months, it seems, of sitting outside, both the white vinyl factory-spec tops on our Fleetwood and Roadmaster seem to dirty a bit and even mildew if it rains a lot.

Two or three times each now, we've done the watered down bleach method--a bucket with the solution in, some thick rubber gloves and old clothes, and a "scratchy" pad from the kitchen to aid in scrubbing. Worked great.

Now, it's just too bad we can't seem to keep them the same bright white for anymore than about 4 months....:confused:

Here was on of the last before and after shots I had from July:

Before:



After:

 

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94 Fleetwood Brougham
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I can tell you what not to do. Wesley's Bleach White. Made my 76 Delta 88 white top look awesome. Stained the paint as it dripped off.... DOH!
 

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'93 Fleetwood Brougham...Dad's
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N0DIH said:
I can tell you what not to do. Wesley's Bleach White. Made my 76 Delta 88 white top look awesome. Stained the paint as it dripped off.... DOH!
So true. I've NEVER gone near that stuff, just because it's about one of the worst things to use on anything.

Well, unless your goal is to make paint and trim dissolve...
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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Just use some dish detergent in a bucket of water and a soft brush. That gets it clean pretty easily. And unless it's really dirty you can just use a rag.
 

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On tires I use it all the time, never an issue. It has never hurt my rims either. Do not let it dry, else it gets difficult to get off. You might need to respray and then scrub up some more to get it off.

I always use a scrub brush, even though you aren't supposed to need it. It brings whitewalls out awesome. Even blackwalls look sharp once they are cleaned with WBW.


caddycruiser said:
So true. I've NEVER gone near that stuff, just because it's about one of the worst things to use on anything.

Well, unless your goal is to make paint and trim dissolve...
 

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STS
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Never use bleach in any form on your vinyl or fabric tops.Bleach is highly corrosive by nature what happens over time is the cloth stitching will break down quickly when exposed repeatedly to products containing strong concentrations of bleach. The top will come out looking clean but it comes with a high price , top replacement . Check your owners manual for suggestions on cleaning your vinyl top . Raggtopp makes a cleaner and protectant that works great or vinyl and fabric tops either for covertables or hardtops. It's not harmfull on the paint , chrome , glass and plastic windows .
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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I've heard that a Mr. clean magic eraser can be used without harming the vinyl, is this true? my '83 Coupe Deville has a white top that has started to look a little bit dirty over the years, nothing too bad just a little, and I was to to use it on my top.
 

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NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use anything abrasive on vinyl. You'l ruin it. Once you abrade the surface, you're done. Only use cleaners and soft brushes. Anything abrasive will surely make for a fast cleanup, and it will look good, but since you've now abraded the surface of the vinyl, it will weather at a much accelerated rate.
 

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Katshot, are you talking about the Magic Eraser? That thing doesn't seem abrasive. But they do work wonders around the house.

I am not one for all these new house cleaning products that come in containers of wipes and toilet brushes that that have the cleaner already on them and all the other new products to make cleaning supposedly easier. I am an elbow grease kind of guy. But, my wife bought that eraser and it does work. Might be worth a shot on the vinyl. You will still need a cleaner though. I think it might work better than a rag and not do any damage like a brush.
 

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Just a note--I've ordered and used EVERY one of those supposed top cleaner products, only to have them do absolutely nothing. I too, was more comfortable putting a dedicated top cleaner on the top to clean, but none of them worked. Tried Raggtop, 303, Amazing Roll Off...nothing.

So, right now, the ONLY thing that works for us (and works beautifully, I might add) with the thick white vinyl is the bleach/water mixture. Has yet to visibly hurt either the vinyl on the Buick or the Caddy, and both are still soft and shiny afterwards when I apply the usual protectant--which has been Mop n' Glow lately.

Actually, as I've been told by a semi expert (who used to sell pool products) after looking at our tops, the problem is mildew, and by using the bleach mixture we aren't really hurting anything per say, but aren't officially getting rid of the problem--the gray/black mildew down below--just making the top look good for a while, then it comes back over time. She actually told me to use a pool liner cleaner for black mildew, but I haven't gotten around to buy any.
 

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Eldyfig said:
Katshot, are you talking about the Magic Eraser? That thing doesn't seem abrasive. But they do work wonders around the house.
I am not one for all these new house cleaning products that come in containers of wipes and toilet brushes that that have the cleaner already on them and all the other new products to make cleaning supposedly easier. I am an elbow grease kind of guy. But, my wife bought that eraser and it does work. Might be worth a shot on the vinyl. You will still need a cleaner though. I think it might work better than a rag and not do any damage like a brush.
No, I was talking about the use of abrasives like scouring pads etc. I'm not familiar with the "Magic Eraser" so I can't comment on it.
 

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caddycruiser said:
So, right now, the ONLY thing that works for us (and works beautifully, I might add) with the thick white vinyl is the bleach/water mixture. Has yet to visibly hurt either the vinyl on the Buick or the Caddy, and both are still soft and shiny afterwards when I apply the usual protectant--which has been Mop n' Glow lately.
I wouldn't come right out and advise bleach as the ONLY thing that will work--BUT...

It is. :shhh:

The reason it's not advised is because some fool will probably end up dumping a bottle on top of their car and scrubbing it without any regard for the paint.

I've even read about people using 409 and Windex on their paint. Hell, it works fine on the washer/dryer, why not the hood of the car?

When I had a white convertible top, I would take a dixie cup half full of bleach and a tooth brush. The hose was always running and closeby if I needed to do a quick rinse. Never had any problems with that technique.
 
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