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How to Remove Stains on White Vinyl?

  Skipper

Tim Heider asked:

I have a Seadoo boat with a white vinyl interior. When the boat was in storage for about a month, a life jacket was left on the seat and a light brown stain remained from where the jacket was in contact. I’ve tried several of the usual products including those with bleach. No luck. Any suggestions?

Answer:

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UPDATE:

Indelible stains on vinyl of boats are almost impossible to remove. You can try one of the following bellow to remove stains on vinyl but NEVER use bleach on vinyl.

  • Mix a 50/50 solution of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. Try rubbing it on a small area of the stain with a cloth or small scrub brush. If this lightens the stain, try exposing the stained section to the sun, as much as possible for several weeks. UV has been known to bleach almost everything. The sun damage should be minimal and it will help remove the stain.
  • Another solution that boat owners have had success with is Hydrogen Peroxide. You should be able to get some at the drug store or hair supply store (used for bleaching hair). Get the strongest concentration you can. Scrub the area with it, but do not rinse it off immediately. Expose the seat to the sun for a couple of weeks to lighten the stain.

Any other cleaner, like bleach, acetone, toluene, or corrosive boat cleaners, etc. may or may not get the stain out, but they will remove the plasticizers and damage the vinyl. If the above methods do not work, you will have to replace the vinyl.

If you are successful in getting the stains out, I would suggest that you immediately coat your vinyl with Vinyl Guard (once a season application) to prevent further occurrences of staining.

To clean your vinyl use non corrosive, water activated cleaners, like Boat Clean Plus only when you have to. Vinyl Guard protected surfaces can usually be cleaned with water.

Suntan oil can also degrade vinyl and Vinyl Guard will protect against that as well.

ORIGINAL CONTENT:

First of all; Do Not Use Bleach on vinyl. You can cause permanent damage.

I suspect that your stain may be indelible and you will have to replace that section of vinyl or live with the stain, but before you do, here are a few things you can try. You have little to loose.

The solution used by most professionals for tough spots on vinyl is a 50/50 solution of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. Try rubbing a small spot with this solution on a cloth or a small scrub brush. If this lightens the stain, try exposing the stained section to the sun, as much as possible for several weeks. UV has been known to bleach almost everything. The sun damage should be minimal and it will help remove the stain.

Another solution that boat owners have had success with is Hydrogen Peroxide. You should be able to get some at the drug store or hair supply store (used for bleaching hair). Get the strongest concentration you can. Scrub the area with it, but do not rinse it off immediately. Expose the seat to the sun for a couple of weeks to lighten the stain.

Any other cleaner, like bleach, acetone, toluene, or corrosive boat cleaners, etc. may or may not get the stain out, but they will remove the plasticizers and damage the vinyl. If the above methods do not work, you will have to replace the vinyl.

If you are successful at getting the stains out, I would suggest that you immediately coat your vinyl with Vinyl Guard (once a season application) to prevent further occurrences of staining. To clean your vinyl use non corrosive, water activated cleaners, like Boat Clean Plus only when you have to. Vinyl Guard protected surfaces can usually be cleaned with water. Suntan oil can also degrade vinyl and Vinyl Guard will protect against that as well.

Thanks for your question
Captain Aurora

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