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New owner. How do I wash this Thing?
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litljenarey@hotmail.com is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

I bought my Thing last Wednesday. According to the seller, her husband bought it brand new and they towed it behind their RV and used it to cruise around campgrounds. It's mechanically a great running vehicle but it's filthy (and its obvious they attempted to clean it up to sell, so I can't imagine what it had looked like prior to that). This is my fun car and partially daily driver so I'm not looking for show quality, but I also don't want to need to bring baby wipes with me so I can wipe my hands after touching it.

I'm working top down. He was a smoker and the inside of the top has a film on it. Its something like a mix of dust, yellowed old smoke, mildew, and disintigrating old fabric. It leaves a powder on everything.
I know how to clean the exterior of a convertible top, but can you clean the interior of the top?

I was thinking of removing the top, laying it out in the yard, using the vinyl cleaner I would use on the exterior and hosing it down. I'm afraid it may ruin the top and if I could replace the top, I wouldn't be trying to clean it.

Any ideas? Has anyone successfully done this job?

Thanks,
Jen
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

That sounds like a plan. Get a bit tarp and lay it on the ground first. Then pull your top and lay it on the tarp so it won't get damaged. Brush it first with a nylon brush and then blow it off or vacuum it. Then I would spray it with an all purpose cleaner or even a water/woolite solution if you want to be gentle and scrub it gently with the brush then power rinse it. You may want to do a test spot first. There are lots of detail products to remove smoke as well. You can go to autogeek.net to search for some and you can also use a spray foam upholstery cleaner for the top as well.
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CraigInPA
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

My tip would be to use "Crud Cutter". I bought a house where the entire interior was brown with tar. Crud Cutter, recommended by a friend with rental properties, and a pile of terry cloth towels literally wiped it all away.

You can buy Crud Cutter at most home improvement stores, and I've also seen it in the paint section of Wal-Mart.
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dustymojave
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

Years ago I renovated a house that had an incredible amount of smoke film inside. I used TSP which worked amazingly well. Don't know how that will do on the inside of a convertible top though. Not as harsh as Krud Kutter which is an acid. I like Krud Kutter for removing rust, but inside a top??????
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

Simple Green works well on smoke film. The trick is to use multiple applications. Apply soap solution, let it stand for 10 minutes (donít let it dry) rinse and repeat until youíre satisfied. Do an especially thorough job of rinsing the last time, because remnants of soap will attract dirt.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

The top is canvas, but I raided by husband's cabinet of cleaners and found cans of "Vinyl Tough" which is made for vinyl interiors and tops. It smells like mint which is interesting. You spray it on, let it soak a few minutes and rinse it off.
It did an amazing job. But...

Instead of taking the top off, I took it off the back of the frame, left it connected in the front and flipped it up over the windshield and hood the clean the inside. Then I tore the top with the windshield wiper when flipping it back over.

Then I put the top down and left it and moved onto some other small things I wanted to fix. In the process of that, I took one of the doors off and bent the pin it goes on. It was a bear to put back.

For the moment, it's sitting at my husband's auto repair shop waiting for a new taillight switch. Old cars are fun, but they seem like a never ending list of repairs or modifications.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: New owner. How do I wash this Thing? Reply with quote

Certainly you want to try to avoid damaging the top, but if stuff is disintegrating, it may be inevitable.

That to say, I'd try to clean it too. But sometimes old vinyl just falls apart when you start to use it. When I bought my Thing, the seats looked pretty good because it had been in a barn for 25 years. But from simply being very old and therefore brittle, they quickly deteriorated with use. I need to replace them all.
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