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Cleaning Poptop Exterior
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:13 pm    Post subject: Cleaning Poptop Exterior Reply with quote

anybody try pressure washing?

or a buffer with what type of pad - or maybe there is a velcro-on brush?

(search yielded nothing - this is not one of the 3+ interior mold cleaning threads in the FAQ, nor one of the many penetrol or punkytroll threads - thx)
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geo_tonz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you read through the penetrol thread you'll see there are many references to how people cleaned it.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=314474&highlight=penetrol

Most common mentioned are pressure washing followed by scrub with Softscrub/VIM or the back of a kitchen sponge (soft pot scrubber I guess that means). Also mentioned was the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Buffer and pad are mentioned in utilizing an oxidation remover, except with Maguires marine ox remover where Kamz worked it in with a brush, which is probably what I'm going to do. Citrus based cleaner, Simple green as well as bleach cleaner are also mentioned but I'd be concerned about my paint.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Cleaning Poptop Exterior Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
anybody try pressure washing?


I've pressure washed mine several times, just as part of a general, overall cleaning of the van. Prior to applying the Penetrol, pressure washing wasn't enough in removing the 20-year-old crud stuck in the roof's texture.

My process:
1) Wash and dry the roof.
2) Apply Meguiar's #49 Oxidation Remover using a plastic, thin bristled brush in a 1'x1' section.
3) Go back over that section while Oxidation Remover is still damp using a terry cloth (IIRC) applicator on an orbital buffer. (Scrub again, if need be.)
4) Wipe off the Oxidation Remover with a clean rag (I had a whole package of painter's rags at the ready).
5) Apply generous helping of Penetrol according to can instructions.

Photos here: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6563075#6563075 .
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another product that works really well for cleaning the top is "Barkeepers Friend" It has a gentle scrubbing compound that will not scratch the surface but cuts through old road film, bugs, and crud.
http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/car-care
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riceye
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that really nothing can replace a stiff bristle brush for cleaning the fiberglass top. I've never been able to get the grunge out of the texture on the surface without the brush.

I find the type of cleaner less important than the method. YMMV.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

riceye wrote:
I've found that really nothing can replace a stiff bristle brush for cleaning the fiberglass top. I've never been able to get the grunge out of the texture on the surface without the brush.

I find the type of cleaner less important than the method. YMMV.


Agreed. Dixie lived for years beside the RR line in southern Washington and the black soot had really been baked into the top. It took me a long time with a little scrubbing brush and )I think) Bon Ami before I could move on to the Meguiar's Cleaner and then Yellow Wax, but it turned out really nicely.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cleaned mine for paint but I've found Simple Green to be an amazing "industrial" (by products of our life modern life style, fossil fuel debris) soil remover.

It is safe and very effective.

A stiff nylon brush, hot water and the dirt ran off!
I plumbed my garage for scalding hot water years ago..... Best thing EVER! Cuts through grease and grime like magic. Just another tool in the arsenal.

I also used a scotch pad but I was doing paint prep as well.

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Dana Champion
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ol' elbow grease.

Depends on the condition of the top. My '88 is still in very good shape. It's the white gel coat, so it has probably held up better than the darker color, body matching, painted tops.
I've had five Vanagon Westfalias over the past 25 years, all white gel coat, none painted.
On the older ones where the gel coat is becoming porous, allowing dirt and mold to set in, I have used chlorine bleach (laundry), to kill the mold, also helps brighten it up. I mix with warm water, in a hand spray bottle. Along with that, I have used "Cascade ", dishwasher powder, with bleach in it, a handheld stiff plastic bristle brush, and go at it, switching hands. I do this in the shade if possible, and even in the rain, when the top has stuff growing on it! It can be a time consuming process, but there is nothing like scrubbing by hand. I had lichen growing on a top that took a few days of hard scrubbing. I used "Comet with bleach". Top looked good when I finished. At that point because of its condition, a paint job would make sense to make further maintenance easier, as well as over looking nicer.
Crazy stuff...
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's green mildew'd stained the bathroom cleaner X-14 worked well on one I did. As been said still need a bristle brush.
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benandmj
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a cleaner with bleach and it streaked and dulled my paint.

Real bummer, man.
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Dana Champion
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your poptop is painted, cleaning it would be a different process than cleaning a white gel coat top.
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