4 Tips for Using Vinyl

Vinyl has become a material staple. For clothing, it often has the look of leather without the expense. For siding, flooring and other household uses; it provides you with just about any interior or exterior texture you want. You will often see this material in cars too.

Besides reasonable cost, this substance often takes little time and effort to clean. Furthermore, as long as you do not start it on fire or cut it, it will usually remain intact for at least several years. You perhaps can use it as a protective covering whenever you need to stay dry as well.

Although versatile and usually easy to maintain, you might still need care and application advice. Keep these four tips in mind when using vinyl.

Test all cleaners before using them on it.

For instance, you might be able to apply a 10-percent bleach to 90-percent water solution to some tough stains. Before you do, make sure you test it in a minimally noticeable area on the fabric you want to clean. Then, rub carefully as you try to remove the stain to preserve surface finish and prevent accidental whitening. Even if using a mild cleaner that says it is intended for use on vinyl, testing before full application is recommended because all materials are different.

Try an eraser on vinyl shoes.

Sometimes, the simplest solutions work the best when cleaning non-porous surfaces. You can use a pencil eraser or an erasing tool made for cleaning. If applying to vinyl suede, you may need to brush the remains off the shoe surface after erasure. You might also use this tip for removing scuffs from floors made of hard vinyl, after which you can sweep up loosened debris with a broom.

Apply all-purpose vehicle cleaner to car upholstery with a microfiber cloth.

After testing the solution in an inconspicuous surface area; use it to wipe dirt, oil and spills from your vinyl car seats. The cleaner usually has the strength for most jobs, and the soft microfiber material provides some abrasiveness for scrubbing without scratching the surface. You might also be able to use a leather interior cleaner, but beware of oil-based formulas that can add a slippery film. Water-based often is recommended for vinyl.

Remember mild is usually best.

Anytime you can clean with plain water and a damp cloth, that would be best. If you need a stronger solution, try dish detergent and water. When using any soap, you may want to rinse it off with a cloth dipped in plain water after cleaning. Then, wipe it again with a dry cloth to avoid the appearance of sticky streaks. Do not use strong chemicals such as concentrated bleach or undiluted ammonia that could possibly corrode the vinyl surface. When cleaning soft rather than hard surfaces, only use detergents meant for this type of clothing or footwear to prevent fading, abrasion, corrosion or other damage.

Many types of vinyl come coated with a weatherproofing finish. This helps prevent them from becoming discolored, especially for furniture placed outside or near a window. This same coating often is what prevents water from penetrating through it. This does not mean it will never discolor or become worn, however. Still, proper care can prolong the life of most items made from this material.

In some cases, you might wish to repair your vinyl items. If so, you might find a colored upholstery repair kit for applying to burns, holes or scratches. You also perhaps might find some clear tape mean for fixing rips and cuts. These can add life to most merchandise and maybe will buy you a little extra time before requiring replacement.

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