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View Full Version : Is Armor All bad for vynl?


Skipper
01-18-2010, 06:55 PM
I took my observer seat, driver seat, and observer bench combing pad to a local upholstery shop to have them redone. While I was talking to the shop owner, she mentioned that I should never use Armor All on vynl because Armor All contains alchol. The alchol dries out the vynl.

Her suggestion was that after use, wipe with a soap and water mix. Then, apply pure mineral oil on all of the vynl. She explained that the mineral oil replenishes, softens, and protects the vynl. She did say to wipe the vynl down before the next use (slippery).

When I got back to the house I cleaned the remaining vynl. Then I applied mineral oil. I noticed that some places seemed to absorb the mineral oil and needed several applications until it left a shiny appearance.

I ask this because it was always my practice at the designated area at the launch ramp to wipe down all of the vynl with Armor All. I thought I was doing a good thing. My boat is 15 years old. Understand that the vynl might be a bit rigid. Tears in the stitched seams brought me to get it replaced this year.

Diamond Dawg
01-18-2010, 07:05 PM
I took my observer seat, driver seat, and observer bench combing pad to a local upholstery shop to have them redone. While I was talking to the shop owner, she mentioned that I should never use Armor All on vynl because Armor All contains alchol. The alchol dries out the vynl.

Her suggestion was that after use, wipe with a soap and water mix. Then, apply pure mineral oil on all of the vynl. She explained that the mineral oil replenishes, softens, and protects the vynl. She did say to wipe the vynl down before the next use (slippery).

When I got back to the house I cleaned the remaining vynl. Then I applied mineral oil. I noticed that some places seemed to absorb the mineral oil and needed several applications until it left a shiny appearance.

I ask this because it was always my practice at the designated area at the launch ramp to wipe down all of the vynl with Armor All. I thought I was doing a good thing. My boat is 15 years old. Understand that the vynl might be a bit rigid. Tears in the stitched seams brought me to get it replaced this year.

It's spelled 'Vinyl',:uglyhamme:uglyhamme and yes, she's right. Also, the ArmorAll is probably what rotted out the stiches.

JimN
01-18-2010, 07:54 PM
Armor All is bad for the stitching, vinyl and foam, if it should make it that far. The other factor in stitching going bad is direct sunlight- the UV beats it up pretty badly.

FYI- stepping and kneeling on seams causes the tears in most cases. If the material has backing that looks vaguely like a T shirt, it can stretch much more than the kind with what looks like spun thread and is fuzzy. The woman at the upholstery shop sounds like she knows what she's talking about.

Skipper
01-18-2010, 08:18 PM
Vinyl. Whooodaathunkit?

What is more amazing than incorrectly spelling vinyl is that Armor All is not good for vinyl.

Skipper
01-18-2010, 08:19 PM
Even more amazing than those two items is that somebody actually reads the upholstery topic. 8p

Skipper
01-18-2010, 09:34 PM
Whoops, mispelled alcohol too. Can I buy a vowel, please?

mayo93prostar
01-18-2010, 09:59 PM
so what is armor all good for, just plastic like dashes and other parts of car interiors. also, what is good for vinyl? I have heard of 301 protectant and babes products on here. I am using 301 now instead of armour all based on past comments on this site but 301 does not provide as much "shine" as armour all on some surfaces.

Skipper
01-18-2010, 10:44 PM
That lady told me to use Armor All on my tires.

I used pure mineral oil just like she said. It provides a great shine. If what she said is true, it will keep the vinyl from drying out.

TOO-TALL
01-18-2010, 11:33 PM
Where would I find Pure Mineral oil?

thatsmrmastercraft
01-18-2010, 11:41 PM
Next to the Vasoline?

TMCNo1
01-19-2010, 12:12 AM
Next to the Vasoline?

Most any grocery, drugstore, commonly used as a laxative, so don't lick your fingers after doing the seats!:rolleyes:

JimN
01-19-2010, 12:34 AM
Where would I find Pure Mineral oil?

If you have kids, look for food grade mineral oil- it isn't harmful to humans.

I wouldn't use Armor All on anything.

Skipper
01-19-2010, 09:43 AM
:o Yeah, got some funny looks at Wal Mart when I loaded up 6 pints of mineral oil into the cart. It is next to the suppositories and hem cream.

BriEOD
01-19-2010, 09:50 AM
I had an upholsterer tell me to put a coat of mink oil (like you use on shoes--it comes in a can) on vinyl and then let it sit in the hot sun to kind of melt in.

captain planet
01-19-2010, 10:03 AM
Most any grocery, drugstore, commonly used as a laxative, so don't lick your fingers after doing the seats!:rolleyes:

:uglyhamme:uglyhamme...................

TMCNo1
01-19-2010, 10:26 AM
:uglyhamme:uglyhamme...................


Check your local freight salvage stores for mineral oil.
I found a gallon several years back for $4.95 to use for leather and vinyl and to keep my striping and lettering brushes mixed with 3 in 1 oil in between uses. It cleans out of the brushes well with mineral spirits and if there is a minute amount left in the brush it is compatable with and mixes well with the oil based lettering enamels and will only retard the drying time slightly. Also mixed in with the paint on the pallet are two syringe drops of silicone based fisheye eliminator that helps prevent fisheye from residual silicone wax, oils in/on the finish and helps the paint flow from the brush for better leveling and adds life to the lettering finish.

trickskier
01-20-2010, 11:40 AM
Hope this helps:

Premium grade vinyls, which are used in luxury ski and wakeboard boats, are made to withstand the effects of sun, heat, acid rain and soiling under normal conditions. Regular washing with mild detergent and warm water or vinyl cleaners is sufficient to keep the cushion and vinyl coverings in good condition.

Certain household cleaners, powdered abrasives, steel wool, and industrial cleaners may cause damage and discoloration. These are not recommended for use. Dry cleaning fluids and lacquer solvents should not be used as they will remove the printed pattern and gloss. Waxes are not recommended, as many contain dyes and solvents that can permanently damage the protective coating.

Acceptable upholstery cleaners are as follows: dish soap, such as Dawn or Ivory, Fantastik, 303 Protectant and Vinyl finish Vinyl Cleaner.

Unacceptable Upholstery Cleaners are as follows: 409, Murphy's Soap, Simple Green, DC Plus, Armorall, Top Kote Sealant, Son of a Gun, Orange 88 Degreaser, Roll Off, Bleach/Baking Soda, Turtle Wax/Tar remover, APCO, Tannery and Harbor Master.

CleanCarShop
01-20-2010, 11:44 AM
I have to disagree with some of this...Armor all is probably NOT the best product on the market, they just did the best marketing when they started up. Meguiars has been in the biz since Christ was a corporal! They make a great selection of products for cars and boats. they also have an 800 ph# you can call to ask all of these questions. In my shop I use Meguiars on all vinyl and plastic, if I KNOW the seat,step,pad etc WILL BE STEPPED ON, I use 301. 301 does not create or maintain the high gloss that the others do, but it has better UV protection and does not create as slick(if slick at all) surface. I guess what it comes down to is that plastic/rubber/vinyl are petroleum based products, anything, with some kind of oil in it will make them shine,and give them a little life... wd-40 works great pn hard plastic trim, but it doesnt protect from UV which on boats is the #1 priority to keep things looking new. Use a top quality name brand cleaner/protectant with UV protectant. If you do use something like fantastic for the initial cleaning... test an area, and be sure to follow with a protectant.

TMCNo1
01-20-2010, 12:25 PM
Armor-All does work good as a protective coating on the engine and exhaust manifolds, Ive been using it for over 30 years on boat engines.

JimN
01-20-2010, 12:40 PM
Hope this helps:

Premium grade vinyls, which are used in luxury ski and wakeboard boats, are made to withstand the effects of sun, heat, acid rain and soiling under normal conditions. Regular washing with mild detergent and warm water or vinyl cleaners is sufficient to keep the cushion and vinyl coverings in good condition.

Certain household cleaners, powdered abrasives, steel wool, and industrial cleaners may cause damage and discoloration. These are not recommended for use. Dry cleaning fluids and lacquer solvents should not be used as they will remove the printed pattern and gloss. Waxes are not recommended, as many contain dyes and solvents that can permanently damage the protective coating.

Acceptable upholstery cleaners are as follows: dish soap, such as Dawn or Ivory, Fantastik, 303 Protectant and Vinyl finish Vinyl Cleaner.

Unacceptable Upholstery Cleaners are as follows: 409, Murphy's Soap, Simple Green, DC Plus, Armorall, Top Kote Sealant, Son of a Gun, Orange 88 Degreaser, Roll Off, Bleach/Baking Soda, Turtle Wax/Tar remover, APCO, Tannery and Harbor Master.

Re: "Premium grade vinyls"- I'm going to point out the topic from last year, where a lot of people had seams ripping due to the quality of the vinyl used at the time (2001-2005). The EPA mandates what can be used in some manufacturing processes and the results at the time was that PCV skin thickness suffered. Another problem was the staining of the vinyl, which went along with the ripping. The other main cause of the ripping was the backing used on the vinyl the marine industry was able to use without breaking the bank, a fuzzy type that's used more for flat surfaces like bolsters in pontoon boats. This type of material is not suitable for seat cushions and backrests, where a lot of stress is put on the material and seams. Its inability to stretch causes the stitching to cut the skin like a knife.

If allowed by governmental agencies, manufacturers can use better quality materials. For just about every hazardous/polluting material, there's a way to capture the fumes and particulates. Even in California, where spraying nitrocellulose lacquer has been banned for decades, Fender is once again using it, at a great financial cost. They're going for specific results and are now able to get them. I'm sure the upholstery industry doesn't want to bear the burden of this kind of thing, so they make what they can, with the little notice they get from the EPA.

SkiDog
01-20-2010, 04:37 PM
Re: "Premium grade vinyls"- I'm going to point out the topic from last year, where a lot of people had seams ripping due to the quality of the vinyl used at the time (2001-2005). The EPA mandates what can be used in some manufacturing processes and the results at the time was that PCV skin thickness suffered. Another problem was the staining of the vinyl, which went along with the ripping. The other main cause of the ripping was the backing used on the vinyl the marine industry was able to use without breaking the bank, a fuzzy type that's used more for flat surfaces like bolsters in pontoon boats. This type of material is not suitable for seat cushions and backrests, where a lot of stress is put on the material and seams. Its inability to stretch causes the stitching to cut the skin like a knife.

If allowed by governmental agencies, manufacturers can use better quality materials. For just about every hazardous/polluting material, there's a way to capture the fumes and particulates. Even in California, where spraying nitrocellulose lacquer has been banned for decades, Fender is once again using it, at a great financial cost. They're going for specific results and are now able to get them. I'm sure the upholstery industry doesn't want to bear the burden of this kind of thing, so they make what they can, with the little notice they get from the EPA.

I'm sure MagRed can attest to all that!

Skipper
01-20-2010, 08:44 PM
I have to disagree with some of this...Armor all is probably NOT the best product on the market, they just did the best marketing when they started up. Meguiars has been in the biz since Christ was a corporal! They make a great selection of products for cars and boats. they also have an 800 ph# you can call to ask all of these questions. In my shop I use Meguiars on all vinyl and plastic, if I KNOW the seat,step,pad etc WILL BE STEPPED ON, I use 301. 301 does not create or maintain the high gloss that the others do, but it has better UV protection and does not create as slick(if slick at all) surface. I guess what it comes down to is that plastic/rubber/vinyl are petroleum based products, anything, with some kind of oil in it will make them shine,and give them a little life... wd-40 works great pn hard plastic trim, but it doesnt protect from UV which on boats is the #1 priority to keep things looking new. Use a top quality name brand cleaner/protectant with UV protectant. If you do use something like fantastic for the initial cleaning... test an area, and be sure to follow with a protectant.

I don't think he was ever enlisted...only an officer. :rolleyes:

So what is your take on the mineral oil? :confused:

JimN
01-20-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm sure MagRed can attest to all that!

The vinyl info is what I got from my upholstery supplier and another upholsterer, both of whom I trust.

CleanCarShop
01-22-2010, 08:39 PM
I would have to say that my take on this mineral oil idea is that it should work to keep moisture in, which will also make it look good and last longer, however i see no real benefit other than it being "natural". Like i mentioned before, anything oil based/pertroleum based is going to replace the lost oils. the question is why are the oils being lost? exposure to weather and UV. the synthetic products sold on the market are designed to replenish and protect. Armor-All was originally made with some alcohol, don't know why(cleaning?). I think that gave all the products like it a bad rap...lots of stories about hot rodders and restoration guys not going anywhere near the "dressing" products because they dry out rubber seals and vinly etc, some still blame it on silicone. it was not the silicone that caused the damage, it was the alcohol. To my knowledge no products on the market today contain alcohol. and i believe it was only armor-all that did.

clean it carefully, protect it, enjoy it ! and protect it some more!

hope this helps, been cleaning boats for seven years professionally, never had a complaint

bjackson
01-24-2010, 08:01 PM
Would I have to worry about a discoloration with mineral oil on white vinyl?

TEAL98
01-24-2010, 08:16 PM
Another informative thread! :)

When I went to the local boat shop where I get all my misc. watersport accessories, the guy had told me to NEVER use Armor-All as well, and told me to use 303. I could've sworn it was 303 and not 301, but I'd only used it twice between the time I bought the boat and winterizing it. Said the same thing, Armor-all dries it out, but I never dug deeper as to why.

Chief
01-24-2010, 09:21 PM
Babes has my vote, before that 303. Three years runnning and my vinyl looks brand new. Not a stain to show.

Patsfan
02-13-2010, 12:23 AM
The vinyl supplier endorces 303
It has no achol and has ther oils the vinyl needs to keep soft.
The key is what ever you use do it frequently.

DBrown2
03-03-2010, 03:56 PM
I have also been told no armor all. and to just use soap and warm water. I am using a leather and vinyl product its creamy.
never used mineral oil but its cheaper than this product I am using.

so what about that new to U boat that needs stains, dirt and funk removed and soap want work.

the boat cleaners just aren't around my area so what can I use. I know after key is to soak dwn the vinyl with oil or whatever your using.

bbymgr
03-03-2010, 04:21 PM
Sand blasting usually works.:D:D:D

jbkriss
03-03-2010, 04:57 PM
MC sells a vinyl cleaner/restorer. Not sure who makes it. I got it as a part of a detailing kit that I received when I bought my boat.

Jim@BAWS
03-03-2010, 05:29 PM
MC sells a vinyl cleaner/restorer. Not sure who makes it. I got it as a part of a detailing kit that I received when I bought my boat.

How true...it can be purchased at a LOCAL MC dealer

Also BABES is GREAT Stuff

Jim@BAWS

DBrown2
03-03-2010, 06:25 PM
Well Guys I was hoping for something at the Local Auto Parts or Grocery Store or Wally World... The closest boat store to me is 65 miles.. I know I can order online, but I was just trying to get some stuff out there that is safe, that could be use, for that once or twice a year good cleaning.

I picked up some SeaSense Cleaner and Degreaser... at Wally today... The business had there number on it, and its made in TN... So I just called, and talked to a guy.. Of course he talked it up, so I will report back...

I also picked up Mineral Oil... though that is strange to buy, and read directions on that...

JohnE
03-03-2010, 07:10 PM
I have also been told no armor all. and to just use soap and warm water. I am using a leather and vinyl product its creamy.
never used mineral oil but its cheaper than this product I am using.

so what about that new to U boat that needs stains, dirt and funk removed and soap want work.

the boat cleaners just aren't around my area so what can I use. I know after key is to soak dwn the vinyl with oil or whatever your using.

A magic eraser will help. With soap and water. But be a little careful as it is almost like a super fine sandpaper. Not the most accurate description....it is a little abrasive and will help remove tough stains.

TX.X-30 fan
03-03-2010, 07:14 PM
Well Guys I was hoping for something at the Local Auto Parts or Grocery Store or Wally World... The closest boat store to me is 65 miles.. I know I can order online, but I was just trying to get some stuff out there that is safe, that could be use, for that once or twice a year good cleaning.

I picked up some SeaSense Cleaner and Degreaser... at Wally today... The business had there number on it, and its made in TN... So I just called, and talked to a guy.. Of course he talked it up, so I will report back...

I also picked up Mineral Oil... though that is strange to buy, and read directions on that...




I think McGuire's is as good as that 303 space-age crap. Get it at the parts store too.

DBrown2
03-03-2010, 10:49 PM
tx which mcguire you use?

Campbell
03-04-2010, 06:58 PM
Yes do not use armorall. PPG makes a good vinylprotectant that slicks it down to a nice clean shine

GWade
03-04-2010, 07:10 PM
I just had my seats redone by an upholstery shop. The ladies there told me to use baby oil. A quarter size baby oil for each seat.....seems to work awesome. Not to mention, keeping a bottle of baby oil on the boat is fun....it has many other good uses.........