How do I Clean Vinyl?

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  • Written By: Luna Phillips
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Using a damp cloth to clean vinyl does the trick for most cases. Vinyl is used as a basic material for a lot of things, such as plastic, because it is strong and not affected by most chemicals. Vinyl is used in food wrap, fabrics, upholstery, wallpaper, floor tiles, blinds, window screens and CDs, among other things.

When it has accumulated a thin layer of dust, the best way to clean vinyl is by using a damp cloth or baby wipes. Just try to use as little amount of water as possible because water can cause vinyl to crack. Gently rub the soft cloth on the surface and it will be superficially cleaned. Adding suds from a mild natural soap can also do wonders.

If the soiling cannot be removed by damp cloth and mild soap, the next best thing is baking soda. Its mild abrasive texture helps remove scuffs and stains. This is most effective for cleaning old vinyl that has accumulated dust, stains, and scratches and needs a more thorough cleaning. This method should not be overused because it has a tendency to permanently dull the vinyl's shine.


When the situation gets tougher and stains don't just come from dust but also from cosmetics, oil paint, ink, and shoe marks, an alternative solution is to clean it with synthetic turpentine, mineral spirits, or hydrogen peroxide. Vinyl cleaners sold in auto stores or furniture stores can also help clean vinyl. These solvents are made from mild chemicals that can work on tough stains without damaging the vinyl.

Unusual cases such as ballpoint pen marks are one of the toughest stains to deal with. These marks may respond to alcohol. If they don't, the stained area should be covered with a white clean cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide and leave it for 30 minutes or overnight.

Chewing gum also poses a problem once it sticks on vinyl. The solution is to first harden the gum by using ice. It can then be removed easily. Any residue can be removed with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits.

As a safety precaution, the use of the above mentioned solvents should be done in well-ventilated rooms to avoid inhaling fumes that may cause harm to the body. No flame, spark, or cigarette should be in the area because these substances are flammable. Air the clean vinyl after cleansing to avoid the possibility of inflaming it.

Clean vinyl is easy to maintain because it is not a sensitive substance. For long-lasting protection from stains, it is best to buy vinyl protective finish found in auto or furniture stores. This protective finish resists and hinders absorption of stains.


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Post 1

Compact discs should never be cleaned with anything but a soft, dry, clean cloth.

Even if only the vinyl part of a CD is smudged or dirty, it is best to avoid using soap or other cleaners unless you are absolutely sure you do not touch the strip that contains the disc's information.

Most of the time, a little dirt or residue from your hands on the outer part of a CD will not affect the disc's performance. If something more is spilled on the disc, be careful to dry it off immediately to avoid damaging the information contained on the disc.

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