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Old 01-05-2013, 05:26 AM   #1
wfopete OP
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Cleaning a seat cover

Bought a 2001 XR Honda the other day. It's in good shape but was stored in a barn. The seat has black spots/stains on it from mold or ???. I attempted to clean it with a brush and soapy water with little success. My next step was Bleach White which worked a little better but the stains are clearly still there. Other than the stains the seat is in great shape so I don't really want to replace the cover.

Suggestions?
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #2
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Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in the 'oxy-clean' type products. It works well for blood and some other protein stains. Not sure how it would work on what you are describing, but H2O2 is the 'powdered bleach' active ingredient so it may. It will be obvious within 10 minutes if the hydrogen peroxide works. Acetone is another good stain remover. Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) was the magic solution back in the day when it was my job to clean bike seats.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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Auto parts stores stock a vinyl cleaner but if it looks moldy or has been there for a very long time it may well never come out. Stuff leaches into the vinyl and becomes permanent sometimes. Maybe find a seat cover on ebay?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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It is common for the mold to get into the foam under the seat and show thru. At a minimum you may need to remove the cover to clean under it.

Rod
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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I've used lacquer thinner on the XR's that stay parked outside.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in the 'oxy-clean' type products. It works well for blood and some other protein stains. Not sure how it would work on what you are describing, but H2O2 is the 'powdered bleach' active ingredient so it may. It will be obvious within 10 minutes if the hydrogen peroxide works. Acetone is another good stain remover. Good luck!
Sodium Percarbonate to be exact.May work but I was looking at the uses lately and no mention of cleaning Vinyls. Sure gets the food stains/greases out of my work whites.

I have to do a seat that is kind of moldy for a friend, looks like it may clean up but if not.....wash with Ammonia and dye it will be the quick way.And then I get to change the color of my Scorbin at the same time.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfxdog View Post
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) was the magic solution back in the day when it was my job to clean bike seats.
What is this stuff and where do you get it?

I tried the Hydrogen peroxide, bleach white and carb cleaner. The carb cleaner seemed to work but I was afraid it was going to eat the seat up so I quit using it. Next will be WD40 and paint thinner.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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MEK can usually be found at builders supply yards. We use it to clean tools after caulking.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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Well after trying a few more chemicals with no positive results I went and bought some MEK.

Whoa! If this stuff doesn't take off the stain nothing will becuase it will melt through the seat cover before you can try anything else.

Yes it works...maybe too well. Glad I tried it with just a Q-tip! Had to dilute it WD 40 after getting the stain spot off. I guess the next step beyond MEK would be muriatic acid!

Now I have to figure out how to apply it without ruining the seat.

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #11
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Don't forget to Amour All the seat after you clean it. You know.... "to protect the vinyl"
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #12
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Westley's Bleach White

This works on most Vinyl trim, have head it is not as strong as it used to be.

Must be NEW and IMPROVED like everything else.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #13
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Good thing you are spot testing first....always a good thing when strong chemicals are suggested without the proper safety warnings or procedures. Understand that even a small amount of that may dry out the vinyl, may not look bad at first but a few months down the road and it may just fail. If you can snip a little piece from under the seat and dip it in the MEK you'll see.

Funny I sometimes have to teach staff proper uses of strong chemicals. Good thing as most can't, or won't, read a label or MSDS. One of them used Muriatic Acid instead of floor cleaner on our tile deck once, good thing I walked in after smelling the fumes and could kick him out for some fresh air. Etched the shit out of the stainless, that created way too many hours of repolishing, did not make me happy and also caused a lot of the tile grout to fail not long after. A very expensive mistake for the taxpayers.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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MEK is powerful stuff, and may weaken the already aging material. I'd reconsider, else you may need a new seat cover.

I haven't tried it but I read on ADV about spray painting seat covers using (I think) the Krylon paint made for plastics. I was skeptical, but there were positive results reported.

Here is a how-to:

http://www.4strokes.com/tech/seat_paint/
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #15
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^^^ Vinyl dye, not only Krylon I think just about every paint manufacturer has some. So the price range varies. Autoparts had some from $8.00 to 20somethinhg a can. I settled for the $12.00 one. Haven't done it yet stuff is pretty fumey and my shop too cold. I am sure I can get the Scorbin from grey to black and keep the blue piping, I have small paint brushes.

Nothing I haven't done before, GM used to sell the Vinyl dye by the quart to the dealers and color changing an interior nothing new there, but that nowadays we may have better masks....like MEK none of them fumes are very good for them lungs/brain cells.

But having said that, my friend is a cobbler and does a lot of vinyl dyeing, ladies like to change the color of their shoes/accessories sometimes..... I did set him with a proper exhaust fan, once again watch them fumes.
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