Cleaning and protecting vinyl roofs

For years we have had numerous requests from passionate muscle and classic car owners that were after a product that focuses on rejuvenating and protecting their vinyl roofs. With the revival vinyl roofs are having right now, we thought it was time to pull our finger out and get on to creating the perfect product to look after them.

Protection from a harsh climate

There are very few cars with their original vinyl roofs remaining. Most of them having been re-covered as the roofs have succumb to the harsh Aussie climate over the years. A lot of that is due to there never being a suitable product that could protect them from the harsh Australian sun over the long term. Well, there is good news for those guys and girls with these vinyl roofs; we have finally made something to help fix that!

THE VINYL REVIVAL

After long, in depth talks with our chemists, we had them create Vinyl Revival as the ideal product to use on any vinyl or plastic surfaces around the car. With the wonders of modern chemistry we were able to make it with the following great qualities:  

  • Great UV protection. In fact, it's the strongest we could find to combat the harsh sun we get in many parts of Australia. These UV rays create photo-denegration which is one of the biggest reasons vinyl roofs have failed so often over time. Extended exposure to these rays breaks down the polymers that bind vinyl (or any plastic) together, which most people visually notice as it slowly lightens to a grey or yellow over time.
  • pH balanced and contains no harsh chemicals that could potentially affect more delicate surfaces and stitching with prolonged usage.
  • Strong rejuvenation qualities, so it visually restores the vinyl to look like new. Thus en-richening the physical appearance of the vinyl.
  • Weather proof, to stop the natural elements degrading the vinyl. Also to stop it washing off after rain, or after the first time you wash it.
  • Breathes. This is important so heat can escape from the vinyl, rather than build up. Which is seen mostly with oil based products or silicones.
  • No solvents in the formula, as they are lethal to vinyl surfaces, making them brittle and creating the majority of cracking and fissures with repeated use over time. It also needs to have no silicone in the formula - why is that you ask? Read on below...

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH SILICONE?

Silicone is a main ingredient of virtually all vinyl or plastic products we know of. One of the most popular even states on the front of its bottle that is has "No Oil Based Silicone" but uses a water based silicone emulsion instead. Silicone is cheap, is great for binding ingredients in a formula and works a treat at darkening plastics and vinyls. However, it's not ideal to use in formulas for a number of reasons:

  • It's greasy and attracts dust for a long time after you use it.
  • Oil based silicone emulsions use petroleum distillates that attack the vinyls' surface, leading to its failure.
  • It builds up on the vinyl surface, accelerating damage from heat, leading again to premature surface failure.
  • A very poor UV protectant, amplifying the suns effect, by magnifying the UV rays rather than dissipating them.

So we created our formula with zero silicone of any type. Something that took many years to get to work, and work well enough to appease the fussiest enthusiasts out there.

A PURPOSE MADE CLEANER

The Vinyl Revival does not respond well to older silicones, oils or other dressings that may still be on the vinyl, so we made a cleaner that is purpose built to help remove them. SubLime Clean gently breaks down all other built up grime and dirt in the process, giving Vinyl Revival the best chance to bond to the vinyl surface.

The cleaning agents we use are not caustic, alkaline, harsh detergents, petroleum distillates or solvents, as these can be damaging to the vinyls plasticisers, that keep the vinyl soft and flexible. Important to have for long term use.  

Always use it (especially the first time) before applying the Vinyl Revival, or if there is any heavy dirt build up that normal washing cannot remove. 

USING VINYL REVIVAL

To help stop the vinyl degrading, you need to have a regular schedule of applying the Vinyl Revival. We recommend doing the following easy steps every few months, or when you feel the roof could use a bit of a freshen up.

Step 1

Park in a cool, shaded area. Preferably outside.  

Rinse the roof down with water. While it's still wet, apply our SubLime Clean directly to the surface.

Step 2

Wash with either the Love Glove or a soft bristle brush if the roof is especially dirty. This cleaning step is important, especially if you have used other dressings or protectants on your roof before. They will need to be cleaned off so Vinyl Revival can bond to the surface. Don't allow it to dry. If it does dry, just re-wet and wash the area again.

Step 3

Rinse off with fresh water, making sure you clean any residue from the body panels it might have gone on as well.

Then dry it thoroughly with a chamois or microfibre drying towel.

Step 4

Once totally dry, spray the Vinyl Revival into a Square Bear microfibre applicator pad. 

Step 5

Apply by rubbing onto the vinyl surface a section at a time. Make sure you do this thoroughly, using overlapping motions and paying extra attention towards any joins or near stitching.

Step 6

Leave to sit for a minute, then wipe away. The product will now slowly dry and bond to the surface. 

Total protection is there generally within 6 hours. In this time frame it's important that you do not get the roof wet.

All done

All done, and looking great. It's now important to make sure you look after the roof properly. Keep things like any oils or oily products, such as sunscreen and harsh alkaline detergents, away from the vinyl surface. If these happen to touch the vinyl, clean them off with the SubLime Clean, ASAP, following up with the Vinyl Revival straight after. 

Re-apply every couple of months if the car is out in the sun often, when you notice the water beading disappearing, or if you feel the roof needs a quick cleanup. 

Where can I get it from?

You can find these products at our many retailers nationwide, just check out the stockist link here.

If you have any questions about anything in this article, especially about using the Vinyl Revival or SubLime Clean, please drop me a line for further information.

Email dan@bowdensown.com.auor call 1800 351 308 during office hours.

Love your car,

Dan Bowden


The Love Glove

The Love Glove

Super soft and safe microfibre wash mitt. Our aptly named "The Love Glove" is a pleasure to use.

$17.99 View Product

Vinyl Revival

Vinyl Revival

Revives and protects your exterior vinyl, rubber & plastics.

$26.99 View Product

Vinyl Care Pack

Vinyl Care Pack

Keep your interior plastic, rubber and vinyl beautifully clean and protected with this pack.

$39.99 View Product

SubLime Clean

SubLime Clean

Deep cleans exterior fabrics and vinyl, as well as removing silicones from plastics.

$23.99 View Product