Cleaning & protecting ute tonneaus
Many of our car care fans have been asking us for years to develop a product to look after their ute tonneau covers. Something that was not greasy or sticky, that was long lasting with great protection, safe on the stitching and does not leave a black residue that runs off in the rain. These were the main parameters.
So back and forth we worked with the chemists, looking at new ways to make this type of product, getting literally dozens of product samples to test and evaluate over the course of a few years. Until we finally received the magic formula we have now, which met and surpassed all our wishes in its testing. We call it Vinyl Revival.
SO WHAT IS IT?
Vinyl Revival is an advanced, silicone free, water based protectant, which in itself is pretty revolutionary. Most water based formulas that are made for tonneaus are renowned for the way they disappear in the first shower of rain; something we had to formulate out (it took some time!). Due to the wonders of modern chemistry, it has incredible longevity that, once it has set overnight, will protect for many months with outstanding durability and protection.
It's also unique in that there are zero oil or water based silicones in it. In fact, this is the only product of its type we are aware of that can state this on the bottle. Most exterior products are a silicone oil emulsion, with a few others being the water based emulsion. Something that is not good long term for any plastics, rubber or vinyl, as the silicones build up, trapping the suns heat on the tonneau surface, thus leading to premature ageing and eventually its tragic destruction.
NO HARMFUL SOLVENTS
There are no harsh solvents or petroleum distillates in there. These all work to slowly destroy plastics, rubber or vinyl, not to mention the nylon stitching used on so many tonneaus.
NO BLACK RUNS
A lot of people mention the grief they have had from using different dressings on their car and having it later run off the tonneau when it rains, onto the paint in black lines. We fixed that issue as well. Once dry, Vinyl Revival does not run; it stays on the surface it was applied to. It's also biodegradable and non toxic. A good thing for those using it.
RESTORES A NEW FINISH
Importantly, it also has great rejuvenation qualities, to enrich and bring the tonneau surface back to a perfect, darkened, mid gloss finish. Just like it was when new.
Due to the way the suns rays kill plastics and vinyl, through a process called photo-denergration, a strong UV blocker is a crucial part of the formula.
So it can release the heat from the tonneau surface, to stop heat damage, keeping it elastic and like new.
One thing we did find, is that the silicone based dressings, oils and embedded dirt can affect the Vinyl Revival formula. So we made a special cleaner to help remove them from the surface, nice and safely. Due to its super green colour, it's named Sublime Clean. It's always recommended to use Sublime Clean first before you treat any exterior area, to provide the cleanest possible surface that the Vinyl Revival can bond to.
Work the Love Glove
Our Love Glove works a treat with the Sublime Clean.
Work in the shade, out of direct sunlight. Rinse the tonneau well with water, then spray the Sublime Clean onto the area you wish to clean. Don't allow it to dry. For bigger areas on warmer days, it would be best to do smaller sections at a time, rather than the whole tonneau area. Gently clean the surface, using either our Love Glove wash mitt or a suitable microfibre cloth, in a circular motion ensuring you get all areas wiped over.
A brush may be needed for the dirtiest and most neglected of tonneaus.
For excessively dirty or mouldy tonneaus, it might be best to use a soft bristled brush for a more effective clean. The worst ones we have seen need to be cleaned at least twice.
Don't allow the product to dry and rinse well with water. Making sure to rinse the cars side panels clean as well. Chamois the tonneau and leave it to sit out of direct sunlight till it's totally dry and cool to touch. It's important to do this as Vinyl Revival works best on a totally cool, dry surface.
Spray and apply
You can see here that Vinyl Revival has a very mild cleaner in it, just to make doubly sure it can bond to the vinyl.
Spray the Vinyl Revival into a clean microfibre applicator, applying it to a section at a time, in a circular motion. Make sure you overlap the areas you clean as you move around the tonneau. Once completed, wipe dry gently with a clean Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth. It's important to allow time for it to completly dry - at least 3 to 4 hours.
Buff off very gently with a clean cloth. Apply another coating and leave to dry for greater protection.
For extra protection (recommended for any tonneau), apply a second coat and leave indoors for 4 to 5 hours to totally bond onto the surface, then wipe any excess with a microfibre cloth. Any minor stickiness should disappear in the coming 4-8 hours (depending on the weather conditions, warmer is faster drying etc), as the product takes effect on the surface.
Left half is noticably rejuvinated after applying the Vinyl Revival, with a nice, mid sheen finish.
We reccommend to re-apply the Vinyl Revival every couple of months, or when you notice the water beading start to dissipate and you feel the tonneau appearance needs a freshen up.
You can find these products at our many retailers nationwide in 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 [email protected] or call 1800 351 308 during office hours.
Love your car,