State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500283
Wash with mild detergent and water. Use a soft bristle brush for
stubborn soil. Rinse and dry. Some household cleaners and solvents
remove plasticizers from vinyl, making them brittle. Abrasive cleaners
scratch the smooth surface.
Sometime letting detergent solution stand on surface and "soak" a few
minutes loosens soil.
Vinyl cleaners sold in furniture stores or auto stores help clean
stubborn soil on vinyl upholstery. Vinyl upholstery will absorb stains
and dye from fabrics that crock or bleed (like crocking blue jeans on
white vinyl or bright prints that bleed). A vinyl protective finish,
sold at same stores, helps protect upholstery and resists or retards
absorption of stains.
Act at once to remove stains from vinyl. Use a white cloth or paper
towels. Keep solvents away from wood or metal parts. When solvents
other than water are used to remove a stain, wash the area with
detergent and water, rinse and dry.
1. Nail polish and polish remover will cause permanent damage if left
on the surface. Wipe off quickly. Blot; do not spread the liquid.
Sponge lightly with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits. While nail
polish remover or amyl acetate will remove polish, both may affect the
vinyl. Use them only if necessary at you own risk.
2. Ballpoint pen marks may respond to alcohol. If not, cover area with
a white cloth soaked in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide and leave
from 30 minutes to overnight.
3. Felt tip markers may respond to treatment with mineral spirits.
4. Remove substances such as oil paint, shoe heel marks, ink, tar,
crayon, grease, shoe polish, ointment and cosmetics with synthetic
turpentine or mineral spirits. Use hydrogen peroxide bleach treatment
if necessary (see #2 above).
5. Chewing gum should be hardened with ice and chipped off. Remove
residue with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits.
When using solvents suggested in No. 1, 3 and 4 (turpentine or mineral
spirits) use only in a well- ventilated room and avoid breathing fumes
or getting on your skin. Be sure there is no flame, spark, pilot light,
or cigarette in area, as they are flammable. Air out cloths used, to
evaporate solvent before disposing.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus
with references from Wisconsin Extension bulletin, Care and Cleaning of
Upholstered Furniture, and Georgia Extension bulletin, How to Care for
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This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension.
Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
MSU is an
employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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