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Best cleaning agent for Tolex?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by rob2, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Holic

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    .....old amp from '77 and a '72 Fender case both really ingrained with dust,mildew and grime......I've used liquid soap and a nailbrush previously on stuff like this but its never quite satisfactory....any suggestions on general approach welcome too....
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I used to use a warm water bucket of Simple Green, or Fantastic solution, and a plastic clothes iron shaped brush.
    I remove the chassis, reverb tank and speakers first.
    After I cleaned it with the warm water solution, and it was dry, I'd hit it with Windex and the same brush.
    Worked great, though it took a little time.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

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    Add some vinegar to your soap solution. I found that the vinegar does something to cut the gunk that settles in the grain of the tolex. I have been around old amps for 40 years and I've had the need to clean just plain dirty ones, spray painted ones and scorched ones.
     
  4. jazzguitar

    jazzguitar Tele-Afflicted

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    I often use alcohol. Dissolves fat containing gunk. Be very careful with other types of solvent.
    This only for really tough dirt, usually standard soap or cleaners with a little water is enough, but I use a toothbrush to get inside the grain.
     
  5. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    Ive used vinegar for cleaning just about everything since I discovered how well it works and how inexpensive it is compared to fancy specialized cleaners for this or that.
    It dissolves grease, melts dirt, disinfects, wipes off clean and makes me hungry for a salad.
     
  6. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmmm, I've never tried vinegar, pickled Fender tolex! I've often used Simple Green, soft bristle brushes, alcohol would be ok too, sometimes solvents will clean off stuff that water base cleaners won't get.
    Really most any multipurpose water base cleaner should work when used with a soft brush to get into the grain of the tolex.
     
  7. Zebulon Bluze

    Zebulon Bluze Tele-Meister

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    Pledge
     
  8. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    Once it's cleaned and dried I like to use an Armor All wipe occasionally. Really seems to bring the tolex back to life and protects.
     
  9. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

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    My grandma cleaned a basket ball with that once.....
     
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  10. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Holic

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    Great,thanks for the suggestions.....looks like a soapy type and vinegar worth a try and yes,possiblr some sort of polish/wipe afterward to bring a bit of life back....!
     
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  11. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Another vote for pledge. Tolex, cases, cv joint boots, dashboards and tires. Stuff works on everything.
     
  12. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    All y'all talking about using the regular Lemon Pledge furniture polish to use on tolex? that's basically wax I think.
     
  13. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Vaseline. Seriously. Vigorously rub in a very light coat on every surface you can reach, and scrub off as much as you can with a clean rag or two. It'll make it look like new again.
     
  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I just go out to the garage and raid my automotive cleaning supplies-interior cleaner, to be specific.
     
  15. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    A few years ago I bought a pair of 68 cabinets...a Bandmaster and a Dual showman, and it was a toss-up which was filthier. I was in the detail business then, and I did a soap/water/toothbrush clean followed with an automotive Maguiers upholstery treatment. It looked great, but when I mentioned it in another guitar forum, I was scolded for using the Maguiers on vintage Fender tolex. Apparently the chemicals in the dressing can delaminate the vinyl anywhere that there's a seam because the solvents react with contact cement. I didn't have a problem from the one application, but I've never been tempted to use an automotive product again for musical gear. Too bad, because it worked great. I've used Simply Green , and it works, but it takes a lot of elbow grease.
     
  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've been using Griot's Interior Cleaner on my amps for years, never had a problem. My guess would be that it's no more harsh than Simple Green or any of the other more traditional stuff.
     
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  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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  18. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Never heard of auto products damaging Tolex, I've been using it for years and it gives me the best cleaning/protecting results of anything I've used. Makes it almost look like new. I am talking about products like Armor All, but the better name brand ones. Besides cleaning it also protects them in the long run.
     
  19. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    What's the best glue for repairing the little tears? Just while we're on the subject?
     
  20. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Funny you ask and it's been working for me for years... a little bit of rubber cement works fantastic for me. It works in the long term, easy to apply, easy to wipe of any excess before it drys. The key is to keep the tolex pressed down (via weight or some kind of clamp) during the curing process. Which is usually less than an hour before it's fairly dry.
     
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