1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Best cleaning agent for Tolex?

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

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,186
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thank you!
     
  2. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,122
    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Location:
    Orygun
    Except Basketballs.... Makes it really interesting to play.
     
  3. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    759
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Cork,Ireland
    ..well thank you all....first job done,grot remover,toothbrush,nailbrush,lots of elbow grease then liquid soap.....the grain was quite shallow so it cleaned up a treat....
    ...yep,then all the little tears and some big delaminations where I had to push the glue right in under(yes,rubber contact cement type) in with a coffee stir stick....
    ...didn't have Pledge but had one that was a silicon free wax based aerosol,much the same and it went from clean but grey and matt to uniform black with a slight sheen....spot on,very happy!.....still have a big lot of rusted corner protectors etc to do but its going to look way better....
     
  4. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,379
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    I have used CA superglue on small tolex tears , works fine.
    Tolex is basically the same stuff as vinyl top material. The old non padded Levant grain vinyl top material looks just like vintage Fender tolex. I don't think any auto upholstery products would be bad for tolex EXCEPT Armorall. I don't use or recommend it for anything. Over 30 years in the upholstery business I have seen too many things ruined by Armorall.
    Mineral oil and vaseline work well and won't damage vinyl or tolex.
     
  5. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,910
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Location:
    my Mom's basement

    It was wax about 40-50 years ago, now its like armorall, mostly water and silicone. yuck
     
  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    15,996
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kimberton
    The little-known fact about rubber cement is, you put it on both surfaces and let it dry.
    Then they go together immediately and stay that way.
    Just like inner tube patches.
     
    mRtINY and grolan1 like this.
  7. fretfile

    fretfile TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Location:
    witch city
    Windex and a soft brush works well, as does vinegar or warm water with a little soap. If the amp is super dirty, I would start with soapy water, then Windex and then some interior detailer for cars as a "finish". I use Meguires interior detailer in a matte finish. When you are cleaning, remember that whatever solvent you are using is meant to loosen stuff up and the "drying" cloth is what is removing the dirt and debris. A good microfiber drying cloth can make cleaning go much faster and better. Super glue gel for tiny rips and rubber cement/contact cement for larger areas. Got to make sure the large areas are clean on both surfaces before any adhesive.
     
  8. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,379
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    I haven't tried it but I've been reading about using Dawn detergent mixed with vinegar, the next time I run into some dirty tolex I may give it a go.
    Soft brush, even an old toothbrush works well to get down into the grain of the tolex.
     
  9. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    My ex-tech used Dow Scrubbing Bubbles.
     
  10. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    609
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Location:
    Indy
    Armor All Spray.

    It will make 40 year old black tolex look brand new. I always spray down my amps before I sell them and I think it helps.
     
  11. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,709
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas

    Tolex (and other PVC vinyls) are hydrocarbon based. I find they tend to weaken and crack if cleaned with strong detergents or ammonia. I'd use a soft brush and mild hand or dish soap, completely rinse and dry. I've heard some complaints regarding Armorall ... that the silicone oils in it (PDMS) degrade Tolex.

    I've had good results with "Nu Vinyl", another car care product meant for preserving seats, dashes, and landau tops. So far, that's what I use.
     
  12. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,007
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin
    Anyone applied shoe polish with a brush?
    well, I have with good results. feels rubbery at first but can made to shine later.
     
  13. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,957
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Location:
    Idaho
    Soapy water and elbow grease, then massage in a thin coat of Vaseline. Follow by thorough rubbing to remove the excess, and it should look like new.
     
  14. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,379
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    Tolex is basically the same thing as the vinyl top material used on cars,( well not used so much anymore.)
    And that was designed to withstand weather, sun, rain, washing etc.
    Cleaning occasionally will not hurt tolex IMO.
    Now bear in mind that there are different grades of amp covering materials aka Tolex, some of it is pretty crappy stuff.
    I don't use or recommend Armorall for anything after 34 years of doing auto upholstery and seeing the damage that silicone bases products can do to vinyl and plastics.

    Saw the post about the scrubbing bubbles cleaner, I saw a video where some guys were using that to clean leather auto seats, I tried it and it does work, although not any better than other cleaners I use, and it seems like it would be a bit harsh on the material.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  15. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,758
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hoggtown, KY.
    Murphy's Oil Soap,a brush & a little elbow grease. Works wonders. :cool:
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.