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Product Reviews

3M Marine Vinyl Cleaner & Restorer - a slippery deal!

You know how people always tell you not to use standard cleaners on vinyl or it might discolor, or worse yet melt or disintegrate? That has made me paranoid about cleaning our cushions and vinyl windows with anything but water. Sometimes, I add a little mild soap to clean those footprints off the cushions; but let's face it, when your boat is on a mooring in Rye NY where the rain comes down gray and fills the cracks in your teak deck with soot, there is no way a mild soapy water will clean the worn-in grime after an active season on the water.

So we started a process of trial and elimination. One product we finally settled on and want to tell you about is 3M Vinyl Cleaner.

We tried 3M vinyl cleaner on the seat cushions which are now three seasons old. The dirt in the grain of the vinyl had given them a grayish tint. The 3M product worked like a charm, cleaning all the dirt right out of the grain effortlessly restoring the new appearance…but, what we did not anticipate was that it made them so slippery we couldn’t sit on them and couldn’t keep them on the seats with any degree of heeling for a couple of weeks.  It was great for the new headliner where it helps to repell dirt from sticking and certainly works well on the cushions and won’t harm them, but look out, whoopee cushion will have a whole new meaning for a while. As soon as the coating of cleaner wore off, the slipperiness of the vinyl returned to pre-cleaning stickiness. Thank goodness!

By the way, the Marine product (white bottle) retails for about $13.99 (Boater's World), whereas the 3M Leather and Vinyl Cleaner and Restorer (black bottle) made for the automotive market retails for about $11.99. Why is it that the marine label virtually guarantees a price surcharge? We have not compared the labels for active ingredients. Anyone know the difference between the two products?

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