How to Recondition Vinyl Seats

by Brenda Priddy
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Without proper care, vinyl seats can become hard, cracked and brittle. You can recondition the vinyl and give it new life with a simple cleaning and conditioning process. Once the vinyl is clean and conditioned, you can then repair any cracks in the surface of the vinyl. However, if you try to repair cracks before the vinyl is conditioned, the repair will go badly and may even increase the damage to the surface of the vinyl seat.

Step 1

Clean the surface of the vinyl seats with vinyl cleaner or with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Work the cleaner into the surface of the vinyl with a soft cloth. Clean and dry the vinyl thoroughly until the cloths no longer come away dirty or gray.

Step 2

Remove any mildew or mold growing on the vinyl with a mixture of 1 tbsp. ammonia, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and 3/4 cup water. Pour this mixture into any container you have on hand or use your sink. Work the ammonia mixture into the vinyl with a soft-bristle brush to remove the mildew from the vinyl. Rinse with water, then dry with old towels. Allow the seats to dry completely.

Step 3

Spray vinyl treatment directly onto the vinyl. Work the treatment into the pores of the vinyl with a soft cloth. Allow the treatment to soak into the vinyl for about five minutes. Rub the treatment spray into the vinyl seats for several minutes. Allow the treatment spray to dry for one or two hours in the sun. Do not sit on or touch the vinyl until the surface of the vinyl is dry.

Step 4

Apply a second coating of vinyl treatment if the vinyl is still dry and stiff. Continue to add more conditioning treatment until the vinyl is soft and supple once more. The vinyl treatment not only softens the vinyl but also protects the vinyl from sun damage, mildew and other stains.

Step 5

Clean and condition the vinyl about once a month after the initial conditioning. This will prevent the vinyl from drying and cracking, deep stains and other problems that commonly affect vinyl items.

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