Tips for cleaning Tolex?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Motorhead Mark, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Well, I just got my old YBA-1A Mk II back from the shop and I am loving it. New tubes, new fan, handle etc etc, however, I thought they would've cleaned it up a bit. I mean, my mechanic does it with my car, and my luthier does it to my guitars, so...

    How do I help make my amp's tolex look like new again, besides resurfacing that is? Any types of cleansers work better than other? Any to avoid?

    So lets hear some ideas....
  2. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Moved to Amps.
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Guest Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Armor All works well.
  4. jbassbob

    jbassbob Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Boise ID
    Use a good quality automotive vinyl cleaner, I like Griot's, and a soft brush to get into the nooks and crannies.Wipe with a clean paper towel or rag. Finish with a coat of quality vinyl dressing. Works for me. :)
  5. lc12345678


    Jan 20, 2005
    hey there,
    I found an old acoustic 450 head in a used music store. All the grooves on the surface were grey from years of dust. the vinyl seemed pretty durable so I used water and a midium strangth brissle toothbrush. I went over a small location then dried then repeated the process. Every so often I let all the water dry (beer break), when you do this you can see the spots you missed. This process took me 2hrs (i'm a vergo) had to be perfect. Now the head looks like it is now new even thou it's 30. Like mentioned above use armour-all if you want to shine. I used it and I smiled when I saw the instant results.

    joke time....
    ear plugs are like condoms, you would rather not wear them but they will save your butt in the long run.

  6. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Surprise, AZ
    WD-40 and an old sock-- works great on your dirty, grungy cables too. wOOt! ;)
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I personally recommend against Armor All. Over time it can turn some things like rubber and vinyl brown.

    My method is using a bristle brush that is as stiff as a medium toothbrush like c12345678 mentioned above. However, I get the biggest brush I can to make the work go quicker. Then, I use water only to scrub it down till its clean. After it is dry I use Meguiars Natural Shine rubber/vinyl protectant. The Natural Shine stuff gives it a low gloss "new" look instead of the typical Armor All "wet" look. Another plus is that it doesn't attrack dust like the Armor All.
  8. Bg Man

    Bg Man Guest

    May 25, 2005
    Utah, America's Armpit
    You know, that Meguiars compound sounds very familiar. What stores would one generally pick that up at?
  9. vapochilled

    vapochilled Guest

    May 29, 2005
    Sunshine State
    I don't know what is the best to clean tolex with. But with car cleaners all the one for cleaning plastics have a downside. They fade again. The soltion on cars is clean well. I mean extremely. Like auto show clean on the plastics. Then apply a UV protectant. That slows down the fading allot.

    I like Meguiars or Mothers. I found Mothers Back To Black. The best thing for cleaning plastics. And Meguiars Gold Class Protectant. To be the best. They have wipes, too ( allot easier than the spray ). They also have a vinyl/rubber spefic one I saw on their site. That was the best combination for my Volvo S60 ( notorious plastic fader with horrible customer service centers never ever buy one, lol )
  10. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Autozone, Checker/Schucks/Kragen, Pep Boys, or Advance all should carry it.

    I forgot to mention I also use the brush to make sure and get the protectant in all the nooks of the Tolex.
  11. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    awesome, kel, :cool:
  12. So I finally got around to cleaning my old Traynor heads using a toothbrush and Macquire's (sp?) Back To Black. And well the heads went back to black. Look almost as good as new. Took some scrubbing with a towel to get them free of any residue, but there I go. Almost new amps. Thanks for the input.
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    yea, after reading this thread, i actually helped a friend clean up his craptastic ampeg 8x10, and dang, it looked pretty nice.