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Old 07-14-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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1960 24' Tradewind
Fairfield , Ohio
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Walls need help!

I have a 1960 Tradewind and the interior skins need a good cleaning. Actually they are really bad. I tried soap and water and it didn't do much. What can I use? Most stuff I've looked at says no to aluminum. What do you use?

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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I cleaned the interior walls of our '75 with 409. It still took some "elbow grease", but it worked.

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Walls need help!

Greetings WcfdPiper!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!

Originally Posted by WcfdPiper View Post
I have a 1960 Tradewind and the interior skins need a good cleaning. Actually they are really bad. I tried soap and water and it didn't do much. What can I use? Most stuff I've looked at says no to aluminum. What do you use?
If your walls have the original Zolatone (looks like spatter paint used in the trunks of similar vintage automobiles), that finish is quite scrubbable. What you are looking for is a product that will cut grease based grime as well as nicotine stains if the coach has been owned by tobacco smokers in the past. Some of the products that have been used with varying degrees of success include:
  • Simple Green -- an environmentally friendly cleanser that may be the solution if your walls are only moderately soiled.
  • Trisodium Phosphate -- a very strong cleanser that is often utilized to clean surfaces prior to painting. It is corrossive, but used with care in a diluted mixture with close attention paid to careful thorough rinsing may be another option.
  • Denatured Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) -- this is my favorite solution and I have used it with success when cleaning the interior wall surfaces in both my Overlander and Minuet. The low-cost generic Denatured Alcohol works as well as the name-brand and is much more budget friendly. On very heavily soiled surfaces, I use it straight from the bottle to saturate a synthetic sponge -- then scrub away. I learned this trick when cleaning up one of my rentals when the tennants of 20+ years moved out -- they were very heavy cigarette smokers and the walls and ceilings were covered with nicotine byproducts.
  • Orange-Up Heavy Duty Cleaner and Degreaser -- this is a product that I have used in the past to remove grafiti left by students on computers and workstations. It will remove almost anything with an oily base, and does so with a pleasant orange smell. While environmentally friendly, it will sting if it comes in contact with an open wound or broken skin (I learned to always wear gloves when using the product). A little of this goes a long way.
Another option to consider would be to consult with a knowledgeable clerk in your local paint store (not a mass merchandiser -- rather a merchant who only sells paint and painting supplies). My local Dutch Boy paint dealer has always been very helpful in finding products to solve problems that my tennants have left in units that have been vacated.

Kevin D. Allen
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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I used Windex w/ vinegar & Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on the zolatone. Worked great! I also used them on the vinyl and it worked great, but I think the "sticky" is coming back?!? I think I read somewhere about Krud Kutter? Haven't tried it yet though...
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:18 PM   #5
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1979 25' Tradewind
Rockford , Illinois
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This will clean your walls without damagint anything.
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