CLEAR VINYL (“Eisinglass”)
This material is used in convertible car rear windows, sail boat dodgers, motorboat cockpit side curtains etc. When brand new, this material is VERY clear, but easily scratched while cleaning off grit. It deteriorates by exuding plasticizer, first seen as a whitish haze, progressing to severe surface yellowing, that (like rust on metal) eats pits into the good vinyl below. Eventually, as the vinyl dries out, and cross-links, the material becomes yellowed all the way through and becomes brittle and so cracks easily,
Use of CLEAR HORIZONS™ from new will help keep the surface protected from scratching during storage and will minimize glare by filling in microscopic scratches. It will also make surface dirt much easier to remove by gentle washing. Wash only with very dilute liquid detergent (or IG Pink™), then water rinse, using a soft brush to help remove surface grit WITHOUT rubbing that will cause scratching.
Keeping the car garaged or under a cover will help prevent UV deterioration, as will use of Sunbrella® protective panels on boat dodgers and side curtains.
Care/Restoration of Older Clear Vinyl
Beginning deterioration of clear vinyl is seen as surface "milkiness". Wipe off with a little NEUTRAL CLEAR™ or (better) SEA GLOW™ on micofiber cloth. Neutralize with water and wipe dry with clean microfiber cloth, Finally apply CLEAR HORIZONS™ and burnish off with microfiber cloth for sparkling "as new" transparency. In this way, plasticizer that had migrated to the surface (causing surface milkiness) is removed but replenished by the conditioner from our Cleanser-Conditioners.
Very oxidized clear vinyl is covered by opaque yellow/brown plastic breakdown products, including migrated plasticizer and oxidized vinyl (similar to the situation with vinyl fenders and cowl vents). Like rust on metal, the oxidation has eaten "pits" in the underlying material. Also, at this stage the vinyl is beginning to get stiff and brittle and, if not treated, it will crack.
In these circumstances, we recommend using SEA GLOW™ which will remove these vinyl breakdown products while impregnating the vinyl with a special conditioner that will replenish plasticizers and inhibit further deterioration of the vinyl. The strong blue fluorescing agents in the SEA GLOW™ will also tend to reverse yellowing in the underlying vinyl.
Use white paper towel to apply the cleanser and to remove dissolved oxidation. As for Lexan®, continue until yellow oxidation is no longer being transferred to the paper towel and stickiness, from the plastic breakdown products, has largely been removed. Then, neutralize with water and use abrasive compound and polish to smooth the worst of the roughness due to pitting. Finally apply CLEAR HORIZONS™ and burnish off the usual way. We are presently obtaining customer feedback to see if the resins of MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ can be used to fill the deeper surface pits, although NON-SLIP Superglaze™ (essentially an aqueous emulsion of MIRROR HARD™) might be easier to use for this purpose.
The above process cannot restore old transparent vinyl to “as new” condition, but a useful degree of transparency will be produced and the effects will last for up to a year For instance, vehicles and pedestrians will again be visible though a convertible car rear window. but details will be a little blurred. Need for a replacement (often $500 or more with labor charges for removing and replacing the top ) can therefore be be delayed for 1-2 years.