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May 29, 2013

Wondering Wednesdays! Best Way to Clean Vintage Vinyl?

by Andrea

Isn’t it always exciting when you come across a vintage piece of furniture that you’ve been looking for forever, at a good price?



I have been looking for what felt like forever for a replacement for the wooden box that I keep by my door to house all of the mitts, scarves, hats and other winter items I have around here.  So, I was super excited to come across this lidded ottoman at a garage sale this weekend, even if it was a bit stained.  I figured for the $3.00 price tag, I would give it a go, and see if I could get the stains out.


Here’s the inside of the ottoman.  It was in much better shape, just a bit dusty, nothing that a quick vacuum and wipedown wouldn’t fix.


Don’tcha just love it when you can tell exactly what year your vintage furniture is from?

Now, on to the cleaning.  I prefer to at least start with a natural cleaner when possible.  With dogs and toddlers running around my house, I like to keep things as non-toxic as possible.  I did a fair amount of googling, and most websites seemed to suggest cleaning with either castille soap, baking soda, washing soda or a combo thereof.  So, I mixed up about a gallon of hot water with a couple of teaspoons of castille soap, and a few healthy shakes of baking soda.


This is the bench after.  The baking soda and castille soap did a really good job!  You can see there is still a bot of old dirt/stain that looks to be a bit embedded in the vinyl, though.  At this point, I decided to go a little less natural, and busted out a Magic Eraser.



Here it is after the magic eraser – this did an excellent job of getting rid of the more ground in dirt!  Some websites I read also suggested cleaning stains with a paste of baking soda.  I didn’t try it in this case, but that might be another option to consider if you want to go all natural with your cleaning.



Here’s the cleaned up ottoman!  I was pleased with how this cleaning combo worked, as it didn’t seem to leave the vinyl super dried out or anything, which could lead to it cracking later on.



Hides all of the winter stuff very nicely!

I would definitely suggest this cleaning combo to rehab any dirty/stained vintage vinyl pieces you come across.  And if you’ve got any methods of cleaning vintage vinyl that have worked well, I would love to hear them!



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6 Responses to Wondering Wednesdays! Best Way to Clean Vintage Vinyl?

  1. Desirae Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

    This is a really handy post. Thanks!

    • Andrea Reply

      May 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks, Desirae! Glad you found it useful!

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Too funny…..I was thinking ‘magic eraser’ right as I got to the point in your story where you said you busted it out! What on earth would we ever do without magic erasers!?!?

    ps – Love the storage ottoman!

    • Andrea Reply

      May 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      LOL, Sara! We’d have a lot of stained things, I think!

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Nice job, and I love the end result! Great find. 🙂

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