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Help - damaged a piece of interior vinyl with carpet cleaner

Ooops. I cleaned some stains on the roof of my interior with Bissell oxygen carpet cleaner (not really for cars, I guess now). Worked great, but some of it sprayed and hit the vinyl on the other side of the car, and I wiped up most of it but missed some, and now there are white blotches where it hit, that I can’t remove with wiping with water.

I think there’s another piece, tan, where it is not as obvious, but the finish got damaged some.

I ordered some Meguiar’s Natural shine stuff, which I was going to get anyway. Do you think that will help restore the vinyl? make it have an even color and shine?

anything else cheap I could do?

I could tell better if I could see it. Can to post pictures? At this point, I would say the chemical you sprayed removed the color. If it matters, replace the part.

Good question. Let us know for future reference.
You might also talk with a detailer for suggestions. They might have a few secrets. .

Anything called an “Oxygen Cleaner” is basically a bleach.

So whatever white blotches you see are permanent.


I’d guess Tester is right, you’ve done bleached the vinyl surface. That doesn’t remove the pigment containing substance, but the result is the same as if you did. If you could figure out a way to somehow replace the pigment, that might help. Best to try this using a very weak pigment sol’n in an inconspicuous place first. Google to find sources of pigments maybe. Clothing dyes might be one source to consider.

Me, I’d just live with the splotches. Eventually they’ll get a little smudged and dirty with time and use and won’t be very visible anyway.

I’m wondering of there’s a dye that can be used on the white blotches to make them less obvious… maybe even blend them in.

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Try a Magic Eraser on it. It’s an extremely mild abrasive, and you might be able to remove the bleached out layer. There are also spray paints made specifically for vinyl, but you are unlike to get a color match.

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A simple trick is to use Sharpie marker especially if the vinyl is black. If you want to paint them, try SEM products.

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Good suggestion, monkarl. A wide range of various colors and shades in permanent markers is readily available at any good craft/art store. I keep a few sets on hand myself and use them often for various touchups.

Natural Shine is essentially a heavy duty Armorall so it’ll shine it up but don’t think it’ll do much for the bleached surface. If it is hard vinyl, yeah SEM is a good paint for it. NAPA has some colors but Atrim out of OK has all of them (or did anyway a few years ago). You almost have to order the color chips to pick the right color though if its all worth it or buy a new one might be easier, or live with it, easier yet. I used the stuff on my vinyl roof and performs quite well.

That will make it impossible to try any touch up paint or markers. I’d be inclined to avoid trying this first.

I’m a huge Wheeler Dealers fan. In many episodes, Edd Chine will use a sort of paint to restore the color to seats. Usually, it is leather he is restoring, but the product may be able to help mask the white bleach stains. I wish I had more to offer, but a place that restores and refreshes upholstery may be able to help you - if you can find one near you.

Like I said, I’ve used the SEM on vinyl and a little on leather and has worked quite well. I don’t know if they recommend it for leather or not but really not much difference in a vinyl top or leather. The stuff covers and stays flexible so it doesn’t crack or flake on upholstery. In this case though I think the cure is worse than the disease so maybe just live with it.