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Cleaning emergency !

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gerry madden02/08/2020 11:54:59
160 forum posts
67 photos

Hi fonts-of-all-knowledge, I have a bit of challenge. I placed some new tyres directly on the floor of my campervan a couple of weeks ago. When I removed them recently, to the other halves consternation they had left brown rings. I said "don't worry dear, they'll be a piece of cake to remove" …. and I genuinely believed myself.

I'm packing it today and was given strict orders to remove the rings first. To say its not going well would be an understatement. In fact they aren't going at all !!! I've tried acetone, white spirit, bleach, toilet cleaner, all with and without scotchbrite pads. There is no change.

The fact that mild abrasion wont shift them suggests the discolouration in the material (which must be a kind of vinyl) rather than on its surface.

From my school days I recall the chemistry teacher talking about oxidising agents as stain-killers. Is this the secret ?

Any thoughts chaps as to what I can try next ?


Michael Gilligan02/08/2020 12:34:22
17286 forum posts
778 photos


Option 1 ... renew the floor-covering

Option 2 ... treat it as ‘Art’ [unlikely to get away with that, methinks]


JA02/08/2020 12:39:01
1098 forum posts
58 photos

Meths, or paint thinners. After that try weak hydrogen peroxide as a last resort. Don’t mix these together.

Then a peace pipe and replace the floor surface later,


Bill Phinn02/08/2020 13:04:44
443 forum posts
77 photos

Have you tried Jif/Cif cream on a damp rag and baby wipes/Wonder Wipes?

It'd be interesting to know what the stain actually is. Looking at it, you'd think rust off a wheel rim, but you said it was just tyres you put down.

I got some rust on a nice old Formica-topped table once after leaving a steel oven dish on it for a few weeks; nothing I tried could get rid of it.

David Colwill02/08/2020 13:11:47
722 forum posts
38 photos

I generally try different things on a small area until I see results. Among the go to things are in no particular order. WD 40, acetone, petrol, kerosene, washing up liquid, isopropyl alcohol. I'm sure there are others. You do have to be careful as some can cause damage to the thing you are trying to clean but I am often amazed how easy it is to remove various stains / residues when you have the correct solvent.



SillyOldDuffer02/08/2020 13:16:55
6861 forum posts
1538 photos

The rubber feet on a table-top power supply reacted here with a vinyl tablecloth in the same way. Not a surface mark, a stain deep into the material like a burn. So far nothing I've tried touches it, all the chemicals mentioned in the thread plus Sulphuric Acid. As the feet don't stain anything else, I think it's a chemical incompatibility.

New tablecloth needed.


J Hancock02/08/2020 13:20:37
537 forum posts

Always worth trying VANISH brand soap , hot water and gentle abrasive pad on the stained area.

pgk pgk02/08/2020 13:25:33
2059 forum posts
290 photos

If the stain has become part of the material then it may be possible to draw it out with a poultice with disclaimers that it damages the vinyl. Klingstrip is sold as a painstripper but I've used the stuff to renovate a filthy marble fire surround (sucked th dirt right out from deep in the marble and came up like new)and i use it to clean the kitchen grout. A small trial-size pack goes a long way if mean with it.. as in trowelling a thin layer along grout lines rather than the whole tile. Cover with clingfilm or old placky bags for12hrs+ (can be a day or two for stubborn stuff) and the wash off. I think it's a clay/alkali mix but it really does draw cr@p out


Richard Marks02/08/2020 13:56:01
202 forum posts
8 photos

Go to a Good tyre dealer and ask for their advice, ( not Kwik Fit )

Dave Halford02/08/2020 14:03:37
1282 forum posts
12 photos

Searching Google for rubber stains on vinyl floors gives loads of results and tells me you are toast.

Martin Kyte02/08/2020 15:36:26
2202 forum posts
38 photos

Rubber does wierd things to some materials. Rubber grommets in clear plastic drawer units eat into the drawers. No idea of the chemistry involved but rubber and plastic polymers don't get on.

regards Martin

Essm02/08/2020 16:56:56
28 forum posts
8 photos

Gerry - this may help **LINK** but then again nothing is guaranteed

larry phelan 102/08/2020 17:31:26
943 forum posts
14 photos

Dark Glasses/Strong drink ?

With enough on board, everything looks GREAT !!!!!wink

george Aldous02/08/2020 18:22:05
16 forum posts

I know this going to sound mad but try brown paper and a hot iron. put paper on and iron over it, might suck it out.

Howard Lewis02/08/2020 20:17:20
4413 forum posts
4 photos

If brown paper does not do the trick, try ironing some kitchen roll over the marks. Don't have the iron so hot that it melts / damages the floor covering, or you will be in even deeper trouble!

IF this works on a small area, it will need to be repeated all round the ring until it has been removed.

The stain may be caused by sulphur in the rubber.


Steve Pavey02/08/2020 20:51:59
336 forum posts
39 photos

Oxalic acid - obtainable as Y10 (a gel) from a marine chandlers, or as Bar Keepers Friend (a white powder, applied with a wet cloth) from a hardware store or ironmongers. It’s excelle all sorts of stains, nudging rust stains from Formica incidentally.

Bryan Cedar 102/08/2020 21:18:08
61 forum posts
1 photos

Nobody appears to suggest bleach. Try it in different strengths of dillution starting with the weakest.

Bryan Cedar 102/08/2020 21:19:24
61 forum posts
1 photos

Correction, I see OP did try bleach.

Bob n About02/08/2020 21:29:08
54 forum posts
1 photos

A good quality wood stain a shade darker than the rings, apply liberally to all carpet floor covering, a job well done.

Should you be unfortunate to walk the stain indoors, apply same technique.

Edited By Joules on 02/08/2020 21:40:22

Edited By Joules on 02/08/2020 21:43:12

Russell Eberhardt02/08/2020 21:42:34
2622 forum posts
85 photos

Try Googling "Plasticiser migration". I think you're stuffed.

When manufacturing electronic products we used to have to be carefull how they were packaged to prevent the plasticiser from the power cable ruining the plastic case of the unit.


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