I was curious if I could use my recent purchase of Vim bathroom cleaner ($1.99!) on my new/old/new again Hypalon dinghy and the self-destructing PVC dinghy. I looked up what were the active chemical ingredients on the MSDS.
The main ingredient in the cleaner is something hideous sounding, Ethoxylated C9-11-alcohols. These are very effective surfactants – interestingly it shows up in a dinghy specific cleaning product from Polymarine, one of the leading dinghy paint/cleaner brands.
As it turns out, Polymarine Duo-clean (duo=PVC & Hypalon) is comprised of :
- Ethoxylated C9-11-alcohols
- Sodium hydroxide – aka lye or caustic soda
- Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate – a salt used as a buffering agent (A buffering agent can be either a weak acid or weak base, which only slightly changes its pH in response to other acids and bases being combined with it)
Dinghy materials are very resistant to alkalines, but not petrochemicals/solvents. So I used it….! There are still some tannin stains on the floor in the fiberglass, but the dinghy looks much better. This is the dinghy we used on our Thousand Islands trip and is now permanently ours. Thanks Malcolm!