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Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: scottymac ()
Date: April 02, 2022 07:23PM

I have a badly stained 1966 Corvair dealership showroom banner I would like to clean, if possible. I have no idea of the composition (satin?), and there's no marking to indicate what it might be. Despite the stain, it appears to be in pretty solid condition. There are wooden stays sewn in the top and bottom that cannot be removed easily. If anyone (or anyone's wife/girlfriend) has a recommendation, I'd love to hear it.

On a side note, remember when Corvairs came out, and people said they looked funny with no grill, so the aftermarket stepped up and made fake grills for Corvairs? I got a mini-catalog from Summit Racing today, one page had decals/stickers to place on the front of your Tesla, so it looks like it has a grill. Must have gotten the idea from NASCAR? Wonder if they have to pay Musk licensing fees?

Scott
Danville, In.
'65 Corsa coupe basket case
'66 Monza coupe


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Re: Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: Colorsarge ()
Date: April 03, 2022 04:07AM

You need to contact "The Laundry Guy" as seen on tv.

Frankford, De., eight miles north of Ocean City, Md.
1966 Corsa convt.

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Re: Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: zarfnober ()
Date: April 03, 2022 04:48AM

I occasionally restore vintage tube guitar amplifiers, and the ones I typically work on used a grill cloth that is no longer available. If it’s in good condition, I clean and reuse them, it’s made from some sort of non-natural fiber/cloth material. Anyway, I use dishwasher detergent and very warm water in the kitchen sink. If that banner is satin, it’s obviously not a natural fiber, so you may want to try something like plain, unscented Oxy Clean, or maybe hydrogen peroxide. Oxy clean is basically disodium peroxyhydrate, and is pretty safe to use on just about anything, but it doesn’t work unless it’s dissolved in hot water.

Cool banner, it’d be a shame to ruin it, good luck.

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Re: Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: vairsUPnorth ()
Date: April 03, 2022 10:16AM

Hello Scott,

I handle all of the laundry in our household and have dealt with perhaps every imaginable stain; children, my wife's [a physician] work clothes, sunscreen, and my own grease & oil stains. It does not help that our household water contains a lot of iron, which in itself is a stain creating problem.

The most important and first thing to determine is whether this stain can be oxidized away, or if it has to be reduced, or if it can be removed with a simple neutral detergent. Using the wrong type of cleaning agent in this regard will often permanently set the stain. Bleach and Oxi-Clean are examples of oxidizing cleaners, mild acids such as vinegar and more specific rust-type stain removers (Whink, Iron-Out) are reducing stain removers.

From the looks of this banner it obviously got wet, and the moisture dissolved and transported either residual dyes in the fabric (it doesn't look like the printing ran) or some surface contaminates. Then as it dried these were concentrated in the evaporation zone. [Chromatography for you chemists] Considering that this banner likely hung in a dealer's showroom for a year or more around 1966 it picked up a lot of nicotine and tar from cigarette smoke. Based on this assumption I would use a mild laundry detergent or dish detergent to first wet the stain and follow up with a mild reducing agent such as white vinegar, or maybe Iron-Out if vinegar is not enough. You may also need to use some rubbing alcohol to get all of the residual nicotine out before it dries. Plenty of rinsing will be needed to follow up, maybe by hanging it outdoors and using a gentle sprayer on a garden hose.

>>>IMPORTANT<<<: Always test the cleaning agent/method you want to try in a small inconspicuous area--the back side edge, for example. If the detergent/vinegar doesn't seem to work you may want to select another inconspicuous spot to try Oxy-clean or similar bleaching agent. Be careful though with anything you try that it doesn't affect the dyes used in the lettering.

What size is this banner?

Dale Dewald
President - Corvanatics
Hancock, MI


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Re: Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: scottymac ()
Date: April 03, 2022 12:19PM

Banner measure 35" tall by 23 1/2" wide. Thank you all for everyone's tips and suggestions, especially yours, Dale, you appear particularly well informed. I took the banner to a dry cleaner, they were afraid to touch it. I have a "procedure" this Thursday, when I'm healed up from that, I'll give your recommendations a try. I've never had the money for "top flite" parts or paraphernalia, so buy what I can afford and make the best of it. I have a feeling to bring this paint chart back will take the aid of a professional. Anyone have suggestions for a good print shop?

Scott
Danville, In.
'65 Corsa coupe basket case
'66 Monza coupe


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Re: Cleaning a Corvair banner. Help!
Posted by: ScohenNH ()
Date: April 18, 2022 05:13AM

As someone who works with textiles regularly, there are ways you can do this yourself.
I cannot recommend enough not to use acids to clean this.
Start dry. Use a clean dry Painter's brush to gently work in small circles from center woutward. Using slight pressure, you use the bristles and loosen the set in dirt and oxidation.
The material is a poly satin. It should be screenprinted and therefore not bleed, but test it before the next step. To do that, work on the reverse side of the banner.
Lay the entire banner on an old, absorbent light colored towel.
Mix 1/2 tsp of Orvis washing soap or quilting soap in 2 cups of water.
Using the Painter's brush, apply approximately 1/2 tsp of the solution to the red circle. Let sit for 1 minute then blot with white fabric. Check for dye transfer.
If no dye transfer: fill a bathtub 3" deep with lukewarm water, add 4 tbsp of Orvis and agitate to mix thoroughly. Lay a clean shet in the tub floor (helps keep older fabric from snagging or stretching as it soaks). Lay the banner flat in the tub on the sheet and let soak for at least 4 hours. While it soaks, you can gently use your hands or a soft nail brush on the heavily soiled areas to work the soap in and raise out the dirt. After the first 4 hours, drain the water and use the sheet to lift the banner out. Repeat for another soak cycle. Finish with a cold water soak for 1 hour and let air dry flat.
If there is dye transfer: working by hand, section by section, hand paint on the smaller batch of Orvis solution, avoiding any painted areas. You will want to use a soft nail brush on the heavy staining to work the soap in and loosen the dirt. Work slowly, as the moisture will wick and you can avoid letting it contact the paint areas. As with the soaking method, let the soap solution sit on the fabric for a number of hours. Repeat once with the soap solution, then twice with plain water.
Always let it air dry flat to avoid distortion or tearing in fragile areas.
After you have gotten out all the soap and let it dry, you can then look into mounting it or repairs to any grommeted sections.

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