Oven Cleaner Cleaner? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-05-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Oven Cleaner Cleaner?

I read a helpful hint about using oven cleaner for fiberglass and plastic shower stalls. I gave it a try in our old shower that never got clean since I color my hair in it. I scrubbed after letting it sit for 30 mins., and it looked fantastic. You can see where I'm going here... If/when I get my project trailer which will undoubtedly be stained, grimy and moldy, do I dare try oven cleaner on the exterior? Has anybody else, or will I be the guinea pig?
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
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Suspect I will leave you to be the guinea pig and stick with my tried and true 3M fiberglass restore products :-)
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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If you are going to try it then test it in an inconspicuous place. That way if it totally eats the fiberglass it won't be noticed. I have used it on metal stove tops with good results.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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Take before and after pictures, just in case.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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There's plenty of tried and true products used that we know won't hurt the fiberglass. Why test something like this and possibly damage your trailer? I can't imagine enough oven cleaner to clean the entire trailer would be cheap and probably stink up the neighborhood too. What about run off when washed off? Volumes of oven cleaner on the ground wouldn't be healthy for Mother Earth.

Try:
30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner
Bar Keepers Friend
Tilex
Bleach
TSP

etc., etc.

YMMV
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
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It seems I remember reading on the Oven Cleaner can not to get it on plastic or it would eat through it. Seems like it could be really harsh on Fiberglass.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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You know how you guys love those Magic Erasers? It says not recommended for automotive finishes, go figure.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
You know how you guys love those Magic Erasers? It says not recommended for automotive finishes, go figure.
That's because it will dull the finish. Used one on some spots onna high gloss kitchen wall....now they're clean but dull..recon it's time for a new paint job, eh?.

OTH...I found them very useful inside Li'l Scamp on the walls and cabinets...got lottsa grimy yutz off. Haven't been brave enough to try the outside in case there's a difference in that finish.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ruth C. View Post
I read a helpful hint about using oven cleaner for fiberglass and plastic shower stalls. I gave it a try in our old shower that never got clean since I color my hair in it. I scrubbed after letting it sit for 30 mins., and it looked fantastic. You can see where I'm going here... If/when I get my project trailer which will undoubtedly be stained, grimy and moldy, do I dare try oven cleaner on the exterior? Has anybody else, or will I be the guinea pig?
Hi, Ruth

Oven cleaner is actually a really effective (and cheap!) cleaning tool, especially for greasy grime. I've used it on lots of surfaces including latex painted walls.
I haven't tried it on fiberglass, but wouldn't be afraid to do so.
If you're using it on surfaces other than an oven the trick is to leave it on just long enough to get through the dirt, then wipe and immediately rinse.
If you don't give the oven cleaner enough time to go to work on the underlying surface it won't be affected at all.

Works like a charm!

Francesca
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
There's plenty of tried and true products used that we know won't hurt the fiberglass. Why test something like this and possibly damage your trailer? I can't imagine enough oven cleaner to clean the entire trailer would be cheap and probably stink up the neighborhood too. What about run off when washed off? Volumes of oven cleaner on the ground wouldn't be healthy for Mother Earth.

Try:
30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner
Bar Keepers Friend
Tilex
Bleach
TSP

etc., etc.

YMMV
Bar Keepers Friend! Really does this work on fiberglass?
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #11
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Bar Keepers Friend is mostly Oxalic Acid, which works away at things like mineral deposits, which is why Barkeepers like it!
It's also got very fine pumice in it- maybe that's why fiberglass owners like it...
It's good for polishing, and fairly low impact scratch-wise.

Francesca
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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Bar Keepers Friend is mostly Oxalic Acid, which works away at things like mineral deposits, which is why Barkeepers like it!
It's also got very fine pumice in it- maybe that's why fiberglass owners like it...
It's good for polishing, and fairly low impact scratch-wise.

Francesca
Oven cleaner normally has sodium hydroxide as it's active ingredient. That's why it does a number on grease. It actually makes soap out of the grease!

Great stuff, but keep it off aluminum. It corrodes it quickly and thoroughly.

Another product that has sodium hydroxide (and is probably cheaper) is Castrol SuperClean or its 'knock-offs'. The stuff comes in gallons at Wally Mart as well as many auto parts stores.

For me, I don't use either. Living in the Pacific Northwest my Scamp and other stuff gets covered with tree pollen in early spring, which then supports mildew growth wonderfully.

As soon as the daily drizzle weather subsides I mix a cup of 3% sodium hypochlorite (Clorox) in a bucket of warm water, add a little tri-sodium phosphate powder (TSP) and wash my stuff with a auto wash brush, then rinse well.

This also works well for the Avion, as it doesn't attack aluminum.

Try it. You'll like it!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Loren G. Hedahl View Post
As soon as the daily drizzle weather subsides I mix a cup of 3% sodium hypochlorite (Clorox) in a bucket of warm water, add a little tri-sodium phosphate powder (TSP) and wash my stuff with a auto wash brush, then rinse well.

This also works well for the Avion, as it doesn't attack aluminum.

Try it. You'll like it!
I have...And I do!

That is the best cleaning combo ever for many things...the phosphorous in TSP literally makes water "wetter", which is why it feels more slippery...
Powdered dishwasher soap has always been my phosphorous source of choice, but it's fast disappearing as an ingredient due to water quality concerns.
They still have TSP at the lumberyard, though!

Francesca
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #14
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For my 1st real good cleaning do you feel TSP and bleach are a better option that Bar Keepers Friend? The out side is real dirty from sitting for 4 years. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by iplumb View Post
For my 1st real good cleaning do you feel TSP and bleach are a better option that Bar Keepers Friend? The out side is real dirty from sitting for 4 years. Thanks for the info.
Hi!

I sure do...
That solution will take the dirt layer off without any abrasives involved.
I usually use a long handled soft brush to slop it on and scrub it around, then hose rinse.
It can be irritating to hands if you get it too strong, which I always do
Rubber gloves are a good idea.
Also, many brands of bleach come at higher concentrations now than the longstanding 3 1/2% mentioned above...mfr's have figured out it's cheaper to ship with less water in it!
Check bleach strength on the bottle and adjust amount used accordingly.
Following with Barkeep's friend will shine it up- just remember that the "white stuff" that comes off on the rag is a tiny bit of your gelcoat- don't get too carried away!

Francesca
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:36 PM   #16
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So how much bleach? and how much TSP to 4 gallons of warm water do you use? THANK YOU!
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by iplumb View Post
So how much bleach? and how much TSP to 4 gallons of warm water do you use? THANK YOU!
I'm one of those by-guess-and-by-gosh types
And I'm not sure how much TSP to recommend since as I mentioned I use powdered dishwasher soap which has phosphorus in it. (it's also cheaper, and the detergents in it help, too). I'd guess about 1/2 cup or so of DW soap. If the water doesn't feel "slippery enough, throw some more in!
The TSP at the lumberyard probably has directions for concentrations...
I see Loren recommends a cup of bleach per gallon- that seems like a lot to me...I think I use about 1/2 cup of the "ultra" (6%) for a 3-gal wash bucket.
One more tip-
Wet the trailer down first, and wash from the bottom UP, just like washing a wall. This prevents streaking.
And rinse real well!

Have fun!

Francesca

P.S.
About Barkeeper's Friend-there isn't anything chemically superior in it as far as cleaning ability goes unless you're dealing with mineral deposits.
I think it became popular for fiberglass because years ago other cleansers scratched fiberglass-back then, they had coarser grit for cleaning porcelain on steel sinks, etc. Nowadays any powdered cleanser labeled "safe for fiberglass sinks" will do just as well and will be cheaper.
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