How to Clean Vinyl

The Vinyl Institute of S.P.I. (Society of the Plastics Industry) completed a one-year weather study to determine the effects of numerous cleaning agents on rigid vinyl (PVC) after actual outdoor weathering. The outdoor testing was performed in three locations, Florida, Arizona and a North East industrial climate (Philadelphia), as is typical of existing standards.


The results, after one year, showed that the following cleaning agents had no effect on the vinyl (PVC), whether white or colored material.

The following are recommended for use:

  • Formula 409
  • Ajax Liquid Cleaner
  • Murphy's Oil
  • Lysol Cleaner
  • Soft Scrub
  • Vinegar and Water

The following should NOT be used:

  • Clorox
  • Pine Power
  • Ivory
  • Grease Relief
  • Tide
  • Nail Polish Remover (acetone)


All of the above will cause the vinyl to yellow. The Fantastic brand of cleaner showed minor yellowing. Interestingly, the samples in Arizona showed the least change regardless of the cleaning agent used, and Florida showed the most change.