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Old 09-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

New to me boat has an enormous amount of smoker's tar on the overhead liner and looking for the best way to clean it off.* I have heard that Orange Oil or Sodium Hypochlorite 5% -- diluted to 2 1/2% works! Any ideas that worked would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

You could also try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. We've found them to be very effective in removing stains and buildup like this. If you try one, be aware they are made to fall apart as you use them.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:47 AM   #3
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

BURN it off the way car dealers do.

Get an ozone cleaner and let it run a couple of days with the boats ventilation defeated.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:51 AM   #4
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Since it's tar, alcohol or bleach solutions won't affect it. Try Simple Green. If that doesn't work, you may have to use an aromatic solvent like Naptha. If you have to resort to the latter, be sure to put some vinyl conditioner like Armor-All afterwards.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Smoking has made a buck or two for those skilled at headliner replacement. Many have successfully replaced their own due to buying a smokers boat. Cleaning (attempts) is best done by removing the holding strips so the wood doesn't become discolored by your elixir of choice. Use drip cloths and mask accordingly*as if*painting, to avoid streaks and spots on the wood walls - if you have them. Let us know what works for you.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

I have had good results using ammonia to clean cigarette smoke from surfaces (I worked in a bar back in the old days).** Never a headliner, though. I would test it on a small area first. You will need lots of clean rags to go along with the ammonia.

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 07:08:14 PM
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Ozone does that work? I used to smoke( I qiut about 6 mos ago)* in my boat and noticed the headliner has yellowed.* I think I tried everything mentioned in this post aprt from ozone and acetone( which would also remove the headliner)* to get it off nothing really works well. I will have to try the ozone. Thanks for the info
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

What is the headliner made of if it is vynil you might try a product like Goof OFF, or Goo Gone or one of the similar products sold to remove adhesive residue. Try it on an out of the way area first. I am impressed at how well they work, I doubt they will work on fabric.
Good luck
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Get some mean green cleaner.* Spray it on and the nicotine will run, use a sponge scrubby and *wipe off with clean rag.* If you have a stubborn spot use magic eraser.* You can find mean green at the family dollar store and magic eraser as well.* Just used it on wallpaper and it worked great.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:00 AM   #10
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

On our previous boat, a DeFever 44, we had vinyl headliners that were badly tobacco stained. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer. Flat white color and good coverage plus it is water based and easy to clean up after painting. I took the panels down and brought them home to paint in the garage. Use a small foam roller for good application and to avoid filling the tiny holes in the material. Did the same thing on Saratoga Sue even though we didn't have the same degree of staining, only some yellowing after 30 years.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:03 AM   #11
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

It usually happens that cars will go years without getting it cleaned especially the headliner and that is a shame. Keeping your car clean inside and out not only makes it look good but also has a bearing on its value and will enable you to notice areas that need attention before they get too bad. Washing the headliner of your automobile can be, at best, very difficult. The head liner can delaminate very effortlessly if it is cleaned incorrectly. Article source: How to clean your car headliner
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:08 AM   #12
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Quote:
Tortugaman wrote:
Ozone does that work? I used to smoke( I qiut about 6 mos ago)* in my boat and noticed the headliner has yellowed.* I think I tried everything mentioned in this post aprt from ozone and acetone( which would also remove the headliner)* to get it off nothing really works well. I will have to try the ozone. Thanks for the info
*Ozone will get rid of the odors, but not the stains. Tough to do, but it's a tar, so it will take some sort of strong cleaner or solvent.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:04 PM   #13
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

Quote:
Keith wrote:Tortugaman wrote:
Ozone does that work? I used to smoke( I qiut about 6 mos ago)* in my boat and noticed the headliner has yellowed.* I think I tried everything mentioned in this post aprt from ozone and acetone( which would also remove the headliner)* to get it off nothing really works well. I will have to try the ozone. Thanks for the info
*Ozone will get rid of the odors, but not the stains. Tough to do, but it's a tar, so it will take some sort of strong cleaner or solvent.

*I would agree with that. We cleaned out our our parents house that had been heavily smoked in since the beginning of time. The ozone generators ran overnight and once we were allowed back in there was a significant reduction in the smoking odor, but the actually smoke residue was cleaned from the plaster via significant application of TSP.

The only real advantage to the ozone treatment was that we were not breathing in the smoke odors during the cleaning.

And, by the way, the odors did come back after a time in the clothes and furniture that were removed from the house.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #14
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

We had a perforated vinyl headliner on our new to us 40'. Cleaned it with Simple Green and painted it over with a latex paint. It stayed white and flexible..
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:01 AM   #15
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

ozone generators ran overnight

The boat was probably smoked in for a decade , overnight is not enough to get it all.

Car dealers use 3-4 days.

A local boat took a MONTH! to get the rat crap stench out of the bilge , after a good TSP scrub.

Ozone works , but does require time.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:19 AM   #16
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RE: Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Tar from headliners

I used a large commercial ozone generator yesterday for 1.5 hours and the boat is odorless this morning, although a very slight scent of ozone remains after airing out. Now let's see what happens after a week.
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