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Old 03-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #1
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How To Clean Snaps

My window cover snaps just aren't as SNAPPY as they used to be.

There is some corrosion on the male snaps especially on the front pilothouse window that gets a lot of salt spray.

What's the easiest way to clean these? I'd like to get some sandpaper in there but it's a tough shape. Or, some WD40 but that could get drippy. I once saw a purpose built tool for this but that seems excessive.

I also searched TF and saw recommendations for lubing the snaps.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Louis
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
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Regular old chapstick, you’ll be surprised.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
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Buy new ones.

And related, I have found a light application of ChapStick helps the snaps that become recalcitrant.

I have no business or financial interest in ChapStick. Just a satisfied customer.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:21 PM   #5
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That tool looks pretty cool. I would think you could use a Dremel with a wire brush in it. A little lube really makes a big difference.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:35 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. LG. I second Mr. RC's suggestion of a wire brush on a Dremel tool. Then a dab of lube...
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dremel-42...ype=10&veh=aff
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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It’s one of my quirks...I lube the snaps every time I check the battery fluid level! I’ve always used the “snap grease” from the big box store. Now I’m going to use Chapstick. Thanks, Crusty. I’ll buy you a beer when you travel past San Francisco!
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:00 PM   #8
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Some snaps may be chrome plated brass. If you use a wire brush on those you may not be happy with the results.


The grease in chapstick (or other snap lube) will work its way into the snap and works wonders for making them function properly.


Ken
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisG View Post
My window cover snaps just aren't as SNAPPY as they used to be.

There is some corrosion on the male snaps especially on the front pilothouse window that gets a lot of salt spray.

What's the easiest way to clean these? I'd like to get some sandpaper in there but it's a tough shape. Or, some WD40 but that could get drippy. I once saw a purpose built tool for this but that seems excessive.

I also searched TF and saw recommendations for lubing the snaps.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Louis
Soak for 10 minutes in toilet acid
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:48 PM   #10
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My pilot house canvas are set up to be mounted inside and out.
I use bees wax.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:17 PM   #11
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The prior owners of a boat I had used vasoline on anything everything metal.
They left me a small jar and a bag of Q tips.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:47 PM   #12
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Be careful lubricating snaps. I have a large curtain that covers my 2 starboard saloon windows. When docked next to my neighbor with the tall Hatteras motor yacht, high winds can create unusual force between us, which pops one of the back snaps. Once it starts flapping, it peels the rest of the snaps off. I've gone diving twice now to recover the curtain. I no longer lube certain snaps.

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Old 03-14-2019, 10:03 PM   #13
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Ted,

I wonder if you’d have different luck using “lift the dot” type over studs?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Ted,

I wonder if you’d have different luck using “lift the dot” type over studs?
Think the failure is related to not enough snaps over too long an edge. The window frame prevents me from adding more snaps. If I make new curtains, that design flaw will be rectified.

Ted
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:37 AM   #15
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FYI... you can get snaps that work similar to "lift the dot" fasteners. They come off easily in one direction but next to impossible in others. A few strategically located/ oriented can prevent undesired detachment. You just need to plan ahead and pay attention when installing them. Also don't allow others to remove the canvas w/ o some training / instruction or they can tear the buttons right out of the canvas!
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:24 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! I gave the cover a good clean and then used some chapstick. It definitely made snapping easier.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:29 AM   #17
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When I am fabricating a panel, I put a twist lock snap at the corners or wherever I think that wind could start pulling the panel off. I like twist lock snaps better than the lift the dot fastners.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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I like the idea of the twist locks. I did once have a corner come off in the wind. Luckily this is my front windshield so the wipers keep the cover on.

How hard would it be to replace some of the snaps with twist locks? I noticed each snap just has a screw in the middle. I wonder how long that screw is and what it screws into.

I hate to start messing with anything that could introduce a leak. Perhaps I should start a new thread on this.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:09 PM   #19
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You could replace the regular snaps with a twist lock since the base on the twist lock is larger it will cover the original hole from the old snap that will no longer be used. You would need to fill the old hole and drill two new holes for the twist lock snap. Be sure to countersink the new holes before putting the screws in so you will not lift the gel coat. Also the twist lock tools are needed to cut the snap hole in the canvas. The old snap is most likely attached with a sheet metal screw although it could be through bolted with a machine screw and nut (not likely but possible).
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:50 AM   #20
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We always have tubes of Zipper lube on board - for the Bimini zippers and canvas snaps.
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