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Hello,

I am looking at cleaning a smoke damaged model liner that my grandpa built 50 years ago. I have tried acetone on a small patch, it seems to work ok but I am worried it will destroy the paint finish on a bigger scale. The smoke won't just wash off, so something stronger is needed. She had been sitting in first my grandpa's shed now mine for close to 30 years and it would be great to get her back on display. Thanks Karen

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8 hours ago, Karen said:

my grandpa built 50 years ago

Karen

 Would you please post a photo of the ship, I would love to see your Grandpa's work. It might also help those here advise you better. I wouldn't use acetone, it will remove the paint! Mineral spirits would be as aggressive as you would want to get, as suggested, a mild detergent might be best. 

 Keith

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Soot, if the smoke damage you’re describing is soot, is nearly impossible to remove, sadly. I once attempted to remove greasy soot from painted metal that was adjacent to an area that a welding torch was used on. The black greasy coating resisted every solvent I had and couldn’t be removed. Perplexed, I googled “soot removal” and the only advice I could find was to try to “brush it off”. I surely hope your smoke damage isn’t soot! 

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I used Simple Green on a model that I think spent years in the engine room of the full size boat.  Nothing was cleaning it and with the permission of the museum I tried the Simple Green.  Applied with a swab and then wiped off with another and then rinsed with distilled water and dried.  Came out great - and clean - and still looking good almost 20 years later.

Kurt

 

Edited by kurtvd19
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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 4:49 PM, kurtvd19 said:

I used Simple Green on a model that I think spent years in the engine room of the full size boat.  Nothing was cleaning it and with the permission of the museum I tried the Simple Green.  Applied with a swab and then wiped off with another and then rinsed with distilled water and dried.  Came out great - and clean - and still looking good almost 20 years later.

Kurt

 

Yes, Simple Green is great stuff. However, it is apparently mildly acidic. Two caveats:

 

1)  It will bleach some woods. Teak for sure, at least. Not as much as, say. citric or oxalic acid, which are used for serious bleaching (and in often-too-strong a solution in many commercial "teak bleaches.") I used to use Simple Green regularly on my teak decks when washing them down. It kept them looking great.

 

2)  More critically, strong solutions of Simple Green may dissolve yellow metal (copper, brass, bronze) patina, which then can end up running to adjacent areas and staining them. (Such as white topsides on a yacht with bronze deck hardware.)

 

The moral of the story with Simple Green is to use it judiciously in a weak solution and experiment first in an area hidden from view to make sure it isn't going to cause problems.  It smells good, but straight out of the bottle, it's pretty strong stuff.

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