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Can someone please tell me what to use for cleaning rubber mats. Looks like mine haven't been lifted in 22 years and have some surface rust adhered to them. Any suggestions?
 

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I've always used Westley's Bleech-White, a non-aresol spray cleaner, described by the manufacturer as a white wall tire cleaner, a hose and a scrub-brush (first remove mats from the car) air-sun dry, then a good vinyl protectant, not a tire dressing,
 

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Can someone please tell me what to use for cleaning rubber mats. Looks like mine haven't been lifted in 22 years and have some surface rust adhered to them. Any suggestions?
Carm,

I'm going to make a couple of assumptions here, since there are different products that work, but depending on circumstances, some work better than others... First I'm going to assume that we are talking your most recent acquisition: the '74 Spider. Second, we are talking the OEM rubber mats, which aren't as flexible as modern rubber, and are prone to splitting.

Surface rust won't wash off. You will have to use a rust remover or softener that won't hurt the mats. I've found that PB Blaster works and you can leave areas of the rubber soaking in it. Real stubborn rust (which you probably have) will require that you agitate and scrape with something strong but soft, such as a piece of wood used for mixing paint. For tiny spots, I have even used a round toothpick. Don't be afraid to rub into the area with rust, just don't use anything sharp. Another good product that will break just about anything is the Orange Wheel Cleaner. This is good for small stubborn spots. Just squirt a few drops directly on the spot, let is soak for a few seconds and then agitate/scrape it with a small piece of wood and pretty soon you'll see results. Don't be surprised however, if it takes several applications to remove the last traces of rust.

If you want to start off with as a clean a mat as possible, before tackling the rust, you may use an off-the-shelf rubber cleaner, such as one of the Meguiars products. I use Meguiars, but I also use Griots rubber/vinyl cleaner. The Griots products are gentle and effective, although they can be pricey. I would clean the mats first since they are probably very stiff and could use some softening. After applying a normal cleaner let them sit overnight, before getting into the rust. If you have lacquer thinner around, you may also use it. It's effective for cleaning and doesn't leave a residue behind. Just don't place it directly on the mats. Just a little on a rag and wipe gently.

To get the shine back on the rubber I like the Meguiars products best. Any of the restorers should work well, but be careful about the ones that make the mats slick...

Best regards,
 
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