Charlies guide to black streaks .....

Discussion in 'Motorhome Detailing' started by Charlie, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Im writing this because the subject of removing and trying to rid our vehicles of black streaks comes up time and time again. I do worry when I read what some people are using to remove the dreaded streaks from their very expensive Motor Homes. Motor Homes that we in general have invested a large amount of money on and in general are our pride and joy.

    Firstly where do the mysterious streaks appear from and how do we stop them ?

    The streaks are nothing more than airborne pollutants that fall from the sky. All the pollution we humans produce goes up and some of it comes down again. Fumes and soot from car, Dust from building or manufacturing. Dust and whatever from farming and an endless catalouge of muck descends on our vehicles. When it rains this muck runs down the sides of the vehicles and black streaks as we call the appear.

    Unless we can store our vehicles indoors there is no escape ! It is inevitable and how much streaking you get depends on where you live and where the vehicles are parked. Compare it if you will to houses in heavy industrial areas. The houses turn black and so does everything around it.

    So prevention is nigh on impossible. But we can reduce how the muck sticks to our vehicles.

    The smoother the surface this muck falls on the less it will stick. Also the smoother the surface the easier it is to remove.

    Stand a paving slab up against a wall and an equal sized pane of glass and spray water at them. Which surface retains the water ? Now polish or wax the glass and spray with water again.. Which one is shedding the water fastest ? The slippier and more slick the surface the less muck sticks.

    Elsewhere in the Detailing section there are guides on Claying, Polishing, And waxing our vehicles. So I wont go into detail here but in short a well prepared surface is not only going to be far far easier to clean the streaks off but they wont take a hold and you will see less.

    One thing that horrifies me is when I so often read what many use to clean the streaks off with. I see people using caustic based kitchen cleaners and products that will over a period of time ruin the finishes on what are after all extremely expensive items ! These kitchen cleaners will ruin finishes. They will ruin the decals that are applied to many vans.. At best they will strip any protective waxes or sealants that have been applied by either Dealers at the point of sale or by those who choose to wax or seal their Motor homes. At worst they will completely ruin the decals and or finishes on the vehicles.

    I can absolutely assure you all that Nothing more than car shampoo and warm water is needed to remove black streaks. If they have been there for an age it may be that an All Purpose Cleaner like Autosmart G101 is required. But remember this is a corrosive product so please take care and rinse really well ! But Shampoo and water is all that is required ! There are expensive dedicated products for this job but they are a complete waste of money. Do what I do and throw spare cash into a MacMillan box not down the drain.

    It may be advantageous if this thread is made a sticky as the queastion comes up time and time again.

    Hope this helps.

    Charlie.
     
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  2. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I do wonder why I get a significantly higher proportion of black streaks beneath black window seals. I don't get them where the gutter water exits so I thought that the marks were caused by water running along rubber seals that were deteriorating.
     
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  3. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Same here ,black streak emanating from the rubber surrounding the windows .,cant see how this is an airborne pollutant. However I do see the point that Charlie is making about the finish being damaged by kitchen type solvents and the fact that the slipperier the surface the better to dispel any pollution..Roy...
     
  4. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Guys the windows and the rubber seals will retain dirt and grime. When water gets into them it will take the grime and run it down the sides of your vehicles.

    Anywhere muck or grime can gather will result in black streaks.

    Water lands on and gathers on the roof where muck has fallen. Result = black streaks

    Water washes down the side of a vehicle travels down the window seals and apertures where muck gathers. Results = black streaks.

    Or of course a combination of both. = Black streaks.

    IF the streaks are actually coming from the rubber its self then I can only assume they are or have deteriorated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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  5. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I don't get black streaks on my car or camper but they either don't have exposed rubber seals or the seals are newer. Any suggestions on how to restore the rubber on our MH? I've tried a couple of things but they don't last long.
     
  6. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Black streaks will appear on absolutely any vehicle. My car a white Toyota RAV4 gets them. I hardly use the car and it stands for weeks at a time in which the streaks appear .
    They are less than on our motorhome and I put this down to there being more places for the grime to sit and gather.

    Honestly my car streaks just like the motor home.

    There are a few proprietary cleaners for rubber 3M do a restorer cleaner for wiper blades. In honesty I have not tried it but it might work.

    You could try Isopropyl Alcohol . IPA for short. It is a paint safe cleaner that should be very effective on rubber. Try a tiny area first though just to make sure the rubber is stable and does not be adversely affected. Take precautions not to get it on the vehicle. It's safe on paint but maybe not on coachbuilt motor home panels and materials. Take extreme care and rise really well after doing the job .


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    Be very careful using isopropyl near acrylic windows IT WILL ABSOLUTELY DESTROY THEM ON CONTACT.

    It will also strip all polish and wax from any bodywork.
     
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  8. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    I've never seen black streaks on any of my cars either, only on the motorhome and more often under windows where there are rubber seals.
     
  9. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    I believe that black streaks will show up on any surface if it is left outdoors long enough. I also think that the rubber seals around windows attract more dirt as they are not as smooth as he rest of the vehicle and get more run off than other parts.

    My van has been parked up for a few months and has black streaks on all run off areas.

    I believe that rubber seals do deteriorate, but all of the van will get streaks out with window areas.

    To do list.......get van washed.

    The best thing in my opinion to get rid of and also to prevent streaks is Fenwicks Motorhome Cleaner. Tried and tested by the experts. About £8 a litre. A capfull in 5l to wash neater to get rid of streaks it really works very easily. I have used the same bottles on my van since new 2 1/2 years. ( and no, i do usually wash it much more often) Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler in the rinse spray to keep that like new shine.
     
  10. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    I am not disagreeing with Charlie, just a different view. Black streaks can be stubborn on some vans and may need more than soap and water but are possible to remove, I am not a fan of Fenwick's as it is too strong and can make the problem a whole lot worse. The easiest product for black streak removal is Silky, a cream polish that gently removes the staining, apply this after washing the van. Whilst washing the van make sure that all the door, locker and window shuts are clean as these can create streaks, also treat all window rubbers with Gummi Pledge, this will also keep the rubber supple as well. To keep streaks to a minimum keep the van well waxed as the dirt can't adhere to shiny surfaces. After a while streaks may appear again, these can be easily removed using Charles method, once clean it will help if you apply a bit more wax to the offending area. It always helps to use an aqua wax (that what Bobby Dazler is) after each wash but needs the initial coat of wax to work well.
     
  11. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Other than my cars the only vehicle that has been virtually free of black streaks was my last motorhome an RV with full paint finish, it could stand unwashed in winter for some months with just a hint of streaks below fittings , but these would come off with the lightest touch.
    All white motorhomes I have had always suffer from hard to move black streaks however much I polish.
     
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  12. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    Thanks Mike for posting this. I had some horrible black streaks on my van that just wouldn't shift - "black streak cleaner" didn't touch them, just left it's own stain and made it worse! On your recommendation I bought some of the Silky cream and it's taken the marks straight off with very little effort - brilliant stuff.

    I also had a go at a small patch at the very back of the van where it had caught on something at some point, leaving a 6 inch long rub mark and taking the gel coat off at one point. It cleaned it up beautifully, far better than I expected - just a tiny patch left now about half the size of my little fingernail where the gel coat was rubbed through, it's barely noticeable though I might put a little bit of lacquer on just to seal it.
     
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