Author Topic: Dirty Grill Cloth  (Read 5149 times)

Larry H

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Dirty Grill Cloth
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:17:07 PM »
Did you guys know that if you look at the front of a console, and see even a hint of a speaker through the cloth, that what you are seeing is dirt right in front of the speaker on the cloth?

Consoles and record players, when new, did not look like this because the grill cloth was new and clean.  What happens is, over the years, those speakers (particularly the large woofers) move in and out and suck dirt in, and the grill cloth traps the dirt right in front of the speaker.  Some guys think this look is cool (particularly the younger generation), but I don't want my grill cloth dirty and I never want to even see the hint of a speaker through the cloth.

I picked out a couple of Magnavox pictures in our photo gallery to show what I mean. The bottom one is the external speaker of my Berkshire. See what appears to be speakers through the cloth of these sets?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 01:38:23 PM by Pat L »
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2015, 12:49:02 AM »
Here's an RCA SHF-6 blonde console that had pretty dirty looking grill cloth when I got it.  I removed the speakers, removed the grill board, cleaned the grill cloth with foaming upholstery cleaner, wiped that off with a damp rag, and let the cloth dry overnight.  Here are before and after pictures.

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Consoleman

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2015, 01:40:04 PM »
Well you learn something new every day. Now I need to go clean my cloth. I've been meaning to re-do it since the previous owner re-attached it with staples and didn't get it quite straight on one side.
Mark

Harbourmaster

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2015, 02:00:22 PM »
I agree Larry, cleaning the grill cloth makes a world of difference in how these old consoles look...

Nine times out of 10 you can get the cloth looking like new without having to resort to extreme cleaning measures!
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

Pat L

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2015, 02:28:52 PM »
I use foaming automotive fabric cleaner and have had great results. I can't recommend it more highly. The brand I've used is Blue Coral, but there are many equivalent products out there. This was a good topic to bring up Larry, as you know the results can be very dramatic in a good way.

Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 02:47:33 PM »
I have been wondering lately if a portable hand-held steam cleaner would take the dirt right off grill cloth.  I hope to buy one this spring to clean the awning, bathtub, etc.  If it will clean those things it should clean grill cloth.
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AMP82-01-00

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2015, 09:50:37 PM »
Yep mine is really bad. I did try the vacuum but it did nothing. I will try to clean this soon as I can.
David        "If it ain't interesting, its really just boring"

Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 10:02:08 PM »
A vacuum won't work since there are decades of dirt in the cloth.  I've tried it, and a vacuum made no difference.
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Imperial

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 04:29:44 PM »
Larry, just to clarify, do you take the grille cloth off the grill board or spray the foamy cleaner with the cloth still attached?

I would like to get after the cosmetics on my '61 cherry imperial and this looks like a good place to start.

Thx,
Paul

Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 05:00:52 PM »
Larry, just to clarify, do you take the grille cloth off the grill board or spray the foamy cleaner with the cloth still attached?

I would like to get after the cosmetics on my '61 cherry imperial and this looks like a good place to start.

Thx,
Paul
No, just remove the grill board and leave the cloth attached and clean it with foaming upholstery cleaner.  Don't scrub too hard in places where speakers are or you might press the cloth inward a little.

Here's the procedure:

1.  Wet entire grill cloth with a damp rag.

2.  Scrub top of cloth with foaming upholstery cleaner.

3.  Rinse the cleaner off a couple of times with a damp rag.

4.  Let dry overnight, then reinstall the board the next day.

I just stand the grill board up in a chair and let it dry.

--Larry

Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2015, 05:11:12 PM »
More pictures on a consolette RCA.
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Imperial

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 05:32:05 PM »
Got it, and your detailed procedure and pics help a lot

Thanks,
Paul

Pat L

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2015, 08:47:18 PM »
I don't always remove the entire covered speaker board. If the dirt is minimal I clean it in place. If it's serious or has other issues I have removed them.




Larry H

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 08:58:37 PM »
I don't always remove the entire covered speaker board. If the dirt is minimal I clean it in place. If it's serious or has other issues I have removed them.
So you use the foaming cleaner with the speaker in place?
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Pat L

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Re: Dirty Grill Cloth
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2015, 09:06:06 PM »
Yes I do, I spray it on and let it foam up. Then I brush it well with a soft brush and work the foam around gently. I then blot it off with a clean old bath towel, then I vacuum it until thoroughly dry. Often the dirt on the towel is just incredible. I only spray enough foam to get the job done, it does not travel through and wet the speaker. Sometimes I may repeat the process on stubborn areas.


I wipe overspray off the wood adjacent to the cloth so as not to affect the finish. The manufacturers of these products have really done a nice job on them to make the fabric and dye safe.