plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Melted rain suit on exhaust pipe
Q. I was riding my motorcycle today and got caught in the rain. I put on my rain suit and while riding, the pant leg was touched against the hot exhaust pipe. It melted onto the pipe and I can not seem to get it off no matter what I have tried. Any suggestions?John N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Try heating the exhaust up again and then cleaning it off with a rough cloth. Then you will have to use a cleaner on it. Sometimes it helps to have it how when you do this.
Hope this helps.Tom Haltmeyer
- Peoria, Arizona
A. Hi John,
Although I was in the thermoplastic (fabricating)business for 40 odd years, I may not be able to help you.
You said 'no matter what you tried' but, dear Sir, you sure didn't tell us WHAT you had tried, did you?
One assumes that your raincoat was made from PVC, at least a plasticized PVC. There are PVC cements and primers (i.e., pure solvent) but I have a gut feeling that your exhaust pipe exceeded by far its 'melting' temperature (actually, PVC doesn't melt but that's the nearest word I could think of). If it didn't, try any so-called aromatic hydrocarbon or strong solvents such as chloroform, Acetone [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], benzene, toluol.
If those don't work, ah! Um. Er. Try some chrome cleaner which may, I hope not, require a little bit of steel wool in order to clean it off properly.
The first ever 'plastic' raincoats made in the world came from East Germany (I believe, not W. Germany) ... these were very long, black, shiny & flexible and made one look like a Gauleiter and the rain just bounced off. But in those days, very early 50's, their plasticizers were nbg in the cold and they cracked! I had one!
Freeman Newton [dec]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).
A. Get a hold of a product called Classic Cloth. They sell it here at the Honda dealer. This will take it off and not scratch the chrome, it will also take off shoe rubber. Trust me my wife and child seem to always leave part of the shoes on my pipes. I burned my rain suit on my pipes today and it took it right off.Eric N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Shaw AFB, South Carolina
January 2, 2008
A. I also have to FULLY endorse Classic Cloth. I do 4,500 miles a month on my GL1800TE Goldwing and enter every kind of bike show you can imagine. In less than 10 months, that bike has taken over 19 awards. (13 first place - 5 second place - 1 3rd place)
Classic cloth is AMAZING as it works on both plastic and metal chrome, brass, mirrors, etc etc etc. Anything that has oxidation will respond very well to this cloth. Most of your HD shops carry it and some of "the other guy's" carry it as well.
It WILL remove stuff from your pipes. I have done this on three other bike to prove it. Works amazingly well on rims! (Took my front rim with over 30,000 miles worth of accrued "gunk" and had it looking much better than new in about 30 minutes.)
- Jax, Florida
Ed. note: We're glad it worked for you, Doug -- but please limit the superlatives, folks! It draws shills for competitive products, who pose as satisfied customers with fictitious names and then describe their own product in even more glowing terms -- and soon we end up having to delete a spam-glutted mess that was previously a good thread. It's a major pain which has happened way too many times.
Q. I dropped "fleece glove" (polyester) on a motorcycle exhaust pipe. It left black residue and a stain on the chrome. Tried acetone lighter fluid, but neither removed the residue or stain. Any recommendations?Bill H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Woodland, California
A. I had some shoe plastic melt onto my samson pipes once. The only thing that took it off was Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. Also had to use my finger nail a little. Here's a list of products that didn't work: isopropyl alcohol, nail polish remover, bleach, floor stripper, Honda Brite, Pig Spit, Hoppe's gun bore cleaner, lighter fluid, kerosene, gasoline, 409, WD-40 [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], and ammonia.Michael [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- North Royalton, Ohio
Q. I was just wondering if anyone has had any success getting melted riding suit material off pipes with out ruining the chrome. I was zipping in my liner of my riding jacket and the sleeve managed to rest on my husbands very hot pipes. We had to ride another 4 hours before home and the material has baked on and is very hard. So far we have tried a number of chrome cleaners as well as lacquer solvent. Read somewhere that oven cleaner works (but that scares me). If any one has actual success getting melted riding gear off of pipes I sure would appreciate hearing from you.Frances v [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
As a follow up. Tried oven cleaner. It didn't hurt the chrome but the black goo is still baked on. Any ideas?Frances v [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The oven cleaner works if you leave it on long enough. I found that easy-off worked on melted boots even though it took a few efforts. If you try this, make sure you put some cardboard behind the pipes to protect your frame and other components from overspray. Use the easy-off that works on the cold oven, that way you do not need to heat the pipes up and risk burning your hands.Martin J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
2005 appended to existing thread by editor
How do I remove burnt on nylon to chrome pipes? I had nylon ski pants on. They rubbed up against the exhaust pipes and melted. Thanks for your help. Jim.Jim M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
motorcycle rider - Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I came across a similar situation on a long ride one day, although it was bird crap instead of rubber. Rubber, plastic bags, nylon, bird crap, etc. It doesn't matter..after 300 degrees it all seems to become part of the exhaust. I used Easy-Off for use on COLD ovens
(the regular one warns of possible damage to chrome). However, after a couple of hours of little progress on a cold engine, I crossed my fingers and fired it up. After about 15 minutes, it came off like grease. Just be careful of overspray on paint and touching hot pipes. Wash and detail the bike as soon as possible to get all the cleaner off. And try not to breathe that stuff as it evaporates or your speech will be slurred...permanently.
Try not to use steel wool or any other abrasive product unless you want to ruin your pipes.
- Miami, Florida
Hi Guys, I just went through 2 weeks of hell asking and trying everything under the sun to get a melted spot on my chrome pipes. I tried everything... easy off, various cleaners/polishers, special creams and adhesive removers. Well my uncle Bobby suggested I bring my bike down. Knowing he's pretty much seen everything and he know how I feel about my Harley, I did. Since it was essentially baked on the pipes he used the finest grade 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] dipped in lacquer thinner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] . I know what you are thinking, but believe me it took it right off :) I didn't ruin or even scratch a thing. I made sure by trying a spot underneath first and would suggest you doing the same. Note to self.. don't let guys in suit pants ride my bike. Hope this helps you. Keep on Ridin'.John S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
I've had similar problems. Chrome polish does the trick every time. Also if you run the engine for just a minute or two at most, the pipes will warm up a bit and make the removal process much easier, and you won't have to use fingernails or abrasives that may scratch the chrome. Just don't run the engine too long or the pipes will be too hot to touch.Mike F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Manchester, Missouri
My husband took his 77 year old grandmother for a ride one night. She loved it but the whole time she had rested her shoe on the exhaust pipe instead of the peg! We didn't notice it until we stopped for gas and something was smoking. A thick layer of rubber, which was probably the whole bottom of her shoe, was left on there. We scraped the bulk of it off and tried just about everything to remove it. Then I came across this website. Most of the postings we already tried. Except the posting about using a fine grade of 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] (from John S in Valley Forge, PA, USA). That worked like a charm and took less than 5 minutes! There were absolutely no scratches on that exhaust pipe! I was impressed. We will be using that method for any future occurrences! Thanks John!Heather B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Summit Hill, Pennsylvania
I have found that Wenol [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] all-purpose metal polish will take burnt rubber off of the exhaust, and will not scratch, but actually shine the pipes in the process. Takes a little elbow grease, but works well.Harry U. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Safety Harbor, Florida
I just purchased a Honda Shadow and the seller said he thought the brownish looking stains on the exhaust pipes near the engine where the pipes are mounted was due to grease being on the gloves when the pipes were originally installed (replaced stock pipes with cobra after market pipes) and when the pipes got hot...it turned the grease brownish on the chrome pipes. You can see finger print looking spots...any ideas to remove this discoloration?Patti W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
consumer - Birmingham, Alabama
I read every one's helpful hints on getting anything from rubber to plastic off that was burned onto exhaust pipes. None of the chrome cleaner with fine steel wool or cold oven cleaner worked. I had a plastic grocery bag burned onto my brand new 750 Honda Shadow pipe. I removed the pipe and laid it on a workable table. I had a heavy pair of wood stove gloves and used a Bernz O Matic torch. Ladies and Gents, it was the only thing that worked. Heat up a little space at a time, test the length of time spent on each spot, then with a terry cloth kitchen towel you don't mind throwing away, I used 3, rub with pressure accordingly, first the melted bag will schmeer, then quickly change spots on the towel and rub more to get it off and onto the towel. It works best if some one is holding the torch while another person does the rubbing. My pipe is now burned-bag-free and ready to be put back on the bike.Darlene S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Brockport, New York
I just installed (2/13)a bigwilly exhaust system on my 2004 Yamaha Silverado. Welded my snow pants to it. the system was one week old. I heated up the exhaust by running the bike and took a nickel and scrapped off the nylon & a ran to wipe (be careful very hot), nickel is softer than chrome. IT WORKED NOT ONE SCRATCH.Felix E [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Stratford, Connecticut
I managed to brush the bottom of my leg up against the exhaust while wearing ski pants (100% Nylon) which left a chunk of fabric stuck to the exhaust of my brand new Honda.
I was able to scrape some of it off straight away while it was still goo-ey, but being unsure what I really should do, I left it.
A week later (having not ridden or even started the bike) I tried the oven cleaner for cold ovens. I left it on for about 2 hours (can said to leave it on for 4-12 hrs) and then found it was soft enough that I was able to scrape it off using only my fingernails. It wasn't easy, and took a bit of work to scrape it off, but it ended up peeling off quite nicely without damaging the exhaust whatsoever.
- Wollongong, NSW, Australia
What is the best way to remove burnt boot rubber on my chrome on my motorcycle ?Rob M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
trade - Peterborough ,Ontario, Canada
Might help some of you...I just finished putting on brand new Fat Cat pipes onto my RoadKing...took it for a beautiful ride...stopped along the way to eat...came out to find my jacket liner melted over the pipes! Crying did not help. I tried screaming, pleading, and bargaining. I did tow the thing back to the house because I was worried I might further the damage (Heat fixing it to the pipe even more.) The only thing I had at the time was WD-40 and after a bit of rubbing with a soft cloth...I had a beautiful set of pipes once again! My liner is a different story!Jeffery G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Saco, Maine