An Easy DIY Guide: How To Clean Car Interior Fabric

Your interiors have taken a beating, with the summer being filled with activities, little Johnny eating snacks and dropping his crayons, or Fido scrambling around in the back seat, it’s just part and parcel of automotive life. Not everyone keeps them pristine, or even feel it is necessary, but if you found this article then it is because you are interested in learning how to clean car interior fabric and freshen up your ride. That is just one of the services we provide but if you’d like to know how to handle smaller jobs yourself then we are happy to help! To that end we will go over a simple overview of basic car interior maintenance that will see your ride looking great, if not brand new!

How to Clean: Car Interior Fabric

Depending on the situation, there are several methods. If it is simply spot-cleaning stains, identify the offending agent as that will have bearing on cleaning method.

  • When using a stain remover (or paint thinner as we later recommend), test it in an inconspicuous spot before going all in with it.
  • Ink stain? You can use hairspray or a rubbing alcohol/water mixture and blot.
  • Greasy/oily stains? Cotton cloths and a smidge of paint thinner (watered down of course!) Rub into the stain. Take salt or cornmeal and sprinkle over the stain and let sit, overnight if able. Vacuum when done.
  • Coffee stains are a big one, after all everyone jets into work with their morning cup in hand. Should you find yourself spilling a bit of java on the seat, dilute the spill with a bit of cold water and blot.

The job bigger than a single stain? Then either pick up a commercial upholstery cleaner or make your own using recipes found online. Commercial products can use some harsh chemicals so make sure you follow the label and its instructions. You can also rent or buy a steam cleaner for deep cleaning.

Seat upholstery is sewn together and those seams can hold on to a lot of dirty. Use an old toothbrush to get those hard to reach spots and brush out the debris.

Floor mats likely have the toughest situation of anything in your car. Take these out and clean vigorously, you can use the same cleaner you have used on the rest of the upholstery. If the mats re rubber or vinyl then you can apply wax to make them shine and make them simpler to clean later.

After scrubbing everything down you may find your upholstery covered in lint. Simple solution, obviously, get a lint roller and run it over the seats to grab excess fuzz. Keep one in your car to easily clean up crumbs, hair, fuzz, and other debris in between deeper cleanings.

With all that said and done your interiors should be looking in much finer shape. If your ride is a bit worse for wear than these tips can handle, feel free to shoot us a line and our interior professionals will get your ride up to snuff in no time.