Stains on cars upholstery are unsightly, unpleasant and unhygienic. Everyone wants a squeaky clean interior but it is easier said than done. No matter how much one tries and how proactive one is, there will be some stains ruining the interior of your car and you should respond promptly before it is too late. There are different kinds of stains so the method of cleaning must be chosen accordingly. Also, there are different materials used for upholstery in cars. The common materials are fabric, leather, leatherette or faux leather and vinyl. All these materials cannot be cleaned in the same way. Here is a comprehensive guide about how to get interior stains out of your car’s upholstery.
• For stains confined to a small part of your upholstery, you can spot clean the area using a remover. There are many types of stain removers. Make sure you choose one that is suitable for the stain. You must also try the stain remover on a similar material before you apply it on the upholstery of your car. If you have leather upholstery, you will need to pre-treat it to remove stubborn stains. You can use leather conditioners for such pre-treatment. Subsequently get a stain remover for leather, rub it on the spot and wait for half a minute or so before wiping it off. Ink stains may seem to be harder to remove but you can use some alcohol blended in water or hairspray. You will need a clean damp cloth to blot. Make sure you do not spread the ink stain beyond the area it has already affected.
• Oily and greasy stains can be removed with a piece of cotton cloth and some diluted paint thinner. There are many watered down thinner formulas available today. Such products work on grease left behind by spilled food and lipstick stains. You may also use some cornmeal and salt. All such products you choose should be tested before you actually apply them onto your upholstery. Do not use random products that you are not sure about. Coffee stains can be blotted with paper towel. You can use some cold water to dilute the stain. Glass cleaner can also remove coffee stains. Do not rub or scrub such stains. The moment you rub or scrub, the stain will spread and you will only worsen the problem. You should blot every type of stain. Some coffee stains are more stubborn. You can use dishwashing liquid and warm water for such stains on car upholstery. You can remove the upholstery if possible and then scrub the stained part. Use your hair dryer after scrubbing and washing before reinstalling the upholstery.
• Vomit stains can be removed by diluting them with sufficient cold water. You can also use a mild soap and wash the spot. Vomit stains should be cleaned as soon as possible. You may neutralize such stains with a bit of club soda. If you are using a mild soap then you should get warm water. Cold water can be used in isolation. Many people use baking soda with a bit of water to get rid of vomit stains. Blood stains are among the hardest to get rid of. Soap and hot water do not work. The blood stain will set in further and become too rigid. Only cold water can help with blotting blood stains.
• There are all purpose cleaners available today. You can also make one yourself at your home. It is easier to buy one though. You should have dedicated cleaners for every type of upholstery you have in your car. Fabrics require gentler cleaners and you may have to use a brush with soft bristles. Fabric usually responds well to both warm and cold water. Microfiber cloths can be used for drying. Always choose cleaners that are non caustic. Ordinary soaps do not work on car upholstery. They can cause irreparable damage to the material. You may use foam. For leather and vinyl upholstery in your car, it is best to use commercial cleaners. These tend to have chemicals but the ingredients are necessary for rigid or stubborn stains. You will need a steam cleaner and a vacuum cleaner from time to time. You can use a toothbrush for the seams and other narrow spaces.
• Vinyl upholstery can be cleaned with glass cleaner. Baking soda with water also works on vinyl upholstery. Do not use any oil based cleaner. It is simply harden vinyl upholstery. Leather is tricky so you should have cleaning kits for such upholstery. Leather can age faster and fade if you choose the wrong material. Do not use cleaners made for vinyl or fabric on leather upholstery. Faux leather is another category altogether. Many types of leather need cleaners and then you should use conditioners. Cleaning stains on your car’s upholstery is a daunting challenge most of the time. You should hire a car wash professional or auto detailing expert in Raleigh and the Triangle Area in North Carolina if you are unsure of the methods or the materials you must choose.