Just like the other areas of auto detailing and car care, cleaning car upholstery is one of the areas that is filled with lots of different strategies and opinions that many people feel overwhelmed at some point. Lots of the cars you see on the road get upholstery attention only during vacuuming. One thing that car owners don’t seem to understand is that vacuuming the upholstery of your car only removes dirt and pushes it into the car’s interiors.
Eventually, some form of upholstery cleaner will be needed so as to scrub the interior of your car to remove the accumulated dirt.
Start with the Basics
If you are keen to realize the inside of your car consists of different materials and surfaces. Many people find this intimidating by the mere look of it. However, the good news is, there is a simplified approach which includes some basic tools that can help you clean everything to leave you with a shiny car interior.
The upholstery of a car includes some basic materials such as carpeting, cloth fabric, rubber and vinyl as well as plastic lined interiors. The latter are normally found in trucks.
In every game, there are rules and even in car upholstery cleaning, there are rules and exceptions. The following is a summary of the upholstery cleaning rules.
Not All Upholstery is Created Equal
You will find that the tighter the weave, the more difficult it is to clean. Some of the materials that are used on seating surfaces will never be completely clean especially if they are made of tight weave and are excessively dirty.
Tight Weave Means Little or No Nap
The amount of fibers that stick above the material, are referred to as nap. When the weave is so tight, none of the individual fibers stick up; meaning you cannot brush them to create patterns. Upholstery with a closed loop weave or no nap is usually difficult to clean. Some entry level cars come with carpeting that is difficult both to vacuum and shampoo. These carpets tend to have dirt and debris embedded within the fibers making it extremely difficult to remove.
No Upholstery Cleaner or Shampoo is 100% Perfect
The ability of a cleaner or shampoo to remove dirt from your upholstery will be determined by a number of factors including the length of time dirt has been allowed to accumulate and remain on the surface, the composition of dirt, the cleaners you have chosen, and the type of fabric that you are cleaning.
Upholstery materials such as carpet fibers, rubber floor mats, plastic threshold plates and seating surfaces made of both vinyl and cloth can be found in one car and this is where upholstery cleaning can get somewhat overwhelming, confusing or complicated.
Most people look at all the above upholstery materials and imagine that each one them requires its own special upholstery cleaner. Remember the manufacturers will be more than happy to sell to you as many products as possible so that each material can have its own cleaner. However, the fact of life is, with a quality all-purpose cleaner, you can clean virtually everything that makes up your car upholstery.
Therefore, contrary to your earlier thoughts, cleaning car upholstery is much simpler and straightforward. All-purpose cleaners can help you replace many of the so-called dedicated cleaners that are filling your personal garage shelves such as carpet shampoos, dedicated car leather cleaners, and general upholstery shampoos.
With the right all-purpose cleaner plus other strategic tools, you can get better results and make the various upholstery cleaning jobs a piece of cake.