Everyone loves the smell of a brand new car. If you could synthesize that smell and bottle it, you would be a millionaire many times over. Alas, nothing last forever and before long the inside of your car tends to get pretty dirty, especially if it’s used to transport kids and pets. Dirty hands, crushed crackers, car sickness, and spills are inevitable, and some things like coffee stains can be quite difficult to get out of car upholstery. While it’s great to treat your car to a full auto detail package every year or so, that would get pretty expensive if you had it done after every minor spill.
Fortunately, you can keep your car upholstery looking almost as good as it did when it was brand new using nothing more than common household items and a little elbow grease.
Fabric Upholstery and Carpet:
- Remove lipstick stains from car upholstery with a dime size blob of while gel toothpaste. Rub it into the stain, and then wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Ink stains can be removed with hairspray or a little rubbing alcohol mixed with water.
- Coffee stains are stubborn but they can be attacked with cold water followed by glass cleaner and then more cold water.
- Mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a spray bottle and spray onto gasoline or food stains. Let sit for two hours and then rub the spot with a damp cloth to remove the baking soda residue.
- Grease and gasoline stains can be removed from car upholstery with a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water. Spray the stain, let sit for one hour, then rub with a damp cloth to remove the vinegar.
- Club soda is a great cleaner and is effective for removing vomit stains from car upholstery. Spray it on, let sit for half an hour, then blot it up with paper towels or a clean cloth.
- A mixture of clear ammonia and water will brighten faded carpets in your car.
- Baby wipes and dry cleaning cloths are great for quick wipe-ups. Baby wipes are also safe for the environment and children and adults with sensitive skin.
- Mix equal parts of blue Dawn dish washing liquid, white vinegar, and Club Soda in a spray bottle and apply to car upholstery. Let sit for 10 minutes then scrub gently with a stiff brush. Blot or vacuum up excess moisture. Prepare to be amazed.
- If your car is smelly, place a bowl of vinegar on the dashboard and rear window ledge. Close the windows and doors and let sit overnight. In the morning, the smells should be gone. Leave the windows open until the vinegar smell has dissipated.
Leather and Vinyl:
- Use baking soda mixed with water to clean vinyl seats. Upholstery cleaners will make vinyl hard and should be avoided.
- Minor surface stains on leather or vinyl respond well to toothpaste. Use a toothbrush to gently rub the toothpaste into the stain until it’s gone. Remove the excess with a damp cloth and let dry. If the stain doesn’t come out, you can try something a bit tougher.
- For tougher stains on leather or vinyl you can try rubbing alcohol. Test first on an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t remove too much dye or change the colour of the leather. Dab gently and don’t soak the area with the alcohol.
- For really tough stains on leather and vinyl, mix equal amounts of Cream of Tartar and lemon juice and apply to the stain. Let sit for 10 minutes and wipe up the excess with a damp cloth. If necessary, repeat until the stain is gone.
If your car is a disaster zone and there isn’t enough grease in your elbow to clean it up, have it professionally detailed at Kelowna Nissan.