Whether it’s leather, vinyl, or cloth – car upholstery is susceptible to stains daily. Regardless of the material, you can quickly correct blemishes using this step-by-step process.
To clean stains from car upholstery: identify the stain you’re working with, vacuum the area, Perform a spot-test to ensure that the cleaner you’re working with is safe, select a suitable cleaning method based on the material you’re working with, and allow proper drying time.
The products you will need depend upon your upholstery material. Find your fabric below to determine what you will require.
Identify the stain you’re working with
Before cleaning, the first step is to identify the type of stain you’re working with. Stains can originate from various things: food, drink, oils, ink smudges – you name it. Understanding the nature of the stain will help you choose the most appropriate cleaning method and products for the job.
Lift Off products have a variety of stain removers that address pet, drink, grease, oils, pens, markers, and ink stains. If you’re dealing with any of the above, consider picking up this kit to have around whenever you need it.
Vacuum the area
Removing loose dirt, crumbs, or debris from the upholstery is crucial. You don’t want to have any abrasive residue, or you may risk damaging the fabric as you apply force during cleaning. Take a small handheld vacuum or use the upholstery attachment on your regular cleaner to thoroughly sweep the affected area.
Perform a spot test to ensure that the cleaner you’re working with is fabric-safe
We recommend that you perform a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that the cleaning solution you’re about to use is safe for your car’s upholstery. You may choose a site underneath or on the side of a seat. Apply the solution, wait a few minutes, and check for reactions like color fading or damage. If there are no adverse effects, you can proceed with confidence.
Select a suitable cleaning method
Based on the material of your car’s upholstery, proceed with the appropriate cleaning process:
For fabric upholstery, use a specialized fabric cleaner designed for automotive interiors. Apply a conservative amount of stain remover to the area, and gently scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush or microfiber towel. Blot the area with a fresh microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture from the site when finished.
Consider Stoner Car Care’s Fabric Cleaner if you need a reliable product. It uses a foaming action, which helps the solution to sit on top of the upholstery rather than sinking in. Stoner’s formula prevents your fabric from becoming soaked and allows the product time to work on surface stains.
Leather surfaces require a gentle touch. For these, spray a little leather cleaner onto the stain. We recommend using a three-in-one leather cleaner that cleans, protects, and conditions in one step. Once the solution is applied, wipe gently in a circular motion using a microfiber towel. When finished, wipe with a clean cloth on the area to remove excess cleaner.
is a much more durable material, and it can tolerate traditional fabric cleaners or a mixture of gentle soap and warm water. If you’re using a solution of hot soapy water, apply a small amount using a sponge or soft cloth, gently rubbing the affected area. After letting the solution sit, lightly blot to remove excess liquid.
Allow proper drying time
Once the stain has been treated, allow the area to dry before using the seat. If possible, park the vehicle in an area that isn’t under direct sunlight. The sun’s rays are harsh, and they can cause newly cleaned upholstery to crack or fade.
To increase circulation, you can open the car doors or windows. Also, using a standard fan can speed up drying. Using the heat or cooling functions of the seat can improve circulation and overall drying time.
Enjoy newly cleaned upholstery!
Using this step-by-step process, you can quickly and effectively clean stains off your car’s upholstery. Remember to identify the stain you’re working with, vacuum the area, Perform a spot test to ensure that the cleaner you’re working with is safe, select a suitable cleaning method based on the material you’re working with, and allow proper drying time. Make cleaning your upholstery a regular part of your detailing process to maintain a pristine car interior that you and your passengers can enjoy with every drive.