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An Experts Guide To Cleaning Car Upholstery

Posted on August 26, 2022

Without being too overwhelming, the experts here at United Carpet Cleaning want to give you a place to start if you are trying to clean the upholstery on your car. As personal vehicles are often the most expensive item a person stewards, keeping them in good condition is extremely important.

So take a look at the general tenant of how to go about cleaning car upholstery!

Know Your Fabric

Traditional car upholstery has fibers that more closely resemble that of a standard carpet. That is to say, they have loose vertical standing fibers. Think of it perhaps like a bunch of blades of grass. Dry materials can fall between the fibers, and oil or liquid can stain the fibers themselves.

Most modern car upholstery has fabric that has a very tight close weave, making it more flat and difficult to get your cleaning implement between the fibers. As a result, it wicks more than traditional upholstery, meaning more of the staining substance stays below the surface, so it returns even after cleaning.

The other type of car upholstery you may have is Leather. Cleaning leather can be very risky if you are doing it yourself. As animal hide, it has many different properties that make damaging it likely for any DIY approaches. I would recommend finding someone who deals with leather specifically, rather than looking for a standard cleaner.

Understand Your Stain

The type of stain you have affects the level of cleaning that you need in terms of how easily it binds and how it binds. Oily substances bind to fibers differently than sticky substances. Liquids are lifted out differently than more viscous substances.

You also have to consider smell. Getting rid of the stain might not eliminate an odor. In this case, you will need to consider deodorizing the area rather than simply scrubbing out the stain. Human fluids, coffee, and dark-colored soft drinks will likely create the most hassle.

Choose Your Cleaning Method

Certain substances are going to require warm water. Others require cold water. Some stains need to be blotted, while others need to be scrubbed. Based on an understanding of what your stain is, you should evaluate the best DIY cleaning protocol.

But to take the guesswork out of the process and ensure the best results, you need a local upholstery cleaning service. With an expert’s diagnosis and professional cleaning equipment, your car upholstery is in good hands.

Managing Expectations

When you set out to clean any stain, you need to understand what is possible. The same thing that gives a piece of fabric its color through the dying process also makes it possible to be stained. A stain and a dye are only different because one is  intentional and the other is not.

A good rule of thumb for managing your cleaning expectations is to compare your colors. For example, light upholstery with a dark stain may not be able to be fully restored to its original color. But for the best results, you need to call a cleaning service.

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