There’s nothing quite like that “new car smell”, but chances are, time has caused your vehicle to smell like a combination of tobacco, tennis shoes, and wet dog. There’s no magic potion to regain the primary luster of your car’s interior, but with a little elbow grease and detailing, you can breath new life, and fresher scent into a tired upholstery.
Automotive upholstery comes in a variety of fabrics and materials including cloth, vinyl, leather, and velour. Maintaining the cleanliness and durability of automotive upholstery can be quite expensive, as many upholstery professionals charge expensive rates to remove the tiniest stain. Fortunately, there are a number of reasonably-priced tricks that you can do to clean up the kind of minor accidents you’ll encounter during your daily drive.
These automotive upholstery care tips can include the use of common household products that are readily available and easy to use. However, you must keep in mind that major marks or stains might require the assistance of a professional automotive upholstery service to prevent further damage caused by improper treatment.
* Cleaning Automotive Upholstery
Common automotive upholstery, like lots of fabrics, can be easily cleaned. Remove all surface dust using a small vacuum, and then use a crevice tool for detailing between small cracks and spaces in the upholstery. Vinyl and leather upholstery must be cleaned using a suitable cleaning solution with protector. This added protection helps to maintain a pliable leather surface, and prolongs its beautiful facade.
It’s bound to happen to any traveller: you hit the tiniest bump or hit the brakes, and you’ve got a spill on your upholstery. When it happens, try to absorb as much of the liquid from the surface of the upholstery as you can, as quickly as possible. On velour or cloth seats, use a cotton rag or wads of paper towels to take in the liquid. You’ll need to apply extreme pressure to get as much of the liquid as possible from the upholstery.
* Heavy Stains
Heavy blemishes can give you a heavy heart, but don’t be too quick to bring out stain removing chemicals that can damage upholstery. For most colored soils on automotive upholstery, especially noticeable ones, try dabbing the affected area with a baby wipe. If that does not lift the stain, try pre-treating the speck with a little soda water.
* Remove Odor
Aside from noticeable sources like spilled beverages, automotive upholstery can easily pick up odors that flow throughout the rest of the vehicle. After a while, the odor of the upholstery itself can be quite overwhelming, even after the odorous perpetrator has long since disappeared. Drive-thru fast food bags, cigarettes, and even innocent cups of coffee will all leave a lasting impression. In many cases, deodorizing sprays can clear the air. Make sure that the windows are open when you spray, to let damaging fumes escape. If your stinky culprit is cigarette smoke, more severe measures can be in order to drive the smell away. Try to snuff out the smoke odor by shampooing the carpet with a quality commercial product. If the odor persists, you’ll need to seek professional help.
* Upholstery Care for Leather
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There is nothing more deluxe than a car with leather seats. Automotive leather is the pinnacle of upholstery options, but can also be the hardest to sustain. If your automobile is clad in leather, you’ve already made quite an investment, and you know that it requires meticulous maintenance. Most leather interiors undergo more wear and tear than fine leather furniture, and require the same degree of precision. As with any type of leather, automotive leather upholstery reacts unfavorably to intense temperatures. Premature deterioration, a dull appearance and cracked surfaces can be caused by severe hot and cold, water and excess dryness.
* Leather Spills
Unlike fabric seats, sudden spills on leather upholstery can be simply cleaned with a damp cloth. Leather upholstery must be preserved with protectant. Purchase protectant specially manufactured for leather automotive upholstery, and apply it regularly to preserve the natural moisture and supple feel of the leather. Your wonderful leather seats can easily become a sticky, grubby mess. Avoid build-up by wiping away dust and surface residue on a regular basis.
Automobiles are big investments, and maintaining your vehicle will help retain its value. With proper automotive upholstery attention, you’ll be able to keep your automobile looking–and smelling–just like a new car.
Filed under: Car Maintenance