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Best way to clean fabric seats in car?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by MarkC79, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. MarkC79

    MarkC79 Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting ready to sell one of our cars and can't help but notice the seats are a little dirty and in need of a spring cleaning before people come look at it. I thought of going to the local DIY carwash and using the shampoo cleaner but I really need to clean the entire driver and passenger seats and I don't think that will work very well. Just wondering if anyone has tried anything that works well.. Thanks.
     
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  2. littlebu

    littlebu Well-Known Member

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    If you have a carpet cleaner (bissell etc.) they usually have an attachment that allows for using it on the seats. Worked pretty good the one time I used it.
     
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  3. monkeydog

    monkeydog Well-Known Member

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    TSP, but it might make your hotstamps come off. And it will disolve your seats if they are made by ASM.

    :wink:
     
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  4. TBonesPoker

    TBonesPoker Well-Known Member

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    Steam, then a little carpet/fabric cleaner (hand brushed) if needed, followed by vacuum and a shot of Fabreze, or however the hell you spell it!
     
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  5. links_slayer

    links_slayer Master of the 3-Putt Par
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    I take mine to the full service car wash. Every spring they run specials. It's about $50 for the service, but they do a really nice job and I'm really, REALLY lazy so it's worth it.
     
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  6. tonypap

    tonypap CCGTCC Member
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    :laugh:

    did noone else find this funny?
     
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  7. DubleDex

    DubleDex Well-Known Member

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    Blue Coral "Dri Clean" - you can find it at any automotive store or Wal-Mart.

    A couple hints for using it: Ignore whatever their actual directions are and ignore the big blue brush-y thing on the top of the can.

    You'll need the Dri Clean, a small bucket of warm water, a brush, some towels and a Shop Vac.

    1. Spray the entire seat with Dri-Clean (you'll be brushing and spreading it around, so you don't literally need to cover the entire seat... but don't be stingy). Make sure you get a fair amount on any heavily soiled areas or stains.

    2. Let it soak in for five minutes or so.

    3. Dip your brush in the warm water, shake out excess water, go to town scrubbing seats. Every so often, dip brush back in water to clean out dirt and grime you've picked up. Keep scrubbing. (Depending on the amount of soil, the scrubbing can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes.)

    4. When you're satisfied with the scrubbing, take a clean town and scrub/dry the seats with this. This will pick up more dirt and excess moisture from the brush.

    5. Let the seat dry (again, this varies depending on how much water got on there).

    6. Take the shop vac (or head to the local car wash that has vacuums available) and vacuum any remaining particles.

    **Yes, it takes some elbow grease. But I learned this while working with my brother at his car detailing business - and it works great and smells good (not overpowering or flowery). This technique will also work on the floor mats as well as spot cleaning the carpet in your house.
     
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  8. DubleDex

    DubleDex Well-Known Member

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    And, yes, that was funny. :happy:
     
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  9. King of the Farm

    King of the Farm Well-Known Member

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    I just cleaned my seats a few months ago and had great results with OxiClean Spray, Upholstry Brush, Warm Water & white Terry towels.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure you use the spray (NOT THE POWDER), I cut it 50/50 with water to make it last, Spray it on the seats, dip the upholstrey brush in warm water and scrub, use a White terry cloth to wipe away the dirty water.

    [​IMG]

    The seats in my car are a very light beige, They looked UNBELIEVABLE when I was done.
     
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  10. weak

    weak Well-Known Member
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    if you want got get rid of smells (like smoke), put a small dish with ground(ed?) coffee into the car overnight.
     
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  11. Poboy

    Poboy Well-Known Member

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    How dirty? Stains?
    If they are pretty dirty, you'd really need a hot water extractor to wash/dry them. Regular dirty, vacuum (mine has a small attachment with the roller brush. If you have one, the roller brush makes a big difference), then mix water and woolite (6:1) in a spray bottle. Spray on, scrub in, and wipe with a clean towel. Shop vac if still too damp.

    For stains, if they are organic, use Nature's Miracle, found at pet stores. Inorganic, you need a solvent based cleaner and so far I haven't found one I like.


    What kind of car do you have? I take the seats out of my Prelude. 4 bolts and the seat +seat rails come out. Just a few plastic electrical connections under the driver's seat. It's sooo much easier to detail the interior and seats with them out.
     
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  12. MarkC79

    MarkC79 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone...I will probably try a combination of some of the advice above. Maybe I can get some Pr0n of the before/after. :)
     
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  13. MarkC79

    MarkC79 Well-Known Member

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    This is for a Honda Element. I prefer not to take the seats out because the floor is vinyl/plastic all-weather material and doesn't need any special cleaning. Besides I think I would do more bad than good by trying to remove the seats. I'm sure I'd create another problem some how..

    I'd call the stains...mildly grungy. You can see that the seats aren't clean but its not really "stains" like you would think of (like a spill or anything).
     
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  14. MarkC79

    MarkC79 Well-Known Member

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    I used the oxy clean suggestion and it worked GREAT. Sprayed directly onto seats and let sit for a minute than took a scrub brush and dipped it in warm water and scrubbed the seats. Then wiped up everything with a white cloth.

    Note for next time = scrub lightly! I scrubbed rather hard and some of the fabric was left a slightly fuzzy looking on the first seat. The second seat I scrubbed lightly and it looked great.
     
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  15. palmimports

    palmimports Well-Known Member

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    from someone in the used car business for alot of years
    1- you need a wetvac
    2- soap and water the seats- take a garden hose and do the carpets AND seats with soap and water or any commercial cleaner- saturate the hell out of everything
    3- take thw wetvac and suck everything dry

    THis is what used car dealers and new car dealers do- scrub brusg- soap/water- drech everything- scrub it good- then wetvac everything then open the windows and let it airdry- a can of lysol and youve officially douched your first car
     
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  16. Poboy

    Poboy Well-Known Member

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    Drenching the seats is not a good idea. Rots the foam padding, and most cars have electrical connections under the seats. I hope you were using a hot water extractor rather than wetvac.
     
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