Auto Upholstery Cleaning

 2009 Ferrari F-430 with a freshly detailed interior.

Auto upholstery cleaning is an important step in maintaining your vehicles appearance. Not to mention the longer spills and dirt sit in the fabric, the harder they are to remove.


What is the easiest method of cleaning ? Vacuuming once per week will keep your interior free of excessive dirt and debris, and will help keep away odors. Start with the seats, making sure to get into the seams. Work your way down to the floor mats then the carpet.

Lots of debris can find its way underneath and between the seats so make sure to check those areas. If you have access to compressed air, that is an easy way of getting crumbs, etc. out from between the seats.

Spot Cleaning

Once your upholstery is vacuumed, perhaps it looks pristine except for one little spill. Since the area of concern is very minor, a complete interior shampoo isn't necessary.

Spot removal is another easy method of auto upholstery cleaning. Local stores that sell automotive cleaning products most likely have a selection of foaming carpet cleaners. They come in a can with a stiff bristle brush attached to the sprayer.

Foaming carpet cleaners work fantastic when it comes to removing minor spots, they also leave a nice fresh scent.

Simply spray the spill, agitate with the bristle brush, and allow the foam a minute to extract the stain. Next, simply blot out the moisture with a cloth, then go over it with a vacuum.


Upholstery Shampoo


2007 Chevy Suburban, what a mess! Definitely will require a shampoo to bring the carpet back to life.

Shampooing fabric is the most effective method of auto upholstery cleaning. Its also the most time consuming and messy!

Cover any electronics you don't want to get wet. Spray the seats and carpet with a proper upholstery pre treatment solution. Allow a few minutes for the cleaner to dwell before shampooing.

Turn on the hot water extractor and begin with the seats, working your way down to the carpet. For really dirty upholstery, you will most likely need to go over the seating 2 or 3 times for the best results. Start at the headrest and work your way down in a side to side, overlapping motion.

Floor mats can be pressure washed first for best results. Notice the overlapping motion while shampooing the mat.

If your door panels have fabric, these areas can be shampooed as well. Just make sure to avoid soaking your switches!

Carpet is done in the same fashion as the seats, work in an overlapping motion. For areas with ground in dirt or spills, you may have to spray the pre treatment more than once and agitate it.

Make sure to check between the seats for spills too!

If you are cleaning your upholstery in poor lighting conditions, a hand held L.E.D. light is perfect for seeing into those tight areas.

Make sure to extract as much moisture out of the upholstery as possible. Doing this job on a hot summer day is perfect for aiding in the drying process. A portable air mover is a great tool for drying as well.

The key to getting upholstery dry is heat and air movement. If using a portable heater, be careful about where you put it and how it sits. Avoiding melted plastics and fire is key!

Set aside at least a few hours to shampoo and dry your interior.

2007 Chevy Suburban, carpet shampooed, dried and ready to go!

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