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nikipedia's avatar

How do I clean the upholstery in my car?

Asked by nikipedia (27475points) October 22nd, 2010

The seats in my car (Mazda 3) are covered in a light beige canvas-y material. They’ve accumulated several years’ worth of dirt and are starting to look pretty gross.

I initially tried cleaning one of the seats like a carpet, with some kind of detergent and a heavy-duty scrub brush, but this started to shred the surface layer of the fabric and if anything it looks much worse now. So I’m stumped. Help?

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

This won’t help you but I just have to share. My son is the “proud” owner of a 1992 Crown Vic ambulance service fly car. The seats, floors, side panels are all rubberized so you can rinse it out with a garden hose and send any spilled blood or body bits down the drain. Very handy after wild parties.
I wish my Olds Silhouette was as easy to clean.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@nikipedia – You have any friends with a home steam cleaner? That’d probably be your best bet.

chyna's avatar

If all else fails, I would take it to a car wash and pay to have it detailed if you can spare about 50 to 75 dollars. I’ve never done that, but I have had friends that have and their cars look great after the detailing.

Kardamom's avatar

I would second the steam cleaner. I think you can rent them at the grocery store. First, vacuum as much dust and dirt off the fabric as you can, then steam clean.

perspicacious's avatar

Use a steam carpet cleaning machine WITH detergent (I like the Bissel detergent the best).

@worriedguy The Element (Honda I think) is designed to wash out with a garden hose too. They thought bikers would love it, but turned out more moms with small kids liked it because of the vinyl/rubber floors and such. Interesting.

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