Homemade Car Upholstery Cleaner

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning car upholstery can be an easy task when using the right cleaners. While commercial car care products may work, they can be expensive. Instead, you can make your own homemade upholstery cleaner that will clean effectively without breaking your budget.

Vinyl Upholstery

Vinyl upholstery can easily be cleaned with a very mild liquid dish detergent solution. This will quickly break up dirt and debris, leaving a shiny gloss on the vinyl surface. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of two cups water, two large squirts liquid dish soap. Spray the solution directly onto vinyl seating, and wipe clean with a dry cloth. This will clean effectively without causing the vinyl to over-dry, which can lead to deterioration.

Fabric Upholstery

Washing powder works best for car seats with fabric upholstery and also leaves behind a fresh laundry scent. In a spray bottle, mix two cups of water with two spoonfuls of liquid or powdered washing powder. Spray directly onto fabric surfaces, and wipe clean with a soft cloth or sponge. Repeat as necessary until all fabric has been cleaned properly, and remember not to pour this solution onto seating, as this can damage electrical components in the vehicle and also lead to the development of mould and mildew.

Stain Removal

Removing stains from car upholstery is also a fairly easy task. Stains can be caused by a number of things, from greasy hands to spilt food. For hard stains like crayons and dried food, scrape off as much of the debris as possible, then pour a few drops of liquid dish detergent over the stain. Spritz with a water mist, and work into the stain with a soft cloth or brush. Repeat as necessary until the stain has been fully removed.

To remove oil and gasoline stains, mix a spray bottle solution of one cup water and three spoonfuls of white vinegar. Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to the solution to work as a degreasing agent, and spray onto the stain. Work the stain with a soft cloth or brush, and repeat as necessary until the stain has been removed. Vinegar works as both a disinfectant and deodoriser, which will both clean the stain and remove any strong oil or gasoline odour associated with the spill.

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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.