Fabric upholstery picks up stains and smells at a higher rate than leather. If your dog vomits in your car or your sister-in-law borrows your vehicle and returns it reeking of smoke, your fabric seats are going to need some serious TLC to get both the stains and the odor out. If you need to freshen up your vehicle's interior, you can clean the upholstery in your car at home and save money instead of taking your car to a professional.
Get all of the smells out
If there are smelly stains in your car, make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub into the stain. For overall stench in your car, sprinkle baking soda over the upholstery and let sit overnight. Vacuum up baking soda in the morning. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the baking soda for a fancy aromatherapy touch.
Determine what sort of stain you are working with
If you know the type of stain that needs removing, use or purchase a stain removing product that is specifically made for that type of stain. Stains like gum residue can only be removed with special products. Blood should never be removed with hot water, as that will set the stain. Permanent ink can be removed with rubbing alcohol.
For general spots of dirt and greasiness, make a spray bottle of water and dish washing soap. Upholstery cleaner that is made for cars can also be used. Spray down your car and use a toothbrush or dish brush to really work the soap into the fabric. Then use a warm water soaked rag to wipe up the cleaner. Take the mats out of your car, spray down with cleaner, then use a brush to loosen up all of the dirt before wiping off.
Deep clean if needed
If the DIY upholstery cleaner isn't getting your car clean enough, you may want to consider renting a steam cleaner from the store. These are usually available for 24 hours at a time. You can use your homemade cleaning solution in the machine rather than purchasing the expensive brand that is sold separate from the steamer rental.
Use a stain repellant
If you have pets or children, it is inevitable that your upholstery will get dirty again. You can lessen the impact of future dirt and stains by applying a fabric guard spray to your upholstery.
For more tips on keeping upholstery clean, contact a company like Duraclean Fabric Specialists.