Car Carpet & Interior Cleaning

Carpet & Interior

Standard interior detailing involves many more types of materials and more complicated areas than standard exterior detailing (aside from major paint correction, of course). In this installment we focus on carpet and fabrics. We offer excellent car detailing Orlando services.

Battling pet hair

Vacuuming and air purging the loose debris inside a car can be time consuming enough. If there is excessive pet hair, the job becomes particularly frustrating.

The job of pet hair removal can be greatly improved with some kind of device or tool to help grab the pet hairs and pull them out of the carpet fibers. To that end, several small tools are available, including gloves with a special rubberized “hand,” a brush with rubber bristles, or a rubbery pet hair sponge.

The typical technique is to “rake” the pet hair toward you with one of these devices in one hand and the hose end, preferably with a crevice tool for extra suction, in the other hand. As the pet hair is loosened by the raking motion, the vacuum sucks away the hair.

Regardless of the tool selected to help remove pet hair, the use of these tools will yield better and faster results than a vacuum alone.

Cleaning carpets

A great way to deep clean carpets and mats is by using a hot water extractor. We recommend first vacuuming the carpets to remove loose dirt. If you don’t have a specialty extractor unit for car detailing use, you can try one of the “home” models of spot carpet cleaners normally used in the house. The results won’t be as good as using a commercial machine but still, better than just vacuuming.

After vacuuming, prespray the carpets with a non-foaming carpet cleaner that is designed for use with a hot water extractor. Then scrub the carpeting by hand or with a brush-equipped polisher. This scrubbing step will go far to improving the effectiveness of the extractor.

The heated water of a high-quality extractor should be enough to rinse the soil and cleaning chemical from the carpet. We don’t recommend adding any cleaner to the solution tank of the extractor. If you rinse with chemical-laden hot water, the carpet is infused with that chemical. The remaining chemical in the carpeting tends to attract dirt, making the carpets resoil much faster.

Carpets cleaned with extractors will require additional drying before returning to the customer. High-volume air movers can be used inside the car. Also, after moving the vehicle outside, the vehicle’s climate control system may be used to dry the carpet, utilizing both the heat and air conditioning (to remove moisture).

Not all the dirt is in the open

Interior detailing is taking care of everything inside the car, including areas neglected by most drivers. So moving things around inside a car is necessary to get access to all those areas. This includes moving front seats to their extreme positions, adjusting them all the way up and all the way back. When the seats are moved, wipe off the seat tracks with a utility towel or a paper towel that can be discarded.

Seats should be moved to their extreme positions to expose everything that needs to be cleaned. Make sure to clean between the front seats, the center console, and under the seats.

Many back seats nowadays are also moveable. Check to see if the seatbacks have a release, allowing them to fold forward. The crease area behind the seatback could have a collection of debris. Also, if the rear seat bottoms pull up or forward, move them as well, and clean the exposed area.

The rear section of an SUV often has several compartments under the floor. Check, vacuum and wipe these areas as necessary.

Stubborn marks

The hard plastic and vinyl surfaces inside the car are generally easy to clean with an all-purpose cleaner, brushes and microfiber towels to wipe away loosened grime. However, some marks on these surfaces will not come off with even the most aggressive brush.

At this point, I recommend having isopropyl alcohol available. With careful use, it will effectively remove shoe scuffs and similar marks. A popular foam pad cleaner or melamine block is also great for surface marks that don’t come off with normal cleaning.

Interior detailing is a complex operation requiring multiple steps that involve several chemicals and numerous pieces of equipment. Specialized tools, equipment, chemicals and techniques can help to make the job easier.

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