Keeping both the inside and outside of your car looking new is vital in helping it to retain its value. Avoiding spills, spots and stains is not always simple, especially if you spend a lot of time driving, or hauling those little passengers around town. With a few basic products, some you may even have on hand, you can eliminate spots and stains to keep your automobile looking and smelling fantastic.
Dishwashing Soap or Starch for Blood Stains
Nobody likes to deal with blood, and hopefully you will never have to worry about cleaning it out of your car. If you find yourself dealing with it, follow these steps to remedy the problem. First, blot the stain with a damp, cold rag as much as possible to remove the surface blood. Be careful not to rub as this can cause it to set in. Add a bit of dishwashing soap to a spray bottle of water and spray the spot carefully. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then start blotting the stain gently. Continue doing this until the stain is gone. Dry laundry starch also works well. Mix it with water until it forms a paste and apply it to the stain. Let it dry completely and loosen it with a bristled brush. Vacuum up the remainder.
Glass Cleaner for Most Stains
Contrary to popular belief, glass cleaner does more than clean glass. It also works well as a stain remover. Grab that spray bottle and spritz the solution on the stain. Blot up any excess moisture and repeat the process until the stain dissolves.
Hairspray for Ink Stains
Ink may seem impossible to remove from carpet, upholstery and fabric, but this is not true. Hairspray is an effective ink remover and it is something most people have right in their bathrooms. Spray the hair product directly on the ink stain and blot it from the outer edges working your way towards the centre. Continue spraying and blotting until the ink is completely gone.
Paint Thinner for Grease or Oil
Grease and oil stains can be a pain to remove from fabric or carpeting. With some paint thinner and a cotton cloth though, the task is easier than it seems. Rub the stain with paint thinner, taking care to wear gloves to protect your skin. Cover the paint thinner and the spot with regular table salt until the salt turns dark in colour. This indicates the salt has absorbs the oil or grease. Repeat the process. If salt is not on hand, use cornmeal instead. After the stain is gone, vacuum up the salt or cornmeal.
Club Soda for Vomit
When your passengers get car sick, the smell is bad enough, but the stain lingers even longer. For this type of stain, pour some club soda on the area and blot it up. This not only removes the spot, but it neutralises the acid, which in turn, helps the smell. Keep pouring and blotting until the spot is completely removed.
Borax or Baking Soda for Smells
If you find your interior holding an odd smell even after the stain is removed, grab some borax or baking soda. Both of these products are excellent choices for absorbing odours. Charcoal does the same thing. With borax or baking soda, sprinkle it all over the carpets and vacuum it after letting it sit for several hours. With charcoal, open a bag and sit in the floor overnight to absorb those hard-to-beat odours.
Cold Water for Alcohol
Alcohol spilled on the interior of a car may not exactly leave a stain, but if left alone, it can change the colour of the carpet or upholstery. To remedy this problem, add cold water to the spot and blot it up. Do this repeatedly until you believe all of the alcohol is gone. Never use hot water on alcohol or other stains as this causes the stain to set in and become nearly impossible to remove.
Commercial Stain Removers
If you have tried many different things to remove the stain to no avail, invest in a commercial stain remover. These are made for fabrics and carpets and some searching even lands you some made specifically for vehicles. Each product works differently, so read the label carefully and take the necessary safety precautions. While these cleaners might be a little more expensive than other products, they can come in very handy for keeping your car's interior looking brand new and smelling good.
Regardless of the source of the stain, letting them go can decrease the value of your car and make it much less appealing to drive or ride in. Some stains are harder to remove than others are, but with some tips and tricks, you can remove nearly anything that finds its way on your auto's interior.