Keeping Your Cabin Clean


Cleaning Your Car Interior 

You may clean your car's interior on a regular basis, but have you ever cleaned the ceiling? Honestly, I never gave cleaning the interior ceiling of my car much thought. Then I had chocolate milk all over the ceiling. I wasn't even aware that a chocolate milk was in the car, but apparently one of my children had taken her to-go cup from the restaurant, passed the (lidded) beverage to her sister, dropped it, and the lid popped off in an explosion of mess. After a mommy meltdown that the girls still whisper about, I need to research how to get that milk off the ceiling. Turns out, it's actually not that uncommon a situation.

Your car's ceiling, also known as the headliner, can become dirty over a period of time as a result of our hands, hair, skin, and other objects coming into contact with the ceiling. Since the fabric of your car's ceiling is glued to the roof, you need to be sure to use safe cleaning methods and products that will keep the glue and laminate intact. Here's the step by step method I found.

1. Loosen the dirt and grime with a microfiber cloth. Use a clean and dry cloth to gently rub the ceiling of the car in the direction of the grain in the fabric.

2. Use an upholstery cleaner. It needs to be compatible with the ceiling's fabric type. If you aren't sure, check your car's manual, website, or an auto parts store for help. I was able to find a cleaner in a big box store, but once you know what you're looking for, you can buy online as well.

3. Spray the cleaner on the entire surface of the ceiling.

4. Gently rub with the microfiber cloth. 

5. LET DRY COMPLETELY - you don't want the glue to detach the fabric.

6. If there are stains that didn't come off, use a water and vinegar mixture (3:1). This can remove stains without compromising the glue. Saturate a microfiber cloth and rub the stained areas

7. LET DRY COMPLETELY

8. Do a second round of upholstery cleaner.

The most important things to remember are:

  • Never use a harsh cleaner. They can eat the glue and your ceiling fabric can detach - NOT an easy fix.
  • Make sure to let the ceiling dry between each stage. To avoid saturating, it's helpful to spray the cloth, not the ceiling.
  • Make sure you're confident in the right product. If you aren't positive, make sure to test it on a small section of your interior that isn't noticeable.
  • Never use a vacuum cleaner. The pressure can pull the fabric from the glue.
It wasn't a quick process. It wasn't an easy process. But it was effective and successful, and my ceiling is good as new!

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