Auto Detailing Basics – Cleaning the Carpet

The carpet in any car or truck is the first thing to show obvious signs of wear. Dirty shoes, debris from the road, spills, crumbs, and other causes result in carpets that capture and retain dirt. This is why your carpets, even after a quick vacuuming, always appear dirty and soiled.

Luckily, cleaning your vehicle’s carpets is easier than you think. Unlike other surfaces of your car, such as your dashboard or center console, the carpet is very similar to the carpet that you’d find in your home. This means that there are multitudes of cleaning products that exist that are both auto detailing oriented and inexpensive.

Auto Detailing Inside Tip: Laundry Soap Does the Trick!

Using laundry soap, mixed in concentrate with water, is usually all you need. For severe stains, a conventional stain remover (so long as it is non-bleaching) is typically all you’ll need.

Mix the laundry soap (the new “concentrated” detergent works best) into a nominal amount of water (about enough soap for 1 load of laundry in approximately 1-1.5 gallons of water) and use a scrub brush on the carpet. Be sure to really get everywhere with the brush, and ensure that your brush is always carrying a fresh supply of soapy water.

Once you have successfully managed to clean the soiled areas, take a separate brush and rise with clean water. Do not pour the water directly on to the carpet, but apply it liberally enough so as to rinse the carpet out. Then use a sponge to sop up any excess. Then, use a wet/dry shop-vac to suck up as much water as you can from the carpet. The vehicle may need to sit overnight to dry out with the windows open.

The Secret to Successful Auto Detailing is Consistency!

Anyone can clean their car. The benefit of using a professional auto detailing company is that they will take the time to ensure that a high-quality job is done. However, you can achieve that same result by being meticulous in your process as you clean. Your carpets, for example, may need several treatments to completely remove the dirt and stains.

Don’t forget to remove the floormats and seats to ensure that you are able to clean as much of the carpet as possible. Ideally, you should only have to do a thorough auto detail of your car two or three times per year. In fact, it can make a great Saturday afternoon project!

Stain Removal in Carpet – Stain Removal Help

Hey guys … It's been a while since I've posted a helpful tip to add to your arsenal of automotive interior repairs I've giving here on my blog.

So I thought of giving you a little bit on Stain Removal in Carpet. This is one thing I get a lot of questions for and that is how to get those nasty brown, or black, or even red stains out of the interior carpet of the vehicles i work on on a daily basis.

The trick isn't to it isn't really a trick at all, it's timing and knowledge of what to use where and when. Getting to a spill before it gets a chance to soak in is your best defense against a stain in your carpet. If you spill something wipe it up and soak it up as quickly as possible and then flush with water and soak it up with a towel, or what ever you have at the time. But that's not always the case and that's where this little guide will help you, but really if you can wipe spills up a fast as you can and this helps to get the actual stain out later when you have more time.

One of the most common stains I see in vehicles are footprints or skid marks from dirty and greasy shoes. The answer to this is a de-greaser. There are so many different options to use in this situation, but I'm here to make this as simple as possible and effective. Supplies you will need are a couple of white towels, a scrub brush and a mild detergent, like dawn dish soap, a small pail of warm water mixing the soap to 1/4 oz. soap to gallon of water. Dip your brush in the soap and water, scrub the areas lightly with the brush making sure not to soak the carpet then wipe and blot with the towel. Repeat if necessary, wiping and blotting the area with the towel to remove the dirt and grime and the water, you don't want it to sour later if left wet. If your have a shop vac, use it to suck up the water and to fluff the carpet pile back up to dry better. Place a fan in the vehicle if needed to dry further if you've had a bad one.

Now sometimes more then not you will need something a little stronger to get the grease out. I use Castrol Super Clean, the purple stuff. I've used Simple Green at times too, and some of the products at some of detail shops I'm at from time to time, so really any good de-greaser will work. Just spray the area with the cleaner, scrub with the brush, then wipe it up with a towel. Now if at all possible flush the area with water, this will help to remove the chemicals from the carpet and will help to preserve the natural look to the carpet. Some of those chemicals are pretty strong and if left can damage the carpet.

Soda pop and coffee stains, are another I run across a lot. Now this one can be booger to get out. A coffee stain if left can do permanent damage to the carpet and at times I have had to just dye the carpet to cover up the stain. If coffee is your problem, here are a few tips, catch the spill as quickly as possible then flush with mild soap and water like before with the grease, but you may have to soak it a little more to get it out. Now if this is an old stain, one thing you can try is hydrogen peroxide. This can be used as a mild bleaching agent. Just pore a little in a cup and with a tooth brush scrub it into the stain let sit for about 20-30 minutes then flush with your soapy water solution. If this doesn't work, I found a product at my local janitorial supply shop called Perculator, it comes in spray bottle and is primarily a peroxide mix, and works pretty good, but it's still not a miracle worker. Coffee can be a pain, but with a little luck and timing on this one you can get it out. Now soda pop, if it's not an orange or red which I'll talk about in a minute, can usually be taken care of with the warm water and soap.

Food stains can range from greasy french fries smashed in the carpet to dried ketchup, to jelly beans and candy. Most of these can be dealt with with your soap and water. Ammonia can be added to the solution to help cut the greasy foods. Scrape the chunks out with a blunt knife before you get wet this will help to not spread the stain further. Candies might take a little more due to dyes added for color, wash as much as possible to remove the candy, if the stain remains you can try peroxide but like I said there are dyes in some candies that do just that, dye the carpet. Gum is another candy that can be removed with mostly picking it out but the rest might take a little chemical. Goof Off is a good one to keep on hand for a lot of different things, but it works great on gum too. After you pick most of it out just take a little Goof Off on a towel and wipe the rest right out.

Red Wine is sort of a food stain but treated a little different. If it's fresh flush with cold water and soak it up as much as possible. Try even a little club soda and pore directly onto the stain and soak it up with a towel. This should get most of it. One last trick is an enzyme cleaner, enzymes get right to it when it comes to food stains. They are known for removing food stuff stains, but I haven't had much luck with red wine though so I'll talk about it in a minute on getting the red stains out of your carpet.

Now if you have a misfortune and happen to get a blood stain on your carpet then this one needs to be handled with cold water and not warm or you will set the stain. If it's dried then scrap the dried blood with a blunt knife to get the chunks out, vacuum them up, then scrub the area with cold water and a mild soap. Peroxide can be used to help remove the reddish tint if needed. Then flush again with the soap and water, then vacuum with your shop vac. One other remedy is a blood enzyme, which will eat the blood away. Blood Buster is good one, it's an enzymatic cleaner designed for bio stains.

One that I deal with upon occasion is pet urine. Talk about nasty … but, hey they have to pee too, just not where we always want them to. This one is one you can go to your kitchen for, vinegar, helps to neutralize the acids in the pee. Supplies for this one are paper towels if still wet, white towels, mild soap and warm water, brush and vinegar. First soak up what you can with if it's still wet with the paper towels, next take your soapy solution of warm water and soap, 1 / 4oz. of soap to a gallon of water, dip the brush and scrub the area with the soapy water, blot with the towel and repeat until the stain is gone. After wards pore a little vinegar over the stain and let set for about an hour. Lastly rinse with water and vacuum with a shop vac or dab with towels until mostly dry. If the stain is still there, let it dry, then apply an enzyme. Enzymes work really well for all bio stuffs including urine. The guys over at Petguest have come up with a 100% enzyme concentrate that is made for the elimination of pet stains and odors.

The old melted crayon stain in the carpet …. Man what a mess this can be, but believe it or not it's pretty easy to remove if you have a clothes iron and a brown paper bag. Scrape the majority away with a blunt knife then lay the brown bag over the crayon and with the heated iron, rub it over the bag over the spot. The heat from the iron will melt the crayon into the bag. Just rotate the bag around to keep a clean side down and after a while the crayon will be on the bag not on the carpet. Patience on this one helps, but again if the spot remains try a little chemical like your Goof Off.

Paint is another carpet stain that can give you a bunch of problems. First thing you need to determine what kind of paint it is. If it's automotive paint then a solvent paint reducer or thinner can be used to remove it. I usually use lacquer thinner, works fast and removes most paint spills. Now if it's house paint, then scrape off the excess with a blunt knife and pull out the Goof Off, try not to spread it out to much, work small and from the outside in on the stain. I guess nail polish is a paint, but with this one use nail polish remover or straight acetone with a towel, and again work the stain from the outside in so to not spread it out to far.

Now this is probably got to be the worst carpet stain out there. The red stain in the carpet. This is caused by a # 40 Red dye that is put in a lot of drinks like Kool Aid and, red and orange sodas. If you run across this one there is only one way to remove it and that's with a strong chemical. I have found a product that I use on these type of stains and have had really good luck with it, it's called Red Dye Solution. There are others out there like Red Relief, and Red Out, all work pretty similar. You pore the chemical on the stain, and with a wet white towel and a steam iron you remove the stain. It is a time consuming project and with some luck all of the stain will be removed. Sometimes a little blue hue will be left from the chemical but it sure is a lot better then a bright red stain jumping out at you. But with a little carpet dye over the top and your good as new. You can find these products usually at your local janitorial supply shop or online. I'm working on getting some here on my site, so bare with me.

Stain Removal In Carpetcan be frustrating at times, but there no substitute for a professional. These tips can help and may just save you but if you have any problems or feel that the stain is just a little above your head then don't hesitate to call an automotive interior repair professional like myself to come in a make your life a little easier. For those of you that are the professionals feel free to post your tips in the comments so we can all benefit from your expertise in carpet stain removal.

What's Under Your Car's Carpet?

It's now been 2 years since stories of flood cars from Hurricane Katrina saturated the world of 'buyer-beware'. But it's not just flood cars that cause problems. Other liquids like spilled milk, snow melt, pressure washed carpeting or a leaking windshield can cause serious problems too. Let us show you just how serious a wet floor can be!

Our expertise is in airbag systems, airbag replacement and airbag service, so we are often called upon to do investigations for insurance companies, attorneys and individuals involving accidental or inadvertent airbag deployment. After inspecting many such vehicles and knowing the serious personal injuries they can cause, the reason for these airbag deployments are shocking. What we have found has a common theme … liquids and electronics do not mix !!

This article will show you exactly what happens; not necessarily immediately, but 6 months, 1 year or even up to 4 or 5 years down the road. Once you know the facts, just being aware of these potentially serious situations and hazards can help you deal with the causes and may just save you from serious personal harm.

Although an estimated 500,000-600,000 cars were damaged by the hurricane and subsequent flood waters, many non-flood vehicles are susceptible to the same type of damages. What damage? Water or moisture collecting under the seats and console damaging highly sensitive electronic components.

The airbag control units for most of the vehicles on the road today are located on the floor, or near the center of the vehicle under the seats and consoles. They are positioned there specifically by the manufacturers in order to replicate, as closely as possible, the effects of an accident on the passengers in the vehicle. But by being positioned at such a low point in the vehicle, they are at risk of contamination from water or many other situations. Some simple, normal, everyday things that happen when you drive a car can have severe consequences. Here are a few.

With winter coming and snow flying in many states, melted snow and ice will now be introduced to the floors of vehicles across the country. Turn on the heater and this snow and ice becomes water, saturating the carpet and ultimately draining to the lowest pint in the vehicle … the floor under the seats.

As vehicles in the 'sun states' get older and sit in the sun day after day, the soft rubber seals around the windshield begin to harden and crack. Once the brittle seal cracks or breaks, any rain or water from the car wash that hits the roof and windshield is now channeled into the car, hidden by the interior trim panels and travels down to the lowest points in the car … the floor and beneath the seats.

Or how about the used car dealer wanting to get the most for his cars? With the best intentions, he power cleans the interior of a every vehicle he gets from the auction. These are not flood cars, just used cars with soiled carpets. With a pressure wand in hand, or a power steamer, the carpets are purposely washed and then dried as well as possible. But it's too late … the water that soaked the carpet during the process has already seeped through, drained under the seats and now collects on the metal floor, saturating the padding on the way and going exactly where we don't want it wet ; around the airbag control unit.

And with so so people eating and drinking in their vehicles, cup holders all over the dash and console, the potential for a spilled soft drink or cup of coffee is greater now than ever. And guess where that spilled liquid goes … Right, through the console to the floor, or between the seats where you can't dry it up.

Whatever the reason, liquids make their way to the carpet and interior of the vehicles exactly where we don't want it … mixing with the electronic control module.

Here's what happens when water and electronics mix. These pictures capture the inevitable results of ignoring the problem of a wet floor. Over time, water can turn the part on the left into the part on the right. Which one is in your car?

The owner of the vehicle this part came from suffered serious injuries as the airbag deployed immediately upon starting her car one morning. She was belted in place, nor was she prepared for the impact of the airbag. She was just starting her car to go to work when she was hit in the face and jaw by an airbag at 200 mph. (General Motors Safety webpage)

Airbags are designed to protect us from injury, but just like so many other conveniences in our lives, they need care and maintenance to insure their reliability. Most car manufacturers recommend servicing the airbag systems every 10 years. Checking the floors for moisture buildup should be included in that procedure and done more often. As a vehicle owner though, it's ultimately your responsibility to care for and maintain your car. After all, it's you who is at risk.

Here are some simple things you can do to identify if your car is at risk. Be aware of any of the following indicators. They may indicate a serious problem brewing:

  • Dampness in the floor and carpeting; moisture on the inside of the instrument panel
  • Rust on interior screws and other metal parts
  • Mildew, debris and mold in places where it shouldn't normally be found
    • under the seats or carpeting,
    • in the trunk, or
    • in the rear floor wells
  • Water stains or discoloration of seat belts and door panels
  • A moldy odor or an intense smell of Lysol or deodorizer being used to cover up an odor problem

Tips on How to Dye Car Carpet

Carpets, whether used at home or in cars, are certainly very difficult to tidy and maintain. They are easily stained and they fade as time passes by. We know the fact that buying new carpet can be very costly. Luckily, since there are various dyeing kits readily available in the market today, you no longer have to buy new carpet for your car. You may just consider dyeing it to give it a fresher and new appearance.

Useful Tips in Dyeing Your Car Carpet:

When purchasing a car carpet dye kit, it is advisable to pick the one that is one tone darker than the standard color of your car carpet. The reason behind this is that you can be assured that your carpet will get a brighter appearance. But, make sure that the color you pick is almost similar to the original color of your carpet so that they will blend well. Car carpet dye kits available today comes in dye concentrate, stain remover, spray bottle and bleach neutralizer. There are even some that come with red stain remover and scrub brush. The procedure below will be successfully accomplished with the use of a car carpet dye kit.

Procedure:

1. Gently remove the carpet from your car and carefully remove the dust, soil and dirt particles. You may use the stain remover and apply it to the carpet's stained area. Afterwards, scrub out the stain through the use of a wet wash cloth. Ensure that the carpet is thoroughly cleaned and free from any dirt or stain for this will help to make it look newer. Dry the carpet completely.

2. Read the instructions on the car carpet dye kit carefully. Proportionately blend the dye concentrate with water and then put this mixture in the spray bottle. Afterwards, spray it evenly on the entire car carpet.

3. Scrub the dye in a manner that allows it to spread evenly on the carpet with the use of a brush. For better results, you may spray the mixture on the carpet and gently scrub it using the brush in a side by side technique. Afterwards, allow the carpet to dry up.

4. Once the carpet is completely dried, it's high time to put it back in your car. Make sure to put it into the appropriate place and you will see how different your carpet is. It will certainly look new, making your car interior truly attractive and pleasing to the eyes.

By following this helpful technique, you can effortlessly finish the task in no time right at your own home. If you follow the steps accordingly, your car carpet will absolutely achieve a new and brighter look which can last for more years to come. The dye does not easily fade off even if you wash and clean your carpet again. All you have to do is be patient enough to do the process. The car carpet dye kit is worth its price and you can even save more on it as opposed to buying a new car carpet.