After you have meticulously cleaned your cars’ headliner and dashboard, now you can move on to the next stage of interior detailing; the cars’ upholstery. Once again, you should remember that the upholstery of your car is delicate and when cleaning the upholstery in your car, care will be needed to avoid any possibility of unnecessary damage.


There are generally four types of upholstery used in cars; leather, vinyl, plastic or fabric. Each will require cleaning products and a thorough cleaning. For leather upholstery cleaning, extra car care will be required as damage to leather can occur quickly and easily. All types of upholstery cleaners and protectants can be purchased at a local car repair and parts shop or at a general store such as Walmart™.


Cleaning Leather Upholstery

Leather Upholstery

When cleaning leather upholstery you should clean in sections rather than all at once. Leather upholstery requires special conditioning cleaners to help prevent cracking and fading. You can buy special leather upholstery cleaning products at a car repair and parts shop. It is not recommended to use any other leather cleaner and protectant on your upholstery. When appropriately cleaned and protected, leather upholstery will have a matte finish rather than a shiny or ‘wet’ look. Keep in mind that some cars have leather wrapped steering wheels and center consoles between the seats. These should also be cleaned with the conditioning cleaner, as well.


Cleaning Fabric Upholstery

Fabric Car Upholstery

Fabric upholstery needs much more care than any other type of upholstery and takes quite a bit more effort to clean properly. To clean, first, vacuum the cracks and crevices of the seats, or if necessary, use a toothbrush to get into tighter crevices to remove and loosen crumb and other debris. Next, you should spray a spot or stain remover on harder to remove stains and let it set into the stain for several minutes. Use warm water (as warm water is more effective at combating stains) and a sponge to begin washing the upholstery according to the instructions on the label of the cleaning product, in the case of fabric upholstery soap and water works just as fine as commercial upholstery cleaning products.

Once it is cleaned well and washed the best that you can do, you can begin to dry the upholstery. Use towels to absorb as much of the dampness as you can. If possible or available, use a vacuum cleaner designed for both wet or dry surfaces and vacuum the upholstery until it is dry. Open all of the doors or windows to allow the upholstery to air dry thoroughly.


Interior car care is not difficult, but it is time-consuming. But by the end of the tedious process, you will be rewarded with a fresh smelling car that shines like it is fresh off of the car lot.

If you want to know more about cleaning door jambs, floor mats and mirrors then continue reading our third part of car cleaning intructions.


About the author


Hello, My name is Andrew David, a passionate car lover, and enthusiast.
I am not so called expert but love to share my experiences and knowledge regarding the car and motor parts for all vehicles.