If vinyl is easy to clean although it is difficult to keep it cleaned, fabric on the hand is the most difficult to detail, to clean and to keep it cleaned. Why? Two reasons, it easily stains and it easily soils and fade. With this reason you may think choosing fabric upholstery for your car’s interior is just impractical but the comfort it provides makes it just as the best choice for most car owners. But this is not the post I will discuss the other benefits and advantages of a fabric materials for car upholstery, this is a post in continuation on how to detail car’s upholsteries.
When cleaning your fabric upholstery, you have to seat at least two to three hours to get it done. Unlike vinyl that would only take less than 30 minutes to wipe off the dirt and clean it dry. But with then right cleaning materials and learning the very basic method in cleaning it, that two to three hours time could be cut in half.
What is the best product choices left to your option?
- Spray cleaners. Either the foaming or non-foaming type, these type of cleaners are easy to be applied. It sinks in the fabric lifting the dirt and stains off to the surface so you can just wipe it away. This comes in strong solution so the stains are easily removed since it gets deep into the stain. When using it for the first time, apply it in hidden area of your upholstery. Observe if it changes its colors or affected its texture. If the answer is yes, do not use this anymore and try another cleaner that is less concentrated than it.
- Shampoo. Or a homemade laundry soap solution. By using this, you are just washing your fabric upholstery like ordinary clothes. But you need to use brush or sponge along with it and you must rinse it thoroughly to avoid moldy smell. Shampooing up your fabrics could be a very good and effective way to clean it but you need to put much detail on rinsing it. The secret lies in rinsing that all soap remains must be removed. Vacuum dry the fabric also after shampooing for a quick dry to ensure it well smell good. You can also use a blow-dryer if you don’t have a vacuum with you. Blow dryer could be use especially if you’re cleaning under a very good sunny weather where you have the sun to help you dry your fabric fast.
7 Easy Steps To Clean Your Fabric Upholstery
- Get one small bucket and pour enough warm water in it. Keep an extra galloon of clean water for rinsing.
- Using the spray cleaner you have, spray directly over the soiled areas. If using a shampoo, mix it with 4 ounces of cleaner in the bucket of water for a more concentrated solution.
- Grab your scrub brush and rub it in circular motion to thrust the cleaner solution in the fabric evenly. Spray water over the solution constantly so it will not stick and remain on the fabric.
- After rubbing it, wipe the solution with a sponge or damp cloth or micro fiber towel but soak or dip the cloth into the water from time to time.
- Throw away the soapy water in the bucket and replace it with clean warm water. Use this new water in rinsing your fabric upholstery by using another damp cloth. Dip the cloth in the water if it’s getting dry again or it has soap on it already.
- After rinsing, get you vacuum and dry the fabric up or use blow dry to extract ang wring the excess rinse water out.
- Apply a fabric protectant when it dries already.
Even if you take a poll, most of us spend more or less a couple of hours every day inside our cars, so that makes us spend over 9 – 14 hours each week in our cars. With this, it is just proper to keep our cars interior clean and tidy. After all, it is only us that will succumb whatever our interior welcomes us. So what to do? The upholstery of your car should be also your top concern when it comes to maintaining your car’s interior neatness. This upholstery from seats to consoles is the vehicle parts that we relax and become in contact each day. If only we could find time at least five minutes every day to clean it but busy schedule is there to hinder us or give us difficulty from doing so. Besides, it is common in cars to have different type of upholstery that needs a different demand of cleaning method. There is the vinyl, leather and fabric. Whichever of this three needs special way of cleaning so it will not get damage or it doesn’t easily wear out.
So, for this post I will detail ways on how to clean this different upholstery material. This will help you in cutting much of your time since you will exactly know what to grab for a cleaning material and what to do. Is brushing good for this material or not? Is a cleaner okay with fabric or leather? What is the best solution to clean out vinyls? These are the question you will easily have the answer so just read on:
FOR VINLY UPHOSTERY
It is true that vinyl is the most durable and less expensive upholstery available but don’t you know that it is the type that is difficult to maintain its cleanliness as compared to others? This is because the surface of vinyl is static that makes it a dirt magnet. Being a dirt magnet, it is just normal for it to easily accumulate dust, dirt and grimes. However, even though it is difficult to maintain cleanliness on it, cleaning it is very easy on the other hand. In choosing the best cleaner for vinyl, always opt for solvent based that is safe for plastic or vinyl. Do not use concentrated solutions, even regular household detergent soap can fade the colors of your vinyl and its natural shine will permanently remove if you use this.
So having the right cleaner in your hand, follow these easy steps in cleaning your vinyls:
1. Spray your vinyl with the cleaner you have. Just the right amount so it will not drip over. Do not over spray it for it will cause uneven splotches on its surface. Spray first on the seams, edges and seats.
2. Using a scrub brush, brush the solution over it. You can also use small pointed brush to reach the deep sections and small crevices.
3. Rinse the cleaner solution with a towel that is constantly dipped in a bucket of water.
4. Grab another dry towel, using this dry towel, follow the surface where you have rub your damp towel.
5. After making sure that the vinyl has already dried up, apply a vinyl dressing for an extra sheen and that impressing clean-look. You can also apply protective finishes that is resistant to stain and damage due to direct exposure to the sun.
** You may want also to vacuum it first if you have a vacuum cleaner with you. Vacuuming it will come loose any debris so it will be easy for clean it using only cleaner and cloth.
You have a vacuum alright, and you know how to operate it, but you know the proper way to vacuum your car that will eat up only a minute of your time? Of course you don’t have to be a genius to know this but additional tips are surely useful to those who wanted to find ways how to keep anything at ease including me. You also know that a vacuum has a crevice attachment and a dust brush attach to it; if your vacuum missed any of this part then you need to replace it.
Moreover, the crevice should be made from plastic or that it doesn’t have any damage on its tips otherwise it will scratch or wound your vehicles metal panels as well as your leather and vinyl upholstery. It also recommended that the vacuum you will use in your car has a long and small crevice since it will be more effective when reaching deep consoles, under seats, seams, crannies and nooks including the areas around the seat beads.
When reaching behind the pedals and other tight or deep areas, a nice fitting crevice will help you clean it. You may also need a brush to use before and after you vacuum especially on your carpets. Here is one give away tip in vacuuming your carpet, beat your carpet or lift the section where you will point your vacuum hose or crevice. This way, the dirt accumulated in the thrust of the carpet will fall down or would come loose.
Proper Way to Vacuum:
- The proper way to vacuum you car’s interior is to know where to start. This way, you will not repeat the process again and again. Start from the rear upholstery and carpet by pushing the front seats forward. With the crevice, vacuum the cracks and in between spaces of the seats and carpet areas. You have to use the dust brush for the door panels since vacuuming it will not enough. After brushing it, vacuum it again to ensure all dust and dirt are removed.
- You have to pull out your floor mats and liners before you vacuum the inside of your car since this is typically made from rubber. Rubber and vacuum don’t go together. Floor mats and liners should be washed or brushed off when cleaning although you could vacuum it as well using a 4 inches crevice.
- After vacuuming the rear section, push the seats back on its proper arrangement or you could also push it backward on the rear‘s direction. Like the way you vacuumed in the back, do it as well on the front section targeting the areas and crack of the seats and the surface behind the carpeted areas and seats. Vacuum the gas and brake pedals including the gear shifts and dashboards. Use brush when vacuuming console, door panels and vents to loose all the dirt accumulation.
- For the fabric upholstery, use the round brush attachment also when vacuuming it, but make sure to be gentle and not to rub it off heavily, you can would or destroy the fiber on your fabric upholstery.
Using a vacuum properly will make cleaning your car’s interior and upholstery easier and faster. If you follow this proper way to vacuum your car, it will make your cleaning double easier and faster!
Wait for my next post about detailing your car’s upholstery be it a vinyl, leather or even fabric. Like me, I; sure you always want your car especially its interior to be always looking new and smelling fresh. Who doesn’t anyways, right? Good Day!
So, when is the perfect time to clean your car’s interior? Let me help you to determine a systematic way of cleaning your car’s interior from a weekly to a monthly routine. There are also parts in your interior that only demands at least four times a year to be cleaned. Knowing this method, you will surely save yourself from overdoing it.
For a Weekly Routine
You will just need a damp cloth or a micro fiber towel to clean you car’s interior, Washing would be just enough to keep your car clean on a weekly basis. This is to prevent dirt and dust accumulation that if not controlled would lead to bigger problem of cleaning your car.
Here are the things you can do to in cleaning your car weekly:
- Wipe all your vinyl and upholstery except the fabric ones with a damp cloth or using a micro fiber towel. Micro fiber towel is more effective in wiping off dirt and dust fast.
- Wash your floor mats like an ordinary laundry by pulling it out and brushing and hosing off the dirt.
- Wipe your door handles, jambs and sills with damp towel as well. Include your window switches or handles.
- Be sure to pick up all trashes and dirt on your vehicle especially in the back seat where you consider sometimes as your large waste basket. Paper, peels, candy wrappers or any thrash you happen to throw inside your car.
- Wipe your window glass, mirrors, windshield, door glass and rear window glass with damp towel as well. But make sure that it will not leave any splotches of water residues on the glass. You may need a dry cloth to avoid this.
***If you take at least five minutes out of your time to do this weekly routine, cleaning the full interior of your car on a monthly or quarterly basis will be less daunting and bickering.
For a Monthly Routine
Your may need vacuum and towel during a monthly routine of detailing your car. This is basically a follow to your weekly routine. On the other hand, if your periodically had the time to do the weekly routine for cleaning your car’s interior, you can skip doing this monthly routine aside from vacuuming the carpets and seats.
Here are the things you can do to in cleaning your car monthly:
- Provided that you maintain the weekly routine, you don’t have to wash your upholsteries and glasses of your car. You can directly grab your vacuum and vacuum the dirt off your interior carpets and console. Vacuuming is very effective way to completely get rid of any dust and dirt on your car.
- Applying any car protectants should also be done monthly. This way, you will continuously protect your car and at the same time protecting from early wear and fades. If you do this on a weekly basis, it will also fade your car’s upholstery especially the vinyl and leather. Apply protectants on areas that is most exposed to sun. UV rays radically damage your car’s surface including your car’s interior.
For a Car Detailing Routine (Every 4 months is recommended)
You may need to visit your local auto shop and car wash to do this. There are also car detailing professionals that are experts in detailing cars. But you can also do it by yourself provided that the stains over your carpets and upholsteries are easy to remove otherwise you really need someone to do it. This time, you have to clean your seals, trunks, cargo areas as well as your other accessories like seatbelts and consoled. During this routine, you also have to get your dashboard detailed.
These tips are best if you haven’t yet got a car or you are still in the process of buying a new car for investment. Although if you have already one, you can still follow some of the tips I will provide to maintain the high value of your car.
- When buying a car choose standard colors. Standard colors are the set of colors leaves a classic and conventional car color. You may think that these colors are the basic colors but in reality, these are the colors most buyers wanted to buy and that it is always in style no matter what. These are best seller colors that are still hot in the market although its ubiquity is actual but still preferred by most. These are the colors black, white and red. Can you have an easy time selling a pink or violet car? Now this is what I’m telling about. So if your car’s paint is more on the extreme side like a fuchsia or beige, invest on new car paint now if you’re planning to sell your car.
- Prevention is always better than cure. This is applicable with this second tip. Maintain a routine inspection and maintenance of your car. The earlier it is inspected for any damage the earlier it is prevented to cause further damage and problems as well. Regular service check will prevent any severe damage on your vehicle that will cause it to breakdown.
- Hydrate your car always. As I mentioned in my previous post, always keep your car’s fluid level up. Oil, fuel, coolant, refrigerant and other type of fluids used in car’s performance and functions should always be filled. Car runs smoothly with fluids. Always follow the recommended oil change every 3000 miles or every couple of months whichever comes first.
- Do necessary repairs over damaged vehicle parts. If you have just recently encountered or get involved in an accident, fix any damage immediately. This will bring bad impact over your reputation as a seller and it will drop a large bracket on your car’s resale value.
- Don’t abuse your car with high mileage. Logically, higher mileage over your car’s gauge means a higher wear and tear on its vehicle parts especially on tires and engine
- Remember that rust is your vehicle’s number one enemy. Applying rust protectants is your best remedy to prevent any early rust tendencies.
- Include cleaning in your routine maintenance. Avoid dirt accumulation on your carpets, seats and liners. Regular washing and having it vacuumed are two of the simplest way to maintain cleanliness inside your car. As for the exterior, focus your cleaning on your wheels, the trims especially. Accumulated dirt over your wheel trims can leave a disgusting appeal on your car. This dirt will also scratch your expensive wheel alloys so better clean it regularly.
- Floor liners, cargo liners and floor mats are not just pieces of styling accessories. If put into good use, this car accessories will protect you car to the most from marring, dents, scratches, mud and spills.
- Invest on a safe car garage or parking area. It will be very unfortunate if you damage your car while you are confident with how you store your car. Or, if you don’t have a proper garage for your car, you will eventually find your car’s paint faded and damage due to weather condition of rain, sun and snow. Plus the possibility of thief, burglars and other accidents of damage if you park your cars unguarded outside your house.
That’s it. I hope you learned something new with these tips
Here is my follow-up and part II post of my blog entry “Keeping Your Car’s Resale Value”.
8 EASY AND SIMPLE WAYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR CAR’S VALUE
- Don’t abuse your car. This could be done by avoiding driving your car in excessive miles. The potential depreciation value of your vehicle could be directly influence by the high mileage it had undergone.
- Keep away from rust. Rust is the number one cause of corrosion and damage on your vehicle leaving an unappealing and awful sight on your car. Since your vehicle body frames is made and molded from metal, it is wise to get rust coating and applying it over should be done regularly. As I mentioned, if you live in a place where cold climate and winters is natural be sure to wash and remove the road salt deposits on its body especially the wheel rims and underbody to prevent early rust tendencies. Target the vehicle parts that are prone to accumulate moisture, salt build-up and water such as the fenders and panels.
- Maintain a clean and proper garage for your vehicle. Two abrasive elements, the Sun and the cold weather. These two elements are your valid and enough reason to keep a good garage for your vehicle. Extreme sunlight can fade away your vehicle’s paint and surface while extreme cold climate can have direct assault on your internal components on your vehicle’s engine like the air and fuel filter.
- Clean your car often. By often, it means you have a regular routine for it. A periodic range of having your car completely detailed will preserve the quality of your car, not only on its exterior but its interior as well.
- Your car is neither your kitchen nor your dining area. Eating inside your car is one of the top reasons why your car’s interior shows early sign of damage. Accidental spills will lead to floor panel corrosions as well as stain over your carpets, seats and dashboards. Avoid smoking inside your car as well.
- Keep a friendly semblance too your service mechanic. Well not in exaggerated way, but you must frequent your vehicle with shop visits for routine inspection. You must keep your records of maintenance or repairs if it has since buyers ask this to owners or sellers first. Also, nothing beats the maintenance or repair that is done by professional or experts so do-yourself-jobs is not reliable and practical at all times.
- Keep away from any modification that will damage your car. As you decide over a modification, make sure that it will not sacrifice any of your vehicle parts or cause damage to any of it like paint chirps and scratches or altered the original specification of your car. Alteration sometimes decreases the cars value even if you have done it to upgrade.
- Don’t let wear and tear pass your car! If any of your car parts need replacement already, get one immediately. Or else, that component may extend further damage to its adjacent component. Say for example you have a rusty header panel, be sure to replace it or its rust will eats up its parts connected to it like then bumpers or the headlight casing.
Easy ways, isn’t it? If you religiously follow this and keep this in mind, you will never have the difficulty to maintain the pristine value of your car. This way, you will keep a hold and control over its depreciation value or appreciation value if yours is a classic car.
For my next post, I will share with you tips on how to maintain your car’s value. Good Day Everyone!
So start taking extra good care of your vehicle. Maintenance of its engine performance and those components that are not easy to be and get replacement should be where you should focus more. Put on the last of your list the components that have less expensive replacement or that it is easy to be reinstalled and will not affect much the value of your car like door handles and mirrors.
Remember also that car maintenance varies depending on several factors. If you are leaving in a coastal area where early rusting tendencies is possible, then it is just appropriate to give your vehicle a double maintenance routine than living elsewhere. Take note also of the weather pattern your place has, it is a more snowy part of the country? If yes, you better install or pre-coat your vehicle and its component with rust-proofing or protectant.
To put it a manner of list, here are some question that will affect your car’s routine maintenance or that on its car value.
- Your Place. As I mentioned, the place where you live matters.
- Demand for your Car. In this where the principle of economics enters, as the supply is greater the demand is lesser. Say, there are lots of this particular make and model as yet, of course if you are going to sell yours its selling price will rocket down. That’s why some manufacturer releases an entry trim under limited edition so they can double its price.
- Vehicle Performance. Who does not need extra powered car these days? 1 out of 100 buyers’ maybe.
- Your vehicle’s popularity. This goes to manifest that if your car lacks information or reviews about it, then impacts your car in a quite bad standing. But popularity doesn’t always mean ubiquity or overproduction of its same model.
- Damage. Especially those that is easily seen or quite visible. Be sure to repair any sign of damage to you vehicle especially those minor fender-benders. This will also leave an impression that you as a driver or owner doesn’t take good care if your car. In most instances, buyers do background check on the owner as well. Crack windshield is also a big NO and must be immediately replaced. Never mind the cost of replacement. The price mark down is more of a waste rather than the cost of its replacement. Take notice also with the scratches and dings, these may seem harmless but it will rips off much from your vehicle’s resale value.
- What is your vehicle? I mean its make and model. There are just make and model that the price from its name. That’s what you called preceding reputation.
Well, basically that’s it. You need to ask yourself or check your vehicle with it. For my next post, I will make a short list of tips to maintain the resale value of your car. Either you have the intention of selling it or not, keeping your car maintained should be done.
So you have a great car. Did you personally choose its color? If not, what would be the perfect color you will go for? Silver? Red? Black? Blue? There are lots of possible colors to choose but don’t you know that color choices somehow transpire or reflect your personality or that different colors leave different impressions or meaning? Using color to convey meaning could be a powerful tool. In fact, colors do affect how you see things, or how you feel about it. It might even be referred as color symbolism or simply, color carry shades of meaning or that it carries a certain energy and influence.
So here are some of the colors commonly used and its meaning in general context:
Meaning: professional, loyal, boring, Knowledge, health, relaxation
Effects: It help to visualize calmness that is why it is ideal as a bedroom color and for children’s room especially for over-active or hyperactive kids. Since it will make you relax, blue is the color to enhance your communication and decision-making.
Meaning: attention-grabbing, lively, cowardly, awareness, wisdom
Effects: It’s an energy-booster and could relieve depression since it quite vibrant. It enhances memory, perception and understanding. When you are not in the mood to eat, have some yellow in your sight.
Meaning: balance, peace and love, envy, stability, success
Effects: Like the color blue, green color will soothe and makes you relax mentally. It encourages self-control, harmony and relieves depressions.
Meaning: power, creativity, royal, elegance, wisdom
Effects: it renders relief of tension, inner strength, wisdom, creativity as well as peace of mind.
Meaning: warm, danger, energy, courage, vitality
Effects: it provides good stimulation of brain, self-confidence and energy.
Meaning: cheerful, independence, happiness and confidence
Effects: it offers stimulation for a good appetite, energy-booster as well as serve as a source of confidence to foster sociability.
Could these colors apply in cars as well? Would it also bring good effects on its owner if he/she decided the color to choose for their car?
In a more specific application, here are some meanings of car color and that its effect on the impression left by its driver.
Black Car – this suggest the need for it’s to be distinctive and to discard anonymity from the rest of its same model.
Blue Car – It somehow suggest that its owner is quite showy and cool.
Red Car - A confident showy driver for sure, red after all symbolized confidence.
Yellow Car – It leaves an impression that the driver is sporty and active.
Orange Car – Same with yellow, orange car suggest that the driver is somehow sporty and has an active lifestyle.
Silver or Gold Car – Signifies A touch of elegance that leaves an impression that its driver or its owner is wealthy and rich.
Pink Car – obviously suggest that its owner is no less than belongs to the female specie. It clearly spells feminism.
But what meaning it becomes if you mix and match colors in one single car? Certainly, no one in his sound judgment dare to give it a try. Hehehe kidding! Well, if the owner wants to, then why not. Maybe he/she wants to convey different impressions.
So, does this hold truth in my case? Let me see..
I have a red car.
I preferred red car actually so that’s make me quite confident and showy?
So, could this be the reason why I always feel active? Hehehe to conclude, there’s some kernel of truth somewhere here, between my personality and the color of my car. If I have a chance to repaint or buy a new car, I would get it in silver or gold. Why? Because I know that by that time, I am rich and famous already. J
A Retractable Hard Top it is! Yay!
Early this year, Mazda released a new addition to their growing aftermarket upgrades for owners of MX- 5 Miata like me. I know this is a late post for that but I have just got one for myself just a couple of days ago. This is totally an upgrade from the current soft-top version I am beginning to get bored with. The reason I choose hard-top over the soft one is for safety reason. I always drive daily over this particular street I will not disclose where but you see, down that road have a neighborhood that quite got hysterical to each other. I was once pinched with a flying can from kids throwing anything at each other. Hehehe Spring season has also brought birds into so much glee that they literally went out there way to actually drop their dang of to any car they want, including mine! So, with this hard top, cleaning it would be easy. Isn’t it?
On the other news:
Mazda just currently released their 2008 Mazda Miata MX-5! Reviews noted that this 2008 year model is the best looking and greatest performing Mazda Miata. Hmm… let me see, figure its difference from my 2004 Miata.
The Current 2008 Mazda Miata performance:
It has a 1.8Liter displacement DOHC with 4 cylinder and 16 valves that could generate 142 hp at 7000 rpm. Its torque rating has weeping 125 ft lbs at 5000 rpm. It has a 5 speed manual transmission RWD and four wheel independent front and rear stabilizer suspension bar.
- 1,992 cc 2.0 liters in-line 4 front engine with 87.4 mm bore, 83.1 mm stroke, 10.8 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder MZR
- Premium unleaded fuel 91
- Multi-point injection fuel system
- 12.7 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank 10.6
- Power: 124 kW , 166 HP SAE @ 6,700 rpm; 140 ft lb , 190 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
My 2004 Mazda Miata Mx-5 performance:
- 1,839 cc 1.8 liters in-line 4 front engine with 83 mm bore, 85 mm stroke, 10 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder
- Premium unleaded fuel 91
- Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 28 and EPA city (mpg): 23
- Multi-point injection fuel system
- 12.7 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank
- Power: 106 kW , 142 HP SAE @ 7,000 rpm; 125 ft lb , 170 Nm @ 5,000 rp
Can you see any difference? Heheh I know I know I sound sour graping. Hehehe Well, just wanted to update for me to have an excuse in letting you know what’s latest with my car.
“Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car.”
Quote from Dr. Laurence J. Peter which the pastor in our church re-quoted last Sunday during the mass. How interesting this quote strike me, the analogy is quite amusing but the truth behind it is more than a kernel of corn on its weight. Maybe Pastor Jade observed less and less men species goes to church every Sunday. Hmm. Maybe he’s just sort of trying to extend the message that even how many effort or attention you give on your car, you will never be one. Huh. Come on don’t be sarcastic now, try to see the depth of this message to you. Are you also guilty of this?
Most of us, especially man have chose to pay a little more attention to our cars rather than going to church. I don’t want to sound quite a religious or whatever but this is really the truth in most cases. But hey the quote also conveys that, even though you always go to church, it will not make you anymore a Christian unless you take in on your heart. So there, don’t be a hypocrite now.