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How to Clean Vinyl

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Would you like to learn the secrets of cleaning vinyl? The most common place you’ll find vinyl fabric is in the interior of your car. Vinyl coated fabrics are some of the most commonly used car upholstery fabrics. Unfortunately, this vinyl does become dirty and stained, especially if you use your car on a frequent basis.

The good news about vinyl fabric is that it’s relatively resistant to most stains and can be superficially cleaned with a damp cloth. Vinyl cleaning can be a little more time consuming if you’ve allowed several layers of dirt to accumulate, but with a little elbow grease you can have your vinyl clean and shining like new. Here’s how to clean vinyl:

1. Remove all loose debris.

If you’re cleaning the vinyl upholstery in your car, first remove any loose debris by thoroughly vacuuming the upholstery fabric in your car.

2. Clean your vinyl.

Never use chemicals or abrasive detergents on vinyl fabric. This can not only damage the fabric, but can permanently dull the shine of your vinyl. Gently remove dirt and stains by using a soft cloth barely dampened with warm water and the suds from a mild, neutral soap. It’s important that you use as little water as possible since water can cause the vinyl to crack. You can use a bristle brush to gently clean stubborn stains that general cleansing doesn’t remove. If you have really tough stains such ink, cosmetics, or shoe heel marks, try gently rubbing the area with mineral spirits.

3. Protect your vinyl.

You can buy special vinyl protective finishes at some hardware stores that will help to resist staining and protect the vinyl fabric from damage from exposure to the sun. It also may reduce the incidence of cracking. If you’re concerned about preserving your vinyl upholstery, this product is an excellent investment.

4. Repair any flaws in your vinyl.

Sometimes when cleaning your vinyl upholstery, you’ll notice small tears or cigarette burns. The best way to repair these fabric flaws is to purchase a vinyl repair kit which has everything you need to repair vinyl fabric flaws. These are available both locally and online.

If you’re cleaning the vinyl upholstery in your car, don’t forget about cleaning the vinyl mats. These are best cleaned with warm soap and water followed by a light coat of spray protectant.

Knowing how to clean vinyl can help keep the vinyl upholstery in your car looking like new. Who says you have to buy a new car to get the feel of the new car interior?

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