Fixing Your Car Upholstery

While the guts of the car are important and should always be maintained, many tend to overlook the importance of having a clean interior. All too often people leave trash lying on the floor, spill drinks and food without cleaning them up, and endlessly smoke, leading the drab, dirty, and smelly car interior. And even if you take great care of your car’s upholstery, there is still the chance that repeated use - the constant getting in and getting out - can lead to wear and tear on the fabric, resulting in a messy appearance through no direct fault of your own.


Getting your car’s upholstery fixed, whether this means patching a tear or having the seats and floors cleaned, doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Let’s start with basic tears and rips in the fabric. Depending on its location, there are a number of ways through which these can be repaired. If it’s a large tear, then finding a fabric similar in color is an easy way to fix it at home. Depending on the type of fabric, you can either sew it into the seat or use an iron to “glue” it to the fabric. If the tear is on a seam, then a staple gun, some epoxy that can stick to fabric, or even a good ol’ fashioned needle and thread can be used to fix it.

All of these problems can be avoided, however, if you purchase seat cover or replacement floor mats. Over time the floor mats become dirty and worn, especially underneath the heel of the foot, which can cause a hole right in the mat itself. The best way to avoid having to seek out identical replacement mats (should you ever have to sell the car) is to purchase a set of plastic floor mats. These can typically be bought at a store like Wal-Mart or an auto supply store, or you can have them custom ordered to fit your car’s floor perfectly. The same can be said of seat covers, which are typically made of a stretchy fabric that can cover the entirety of the seat.

If your upholstery has become dirty due to wear or just an accidental spill, then it might be time to consider a complete detailing. Interior detailing can be done at home, though some of the toughest stains may require professional assistance to get them clean. If you just need to give your floor mats and seats a good scrubbing, then any strong cleaner such as Oxi-Clean can be used to give it a new shine, though in the end, the effort spent scrubbing the inside of your car might not be worth saving a few measly dollars. This holds especially true if you have leather seats and don’t want to risk damaging them by using the wrong cleaning chemicals. A trusted auto detailer can work wonders, and as such should be the first place you go when it’s time to clean the inside of your car.

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Posted on June 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM