A clean and fresh smelling car can be a motorist’s pride and joy. Unfortunately, daily life often intervenes, resulting in a myriad of food, drink and dirt stains contaminating your vehicle. Listed below are ten of these persistent and irritating stains, with a series of possible solutions towards eradicating them. With care and a bit of elbow grease, your car can once again be your crowning glory…
Ten of the Very Worst Stains to Get in Your Car or Van
10 – Chocolate
Oh so yummy, yet oh so messy! If you drop chocolate on your seats, do not rub it to try to remove it. This will only smear the stain deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove later. If possible, leave it to dry and harden, thus increasing your chances of being able to chip it off later.
9 – Alcohol stains
Don’t drink and drive, it will wreak havoc with your upholstery. If you have a beer stain on your upholstery, sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol and then proceed to rub bar soap onto it. Leave plenty of time for this to soak in and dry. When the area has dried, gently brush over it with a nail brush. Repeat this process and the stain will soon be gone.
8 – Coffee stains
Eminently refreshing yet endlessly frustrating once spilled. Coffee stains need to be tackled immediately to prevent soaked-in persistent stains. Firstly, instead of rubbing it, blot the spot where the coffee has been spilled. Pat it dry with a kitchen towel, tissue or any car cleaning cloth you have lying around. Continue to pat it with a damp cloth to draw out as much of the stain as possible. This way, you have improved your likelihood of being able to remove the stain when you have access to more advanced cleaning products upon arriving home.
7 – Cheese Stains
What goes best with fast food stains? Cheese stains! Greasy cheese stains can ruin any upholstery, particularly leather. The best way to remove these stains is to apply a solution of mild soap and lukewarm water on the offending stain with a sponge. Wipe this dry with a clean cloth and, if a greasy stain persists, try covering the stain with a powdered absorbent such as corn meal or baking soda. Do not rub this powder in, instead leave it plenty of time to soak in naturally. After waiting at least an hour, gently brush the powder off using a stiff-bristled brush. Continue repeating this process until all of the grease stain is removed.
6 – Fast food rubbish/grease
Now I’m partial to the occasional burger. What I’m not partial to is the accumulation of fast food cartons and fry grease around the footwells of my car. One easy way to remedy this is to always keep a trash bag in your vehicle. This prevents your leftover fries and fast food cartons from falling into tiny cracks around or under your seats, which fester and become a nightmare to clean.
5 – Muddy footprints
You can’t always avoid bad weather. However, you can avoid bringing it into your car. All you have to do is knock your shoes or boots before you enter your vehicle, removing excess mud or snow slush and preventing it from messing up your car’s interior. This prevents your foot wells from accumulating snow slush and mud.
4 – Ventilation Duct Odors
You don’t know how it got there or what it is, but that smell needs to go! To eradicate stale odors from your ventilation ducts, spray odor eliminator into your system’s air intake, usually you can find it at the base of your windshield. After doing this, run your air conditioner on maximum blast for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that smell is thoroughly gone for good.
3 – Blood stains
Blood stains can be unsightly and a real pain to remove from your upholstery. Repeat the cleaning process mentioned above to remove ink stains, and hopefully you will be able to remedy the situation before the stain has set into the fabric.
2 – Ink stains on leather seats
Luxuriously soft leather upholstery cannot be fully appreciated if you have to dodge the massive inkblot in the center of your seat. Thankfully, this stain can be easily remedied with some upholstery cleaner or even cuticle remover. Place some across the stain, leaving it to set for at least an hour. Then simply wipe it off. If part of the stain still remains, simply repeat the process until it is all removed. However, never use nail polish remover in lieu of cuticle remover! This will just add a nail polish stain on top of the original stain, hardly complementary to the elegant interior design of your vehicle.
1 – Dirt on your dashboard
There’s nothing worse than trapped dirt within the grooves of your dashboard that you can’t reach. Try using a soft paintbrush or toothbrush to enable you to get into all of these grooves. Even baby wipes and a small amount of baby oil on plastic or wooden dashboards can help to deep clean your console and grant it that new-car shine.