Light gray interiors - dirt magnets!

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by occupant, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. occupant

    occupant Junior Member

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    My wife is PISSED at me. The bottom of our tub had to be wiped out. All the dirt from a SINGLE FLOOR MAT made the bathtub unusable. Here's how to make your wife mad at you, too. Um...I mean...here's how to get all the crap out of your floor mats, seats, carpets, et cetera. For your performance minded kids, this is weight reduction.

    THINGS YOU WILL NEED:

    can of Tuff Stuff multi purpose foam cleaner (about $4)
    upholstery brush (medium to stiff bristles, I used a TIRE BRUSH in this case, about $3)
    drying towels you don't care about (make sure your wife doesn't care either, ask me how I know)
    some sort of water source (a garden hose or pressure washer would be great)
    vacuum source (I used a small Shop Vac with a narrow crevice tool attachment)
    time and patience (you may need to borrow from someone else if you have none)

    TEST CLEAN AN AREA FIRST:

    I grabbed the passenger front floor mat. I didn't think it looked very dirty. I figured it would lighten up a LITTLE BIT and look more uniform. How wrong I was, though.

    FIRST STEPS:

    vacuum and pick off all the crap you CAN see
    use the brush, brushing all in one direction, to get out a SMALL portion of the crap you CAN'T see
    spray Tuff Stuff on the area you're cleaning until the foam is 1/2 to 1 inch thick
    work the foam into the area with the brush, swirling around and getting it all worked in
    then use the brush, brushing all in one direction, to get all foam out of sight

    SECOND STEPS:

    spray a light coat of Tuff Stuff over the mat and lightly brush at it with the brush, in all directions
    get your water source (or if you're brave, head to the bathtub) and rinse thoroughly
    let it drain until it stops dripping, then rinse again
    dry off with the towels, then stick it back in the car out in the sun so it can evaporate and dry out well

    [​IMG]
    Above is the result of this effort. The driver's side floor mat versus the passenger side. This was still WET when I took the picture. Here's what it looked like later once dry and in the car:

    [​IMG]
    Now I know how dirty that carpet really is compared to the now clean floor mat, and this is after my wife stepped on it a few times running errands. Huge difference, it even feels better to the touch!

    So now that I know how filthy that carpet is, I want to clean it and my seats the same way. Of course, unless you take your whole interior apart, you can't put your seats and carpet in the bathtub to rinse off with the shower head. And I'm not doing that. But here's what I will be doing to take care of that in the next day or so:

    Water source: cheap little dollar store spray bottle
    Vacuum source: my Shop Vac
    Drying source:: got a bunch of towels from a thrift store for 50 cents each (spent $3)

    I'll run an extension cord out to the parking lot and have my Shop Vac there to "extract".

    1) Vacuum carpet and pick out crap
    2) Tuff Stuff, thick spray, brush it to death
    3) light spray of Tuff Stuff, light brushing
    4) light spray of plain tap water from bottle, light brushing
    5) vacuum it to death
    6) towels towels and more towels to dry it aas best I can
    7) leave windows cracked and let the sun do the rest
    8) be ready to clean windows and plastic surfaces the next day from the evaporate

    I'll try to take more pictures, too.

    You can spend $11 on stuff and borrow or have a Shop Vac and do this yourself, or you can pay a detailer $75-$150 to do it for you. Or you can buy a Little Green Machine and have your own extraction unit like a detailer but that's $80-$100 and I'd rather save that money for other things and use some free time to do it myself. But if you have pets you might want the Little Green Machine. You'll be shocked how much crud you can get out of your carpets and furniture in the home.
     
  2. occupant

    occupant Junior Member

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    I only have one before photo.

    driver interior.jpg

    Really did not get to do this when I wanted to so I was pressed for time to finish quickly. Here are the after photos.

    20190613_145809.jpg

    The front carpets are still very dirty. The brush I used could not get into the corners at all so the only parts of the carpet that are clean are what I could reach with the brush I had.

    20190613_145912.jpg

    I also replaced the floor mats with a clearance set from Walmart because as nice as I might be able to clean the driver side mat, I can't clean it so much that the gaping hole fills in.

    20190612_105637.jpg

    As far as the cleaners go, the Simple Green I diluted into the tiny spray bottle worked better on the stained black greasy areas, while the Tuff Stuff upholstery and carpet cleaner worked better on the dirt filled tan and brown areas. Process is ALWAYS more important than product but there are some things some cleaners are better at than others.

    If I have time to do this again I will be finding some other brushes to get into the corners and crevices better.

    This brush I bought is a TIRE scubbing brush. EXCELLENT on the carpets. TERRIBLE on the seats. You need a softer bristle to do the seats. I had to give up and resort to just scrubbing hard with the microfiber towels on the seats. Won't matter, they will have covers on them shortly, but they have to be CLEAN before I put covers on, or there's no point because it'll make the covers stink.

    20190613_145832.jpg

    Cars smells so fresh inside now it's like a completely different car. You don't know how much your car REEKS of things because you're in it every day. GET IT CLEANED you will notice right away.
     
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow! Looks brand new. When are planning on hitting up the carpets, sorry, didnt read the whole post if you mentioned it already.
     

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