Dealing with Sticky Automobile Vinyl

Dealing with Sticky Automobile VinylDealing with Sticky Vinyl

Vinyl is often used in vehicles because it is comfortable, easy to clean and looks great. However, vinyl is a type of plastic and like most plastics, it can degrade over time. This happens much quicker if the vinyl upholstery is not properly cared for or if the vehicle is constantly exposed to strong sunlight and intense heat. If the vinyl in your vehicle feels sticky and it is not due to an outside source such as spilled food and liquids, then natural degrading is most likely the cause. This degrading process will be accelerated if you have tried using cleaners that are unsuitable for use on vinyl. In most cases, a good quality automobile vinyl cleaner and conditioner will restore the vinyl upholstery. Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with sticky automobile vinyl.

  • Start by moving your vehicle into the shade so that you will stay cooler and the cleaning products won’t get cooked into the vinyl.
  • Using a clean microfiber cloth, dust off all vinyl interior surfaces to remove any surface dirt.
  • Spray a good quality automobile vinyl cleaner onto a small section of vinyl. Do not cover large areas of your interior because it must be wiped before it can be allowed to dry.
  • Using a slightly damp microfiber cloth, work the cleaner into the vinyl. If a lot of visible dirt comes off onto the cloth, use a different cloth to prevent spreading the dirt around.
  • Check the label on your vinyl cleaner to see if it must be rinsed off. Most products do not require rinsing, but some do.
  • Follow with a good quality vinyl conditioner. Conditioning vinyl car interior is extremely important. It keeps the vinyl flexible and stops it from releasing polymers which can cause a sticky feel. Spray the vinyl conditioner on and use a clean microfiber cloth to work it in using circular buffing motions.
  • Wait five minutes and then buff the vinyl again with clean microfiber cloths to remove any leftover conditioner.
  • Keep your car in the shade, with the windows rolled down to allow the vinyl to dry completely.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Repairing a Vehicle’s Leather Upholstery Seats

Repairing a Vehicle’s Leather Upholstery SeatsRepairing Leather

Many people enjoy the comfort and luxury of leather upholstery in their vehicle. Unfortunately, over time after regular everyday use the leather on your car seats can begin to fade in color and wear away on the surface. If you are experiencing this problem in your vehicle it is possible to restore the seat to an almost perfect finish with the help of a color matched repair system. Let’s discuss how to repair faded or worn away vehicle leather upholstery seats.

  • Apply a light mist of leather cleaner onto the leather upholstery over the damaged area and all surrounding areas. Make sure that the leather cleaner that you use is good quality and approved for use in vehicles.
  • Using a soft brush, rub the leather cleaner gently into the seat’s upholstery. Use circular motions to gently clean away any dirt, grease and pigments that might have built up on the leather over time.
  • Wipe the seat upholstery with a clean towel to remove the cleaner and any remaining dirt.
  • Continue applying leather cleaner in the method described above until the towel comes away from the upholstery clean.
  • Using a good quality leather upholstery repair kit, apply a small amount of the leather preparation included to a clean cloth. Pass the cloth several times over the damaged area to apply the preparation.
  • Wipe the leather until it begins to feel softer and slightly sticky.
  • Using a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting, dry the leather preparation.
  • Squeeze out a pea sized amount of the upholstery repair compound onto the tip of your index finger and carefully spread it over the damaged area.
  • Spread the compound out as thin as possible without leaving any exposed spots. Continue applying the compound this way until you have completely covered the damaged area.
  • Using a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting, dry the compound completely.
  • Wait at least thirty minutes before using the seat.
  • This method will not work on tears or scars in leather upholstery seats. If your vehicle’s leather upholstery is torn or the damaged area is too large, you must have the upholstery repaired or replaced by a professional automobile upholstery shop.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Dealing with Lice in Automobile Upholstery

Dealing with Lice in Automobile Upholsterylice_auto_upholstery

Most people think that only children can get head lice, but the truth is that head lice infestations can occur at any time and to anybody. This seems to be especially true for this time of year. Head lice attach sticky eggs to an infested person’s hair and those eggs then transfer and stick to any surface where an infested hair might fall, or a person sits or rests. Once a lice infestation is discovered all possible transfer surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of the infestation. This includes all of the smooth and upholstered surfaces of your vehicle. Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with lice when it comes to automobile upholstery.

  • Start by thoroughly vacuuming your auto interior using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. Make sure to vacuum all areas of your vehicle, especially those areas where the head of the person who has head lice has rested. These areas include the headrests, child car seats, seat backs and seat bottoms if the person might have laid down on the seat. Vacuum your vehicle until you are sure that you have removed all of the loose hair, dirt and debris.
  • Remove the vacuum bag or empty the vacuum’s canister into a plastic bag, seal it and throw it away outside of your home.
  • Clean your vacuum thoroughly by wiping the vacuum bag compartment or canister interior with a hot, soapy microfiber cloth. Rinse with a damp cloth and then allow it to air dry. Any attachments that were used should be soaked in hot, soapy water for at least fifteen minutes, and then rinsed under hot water and allowed to air dry. Run hot water through the vacuum hose as well and then hang or lay the hose outside to dry.
  • Using damp, lint-free microfiber cloths, wipe the vehicle interior’s smooth surfaces. After cleaning, you can either throw the cloths away outside or you can wash the cloths in hot water and detergent, and then dry them in a clothes dryer on the highest heat setting.
  • If the previous steps are not successful at removing the lice from your vehicle, repeat the steps and then use a good quality upholstery cleaner that is approved for use on your specific type of upholstery. The chemicals in the cleaner will kill the lice and destroy the eggs. Never use lice-killing cleaners to clean your automobile upholstery as they contain toxic chemicals that can harm your upholstery as well as anyone that rides in your vehicle.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Eliminating Moisture from Automobile Upholstery

Eliminating Moisture from Automobile UpholsteryMoisture

With so many different ways for it to get inside, it’s impossible to keep moisture completely out of your vehicle. Sometimes it’s caused by condensation, or wet shoes, but usually it happens when the windows are left open and an unexpected rainstorm leaves the inside of your car a wet, soggy mess. Moisture must be cleaned up quickly in order to avoid mildew growth and a musty odor from developing inside your vehicle. Let’s discuss how to eliminate moisture from automobile upholstery.

  • Using your hands, locate all of the areas were moisture is present. Be sure to thoroughly check the floor mats, carpeting, and upholstery.
  • If the floor mats are wet, if possible place them in a sunny, warm location to dry.
  • Use a clean, dry towel to blot up as much of the moisture as you can.
  • A hair dryer plugged into an extension cord can be used to dry most areas of the car that are affected with moisture. Be sure not to hold the hair dryer too close to the area that you are drying as it can cause the area to overheat. Always hold it at least two inches away from the upholstery or the carpeting.
  • To eliminate odors, sprinkle a light, even coating of baking soda over the carpeting and upholstery. Work the baking soda into the carpeting with your hands and allow it to sit for 24 hours. Use an industrial vacuum to remove the baking soda.
  • If odor still remains, place a commercial odor absorber in the back or front floor board of your vehicle. Or you can place five or six charcoal briquettes under each seat to absorb additional moisture and odors. Do not remove them until you no longer notice any odor.
  • If your floor mats still smell musty once they have dried completely it might be a good idea to replace them instead of attempting to get rid of the odor.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Removing Dog Hair from Automobile Upholstery

Removing Dog Hair from Automobile UpholsteryDog Hair on Upholstery

Many people enjoy the company of their dogs on long car rides. If your dog frequently rides in your vehicle then most likely you have dog hair embedded deep in the upholstery. Even if you use a blanket or car seat cover every time that your dog joins you in the car, hair is still likely to become stuck to the door panels and headliner. Vacuuming alone is not usually effective at removing all of this hair. However there are some things that you can do to remove dog hair from your automobile upholstery.

  • Lightly mist the upholstery with a mixture of 50% fabric softener and 50% water. Be sure that you don’t soak the fabric; just get it slightly damp in order to stop the static-cling effect.
  • Put on rubber gloves and rub the upholstery in circular back and forth motions. The rubber will pull the embedded hair out of the fabric weave of the upholstery. You should end up with little piles of dog hair mixed with other fibers that were stuck in the fabric.
  • Vacuum thoroughly to pick up any loose dog hair.
  • Use a large piece of duct tape or packing tape pressed firmly into crevices. For other places that you are unable to reach easily, push the tape down with a putty knife or anything thin enough to get all the way down. Repeat this process with fresh tape until it stops picking up hair.
  • Use a good quality spray upholstery cleaner that is meant for use on your vehicle’s specific type of upholstery. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.
  • Consider purchasing a car seat cover that is specifically made for transporting dogs. These are designed to protect your vehicle’s upholstery from muddy paws as well as dog hair.
  • Routine vacuuming of your vehicle will help to remove dog hair before it is able to become embedded in the fabric and carpeting.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Cleaning Leather Upholstery on Heated Seats

Cleaning Leather Upholstery on Heated SeatsLeather Seats

It’s no surprise that many people prefer leather seats. After all they look great, feel great and add a touch of luxury to your vehicle. However it’s important to keep your leather seats clean and protected from damage. In order to keep leather seats looking their best they must be properly cleaned, conditioned and cared for to prevent premature cracking, ripping and excessive wear. Heated leather seats are no exception. They must be cared for just the same as leather seats without heaters. Although warming the leather prior to cleaning it is much easier with heated leather seats. Warming the leather is an important first step that will make cleaning and conditioning the leather upholstery much more effective. Let’s discuss how to clean leather upholstery on heated seats.

  • Select a high quality leather cleaner and conditioner that is approved for use on vehicle upholstery. Select cleaners that are free of petroleum solvents, silicone oils and gloss agents.
  • Warm the leather seats by turning on the seat heaters. This allows the pores of the leather to open and better absorb the cleaner and conditioner.
  • Vacuum the leather seats and wipe them with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Apply cleaner to a clean, soft cloth and rub the leather seats in a small circular motion using gentle yet firm pressure.
  • Carefully clean one panel at a time making sure to clean the entire panel. However, avoid getting cleaner into the seams as it can be difficult to remove and can cause discoloration of the stitching.
  • Allow the cleaner to sit on the leather upholstery for approximately five minutes.
  • Using a new, clean cloth, remove excess cleaner by rubbing in small circular motions across the leather. Focus on one panel at a time to ensure that you cover all areas.
  • Apply leather conditioner as directed on the bottle.
  • Only use chemical leather cleaners or conditioners twice per year as cleaning too often will break down the surfactants or protectors applied to the leather at the tannery.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Dealing with a Falling Ceiling in your Car

Dealing with a Falling Ceiling in your CarFalling Ceiling

It can be a real nuisance when the cloth from the ceiling of your vehicle falls down on your head while you are driving. If it should fall all the way over your head it can obviously cause a dangerous situation for yourself, your passengers and other drivers. Sometimes the ceiling cloth only separates partially and begins to flap obnoxiously when you open your car windows. Whatever the case, these types of problems must be dealt with quickly before the cloth tears or the whole thing falls down. The cloth on the ceiling of your vehicle is called the headliner and there are a few steps that can be taken in order to repair it. Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with a falling ceiling in your car.

  • The first thing that you can do is take your vehicle to a trusted automobile interior repair shop. They will remove the old cloth and foam and replace it with new material. This is the smartest way to go because they will not only fix the problem the right way, but will also back their work for at least a year.
  • Another option is to pull down all of the old fabric, but only if the ceiling looks good above it. Usually if the cloth has separated from the foam then it can be extremely hard to reattach it. If you do not wish to remove the trim, then you can cut it carefully along the edges.
  • You can glue the headliner back in place by poking a small hole in a spot near the back of the ceiling. Make sure that the vehicle’s windows are open before starting and then insert the tip of spray glue and spray a generous coating. Allow it to sit for thirty seconds before pushing the cloth back into place. This is only a temporary fix as the ceiling will most likely fall again as the foam padding deteriorates.
  • Another option is to tack the cloth back in place with special cloth tacks called twist pins. These can be found at most fabric shops. They go through the fabric and foam and twist into the press board liner. Although these will hold the headliner in place for a little while, you will need to cover the entire ceiling in tacks.
  • You can also pull down the entire headliner and press foam board. Pull off the cloth and scrub off all of the foam. Glue a new piece of cloth over the framework, being sure to cut holes for the interior light and hanger hardware. Reinstall the headliner with all of the edging and interior light to hold it in place.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Removing Lipstick from Automobile Upholstery

Removing Lipstick from Automobile UpholsteryLipstick

Car upholstery can be subjected to a number of different stains on a daily basis. Most of these stains require different treatment, depending on the cause and severity of the stain. Lipstick as well as other make-up stains can be extremely difficult to remove from vehicle upholstery because they are oil-based and the pigment can spread quickly if the stain is not treated properly. Although lipstick stains can usually be removed from leather or vinyl upholstery by simply wiping it away with a clean paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol, removing it from fabric interior is quite a bit more difficult. Let’s take a closer look at how to properly remove lipstick from fabric automobile upholstery and the stitching on leather or vinyl upholstery.

  • Using tweezers, carefully remove any chunks of lipstick that are present on the upholstery.
  • Melted lipstick can be scraped off with the dull side of a butter knife. Always scrape towards the center of the stain to avoid spreading it.
  • Using a clean paper towel, dab the stain to remove excess lipstick. Be sure to use a different part of the paper towel for each dab to avoid re-depositing the lipstick onto the fabric. Never rub the stain with the paper towel as this will cause it to spread.
  • Before continuing, perform a spot test with rubbing alcohol and degreaser. Apply a small amount of each to an inconspicuous area of your upholstery and check back in 24 hours to make sure there has been no discoloration.
  • Pour rubbing alcohol on a clean rag and dab the stain to remove the lipstick. As mentioned before, use a clean area of the rag for each dab. This should remove most of the lipstick from the vehicle upholstery.
  • Spray a good quality degreaser onto any remaining traces of the stain and dab with another clean rag.
  • If traces still remain, reapply the degreaser and gently scrub the stain in a circular motion with a toothbrush. Dab the area periodically with a clean rag and frequently wipe off the toothbrush to remove any excess lipstick.
  • If water marks appear after cleaning, remove them by running a clean, damp cloth over the vehicle upholstery.
  • For severely damaged upholstery, you must take your vehicle to an upholstery shop for upholstery replacement.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Waterproofing a Convertible Top

Waterproofing a Convertible Topwaterproofing convertible top

Anyone that owns and drives a convertible knows that it can be a lot of fun. You just get a better feel for the open road with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. However, when the weather calls for rain and the top most go up, it is extremely important for convertible owners to be well prepared. This involves waterproofing your convertible top. This will protect the inside of your vehicle from moisture, as well as yourself and your passengers. Let’s take a look at the steps involved for waterproofing a convertible top.

  • Start by creating a schedule for waterproofing your convertible top. If your vehicle is stored in a garage, it should be waterproofed about twice a year. If it is kept outside, then it should be waterproofed three to four times per year. Make sure that you keep to the schedule that you set.
  • Thoroughly wash your convertible top before waterproofing it. This will ensure that no dirt or debris gets trapped under the waterproofing product.
  • The entire convertible top must be completely dry before it can be waterproofed.
  • Use a high quality waterproofing product that is intended for use on your specific type of convertible top. It should be free of petroleum distillates, plasticizers, silicone or organic solvents, as all of these can damage the convertible top.
  • Spray the entire convertible top with a thin layer of the waterproofing product. You should apply two to three layers to the seams of the convertible top as they are most vulnerable to moisture and damage.
  • Allow the product to soak in.
  • Park your convertible in a warm, sunny location to allow it to dry completely. This should take no more than an hour.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

Removing Automobile Grease from Car Carpet

Removing Automobile Grease from Car Carpetautomobile grease

It’s a fact that your vehicle’s carpet will pick up whatever you have on the bottom of your shoes. Everyday dirt and debris can easily become ground into the carpet fibers. Most of this debris can be easily removed by brushing your car carpeting with a stiff brush. However, occasionally you might track automobile grease and oil on your carpeting which must be removed carefully and immediately. Keeping your vehicle’s carpeting clean and stain-free will help extend the life of the carpet, maintain the value of your vehicle and make for a more enjoyable driving experience. Let’s discuss how to remove automobile grease from car carpet.

  • Start by blotting and scraping as much grease or oil as possible from the carpeting. Use paper towels to blot and a plastic scraper.
  • Lay down a sheet of butcher or freezer paper on the grease stain on the carpeting. The glossy side of the paper must be facing up.
  • Using an iron set on the warm setting, gently iron over the butcher paper. The butcher paper should absorb the oil and grease from the carpeting.
  • Remove the butcher paper after it has absorbed the grease.
  • Clean your vehicle’s carpet well, using a commercial carpet cleaner that is approved for use on vehicle carpeting. Apply the cleaner with a sponge and then remove the excess suds with a clean, dry towel.

An alternative method is to use corn starch:

  • Pour cornstarch directly on the oil or grease stain on the carpeting.
  • Gently rub the cornstarch into the stain.
  • Allow it to sit for three hours. The cornstarch will absorb the oil and grease during this time.
  • Vacuum the carpet well, making sure to remove all of the cornstarch.
  • Shampoo the vehicle carpet with a commercial carpet cleaner that is approved for use on vehicle carpeting. Apply the cleaner with a sponge and then remove the excess suds with a clean, dry towel.
  • Cornmeal can also be used in place of the cornstarch. Just allow it to sit on the stain overnight before continuing with the previous steps.

Roberto’s Auto Trim in Orange County, California handles all types of upholstery work including automotive, marine and even furniture. With over 40 years of experience, Roberto’s reputation for high quality interiors is unmatched. Some of the top automotive dealerships in Orange County use Roberto’s Auto Trim for their repair and replacement work. If you have questions about your convertible top or another upholstery project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

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