Winter is hard on vehicles inside and out. When you plan your annual spring tune-up, include an auto interior restoration to revitalize your ride. In Madison WI everyone is aware of the grime, road salt and other corrosives sticking to every inch of your vehicle’s exterior. Now’s the time to call upon a professional auto body shop to give the interior a solid spring cleaning, too.
A vehicle’s interior is subjected to the same harsh elements as the exterior. Anything that goes on the roads, sidewalks or parking lots gets tracked into the vehicle – and ground into carpets, upholstery and mats. If it sticks to you it winds up in your vehicle. Unlike the exterior, a lot less attention is a paid to protecting the inside. Lack of routine interior protection results in the need for auto interior restoration.
Steps to Auto Interior Restoration
Interior surfaces, upholstery, carpets and floor mats don’t have the long-lasting manufacturer-applied protections that painted surfaces and the undercarriages do. Interior maintenance is up to you. Areas of concentration include:
- Floor Mats – rubber mats or carpeted mats should be regularly vacuumed to remove loose impediments before they get ground into the fiber or leave a stain.
- Upholstered Areas – anywhere that dirt, moisture or grime can be transferred from you to your vehicle. Regular vacuuming and scrubbing is required.
- Headliners and Dash – Anywhere you may touch with gloved hands or wintertime implements might land – scrapers, brushes and dirty rags bring in debris and corrosives you don’t even notice.
Leather seats are susceptible to dangers from extremely cold temperatures. Leather and leather-look-alike upholstery will crack when exposed to the cold for too long. Where cracks appear, wear is accelerated.
Salt Is The Worst Enemy
Road salt designed to protect drivers from ice and snow is the worst enemy of a vehicle, inside and out. Tell-tale white stains on floor mats, carpets and upholstery let you know salt has found its way into the fiber of your vehicle’s interior. Since environmentalists have worked tirelessly to find alternatives to using salt – brine, beet juice, etc. – even more unseen corrosives are invading your driving space. There are do-it-yourself steps to take. After gathering your arsenal of clean-up tools, including water bucket, carpet and upholstery shampoo, leather cleaner, window cleaner, degreaser, vacuum, scrub brushes, cloths and sponges get started:
- Vacuum every inch of the interior to remove as much loose material as possible – get way up under the dash where slush splashes, dig deep under the front and rear seats. If rear seats fold down, vacuum thoroughly in both the up and down positions. Use the vacuum’s crevice tool to get into the narrowest places between seats and where the back meets the seat. Pay close attention to cargo areas and anywhere shovels, boots, scrapers or brushes may have left residue.
- Clean carpets with carpet shampoo and cold water – salt dissolves best in cold water. Scrub hard in areas where stains are ground in like beneath the accelerator and brake pedals.
NOTE—be sure to get the scubbed areas completely dry before using them again. Anything tracked in will adhere to the wet surfaces.
- Console and dash areas will have dust and dirt built up over the winter and should be thoroughly cleaned. Any spills – coffee, etc. – that’s hit the bottom of cup holders will also collect debris.
- Interior windows often appear clouded after a winter of air buffeting them from defrosters and heating fans. Clean windows make for a safer ride.
Proceed With Caution
There’s a difference between regular cleaning and auto interior restoration. Returning a vehicle to its showroom shine takes more than a household vacuum and a duster. Owners can do more harm than they appreciate. Consider:
- Commercial cleaners can contain harmful chemicals that can damage fabrics, plastics and leather
- Road salt and corrosives are in a class by themselves – not only do they cause stains, they react to other chemicals
- The chemicals in commercial cleaners are not designed to remove road salt stains – even after hard scrubbing the residue may remain
- It takes time to complete an auto interior restoration properly
- It takes the right tools to get salt and road grime out of your vehicle – the household vacuum is seldom mobile enough or powerful enough for the job
- It requires experience and training – knowing which commercial cleaner is too abrasive or might have tragic impact on fabric colors
Professionals Bring Training and Tools to The Job
After the rigors of another Wisconsin winter leaves your vehicle in Madison WI, encrusted inside and out, call Auto Color. Visit either of our two complete auto body shop locations in the Madison WI area – West on Parmenter Road in Middleton and East on Stoughton Road. These professionally-equipped shops serve all of Dane County including Verona, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Sauk City, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie and Deforest.
Call Auto Color Middleton at 608-831-9554 or Auto Color East Madison at 608-221-5041, or email us to put our veteran auto body shop team to work for showroom quality auto interior restoration in Madison WI.