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Somehow, no matter how careful you are, it's pretty inevitable that your car's headliner will acquire a stain or two over time. Lucky, if your headliner is still structurally sound, it's actually not that difficult to clean with some patience and care. The video above features AMMONYC's Larry Kosilla as he goes through the step-by-step process for properly cleaning your car's headliner, addressing common mistakes and detailing exactly what you'll need to take the project from start to finish. We've listed everything you might need for the project just below. Keep in mind, each car is different, which means the process may vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. In some cases, old, brittle and saggy headliner isn't very receptive to cleaning and may just need to be replaced instead.
If you're cleaning a stain off of your headliner, the first thing you'll need, of course, is some cleaner! This multi-purpose cleaner works on all interior and exterior surfaces of your vehicle, except for glass or instrument panel screens. It should be a great first step for tackling any stains on your headliner and it's even mixed and bottled in the USA!
The microfiber towel is a staple of nearly all garage work. You don't need to look for anything special in a towel for this project so if you already have a good one in your garage, you're probably good to go, but if you need a few new ones these Amazon Basics towels are always a solid value for the price.
Most headliner material in most cars is pretty fragile, so if you're having some trouble getting it clean and are worried about potentially damaging it, some fine bristle brushes might help you out. Even with brushes like these, you'll still want to be gentle, but they should help you get your cleaning solution nice and sudsy on the problem area. These brushes are specifically made for car detailing and have many uses beyond headliner cleaning.
White vinegar has all kinds of cleaning uses and it can even help with things like stubborn grease stains on your headliner. You'll want to make sure you mix it with water 3:1 though, or else it could potentially hurt more than it helps. Vinegar can also be helpful when trying to get cigarette smell out of headliner fabric. You probably already have some of this sitting around the house, but in case you don't, you can pick some up here.
One of the secret weapons of headliner cleaning and car detailing in general is a good steam machine. A steam machine can help you kill bacteria that may be hiding in your headliner and lift many stains. Be sure to avoid over-soaking or over-heating your headliner, which could damage the headliner glue and cause sagging over time. If you don't have access to a steam machine, this one comes with multiple nozzles and it's even on sale right now for a limited time.
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