How To Clean a Headliner

A car’s headliner is often one of the most overlooked parts of a car. Interior headliners often trap dirt and dust, which may accumulate overtime. It is important to clean the headliner of your car every time you clean the rest of the upholstery to store it looking and smelling clean. You do not need necessarily need a professional detailer to maintain the cleanliness of your headliners. You can start checking up your headliner, to see if it needs cleaning. Here are some tips on how to clean your car’s interior headliner.

  • Examine the headliner. Look over the headliner before you start cleaning it. Check which parts need minimal cleaning and which need major scrubbing. You should also check what caused the dirt and stain so that you can determine what kind of cleaning method to use.
  • Prepare your tools and cleaning materials. You will need a vacuum cleaner, a chamois cloth, a car interior cleaner, a brush and a dry cloth.
  • Start vacuuming the whole interior. Get rid of all the dust and dirt. Make use of a gentle vacuum brush or upholstery brush for the headliner. Do not push too much, or you may rip the loose-fitting headliner. If the suction adjustment is available to your vacuum, put it to low or moderate power to reduce any possibility of tearing the headliner loose.
  • Wipe the headliner’s vinyl portion. Use the chamois cloth to wipe the vinyl portion. You can use an all-purpose cleaner, like Armour All, to clean the headliner.
  • Check for stubborn stains. You might find tough stains or dirt in the car’s headliner. Use a damp cloth to wet the stain. Take some of the interior cleaner, and apply a small amount on the stain. Get the brush and scrub the headliner gently, paying close attention to the stubborn stains and dirt. Make sure to use gentle but firm strokes to remove the dirt and stains without ruining the headliner.
  • Apply an auto upholstery solution. Pour some auto upholstery solution onto a soft rag. Lightly dab the cloth on the stained part of car’s headliner. Do not overly apply nor drench the interiors since it may cause major discoloration on the headliners.
    Use pad for drying. Lightly damp the pad on the headliner. Make sure to change wet cloths or pads frequently, so that drying will be more efficient.
  • Vacuum the interiors. This will remove the remaining debris in your car. Pay attention to the interiors especially the headliners.
  • Let the headliner dry. The best way to do this is to keep the doors open and allow the air to circulate inside the car and dry the headliner. Leave your doors or windows open for at least half a day. It’s usually best to clean your headliners during dry weather, so you don’t run the risk of rain. Keeping your car closed while the headliner is moist or wet might lead to molds and mildew developing on the interior.

Remember to add the headliners on your To-Do list for car maintenance. This way, you will be able to keep your car clean and neat all the time.


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