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Old 07-31-2005, 09:28 PM
RealShakaZulu's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nor. Cal
Posts: 523
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Tip of the Week: Cleaning your Interior...

The fam and I decided to head off to the cabin for the weekend with some friends. Those who know Shaka also know that he is a bit of a Mr. Clean when it comes to his ride... but vacations/trips are the (rare) exception. Well it didn't take long for them to:

drop fries into the seat rail tracks
fill the ashtrays with wet naps
somehow put finger prints on EVERY piece of glass
fill the center console with assorted trash
cover the car mats with dirt, pine needles and sand
stamp the tailgates and door sills with mud foot prints
cover the rear seats with milk, cookies, Capri Sun, Goldfish, and PB&J
spill Jamba juice, Starbucks and Snapple on every cup holder and surrounding area... you get the point.

In fact I even let the wife throw her sand covered feet up on the passengers dash on the ride home. At first she quickly removed them when she realized whose car she was in, but I told her - it was okay enjoy yourself. To which she replied, "I don't know who you are but I am going to enjoy the ride for how ever long it last." Well the ride ends when we pull back into our driveway. While the kids soak in a bath and the clothes are spining in the washer... I tend to the X.

1) Remove everything... especially the mats and child cars seats. For if something wet or edible festers under there for any period of time, it can be a real &##($# to clean up later.

2) Get out your ArmorAll/Vinylex/Conditioner/etc. and clean the inside... NO! Doing that is like working out at the gym and instead of taking a shower, you go home, rub down with lotion, spray yourself with cologne and head out. Your'e still dirty.

Instead, wipe down every (leather, vinyl, wood, metal) smooth surface with a mixture of 1 part Simple Green/ 30 parts water. Using a spray bottle and a clean cotton or microfibre cloth, mist each surface and wipe clean paying special attention to seams and creases. NOTE: Those with light colored interiors should test surfaces for discoloration first.

I was watching a show on detailing the other week. The pro said that the number one destroyer of car interiors is dirt and oil accumulation. The reason is that they build up over time and act as an abrasive... scouring the surfaces they reside on. Not to mention spills that go unchecked and destoy that carpets backing material.

3) Vacuum the interior... well... especially under the seats.

4) Shampoo the mats, it takes ten minutes. Saturate them with water from a hose. Spray them with Blue Coral, Simonize or any other good quality carpet cleaner. Brush dirt and grime loose, then hose each one down. Hang to dry OUT OF the sun.

5) Rub the leather (including the door panel leather) with Lexol, saddle soap or any other high quality leather conditioner.

6) Clean the interior glass with Invisible Glass, Windex, etc. using newspaper to leave a streak free finish.

7) Condition the remaining trim with Vinylex or other high quality, low gloss interior dash product.

and you are done. It takes Shaka 30 minutes.

Got tougher stains or dirt... drop me a line.

PS... What about the outside? I will give her a quick wash tomorrow after work.

Last edited by RealShakaZulu; 08-06-2005 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:44 PM
UCrewX5's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hockeytown, USA
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Good tips, thanks!

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Old 07-31-2005, 10:55 PM
haigha's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Machine
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Originally Posted by UCrewX5
Good tips, thanks!
Indeed. Thanks RSZ.

Anyone used the Simple Green formulation on the gray interior?

I have some spinneybeck (sp?) leather conditioner but I haven't used it yet.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:12 PM
RealShakaZulu's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nor. Cal
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Originally Posted by haigha
Indeed. Thanks RSZ.

Anyone used the Simple Green formulation on the gray interior?

I have some spinneybeck (sp?) leather conditioner but I haven't used it yet.
I have used it on light grey and tan. The reason I make the note is to

- make sure that people MIST not saturate the seats
- that they use a 1/30 ratio. You are trying to gently loosen dirt and soil not make a bubble bath
- alert those that have cracked or severely worn leather that anything applied to the skins will slightly darken those areas

Every detailer I have asked (pestered, interrogated, cross examined) uses a highly diluted cleanser to wipe the interior down. I and many of the pros I questioned use Simple Green because it is non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally safe and gentle.


PS... your welcome, it's the least I could do for all of the quality info the members have given me...
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:47 AM
Intel55's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: X5world
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I have the rear seat savers for the kids in the back. Makes clean up simple and easy. I really only have to vaccum the rear. The front, for longer trips, I plan on getting those sheepskin seat savers. They are kind on 3/4 of a regular sheepskin cover.
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:21 AM
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