Forum: Interior Car Care - Discuss your favorite techniques and products in caring for carpets, leather, trim, and upholstery.
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  1. #1 best way to clean headliner 
    polisher's Avatar
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    any tips/ideas how to clean that "carpet" on the top. lol.
    Lexus Rx300
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  2. #2 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Just a regular guy Todd Helme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polisher View Post
    any tips/ideas how to clean that "carpet" on the top. lol.
    How soiled are we talking? Most headliners can be spot cleaned using a damp microfiber towel that has been primed with a diluted all purpose cleaner such as Optimum Power Clean or BLACKFIRE All-N-One APC. Lightly wipe the product into the headliner with the towel then blot dry.

    Most headliners are glued onto the backing foam, so if you over saturate the headliner it could loosen the adhesive and cause the liner to drop.
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  3. #3 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Blacktruckowner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Helme View Post

    Most headliners are glued onto the backing foam, so if you over saturate the headliner it could loosen the adhesive and cause the liner to drop.
    I had a friend do this to his GM p/u. He had to replace it with a new one.
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  4. #4 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Opti Coat Pro Certified Orinda Auto Detail's Avatar
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    I'm with Todd very light spot cleaning with a diluted degreaser applied to microfiber but be carefull as they damage easy.
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  5. #5 Re: best way to clean headliner 
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    Dry foam like Tuff Stuff, Blue Coral, or even better Car Brite's Xtra Duty is what I've used for years and never had anything but great results from it. The problem that headliners present is that if you over soak them, the glue will release and the material will fall. Dry foam eliminates that risk.
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  6. #6 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    dansautodetailing.com
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    I use my steamers big triangular brush through a white towel (so I can see if I am removing dirt) all the time on headliners and it works great. Because I am working fast so I don't affect the glue, I can knock out the entire headliner in a few minutes. Just brush front to back, and try to keep the pressure the same. Never have had a problem with a headliner loosening, falling, etc..

    If its just a small grease spot where some dirty mechanic's hands held on to the edge, etc., I will also use a little Meguiars APC + on a microfiber, work it carefully straight in, not sideways if possible, and blot it out.
    Dan F
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  7. #7 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Just One More Coat Beemerboy's Avatar
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    I use a clean white terry towel folded with APC on it, then rub the head liner turning the towel as it gets dirty. I yet to have any HL I haven't been able to get clean this way.
    Old Enough To Know Better, Too Stupid To Care....

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  8. #8 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Just One More Coat Beemerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    I use my steamers big triangular brush through a white towel (so I can see if I am removing dirt) all the time on headliners and it works great. Because I am working fast so I don't affect the glue, I can knock out the entire headliner in a few minutes. Just brush front to back, and try to keep the pressure the same. Never have had a problem with a headliner loosening, falling, etc..

    If its just a small grease spot where some dirty mechanic's hands held on to the edge, etc., I will also use a little Meguiars APC + on a microfiber, work it carefully straight in, not sideways if possible, and blot it out.
    Dan F
    Do you have that steamer on? If so your taking some real chances IMO. That glue can release pretty quick
    Old Enough To Know Better, Too Stupid To Care....

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  9. #9 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    dansautodetailing.com
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    Dave -

    Yes, I have the steamer on, low pressure, folded towel, you can barely see steam coming through. Probably the same as running a hot towel over the headliner..
    No issues, problems, very clean Headliners..
    Dan F
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  10. #10 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    RootsRadical's Avatar
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    I, too, use a steamer to clean headliners. I spray a bit of APC on a terry cloth towel, fold it over the brush attachment, blast it with a hit of steam, and use the hot towel to clean the dirt from the headliner. I don't use a direct hit of steam on the liner except possibly for a brief second if the liner is exceptionally dirty.
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  11. #11 Re: best way to clean headliner 

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    I'm looking to step up to steam cleaning soon but I've often wondered how it doesn't affect the glue. Great thread, thanks.
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  12. #12 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    dansautodetailing.com
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    I'm totally in synch with Roots Radical on this and use the same method for years.

    Ever wonder what happens to all those new cars that run durability testing in Death Valley in the summer? They all get way, way, hotter on the tops, right close to the glue that holds the entire headliner and pad in place, than I will ever get the headliner hot with my dry steam towel as I rub it briefly across the headliner.

    The entire vehicle is opened up, so I dont have to worry about moisture getting the glue wet enough to harm it, the steam is dry and filtered through a double-layer of thick toweling; I never have any problems.

    The only thing Roots Radical and I get are really clean headliners, the fabric is looking really nice and even and not so flattened out; it is way cleaner and smells way better.

    Dan F
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  13. #13 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    ca.detailchick's Avatar
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    I like armor all cleaning wipes for headliners.They are perfect for this !
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  14. #14 Re: best way to clean headliner 

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    To effectively remove any stain, a good approach is to know what the chemical composition of the stain is, and then use a physical or chemical strategy tailored to that chemical, while being mindful of avoiding damage to the item being cleaned.Be aware when mixing chemicals or cleaners; the potential of causing toxic fumes can be harmful.
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  15. #15 Re: best way to clean headliner 
    Gurge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootsRadical View Post
    I, too, use a steamer to clean headliners. I spray a bit of APC on a terry cloth towel, fold it over the brush attachment, blast it with a hit of steam, and use the hot towel to clean the dirt from the headliner. I don't use a direct hit of steam on the liner except possibly for a brief second if the liner is exceptionally dirty.
    I pretty much do the same when its dirty.

    although most times thats not even necessary. you'd be surprised how effective a good vacuum with a SOFT bristle brush can be on the headliner (referring to the vac attachment with the soft bristles)
    Bryan
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