Fabric is the most difficult upholstery to detail. Unlike vinyl and leather, fabric upholstery easily soils and stains. You should expect to spend 2 to 3 hours detailing a sedan with fabric upholstery, a little less time for a truck or two-seater.
There are two basic types of fabric upholstery cleaners:
For quick spot cleaning, I recommend the spray-on/wipe-off type of cleaner. These cleaners are strong and get deep into the soil or stain to thoroughly clean. However, for a complete cleaning, I prefer good old soap and water. Before using any product on your car's fabric upholstery, test for color fading by cleaning a small, inconspicuous area. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's color or texture.
Rinsing is the key to shampooing your car's upholstery. If you don’t rinse, the dirt and soap remain in the upholstery. Rinse water must be removed with a wet-dry vacuum, extractor or plenty of clean towels. Use a shop wet-dry vacuum, a coin-op car wash vacuum or a carpet wet-dry machine rented from your local grocery store. Make sure you have the vacuum before you get started. Follow these easy steps:
To keep your fabric upholstery looking factory fresh for many years, consider using a fabric protectant, such as 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. It blocks the sun's damaging rays and repels water, oil, grease and dirt. Use a fabric guard only on new or just-cleaned upholstery. Your upholstery must be dry. Simply spray it on (two light coats is better than one) and let it dry.