Whether you have vinyl seating in your car, home or on a boat, you'll need to clean the upholstery at some point, much like any other surface you come in contact with. Cleaning vinyl seats is a fairly easy process, and with a lot of cleansers that can tackle the task at hand — be they store bought or homemade — it is usually completed with little time and effort. A few techniques can make your cleaning process more effective, however, and may help maintain the condition of your vinyl seating for years to come.
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Vinyl Seat Cleaner
There are a number of vinyl upholstery cleaners available at most hardware stores, many of which are safe to use on alternative fabrics. Some vinyl upholstery cleaners are also formulated with water and stain resistant properties, like Scotchguard and Rustoleum, which can help protect your fabric over time. You can also opt for the all-natural route by cleaning vinyl seats with vinegar. To make this do-it-yourself cleanser at home, you'll need baking soda, vinegar, water, dish soap and Murphy's Oil Soap.
Best Way to Clean Vinyl Seats
Before you begin cleaning the surface of your vinyl seats with a commercial cleaner, you'll need to prep the area. To start, vacuum the surface to remove any dirt or debris from your seats. Then, apply your cleanser to the surface and use a clean towel or a brush with soft bristles to gently rub it into the vinyl upholstery. Working in small sections will keep your cleaner from drying out or running off the sides of your vinyl surface. Once it's been cleaned, wipe the area down with a dry towel and allow the seat to dry out completely before using it.
To clean vinyl seats with a DIY cleanser, start by removing any debris by sprinkling a bit of baking soda onto a clean towel and rubbing that onto the surface of your upholstery. Next, mix one part vinegar with two parts water and a couple of tablespoons of Murphy's Oil Soap, soak a clean towel in the solution, and wipe the mixture all over the surface before rinsing clean with a wet towel.
If you have any spots to remove on your vinyl seats, you can make a paste with baking soda, which is known for brightening surfaces and lifting stains. To make a baking soda paste, simply mix three parts baking soda with one part water and add five to ten drops of dish soap to the paste mixture. Apply a bit of paste to the stain and use a clean cloth to scrub the area. After the stain has been lifted, wipe any remaining residue off of your seats with a towel and warm water.
Keeping Vinyl Clean
Of course, the best way to clean vinyl seats is by taking preventative measures to maintain the condition of your vinyl fabric, which will make cleaning less of a major overhaul when the time comes. You can do this by adding a quick sweep of your vinyl material to your regular cleaning routine, like vacuuming your upholstery when you clean your carpets, or wiping down vinyl covers when you dust your tables. If you spill anything on your vinyl material, make sure to wipe it up as quickly as possible to prevent possibly staining or stickiness.