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Should You Shampoo Your Car?

Nothing ruins a car like the smell of mold or mildew coming from the headliner or upholstery of a vehicle. While this is a job most people would think about undertaking themselves, owners have to be very careful when they apply shampoo the to the interior of their car, as this can cause the headliner to hang or otherwise damage the upholstery.

This post will offer some tips for cleaning the interior and upholstery of a vehicle, provider owners some suggestions for when to do the work themselves versus when it’s time to turn to a professional detailer.


Start by vacuuming the interior, including the headliner. This removes a majority of large dirt particles, making the process of shampooing easier and more effective.

Clean the Carpets (Including Under the Rugs)

Remove the car seats and scrub the floors of the vehicle, taking care to work slowly. Use a special car shampoo mixed to the appropriate proportions, and scrub with a stiff brush. Remove excess moisture with a dry cloth.

Shampoo the Upholstery

Cleaners can use the same shampoo that they used for the carpet, but an upholstery-specific solution is a better choice. This will work best if the solution is worked to a thick, foamy lather. Again, owners should scrub on and wipe off the shampoo, taking care not to get the headliner over damp.

cleaning car upholstery

It’s not advisable to use soapy water on areas that will hang such as the headliner. This can permanently ruin the appearance of a vehicle, and add a potential restoration cost.

Cleaners should use the shampoo itself rather than a mostly water-based solution to remove odors or dirt. Special consideration may need to be taken for materials such as velour. Do not use a cleaner on the car’s interior until it’s been determined that the cleaner is safe for use on the interior material.

Owners with deep dirt or hesitation over damaging the delicate materials of their car’s interior should consider professional interior cleaning.

Choose R&J’s for Professional Auto Detailing

Drivers and owners looking for the most professional auto detailing in Lakewood, CO and surrounding areas will want to come into R&J’s Auto Spa. We provide a number of professional services that will keep your vehicle looking and smelling like new.

People looking for more information on R&J’s Auto Spa and our history can contact us via Facebook or call us at 720-399-6000. We look forward to working with you!