Literally every day we have customers calling to ask if we can take the stains out of their upholstery or carpeting in their car. There are many different factors that can determine if we can or can’t remove stains in a car seat. The age of the stain, the severity, and many other factors play a big part in the removal process. Some stains will not be able to be removed. We use a three-step method. The three-step method includes shampoo, steam agitation, and hot water extraction. Below is the driver’s seat of a Hyundai Elantra. As you can tell it’s in pretty bad condition. Elantras are great cars and they are very nice, but the seats in the Hyundai Elantras are probably the worst type of seat to keep clean. All one has to do is literally wet their fingertip, touch the seat, and it’ll leave a stain. In this case, however, it appears that the owner of the vehicle spilled water, soda pop, coffee, and who knows what else, multiple times. Check out the photo below.
One of the most popular products that we use is Extractor Soap. It’s a low foaming, high pH, carpet and upholstery shampoo that will help break down the dirt, grease, and grime that has embedded itself in the seat surface. We first vacuum the affected area of the seat and then spray the upholstery shampoo on the surface. We let it dwell on the seat for about three or for minutes and will also use a utility scrub brush to make sure the shampoo gets deep within the upholstery fibers. This product will not leave carpet and upholstery fibers stiff as some other similar products might do. We do not dilute the product. Below is a photo of the upholstery shampoo.
The next step is to agitate the surface with steam. We use a VX5000 vapor steamer. It has a triangular-shaped brush with medium coarse bristles. Inside of the bristles is where the steam is released into the seat surface. Simply scrub the area for a moment to agitate the top of the seat. This process is bringing 90 percent of the dirt and grime to the top of the seat for easy extraction.
Once we finish steam agitating the seat, we immediately begin extracting the seat. We use a Mytee HP60 Heated Extractor. This tool warms the water to 210 degrees and injects it into the seat, then immediately sucks it all back up again into its recovery tank. The HP60 has a very powerful 3 stage vacuum motor, a 1,200-watt water heater, and a 120 psi water pump. This unit is an absolute must-have if you’re a professional detailer. Below one can see the beginning process of extraction. For this case, we started in the center of the seat to show you the difference in the sides of the seats.
The last photo below indicates how much better the seat looks after shampooing, steam agitation, and extraction. Looking at the first photo and then the last, there is no comparison. The seat will need to air dry for a little while, and that is why we always supply a plastic seat cover so that the car can be driven immediately. Thank you for reading!