With summer fast approaching, we all know what that means: more kids in the car and a bigger mess than you could possibly imagine. From forgotten crayons melting into your cupholders or carpets to stubborn food and beverage stains you can’t seem to get out, kids can definitely wreak havoc on your car’s interior.
In this article, we’ll help you deal with the hardest part of summer on your vehicle: cleaning up after your kids.
Removing Melted Crayon from Your Interior
We’ve all been there: you go back to your car after a long day with your kids in the car only to find a bunch of melted crayon in the backseat from what they left behind. For many, the daunting task of cleaning this up is far too much, but for our expert detailers, it’s just any other stain.
The best way to get melted crayon out of your vehicle is to re-melt the crayons. Sounds crazy right? Using a vapor steamer at low pressure, you can easily re-melt the crayon. Be careful to not use high-pressure steam, as it can cause the now melted crayon to splatter around, making even more of a mess and possibly hurting you.
Once the crayon is back in a liquid state, use a microfiber rag to wipe it up. When the bulk of the crayon mess is gone, finish the job by wiping the area clean with a good all-purpose cleaner and a microfiber towel.
Removing Set-In Stains from Car Seats
Kids can be responsible for leaving a wide variety of stains in your car. You can’t always get them out, unfortunately, but you can do your absolute best. Our expert detailers use a three-step technique: shampoo, steam agitation, and hot water extraction. Your best defense against these harsh stains is a high-quality extractor soap.
First, you’ll want to vacuum the stained area thoroughly. Then, spray your extractor soap on the stain and let it sit for about three or four minutes to soak up the shampoo. Using a utility scrub brush, scrub the shampoo deep into the upholstery fibers.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to agitate it with steam. Using a steamer, scrub the stained area for a moment to agitate it, bringing about 90% of the grime and dirt to the surface to make it easier to remove.
Using a heated extractor, go over the entirety of the seat, removing all that you agitated to the surface. After all of this, you should see a vast improvement in the appearance of your seats. Leave the seat to air dry for a little while; if you have to have someone sit in it, cover it with a plastic seat cover first.
Removing Milkshake Stains
Milk products leave behind some of the worst stains to deal with. They smell awful, they’re stubborn, and it’s a huge struggle to remove them. Milkshakes, when spilled and left, harden to the surface, making them incredibly difficult to dislodge.
To remove these stubborn stains, you have to first use a steamer to soften and loosen the stain. Using an extractor, vacuum up as much of the spill as possible once it’s been loosened. Now, it’s time to use a high-quality and potent extractor soap. This soap will help to lift the dirt and grime from the surface and make extraction of the stain even easier.
Scrub the extractor shampoo deep into your carpet to ensure that all of the carpet fibers are fully covered in shampoo. You can do this with a gloved hand or a brush, whatever you prefer. Just make sure to get the shampoo good and deep in your carpet.
Using a steamer with a brush head, agitate the entire surface you’ve been cleaning. This will melt the milkshake residue, dirt, and grime right out of your carpet. After that, we use a heated carpet extractor to finish the job up. Go over the area two or three times with this extractor to ensure you’ve removed all the residue.
Removing Ink from Car Seats
One of the most difficult problem kids can cause in the car is drawing on the car seats. It may seem impossibly daunting to remove ink from an upholstered car seat, but we’ve got a method that should be up to the task.
Find a high-quality remover, like Goof Off. Using a small amount of the remover, apply it to the seat with a microfiber cloth. We recommend wearing gloves when you do this, as the product is strong; you may also find a face mask to be helpful if the smell is too powerful. Be sure to always have good ventilation when using products like these.
Once you’ve finished scrubbing, you’ll likely notice that the ink completely disappears, from the seat and from your cloth. This means it’s been soaked into the seat along with the cleaner. Spray some upholstery shampoo onto the affected area. Using a steamer, agitate the ink and cleaner in the seat to bring it to the surface.
Lastly, using a heated carpet extractor immediately after steaming the surface, go over the entire affected area, thus removing all the stain and product from the fabric.