cleaning the carpet

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by dewfamily, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. dewfamily

    dewfamily New Member

    About a month ago, I bought a 2000 Silverado. Looks pretty good, but I need to clean the carpet. What would be better, Resolve or a cleaner specific for autos? How about the upholestry attachment on a steam cleaner? Also the alloy rims have like stains on them. Kind of like someone using a harsh cleaner or trying to clean them with it hot. Any suggestions? thanks
  2. The Heater

    The Heater New Member

    Hello, Dewfamily:

    In both your problems, the short answer from this long time auto restorer is: it depends on what is there to remove!

    A carpet that shows little or no wear and is simply stained from dirt (as in dirt from mud on shoes, etc.) should be cleaned, when you do not know the history of use, with what you call a carpet extractor if it has a small attachment to use on upholstery. The upholstery attachment is best for cars/trucks due to cramped spaces - it fits everywhere. That is usually something that looks similar to the fan attachment for a home vacuum. Except it should have a nozzle to spray liquid (they call it "steam" but it really is hot water). This should remove most or all dirt and extract it from the carpet. You could use a wet-dry vac, spray and clean with canned product (Turtle Wax and 3M make excellent products, and the NAPA carpet cleaner also is good), and suck up excess moisture after rinsing out the cleaner.

    I prefer to take out the front seats when I clean a vehicle. You can find all sorts of dirt, loose change, food, coffee, under seats. The job goes faster with the front seats out.

    However, if you do use this method, you must be able, this time of year, to store the vehicle in a garage to allow the carpet to dry. If you are not able to do this, I do not recommend cleaning the carpet until the weather in your neighborhood reaches a point where the average outside temperature is 60 degrees or more. You will also need to crack the windows to get rid of the water.

    Now, a method I have used in the cold weather that works to dry out a vehicle is to take a small, oscillating (or non oscillating) space heater, put it on a non-flammable surface (a square of cement board works well), away from upholstery and interior panels (you might have to remove a seat), and run an extension cord inside (you may have to remove the weatherstrip at the bottom of the doorway pinchweld and push it to the side to close the door), and leave it in there, checking it before you retire for the evening and again in the morning to make sure everything is still OK. I used this recently to paint part of the floor in my truck, and it was in the 20's outside on one of those nights. It works.

    Carpet cleaners that come in a spray can are good to use for spot cleaning, in my opinion. I usually use 3M carpet cleaner or NAPA's house brand. It leaves a pleasant but not overpowering smell. Turtle Wax also has excellent carpet and upholstery cleaners that I have used since the late 60's when I was doing my parent's cars. I have however, used them in the past to clean an entire interior carpet, but it is not that cost effective compared to using a dedicated carpet shampooer that will hold water with a special carpet cleaning solution. I own a Bissell Big Green Machine, and this has an upholstery attachment, and I can use different Bissell cleaning materials mixed with hot water to clean carpet. I then rinse with clean water (which you would also have to do with those spray cleaners, requiring a wet-dry vac), pat down the carpet with towels, and let the remainder of the water evaporate. Don't get the carpet too wet. It will soak into the carpet insulation and possibly mildew in this colder weather.

    You can also use home carpet cleaning products in a can for spot cleaning. Spot Out or Spot Shot (I think that is what it is called) is similar to a dry cleaning product (do not rub, you blot to get it out), Woolite Heavy Traffic, or Resolve.

    Aluminum wheels:

    1) they may look like you describe because the prior owner used a caustic tire cleaner like Westley's Bleche White, which contains potassium or sodium hypochlorate or hydroxide, diluted. This is a basic chemical (opposite of acidic), and therefore a caustic, and it is the same chemical component of oven cleaner, just more dilute. Not intended to sit on a polished aluminum surface and when it does it dulls the finish.

    2) Auto Geek, Autopia, Superior Car Care, Griot's Garage and other on line detailing companies sell a number of different products for cleaning and polishing your type of wheel. There are many good products, and it may come down to personal tastes. I use an industrial proven product called Flitz. Safe to use even on clear Lexan, it cleans aluminum very safely without abrasives or scratches (you can scratch aluminum however by pushing too hard when you polish with a cloth).

    Many of these products are made to make it easier for the busy working homeowner to detail their wheels with less effort and time. I shop a lot on Autopia and Auto Geek as well as on Superior Car Care and Griot's is located here where I live so I can simply go to their headquarters store in Tacoma and get what I need for convenience tools to make the job easier.

    Mother's makes a paste for polishing metal. I have used it for many years. It is more aggressive than Flitz. If you find that Flitz does not take everything out of the wheel to shine it, you might try this. It is sold at most of your local auto parts stores. Also you may want to try using a cleaner wax such as Turtle Wax in the bottle. Yes, this is meant for paint, but it does do a gentle job of cleaning less stubborn stains out of polished metal and leaves a wax shine. Wenol, a German company, has two grades of metal polish in a tube like a toothpaste tube. Both grades are safe to use on aluminum and are excellent. Do not use chrome cleaning products on aluminum.

    Just my opinion. Worth two cents. Hope this helps. I have been detailing and restoring cars, some for concours, for a long time but everyone has their favorite products for this kind of work. I am sure others will chime in.

    Mike
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    I like to take my carpet out and haul it to the self service car wash. Hang it up on the mat hooks and go to town on it with the engine degreaser, scrub brush and then the high pressure wand to rinse it all off. I take it home and un roll it on the deck, use the steam cleaner (or a shop vac) to get the excess water out of it and then let it air dry with a couple of fans blowing on it. Works like a champ!
  4. dewfamily

    dewfamily New Member

    Thanks! I haven't been a member here long and it seems good to have a reply as informative as yours. Other sites that I am a member of (for Camaros and Jeeps), I have read where others are sarcastic and rude in their replies. Again thanks for the info.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Dana W

    Dana W Member

    Careful with the removal and water washing thing. If the carpet is jute backed instead of plastic, once it is dry, it won't reach to the door sills. Been there. Washed a carpet from a 1972 vehicle once. It shrank probably 4" over all.
  6. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew New Member


    That's exactly why I love this forum so much and spend so much time here. It's almost like a group of enthusiasts looked at all the trolls on other forums and decided to have a place to get away from it, and this is that place.

    ---------- Post added at 01:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:27 AM ----------


    Holy crap man. That's the way to do it. I've actually never really thought about doing that, but now it seems so thorough. Now I want to go rip my seats and carpet out just for the hell of it.
  7. Blazer454

    Blazer454 New Member

    I have found that the cleaner "Tuff Stuff" works great for cleaning carpets. I used it to clean a couple nasty stains in my firebird. One was a cofee and the other soda. It is a multi purpose cleaner and i use it on everything. Just spray it all over your carpet let it soak in for about 5 minutes spray some more on a spot if its stained then take a rag or brush and work it in, vacuum it up and its good. I also use it on my seats and it leaves a nice smell in your truck too.
  8. The Heater

    The Heater New Member

    I love Tough Stuff! I have used it for years on detailing. Have not used it on carpet, but it really is a great cleaner for tough stains on interior trim, seats, rubber mats, and just about anything you can think of. Great product.
  9. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker New Member

    Since it is fairly relative to this subject, I'm going to sort of "thread-jack" you dew family.. SORRY! (also.. welcome to GMTC.. its more of a family than a forum as it seems to me :great:)

    On Truck.. the many various females over my course of ownership of him have gotten various eye-makeup, lip-liner, etc on the sun visor and headliner.. I'm wanting to attempt to get that off, as well as some other spots on the headliner where feet and various other umm.. body parts have been placed (I know... i know.. shh). Anybody got a secret to help prevent any sort of "clean spots" if you will.. from arising?
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor

    Have you ever tried a "Spot Bot" they have a small attachment hose you can use, I normally add Resolve to the tank and use the attachment to get out of the way spots.

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