Winter Tips: Interior Detailing
How to Prevent and Fix Interior Winter Damage.
The harshness of winter is awful for your vehicle’s cloth and leather upholstery. Cold air removes moisture from leather, making it crack and crinkle prematurely. Salt from icy roads finds its way into your floor mats, carpet, and seats causing stains that are very difficult to remove. Here are some tips to help you get a handle on your interior vehicle detailing during the harshest of seasons.
Remove Fabric Mats & Add Rubber Mats
Let’s face it, if it is too cold outside to be walking around without gloves, you probably won’t be out in your car giving it a thorough cleaning! That means that part of winter maintnenace is about prevention, not just cleaning. To prevent a big mess in your foot wells you absolutely must remove your fabric floor mats and replace them with rubber ones. Fabric mats will hold onto water for a long time. During the winter months they never have enough heat or time to dry properly. Purchasing a set of rubber or hard plastic floor mats is the best way to protect your carpet during the winter time. Obviously rubber and plastic dries much faster than fabric. An ideal set of mats will have deep channels to trap snow and water, making it difficult to get the carpet wet.
The absolute best plastic mats you can buy are ones custom molded to fit your vehicles floor. They cover almost the entire carpet and do a fantastic job protecting it from moisture, dirt, and salt. The downside to the molded mats is the price tag. They are quite expensive but hey you get what you pay for!
You may spot a set of rubber mats at the store that are completely flat, no channels. They may be the cheapest ones on the shelf, but avoid them. Without channels to trap moisture, the carpet will get soaked, so what’s the point?
Treat Leather Early
Winter is hard on leather interiors. Cold, dry air pulls the moisture from leather so it’s important to treat leather prior to the onset of freezing temperatures. Once daytime temps dip below 50 degrees (Fahrenheit), the leather won’t accept conditioners. Although the surface will look good, you haven’t provided moisture to the hide. So, get out there early and give a good treatment to your leather upholstery before the weather takes it’s final turn to freezing temperatures.
We offer leather and fabric treatments if you are out of time before the holidays. Take a look right here.
If you drive a convertible in cold winter weather, don’t forget to clean and protect your canvas top. If water penetrates your top, then freezes, it will be prone to severe damage. Your top must be thoroughly seal (waterproofed) before you take it out in the cold, wet winter weather. Even if you keep your convertible in the garage during the winter you should still take the time to treat the top to keep it pliable and easy to manage come summer time.
Remove Salt Stains Immediately
Cloth upholstery can easily get water/salt stained from even the smallest amount of snow or freezing rain on your coat and gloves when you sit in your vehicle. There are two things you can do to solve this problem. The first option is prevention. Scotch Guarding your fabric is a great way to repel stains before they have a chance to sink in, making your spring cleaning much easier. Your other option is have an interior detail after the winter season, or follow this guide on removing salt stains. Either way, sort it out quickly before your upholstery is stained for good!