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3 Interior Cleaning Tips for Classic Cars

As any vintage car aficionado will tell you, one of the most effective ways to increase the value of an old car is to freshen up its interior. However, what isn't mentioned nearly as often as it should be is that not even a professional-grade vintage auto restoration is going to help your oldtimer look its best if you fail to give it the cleaning care it needs.

We previously explained how car restoration experts in Orange County who specialize in classic car interior upholstery repair go about replacing the upholstery on classic cars and which materials they use and why.

Now we'll help you keep the interior of your oldtimer in tiptop shape by providing you with 3 time-tested and eco-friendly car cleaning tips. Keep reading to learn more.

How do you clean the interior of a classic car?

First, you need to determine which materials the interior of your vintage car is made of. The four most commonly used materials are leather, vinyl, polyurethane foam, and synthetic fabric, and each of them requires special treatment and attention while cleaning.

Here are 3 things you should keep in mind when cleaning the inside of an old car:

Be careful which chemicals you use

Different fabrics react differently to certain chemicals. Before using a cleaning product on your car's interior, always take the time to familiarize yourself with its properties and correct application to keep from accidentally damaging or discoloring the materials you use them on.

For example, volatile cleaners are best used on the interior fabrics of a car because they don't need a lot of elbow grease to remove stains and dirt. When applying these products, make sure to do so in well-ventilated areas, as they're known to release chemical fumes during use.

Don't forget the dashboard and the steering wheel

Since the materials used in classic cars are nowhere near as durable as their modern equivalents, it's generally not a good idea to use abrasive cleaners on them as that may result in further staining, degradation, and discoloration.

Also, keep in mind that many vintage car dashboards feature more metal than plastic. A great way to brighten exposed metals such as aluminum and chrome is polishing them. On the other hand, painted elements should be wiped down using a mild cleaner.

Vinyl and leather

Both of these materials have the advantage of being extremely easy to clean. Leather rarely stains and only really needs to be wiped down with a dry cloth, whereas vinyl can be cleaned using a mild cleaning product and a microfiber cloth.

Furthermore, leather has to be conditioned every 6 months or so to keep it firm and moisturized. Be careful not to overdo the conditioner, as only a small amount has to be applied after a cleaning. Make sure the conditioner sets properly by allowing it to dry for a minimum of 2 hours.

Where can I book a high-quality Orange County classic car interior upholstery repair?

Although the process of restoring a vintage car's interior may seem simple at a glance, the reality is that old autos contain many brittle plastic parts, sensitive wiring under the dashboard, corroded window-opening mechanisms, and other items that need to be handled properly to avoid further damages.

Here at Chimera Motors, we can proudly call ourselves the top provider of classic car restoration, repair, storage, and painting services in Orange County. With our help, you'll be able to take your fully restored oldtimer out for a joy ride along the gorgeous Sunset Beach before you know it! Give us a call today.

1 Comment

Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk
5 days ago

Vinyl & Leather Repair's advice on cleaning classic car interiors is top-notch. Their attention to detail and commitment to preserving automotive history is evident in every tip they share.


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