This should be a quick
topic. It comes up enough and I think that it warrants a quick
write up. When I clean my interior pieces, I grab 2 things:
Castrol Super Clean
First comes the Simple
Green. This stuff is awesome! You can get out just about
any stain. I use the automotive stuff (It works so well I
didn't even bother with the household
version). I use it inside the house on carpets and everywhere.
Forget Woolite Heavy Traffic Carpet Cleaner, it's got nothing on Simple
Start with Simple Green and spray it
on the offending area. Work it in with a stiff
brush or sponge. I have found
that if you use a sponge with
the green scrubbie....the scrubbie can help...but leaves a green tinge
to the material behind. This is cleanable later but I would
suggest against using the green
scrubbies. Call me racist but other colored scrubbies seem to not
have this problem. One thing I found that works GREAT for working
Simple Green into the stain is the
scrubber doohickey that pops off the side of a jug of GoJo
(another KICK ASS PRODUCT). It has nice long penetrating prongs
but they are not sharp enough to
cause any damage whatsoever.
Once rubbed in, if the stain
is gone, you can suck away the excess with that amazing invention called
TOILET PAPER. They don't tout its SUPER ABSORBENCY for
nothing! Try it sometime, the stuff sucks moisture right up and
out of most materials.
PLEASE NOTE: Using your hands
to work this stuff DIRECTLY into the material with your skin is
asking for a CHEMICAL BURN. The Simple Green mostly
dries out my hands but the Super Clean lightly burns the outside
to where they peel like a sun burn in 2 days.
OK, so the stain is being a PITA. Grab the big guy....Castrol
Super Clean. This guy should be diluted 50/50 with water.
Its pretty strong stuff. However, most carpet and upholstery will
stand up to to if for some reason you have to go full strength.
Ok, on to the fun stuff....some pictures of a passenger side
door panel I got off from Ebay (got the SET for $70 shipped,
Here is the door panel. It is nearly perfect, no scratches,
tears, holes, etc. The only problem is DIRT, a slight crease
in the front trim of the carpet (not cracked though) and a slight
curl to the front corner. This panel is a good candidate for a
because that crease should prove that I didn't do a "switcheroo"
As you can see from the following picture the corner has some HEAVY dirt...oh
wait...that's not dirt! That's some !@#$!@#$ paint or glue or
something! or varnish or some crap! It has hardened the
carpeting almost like somebody burned it! Ok ok...lets not panic.
The Basic Order of operation went as follows:
PLEASE NOTE: Armor-All or any other protectant with
petro-chemicals and silicone oil in it will DESTROY your interior
over time. They dissolve waxes in the rubber. Your dash pad
will crack and your rubber go brittle. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
- Simple green the whole door panel. Cleaned the thing
from top to bottom. Clean the dew wipes and chrome and all.
- After this I usually put a coating of Meguiar's Vinyl and
Rubber protector over the area above the carpet. I don't like to
leave Simple Green on there too long....Simple Green could potentially lighten
plastic if you use too much and left it on too long....so I like to
clean out the dirt and then wipe it off and put some good quality
vinyl protectant on it. That's about all there is to do with
the top part. I have probably 4 pairs of door panels...and none
needed any more than that amount of work for the top area to look new.
I highly recommend Meguiar and Mother's products as alternatives.
Now comes the carpet...use a liberal amount of Simple green on
all areas and start working it in all over. The GoJo brush helps
big time. I often put Simple Green on two or three times as I work
it in. The more you use the better it seems to clean.
The Simple Green was getting out a bit of that "stain".
So I switched to 50/50 Castrol Super Clean. I worked that in while
USING GLOVES. I used my Toilet Paper to sop up anything there and applied
some more Super Clean. Eventually the stuff started to break off
the corner of the carpet and I got almost all of it out.
- The panel was originally a bit...warped on that one badly stained corner.
After I was finished with that corner, the cardboard had become
moist and nice and pliable. I laid the door panel face down on
some foam with a heave box on it and pushed some towels under the
bend. After the panel dried, the door panel was pretty flat.
Mounting it on an actual door should take care of the rest.
- The carpet trim can be kind of a pain. It is not a smooth
material but has a texture to it. Paint and grime do not like
to come out of it very well with out major scrubbing....unless you
get a Mr. Clean ERASER!
- The next day, I cleaned the carpeting again with some Simple
Green just to work about a bit more of the dirt and grime.
Often after a day of sitting, another cleaning will remove the rest
of the grime....and that's what happened here.
There is still a slight blemish on the outside trim.
I think that has me beat. I cleaned and cleaned and even used a
dab of lacquer thinner but its in there GOOD. Its not very
noticeable at all but if I went and got a $5 can of light grey interior
paint, I bet I could cover it easily.
© 2003-2005 Michael Negus All Rights Reserved.
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