Best Ways to Clean a Vintage Car’s Interior

November 12, 2018 Published by

Classic or vintage cars are works of art. As the owner of a vintage car, you know how much work and care goes into keeping each vehicle clean and functioning properly. You want to keep your car’s interior clean, not only because it will look and feel better but because it will maintain the value and condition of the car over time.

Whether you need to give your existing vehicle a light cleaning or you just acquired a new-to-you vintage car, it’s important to remember that many old fabrics and interiors need to be treated carefully to minimize the risk of damage.

As a premier auto restoration service in Minneapolis, MN, we urge vintage vehicle owners to pay attention to the methods and cleaners they use when taking care of their classic car’s interior. Here are some tips to prevent damage.


The seats in your vintage car will probably be the hardest to clean because of the possibility of damaging the material. Each kind of common classic car material will need to be treated a little differently.

For “hard” materials like leather or vinyl, you should regularly wipe the seats down with a dry cloth to remove dust. If the seats need a little more care, use neutral soap and a damp towel to lather soap on the seats. Then, wipe the seats down with another lukewarm towel to remove suds, followed by a dry cloth to remove all moisture.

“Soft” materials like natural fabrics require a different approach. Every few weeks, you should vacuum the cloth seats to remove any dust that has settled in. If you’re restoring the car or there is a stain, you’ll want to deep-clean the seats with a cleaner.

The most important thing during this step is to determine what kind of stains there are and choose cleaners that are designed for the stain and your seat fabric. Colorless volatile cleaners tend to work best. Be sure to test your cleaner on an area of the car’s fabric that you can’t see (like the underside of the seat) to make sure it won’t ruin the fabric. Using the wrong cleaner can discolor the material or even ruin the fabrics.

With your cleaner, avoid scrubbing too hard. Use a dry cloth or a wet vac to remove excess water, or else it may seep too deep into the fabric and grow mold.


Keeping the dash clean is equally as important, because it’s where dust tends to settle, Fortunately, it’s much easier than cleaning seats. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dust off the dashboard. Vacuum the dash first, though, especially in the corners and where the windshield meets the dash to get any dust or debris that may be lodged in there.


Carpets are another important aspect of car interior cleaning, but are also much easier than cleaning seats. We recommend you vacuum the carpet floors first. This removes dirt and debris and loosens carpet that might be stained.

If you need to scrub the carpet down to remove stains, use a foaming upholstery cleaner and lukewarm water. Dry the carpet by using a wet vac, soaking up moisture with a dry towel or fluffing it with compressed air.

Keep the outside matching the inside

No matter how great the interior of your vintage car looks, it’s equally important to keep the outside looking great. If you’re in need of exterior car care, turn to Quality Coaches, Inc. for  premier auto restoration service in Minneapolis, MN.

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This post was written by Sharon Morgan

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