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Cleaning old delicate fabric and carpet?


What is the best and least damaging way to clean old seat fabric and carpeting?
The seats in my 67 are to my eye are a very delicate 43 years old. I fear any chemical cleaner used on them will spell their instant demise. The top of the drivers left shoulder is showing a very small split and I'm very paranoid about it, these sections are usually under constant sun. I know how this cloth will begin to come apart, and when it does it's game over for this interior. The fabric appears to be a very unique semi metalic blue, with the main sections having a subtle checkerboard pattern that changes with the viewing angle. So good luck ever finding a match!
Do I just wet them and extract the water gently with a shop vac? How would you clean them? I'd like to at least give the drivers front seat bottom, back and armrest a light cleaning. It's beginning to show the dirt.

Carpeting. It's in very good shape. Faded yes, but really not soiled anywhere.
When I had the sill plates off I saw the original carpet colour...it was so much brighter! I can imagine how it must have looked with such a bright blue carpet when the car was new. It must have really popped.
So again, what do you guys think is the best, least invasive way to clean it?

4446361007_149a0b30fc.jpg

Cheers, Mark

-- Edited by cdnpont on Friday 19th of March 2010 10:55:31 PM

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Mark that interior is really nice. I would take the seats out and clean them with a delicate fabric detergent like Zero with cool water. With them out of the car they will dry better and not rust the springs. Also you can then take the carpet out and do the same, plus re-dye it at the same time. While your at it might as well spray the insides of the floors with a good interior type rust proofing wax.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Thats interesting Earl,
Take the seats and carpet right out. Makes sense.
And Zero for the detergent. Again..somthing mild!

I want to move the front seat back to the rearmost position anyway so I'll be unbolting it anyway.

Could the carpet ever be re-dyed to the bright blue it once was?



-- Edited by cdnpont on Friday 19th of March 2010 11:26:49 PM

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67' Grande Parisienne. Ex Ottawa USSR Embassy car, 67- 68.
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A Poncho Legend!

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What about those small steam cleaners you can buy at placed like Canadian Tire? That might work. As for the material, take a photo of it and email SMS in Oregon. They had the exact same cloth pattern my Laurentian came with in stock! As for the split, I remember seeing a product somewhere that is like a piece of cardboard that has some sort of adhesive on it that you put behind the split and cinch the material together. I did the same sort of thing when I was younger on a car I had. I had a small piece of cardstock and put automotive goop on it, placed it behind the split and cinched the material together. It worked great and prevented it from getting any bigger.


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cdnpont wrote:

 

Thats interesting Earl,
Take the seats and carpet right out. Makes sense.
And Zero for the detergent. Again..somthing mild!

I want to move the front seat back to the rearmost position anyway so I'll be unbolting it anyway.

Could the carpet ever be re-dyed to the bright blue it once was?



-- Edited by cdnpont on Friday 19th of March 2010 11:26:49 PM

 


We took the original carpet out of my 63 Corvette  and redyed it due to some sun fade. It was dark blue and turned out good. The bright blue might be harder to match, but it's worth a try.

 



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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cdnpont wrote:


I want to move the front seat back to the rearmost position anyway so I'll be unbolting it anyway.



I'm re-doing my carpet and I'm going to look into doing this too. I'm too tall, sliding into the driver's seat is awkward ... people were shorter in 1964!biggrin

 



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'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.



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I used spray nine for soiled areas the mild dish liquid - worked great

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Poncho Master!

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I used to shampoo that type of interior all the time. Here is what you need and the procedure.

Bissel carpet shampoo, a clean 11/2-2" soft fibre brush, and a plastic pail. Pour 1" of Bissel cleaner in the pail then slowly add 2" of luke warm water. Mix the solution as much as possible  with your had to create as much foam as you can and keep repeating this as the foam settles. Try not to get the brush wet and only use the actual suds from the solution to shampoo the seats, do not soak the seats or let any water bleed through to the underlay foam as this will cause a water stain.  You are better off to repeat the procedure a couple of times and let dry thourghly between cleaning.Let the foam action from the solution do the cleaning. When you scrub the seat do it lightly in a back and forth motion  a couple of times than the opposite direction .Let the seats dry completely than vacuum. You can use the same solution for the carpets but you can use the complete solution and no concerns about soaking the brush completely.

When I worked at a used car lot when I was in high school I shampooed hundreds of interiors. If you have the space and it is above 70%F removing the interior is the best way to shampoo it. Letting the interior dry in sun really speeds up the drying process.

We tried all kind of different products and found Bissel and this method the best and cheapest. I know today with the high tech dry cleaning proces it works really good but there is also more cost involved.

Al



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A word of caution when using spray nine is keep that stuff away from the threads, too much and it will literally eat the thread. That stuff is the best for vinyl and tires.

 

Al



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Never realized that but also didn't see that ill effect happen either

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