Steps to Cleaning Car Ceilings During Your Professional Automotive Detailing Career

auto detailing career

The car ceiling is often overlooked by drivers during a routine clean out. Our eyes are rarely drawn to the ceiling but it is in a prime position for attracting dirt, dust, and other stains. The upholstery used is usually quite rugged, which makes cleaning a bit more difficult. Auto detailing professionals know how to overcome these challenges and leave the ceiling spotless for their client.

Thankfully it’s a pretty routine task. It’s easy to source the equipment and cleaning products required, but more sophisticated tools could be needed for the most stubborn stains. Here’s all you need to know to carry out a top-class cleaning job once you begin your career.

Beware of Ceiling Construction Before Starting the Job

The car ceiling is also known as the headliner and it’s a more complex component than just a roll of upholstery. This material is glued to a hard surface which is molded to the shape of the car roof. The glue somewhat limits the cleaning options available, because you don’t want the fabric to detach from the backboard. If this happens then the entire ceiling component would have to be replaced.

Before starting the cleaning process, beware of electrical components attached to the ceiling. Most vehicles have lighting above the seats, so avoid getting moisture into those areas during your auto detailing career.

Avoid causing water damage to electrical items in the ceiling
Avoid causing water damage to electrical items in the ceiling

The Simple Steps Involved in Ceiling Cleaning

A microfiber cloth and upholstery cleaner goes a long way to solving problems with the car ceiling. Rub the ceiling surface with the dry cloth first to remove loose dirt. Note the direction of the grain in the upholstery and rub the cloth in the same direction. This will prevent nasty friction and possible damage to the ceiling surface.

Find upholstery cleaner which suits the ceiling fabric, and spray it across the surface. Allow the cleaner to soak into the fabric and spray some cleaner onto the cloth too. Work the cleaner into the dirt by rubbing the surface of the ceiling with the cloth. Allow the ceiling to dry off before assessing whether all the dirt has been removed. If a stain still remains, use a soft-bristled brush to try and gently remove it. This may not always offer a complete solution, but thankfully there are a few more measures that can be taken.

Tackling Stubborn Ceiling Stains During Your Auto Detailing Career

Grease stains can easily appear on the headliner after the car owner has carried out basic auto repairs. The oil contained in grease makes cleaning a bit more of a challenge in the world of professional automotive detailing. One simple combination can overcome this problem, though. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in a mixture of vinegar and water, and gently rub it in to the upholstery. This mixture is very effective and doesn’t damage the integrity of the glue beneath the surface of the fabric.

Professional deep cleaning systems are also effective at stain removal through their mix of heat and water. However, that risks causing damage to the glue, so this equipment should only be used as a last option. Run the cleaner across the ceiling surface, but don’t allow the fabric to become overly damp. It may take up to a day for the upholstery to fully dry out, so allow plenty of air into the cabin. The client will be impressed by the look and smell of the fresh ceiling surface once the job is complete.

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