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Cleaning Calcium from Auto Carpets and Seats: Winter Car Detailing Pro Tips

With all the snow, ice, slush, and mud, it’s nearly impossible to keep your vehicle’s interior sparkling clean during the wintertime. Excess moisture can seep into your seats and carpets, leaving behind tough, white calcium stains.

The auto detailing experts at VitroPlus have some tips to help you tackle these challenges.

Preventing calcium stains in your car

Use pants saver car mats

It’s no coincidence that these flexible rubber mats were invented in Quebec: they are essential for braving our winters! A quality set is worth the investment as it serves as your first line of defense in waterproofing the fabric surfaces under your feet. It’s even likely you’ll change vehicles before needing to replace them.

Wash them regularly.

Although pants saver mats are waterproof, they still need to be cleaned occasionally to prevent dirt buildup and overflowing melted snow. Take them out, wash them with a high pressure hose, air dry them (or shake them vigorously to remove as much water as possible), and put them back in.

Remove snow from your boots using the right technique.

Avoid knocking your boots against your vehicle’s door sills before entering, as this can cause snow to stick to the car and lead to corrosion. Additionally, rocks or ice might scratch or damage the surfaces. Instead, enter the vehicle rear-first, sitting down before bringing your legs inside. Tap your boots together a few times to dislodge any snow before settling into your normal driving position.

Use a dedicated storage bin for winter essentials.

Your boots aren’t the only culprits: your snow brush, traction aids, and a host of other accessories can also bring snow into the cabin. Consider placing a plastic bin in your vehicle’s cargo area to store all these winter essentials.

How to clean calcium off car seats and carpets

1. Start with a nylon brush and a vacuum.

It’s best to remove as much dry dirt as possible before applying any liquid cleaner. Use a stiff nylon brush to dislodge particles and encrusted salt pieces, then vacuum.

2. Apply a specially formulated shampoo.

Opt for shampoos specially formulated to clean auto seats and carpets. These products not only effectively break down minerals but also offer additional protection for the fabrics, eliminating up to 90% of bacteria thanks to their disinfectant properties.

Follow the label instructions: dilute a few drops of concentrated cleaner in hot water, scrub the surfaces, and let the product do its work. For drying and final cleaning, use a microfiber towel. These are ideal for car fabrics because they are soft, highly absorbent, and do not damage surfaces.

3. Steam clean your seats and carpets.

The heat emitted by a steam cleaner can dissolve stubborn stains and liquefy calcium residues. Additionally, the steam helps eliminate bacteria and mold that may develop in hard-to-reach areas.

Can’t get rid of stubborn stains? Entrust your vehicle to VitroPlus for professional interior car detailing.

Winter car maintenance tips

Revitalize your leather seats.

In winter, the lack of humidity in the air can dry out leather and accelerate its wear. Regularly apply a leather conditioner (in the form of spray, liquid, or wipes) to hydrate your seats and restore the natural oils that give them shine and flexibility.

Better yet, entrust the task to our specialists. VitroPlus uses a leather treatment process that renews the shine and suppleness of your leather. Our product beautifies, lubricates, and protects in one step to repair aging caused by sun and heat.

Use car seat covers.

If you have fabric seats and spend a lot of time on the road in winter, consider installing a protective cover on the driver’s seat. This prevents rain or snow from your coat from soaking into the fabric and, if not dried, spreading an unpleasant odor in the cabin.

Keep wet wipes handy.

Winter is the season of colds, flu, and all sorts of viruses. Keep disinfectant wipes in your glove compartment to quickly clean the steering wheel, gear lever, handles, and contact surfaces, thus protecting your health.

Manage humidity to prevent your windshield from frosting inside.

This thin layer of ice forms against your windshield when your cabin is too humid, and it’s quite a challenge to remove from the inside. The angle of the glass complicates the use of a scraper, and defrosting can sometimes take a lot of time.

Aim for prevention, slightly open a window when you leave your vehicle to allow moisture to escape. You could also keep an anti-fog pad or a sock filled with cat litter in your cabin to absorb moisture and thus limit condensation.

Go to a car wash.

Why bother cleaning your vehicle when it will just get dirty again as soon as you hit the road? To prevent excessive accumulation of debris, ice, and snow and to avoid corrosion.

Let the qualified car exterior cleaning technicians at VitroPlus restore your vehicle’s shine and brightness, prolong its lifespan, and enhance its resale value. However, avoid visiting the car wash in extreme cold, below -20°C: excess water could quickly turn into ice and damage flexible or removable parts such as seals.