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Few people know how to clean car headliner, much less that the ceiling of their vehicle is referred to as one. Even though you might be familiar with cleaning your car’s carpet and upholstery, you cannot use the same methods to clean the ceiling.

Here’s where we get involved. We’ll demonstrate for you how to properly clean your car’s ceiling. Regretfully, cleaning the car headliner with hot water and soap alone won’t do the trick.

This could result in permanent damage and sagging.

In automobiles, the headliner is composed of a soft foam-like interior that is covered in cloth, suede, vinyl, or leather.

The headliner may eventually get dirty or discolored from normal usage, such as dust or smoke. To preserve the car ceiling, these materials require extra care when cleaning.

How To Clean Car Headliner

The headliner’s material is affixed to the ceiling’s hardened fiberglass material using adhesive. As a result, particular techniques and the appropriate cleaning supplies must be used when cleaning the automobile headliner.

Taking your car to a detailer is not necessary if you want to waste money. Using these methods, you can get the headliner fabric on your car clean and back to its original shape.

While cleaning the interior of the car, take care of the headliner.

To avoid having to do it as frequently, cleaning the entire interior of your car at once is the best option. 

Clean Your Car Ceiling

Improper cleaning techniques can lead to harm to the internal layers of a headliner. The steps below will demonstrate how to use an interior cleaner, like Detail King’s cleaning kit, to remove light stains from your car’s ceiling.

After lightly wetting a microfiber towel with water, mist it with a tiny bit of automobile interior cleaner. Using special attention to the areas that are stained, dab the cloth onto the headliner’s surface.

Do not stir or rub the stain; instead, apply moderate pressure. Until the stain disappears, keep dabbing the affected area. To get rid of any extra moisture, dab the area dry with a microfiber towel.

Let the header air dry.

Remove Water Stains from a Car Headliner

You most likely have a thorough understanding of water stains in your car if you have ever made the mistake of leaving your windows open just before a downpour. Here’s how to get rid of water stains from a car headliner using the following technique. You can also use this cleaning solution as a fabric cleaner to spot clean the interior of your car and clean upholstery.

In a spray bottle, combine the dish soap, white vinegar, and water; shake. Using a soft bristle brush sprayed with the solution, gently scrub the water-stained areas in circular motions.

Avoid overusing cleaning solution or applying excessive pressure as this could lead to harm to the fabric adhesive. To absorb any liquid, press down on the area with a dry towel.

Additionally, you can use this solution to clean stains from carpets or from car upholstery. Since there is no adhesive to be concerned about, you can use a little more of the cleaner on these areas.

How To Clean Car Headliner – using Foaming Cleaner

A foaming cleaner is a great cleaning solution for the ceiling lining in your car. The foam is effective at getting rid of smells without completely saturated the material like water does. Evenly apply the foam spray to the headliner’s whole surface.

Give the cleaning foam enough time to do its job by allowing it to dry for the amount of time specified on the can instructions.

Gently massage the cleaner into the material using a brush with soft bristles. Use your vacuum’s handheld upholstery tool to remove any remaining residue after the liner has fully dried.

Clean the Surface of a Car Headliner

This is a good time to give your car’s headliner a thorough surface cleaning if you have never done so before. By using a do-it-yourself interior car cleaner, you can clean it and get rid of any dust and smoke residue that may have accumulated on the surface.

First, confirm that the headliner on your car is in place and undamaged. If the headliner fabric is loosening or there is other damage, avoid using this method and have it looked at by a professional at a repair shop.

First, use an automobile vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and debris from the headliner. Concentrate on the ceiling’s exterior edges, cracks, and dome lights using the vacuum’s upholstery cleaner tool.

One section at a time, gently dab the cloth onto the liner with moderate pressure until it is clean. Avoid giving the headliner an excessive amount of water soak.

Dust off any extra moisture from the liner with a clean, dry towel.

Clean Your Car Headliner

Cleaning a Car Headliner with Upholstery Cleaner

For thorough cleaning and the removal of stubborn stains, an ordinary upholstery cleaner can be used on the liner. In addition to cleaning and sanitizing carpets and seats, this cleaner is also effective for other interior car surfaces.

For the headliner, use the same instructions, but feel free to apply a little more pressure as there is no risk of damaging any adhesive.

Headliner Upholstery Cleaner

Check the ventilation system by opening the windows of the car. Apply a gentle, microfiber towel sprayed with upholstery cleaner to the area that is discolored.

Spraying the upholstery cleaner directly on the liner could harm the underlying adhesive, so avoid doing so.

With mild pressure, gently remove the stain. Use a fresh towel to pat the area dry.

How to Deep Clean a Car Headliner

To learn about how to clean a car Headliner it is necessary to clean the headliner on your car, deep cleaning ought to be your last option. Heat and moisture are combined in this process to remove stains, but be careful—it may also cause the adhesive to come away from the liner.

For this process, you will need to use a steam cleaner attachment for upholstery.

Refer to the instruction manual that came with your cleaning machine to determine the right amount of hot water to use in conjunction with the stain remover solution.

Start cleaning the headliner at the corner using the upholstery attachment. In order to avoid over-saturation, press the spray trigger as you move along the liner, being careful not to stay in one spot for too long.

For the duration of the liner, maintain consistent speed and form.

Let the headliner air dry for a full day. Reduce the drying time by opening the windows and turning on the fans. You might notice dried lines in the material after the liner dries. To even out the surface, run your hands along the fabric’s grain.

Removing Bad Odors from a Car Headliner

You may have noticed some unpleasant odors coming from the overhead liner while giving your car a thorough cleaning. With a few easy steps and a homemade fabric deodorizer, you can get rid of these unpleasant odors from your car’s headliner.

In a spray bottle, combine water, household vinegar, and baking soda; shake well to eliminate cigarette odor from the headliner and other interior sections of the car.

Avoid saturating the headliner by lightly dabbing the solution onto the liner with a soft cloth after spraying it on. Avoid directly spraying the headliner as it may become excessively damp and cause mildew in the future.

Work one section at a time until you’ve covered the entire headliner.

After the liner is dry, vacuum the entire surface using a vacuum attachment designed for upholstery to get rid of any remaining baking soda and unpleasant smells.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, mix this mixture with a few drops of your preferred essential oil and transfer it into a spray bottle. You can now deodorize the car whenever it starts to smell bad by keeping an essential oil car air freshener spray in the console.

Seldom do you glance up at an automobile’s interior roof while operating a vehicle. You had no idea that maintaining a clean car involved more than just vacuuming dirt from the carpet and seats.

Maintaining the appearance and scent of your car can be achieved by regularly cleaning the headliner while taking care of other maintenance tasks.


Although cleaning your car’s headliner may seem like a small detail that no one will notice, it’s a crucial component of cleaning your car’s interior. Your car will stay clean and smell good for months if you put it in the cleaning section of your maintenance checklist!


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