Best way to clean the interior of the dirtiest truck in America?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by clovis, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I just bought a truck over the weekend! I got the buy of the century. It is a '95 GMC Sonoma, just like the Chevy S-10.

    The exterior of this truck is nice...no major dings or scratches. By judging the exterior, you would think the truck is nice enough to be sold at the local Chevy dealership.

    The interior is a totally different story. The last owner works in an engine rebuilding plant. The seats are totally covered in dirt, grime, cigar ashes, smoke residue, coffee, and the gunk that is scratched off of lottery tickets. It is so filthy that my wife went to get a towel to sit on before she rode in it.
    The gray cloth seats are BLACK. Did I mention that the truck stinks too?

    I have spent a ton of time in junk yards in my life, and I have never seen an interior as dirty as this one!!!!!

    I would like to get this interior clean....not spotless, but at least respectable. I did use some extra upholstry cleaner on one area, which did work, but it would take 25 cans to get this interior clean.

    I am seriously thinking about removing the cloth seats from the truck, and scrubbing them with soap and hot water, then hosing them down. I am hoping that a shop vac will suck up the majority of the water, and then allow them to dry out in the sun.

    I am also thinking about scrubbing down the doors and hosing them off. The only thing I am worried about are the factory speakers in the doors. (Hand crank windows, non power locks.)

    Suggestions? Ideas?

    Thank you in advance!!!!
    Clove
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dynamite

    If you can't get ahold of an explosive, look for an orange based cleaner. Orange essential oil is really good at diluting grease. You will probably have to work in layers, removing the top, then scrubbing what's left. Baby wipes are good on plastic, like steering wheel and dashboard, but you will probably also need a scrub brush and dish soap.
     

  3. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    How about renting one of those carpet cleaners with the extension hose for upholstery? They can be rented pretty cheaply, or better yet, watch for one of those guys that sets up in parking lots on the weekends and offers to steam clean your interior for a small fee, drop it off with him and let him clean it up...
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Go to a wrecking yard and get a set of seats out of an S10 which is more common to find. Do not tell the wrecking yard the color you want. Doing that will automatically add price to the seats. Just ask if that have any seats for an S10. Then choose the color you need. A new appearing set of seats should not be more than $30.
     
  5. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

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    You can also take it to a detailer. They will clean it up and get the smell out. Then you can get seat covers and keep some air freshener. Or just take a hose to it. :shrug: :)
     
  6. LilyFestre

    LilyFestre Member

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    Hello!

    Simple Green works really well on greasy stuff too. If it were me, I'd look into new seats, especially if you can get them for $30.00...it will save you lots of time, headache and probably cash. As for the speakers, duct tape some heavy duty plastic over the speakers...2 or 3 layers and then hose away! Good luck!

    Michelle
     
  7. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all the input so far. Please keep the suggestions and advice coming. I sure do appreciate your help and ideas.
    Seats for $30??? Man, I wish I could find them for that! The yards are asking $150 for them. I did not mention a color; I just ask if they had them, and what the price would be. Even the best and cheapest yard wanted $100!!!
    Around this area, an S-10 is pretty hard to find in a junkyard. The V6 models seem to last forever, and the four cylinders keep getting rebuilt. Experience has shown me that the street rodders love the S-10 for building a fast vehicle. Even the old body style is hard to find.
    Again, Thank you so much!!!
    Clovis
     
  8. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    I would take it to a detailer, it mya cost $150 or so but they will get the smell out and shampoo the seats and clean all the hard to get areas i.e. in the vents. I think you'll be happier this way even if it costs a bit more than doing it yourself. Chris
     
  9. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Strip it down. Completely. Did it last year, pulled seats and carpet. Pressure wash(or steam clean if you have a machine) it all. Get a round up sprayer and buy a few gallons of simple green. Soak everything down and pressure wash it, let it dry in the sun for a day or two and put back in. Washing the seat and not the carpet is kinda pointless IMHO. The seats will dry, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I took them and soaked in SG, washed, let dry and did it all over. Did that 6 times. Can't tell now looking at the interior that it was ever full of everything under the sun.
     
  10. plantaholic

    plantaholic Active Member

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    It is a yellow spray. You can find it here at the Family Dollar or Dollar Tree.
    Someone told me about iut when I bought an old wheelchair lift van for my bedbound grandmother. Boy does it work! The van was gross on the inside and had been smoked in. It even got the yellow smoke residue out of the carpet on the top of the inside of the van.
     
  11. connie in WV

    connie in WV Site Admin's Boss

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    Try brake cleaner. Just spray on a little patch of carpet or upholstery to see if it will take any grime out. I've used it to get spots out of clothes and ink out of carpet.
     
  12. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    Before using solvents and strong detergents, I would first try using baking soda.

    Get the seats moist, pour baking soda on the fabric and rub it in. Let it sit a couple of minutes then use a butter knife to gently scrape off the dirty baking powder. If you get a lot of dirty gunk coming off the seat, then repeat the process as needed. To remove odors, leave the baking soda on the moist seat cover with paper towells and let sit overnight (at least). Scrape the baking soda off, let the seat dry and then vacuum the remaining baking soda dust up. This is an inexpensive way to clean water soluble stains and it won't screw up the fabric. Use heavy duty cleaners/solvents on the remaining oily spots.

    HTH
    deb
    in wi
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I've called my local steam cleaning/fire restoration company and dropped by one of their job sites and had them give vehicles a once over. Didn't cost much. 40 bucks I think. Took a couple of towels to put on the seat to drive home on so I didn't get my butt wet. Cleaned the interiors better than I ever did by renting a rug doctor or messing around with crap form the auto parts store.

    One car in particular I bought had a horrible smell from a bad auto accident (blood and the like) they got rid of for me.
     
  14. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    now thats just GROSS
     
  15. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I was looking at this thread because ny dh's car is a mess, too. Dog hair, coffee stains, food crumbs everywhere. And parts are falling off.
    What idiot thought putting carpet in a car was a good idea? I asked a spray on liner company if they could put it in my SUV, if I pulled the carpet out, and they said it was too hard once all the stuff was put in. :grump:
    I wish I could have gotten that new Toyota with no carpet, but it's only a 5 seater.
     
  16. ergoman

    ergoman Well-Known Member

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    Good friend is a auto detail guy, he uses simple green scrubbed in with a stiff brush, alot of warm water to float the grease out, shop vac, then uses birchwood casey's bleachwhite scrubbed in, flushes with warm water, shop vac (or car wash vacuum). He does this on the nastiest floorboards and they look like new when he's done, you may want to try a little spot first to see if it changes the carpet color, (never has for me). He seals them with a 3m spray after they dry, says that all auto fabric has stain resistance that is stripped off with the bleach white. This has worked on several grimmy farm trucks for me over the years.
     
  17. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for your responses.

    I am getting the plastic parts cleaned up pretty well with some Turtle Wax degreaser that I got for free on rebate at Menards. It works very well, but some scubbing is still needed.

    I am still up in the air about whether to leave the seats in the truck and clean them, or remove them and use a power washer or hose with Simple Green.

    Other advice is very much welcome!!!

    Thanks again!!!
    Clove
     
  18. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I was mistaken and it was just dried strawberry jam and chunks of beef jerky.
     
  19. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  20. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to give an update in case anyone else needed the information.

    Please let me thank everyone again for the help and the advice.

    I removed the seats, which was very easy. Just four bolts on each seat.

    I used a strong solution of Simple Green and hot water. I used a soft bristle brush, which is all I had at the time, applied the soap, scrubbed, and hosed the seats. You should have seen the dirt and grime run off the seats!!!!

    I am STUNNED how well this worked!!! The seats look NEW!!!!!

    I wished I would have taken before and after pictures. Most people wouldn't believe the difference.
    Clovis