Cleaning original seat fabric

red66toy

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Hi everyone,
I am refurbishing the rear bench seat in my FJ62 and the seat fabric needs a good good cleaning. It smells musty from the cruiser sitting for a long time at one point in its life. I disassembled the seat to paint the frame and springs, and while the fabric is off I would like to give it a thorough cleaning. I was thinking of renting a steam cleaner but worried about the fabric shrinking. Anyone ever steam clean the fabric off the seat frame? Would Folex cleaner work better? Thanks!
 

swelltimes

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I'm in a similar situation, trying to figure out the best way to clean some seats that have been in a musty / mouse infested 60 series. I spoke to a guy at a restoration shop today, and he suggested using soap and water first, then going after it with something like rug cleaner. I'm hoping to try that this weekend, and will let you know how it goes.

Eager to hear how you approach this issue, too!
 
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I tossed an FJ62 upholstery set in the washing machine, with plenty of Tide, and I pretreated with 'Shout' first. A lot of gunk came out, but some remained - one cover was really dirty. I used the gentle cycle on the washer, and the vinyl portions of the seat were slightly scuffed by the auger in my (conventional) washing machine. No shrinkage of any kind, nor did seams come apart. The scuffing of the vinyl was really trivial - no long term ugliness.

I would think that nasty smells would more likely be in the foam, rather than in the actual fabric, so washing and drying the foam (or hosing it down thoroughly) might help with that.
 

red66toy

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I tossed an FJ62 upholstery set in the washing machine, with plenty of Tide, and I pretreated with 'Shout' first. A lot of gunk came out, but some remained - one cover was really dirty. I used the gentle cycle on the washer, and the vinyl portions of the seat were slightly scuffed by the auger in my (conventional) washing machine. No shrinkage of any kind, nor did seams come apart. The scuffing of the vinyl was really trivial - no long term ugliness.

I would think that nasty smells would more likely be in the foam, rather than in the actual fabric, so washing and drying the foam (or hosing it down thoroughly) might help with that.
Thanks for the tip! My washer uses a rotating barrel so maybe it would be a tad bit gentler than the auger.
 

DoubleNickels

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Yep, I just did this with some seat fabric. Threw it in my front load washer with some laundry soap and a little Oxyclean, washed on warm, came out beautiful. No scuffs, no shrinkage.
 

roadstr6

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I've seen where folks have removed the upholstery and washed it in the bath tub with oxy clean. Seems like a good idea to me. I can understnad the benefit of cleaning the fabric off of the frame. I didn't want to go to all the trouble to remove so I cleaned mine in place with borax dissolved in hot water. Spray it on the fabric, dunk a rag in it, scrub and let dry. This method worked great to remove some mildew stains I had.
 
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I had a super stank interior, years of cigar smoke, wet dog, and swamp @ss I would imagine, compliments of the PO.

I had great success using a little Bissel spotBot with the pet stain remover. Spray it on, a little scrubbing, and then it vacuums up the dirty liquid that contains the stink. I repeated the process and now I don't smell my truck every time the garage door opens. The spotBot should be available from target, Amazon etc. the solution is like $7 but goes a long way since you dilute it.

I also found that the carpet was pretty nasty, so I pulled that, and hosed off all the dirt and washed it with a soapy solution with some white vinegar. I ended up pulling off the old nasty foam, not sure that was a good idea in hindsight.

I can't seem to access a good before and after shot, but it turned out great.
 
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I know this one! Bucket warm water with a little laundry detergent. Soft bristle scrub brush, dip and small circles and it lathers up nicely. Shop vac suds and dirt away. Will look like new. Done lots of times.
 

swelltimes

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I've yet to pull all my seats out: is it pretty straight forward to remove the covers in a 60? Wonder if the seats are different than in a 62?
 
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Seat coverss are identical between 60 and 62. Cover removal is fairly easy, but you go carefully to avoid tearing the covers. The internal wires that give the seat definition (both the seat and seatback) must be carefully disconnected from the seat frame as you go. If you want some pix/instructions, read the seat cover instructions on SORs web page.
 

red66toy

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The middle hog rings were the worst to remove for me. Other than that, it was simple. Definitely go slow.
 

swelltimes

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Awesome, thanks! Got the seats out of the truck this morning, and am tearing out the head liner now. SOOO GROSS. It's like it was a mouse free for all in there.
 
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I need to do the same thing in the near future, glad to see this topic discussed. I am interested in what others have done and what their results were.

I had planned on spraying the entire seat cover down with Simple Green, scrub with brush by hand, and let it soak for a while. Then get my garden hose hooked up to hot water and blast away and rinse outside, let it dry and see how it comes out. If more cleaning is needed, then go the washing machine route with another spray down of Simple Green before throwing it in the wash.

I like the idea of getting it soaped up thoroughly before adding water....cause it's always more difficult to get grease or dirt off anything if you apply water beforehand. Definitely make sure you rinse well to get all the soap out, dirt sticks to soap residue like glue.
 

HemiAlex

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Simple green and hot water cleaned my seats to about two full shades lighter.

I vacuumed it off and it looks and smells great.
 
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I rented one of those carpet cleaning machines you see at the grocery store. Not steam - it forces water and detergent into the fabric and then sucks it right back out. The collection tank looked like 5 gallons of coffee when I was done. Worked perfectly, no shrink. Great effort-saver, and fantastic results. It leaves the fabric damp, like just out of a spin cycle. I dried the covers overnight with some fans blowing air over them. I pulled everything out of the rig for this. Stripped the fronts, but I left the upholstery on the back foam/frame. Didn't harm the foam, but the rear is in pretty good shape. I used zip ties to replace the cut hog rings.

The rental was like $20, but then you have to use their overpriced detergent which was another $25.
 

red66toy

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Shoot the ones by me didn't have the handheld attachments to do the job. Only rugs. I am currently scrubbing and soaking in oxiclean. Going to let it soak for a few hours and then hang dry. There are rust stains on the inside part of some of the vinyl and it definitely made the water very dark during the initial washes!

If this doesn't work well I'll try the washing machine.
 

red66toy

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Huh, the Safeway near me only had the rug ones. Depending on how this looks when it dries I might go looking at other Safeways.
 
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