How to Clean the Headliner of Your Car (The 3 Effective Ways)

Nothing compares to the feeling of getting into your freshly washed car and starting it up. Is it, however, truly that clean? How about giving it a second thought because something is often overlooked?

We’re talking about the headliner of your beloved ride. The headliner of every car is the area that receives the least attention when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. For those who don’t know what a headliner is, it can be broadly described as a car’s interior roof.

You’re mistaken if you think they’re not dirty. They grow dusty and stained as a consequence of regular use, and they absorb odors that might ruin your driving experience.

Because of this, it’s important to clean the headliner of your car with semi-annual or yearly maintenance. Cleaning your car’s headliner yourself might be cost-effective. However, you must be gentle with it, or it may become damaged and need to be replaced.

Don’t worry; we are here to assist and will provide you with the best techniques for cleaning your car’s headliner. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What You’ll Need

Before we begin, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the right things for the procedure. What are these right essentials to clean your car’s headliners? Grab a notebook, and let’s make a list.

  • Upholstery Cleaner: A safe upholstery cleaner for use on car headliners is required. Find a cleaner that is safe for the kind of fabric used in your car’s headliner and is specially made for use on fabric surfaces.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Cleaning a car with a microfiber towel is easy. Eventually, the car’s headliner will be cleaned with a microfiber cloth or towel. So, if you haven’t yet purchased a quality microfiber cloth set, do so immediately.
  • Soft-bristle Brush: The headliner can be gently scrubbed with a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and stains. To prevent tearing the fabric, use a brush with gentle bristles.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove loose dirt and debris from the ceiling before cleaning. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to avoid harming the fabric.
  • Fans: Following a thorough cleaning, the headliner must be completely dried because, if it is kept wet for too long, the glue holding it to the car may weaken, and the headliner may come off the roof of the vehicle.
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The 3 Methods to Clean the Headliner of Your Car

1. Spot Clean

Instead of cleaning the entire surface, a cleaning technique called spot cleaning is used to clean specific target areas. The headliner of a car can be spot-cleaned using the following steps:

1. Determine the precise area of the headliner that requires cleaning. To prevent overwetting the fabric, avoid cleaning areas that are larger than necessary.

2. Use a clean, white cloth or sponge and a small amount of cleaner. Don’t let the fabric become saturated.

3. Gently scrub the stain with a sponge or cloth. Removing the stain by rubbing it could cause it to spread or damage the fabric.

4. After removing the stain, rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water, then blot the area once more to remove any remaining cleaner.

5. Use a dry, clean cloth or towel to scrub the area to remove any last traces of moisture.

2. Surface Clean

If you need to clean several different areas, surface cleaning is the best technique. Here are some cleaning tips and tricks you can use.

1. Be careful not to soak the headliner as you evenly spray upholstery cleaner across the entire surface. 

2. Allow the cleaner to sit to do its magic on the stains for some time. You can reapply and go through the procedure if you’re unsatisfied with the outcome. 

3. Gently scrub the whole headliner with a brush with soft bristles. If you don’t brush every little corner, the stains may become obvious when they dry.

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4. Wipe moisture from the headliner with a microfiber towel and allow it to dry completely. Let it dry naturally after that. This might take an hour or two, depending on how wet it is.

5. Re-do steps 1 through 4 if the stains disappear. Hard stains might need to be cleaned again. However, if the second surface cleaning fails, you must deep clean your car’s headliner.

3. Deep Clean

Since too much heat or moisture can damage the headliner, a deep clean should only be performed under extreme necessity. To prevent softening the glue, it must be done carefully. If it is done incorrectly, a replacement may be required. 

1. Heat your steam cleaner according to the directions provided by the manufacturer. Once the steam cleaner has heated up, it’s time to start working on the headliner. 

2. Steam your headliner in sections once your car fills with steam. Hold the steamer over each stain briefly to eliminate odors and stains. 

3. Use a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth to scrub, then vacuum or dust any loose dirt.

4. After deep cleaning, your headboard needs to be completely dried. Leave your car’s windows and doors open while doing this, and you can also use a few fans to speed up the drying process.

5. You might notice some traces after cleaning and drying a car’s headliner. They are easily removed by running a clean hand over the headliner, but only after it has dried completely.


Keeping the interior of a car clean and presentable requires regular headliner cleaning. You can keep your car clean and odor-free using our headliner cleaning methods.

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Not just that, but you would save money since you wouldn’t need to have your car detailed. Simply follow the steps necessary for the type of cleaning you require.

Just be sure to use the right tools, and you’ll achieve the desired cleanliness easily. So, grab the equipment and get to work.

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