Cleaning Milk Spillages and Eliminating Stale Odours
If you have ever accidentally spilled milk or other dairy products in your car then you will probably know that the spillage will soon begin to give off a stale odour that can prove to be very difficult to remove. The reason these spillages quickly begin to smell is because of living bacteria that is found in milk & dairy products. Ideally, the affected area needs to be cleaned and as much of the spillage removed as soon as possible after it has occurred to prevent it from spreading and sinking deeply into the surface, but obviously this is not always possible due to the nature of the accident.
The key to successfully cleaning up a milk or dairy spillage and preventing any stale odours from emerging is to ensure that you use a specific biological upholstery cleaning product. This is essential as biological cleaners contain active enzymes that will kill the living bacteria in the spillage therefore preventing, or eliminating any odours from emerging. You can use a normal non biological upholstery cleaning product to clean the area and whilst it may initially seem to do a satisfactory job as soon as the cleaning product residue dries the stale odour will reemerge as the bacteria causing the odour will have not been killed by the normal cleaner.
If you do not have access to a biological cleaner right away you can to use a normal upholstery cleaning product to remove and clean up as much of the spillage as possible until you can follow up with a biological cleaner to kill the bacteria. Ideally the cleaning process should be undertaken with a wet-vac extraction machine as this ensures that the cleaning product penetrates deep into the fibres of the upholstery and that all fluid is thoroughly extracted.
However not everyone has, or can gain access to an extraction machine so in this case the process needs to be undertaken by hand. Cleaning the affected area by hand may take a little more time, but if done correctly you should still be able to achieve satisfactory results.
As much of the spillage as possible should first be mopped and soaked up with micro fibre towels. Then a biological upholstery cleaning product should be applied liberally via a trigger spray to ensure sufficient penetration. It can be left to soak for a few minutes before being worked in. Depending on the type of upholstery affected, a micro fibre towel, a stiff bristled detailing/nail brush or a combination of the two should be used to thoroughly work the cleaner in and help lift out the spillage residue.
After working the cleaner in, the area should be thoroughly patted and rubbed over with a clean micro fibre towel. The towel should be rinsed & wrung out in warm water before repeating the process. You should continue to dry the area until the towel does not lift out any more residue. Ideally a vacuum cleaner should then be used on the area to further ensure that as much moisture as possible is removed.
During the cleaning process you should open all the doors of the vehicle to aerate it. After the spillage has been thoroughly cleaned and aerated you can apply an air freshening product, close the car up and allow to dry.
Depending on your climate and how damp the cleaned area remains, you can speed up the drying process by leaving the windows open an inch or by leaving the vehicles hot blowers on with the engine running. You should wait until the affected area is completely dry and then recheck for odours. The process may need to be repeated in order to successfully remove all of the bacteria as it can penetrate deep down into the fibres of the upholstery.
Coffee spills are one of the most common accidents to occur in the car now days. The stains can look very unsightly and if left uncleaned will leave a stale odour. If the right techniques and products are used however, coffee spillages & stains can be fairly easily cleaned up from most surfaces leaving no stain or indication that there was even a spillage to begin with.
The first thing you should do if coffee is spilled in the interior of your car is to soak up as much of it as possible with paper towels, an old towel or whatever you have to hand. Ideally the spillage should be dealt with immediately, but if this is not possible as is the nature of accidental spillages, it would help to cover the affected area with a wet towel to help prevent the coffee from drying.
If coffee has been spilled on upholstery then first a diluted all purpose cleaner should be applied to the affected area. The all purpose cleaner will help to effectively cut through and break up the coffee residue. It should be sprayed on, left to sit for a moment then worked in with a micro fibre towel. You may need to repeat the process in order to fully break down the residue.
A designated upholstery cleaning product should then be used, this will help to break down any residue further and help to restore and rejuvenate the upholstery. Again it should be applied and worked in with a damp micro fibre towel, you can even lightly work over the area with an appropriate brush to ensure the fibres of the upholstery are sufficiently agitated and that any deep coffee residue is lifted out.
After cleaning, the affected area needs to be extracted in order to thoroughly remove all coffee and cleaning product residues and to help dry the area off. Ideally, a wet vac extraction machine should be used in conjunction with clean warm water but if you do not have access to one then you can simply use a vacuum cleaner with a suitable attachment to extract the area.
If coffee has been spilled onto leather upholstery, a good quality leather cleaning product needs to be used. It should be applied liberally to the affected area and worked in with an appropriate brush to help the cleaner penetrate and to lift any coffee residue out from deep in the grain. If the coffee has been kept damp since the spillage it should not prove to be too stubborn but if it has dried and you may need to repeat thee process in order to fully lift off the residue. The area should then be treated with a leather feed/conditioning product to help keep it supple and prevent it from drying out.
When coffee is spilled in a cars interior you will usually get some splash marks and drips left on parts of the plastics and trim, these should be cleaned off using either a designated plastic/trim cleaning product, or a diluted all purpose cleaner. It should be applied to a micro fibre towel and worked over the coffee marks. A stiff bristled detailing or nail brush can be used to help lift any residue from the grain or awkward areas. After cleaning, the plastics and trim should be dressed with an appropriate product to help restore and protect them. After all affected areas have been sufficiently cleaned and restored you should use an appropriate air freshening product to help combat any stale coffee odours that may linger after cleaning.