Washing upholstry

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
MHSprecher
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:37 pm
First Name: Milford
Last Name: Sprecher
Location: Takoma Park, MD
MTFCA Number: 50046
MTFCI Number: 24309

Washing upholstry

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:48 pm

The original upholstry on my garage find Model T has been covered, but is not too bad. This specific question is about the kick panel upholstry. It is very dirty. Has anyone tried to wash or launder old upholstry of this type before? I guess nothing ventured, nothing gained, so hand washing with Woolite or something like that might work. What has others' experience been?

Thanks,

User avatar

Henry K. Lee
Posts: 2544
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:09 am
First Name: Henry
Last Name: Lee
Location: South Pittsburg, TN
MTFCA Number: 479
MTFCA Life Member: YES

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:02 pm

The best thing for clean upholstery is warm water and dish soap. It may take a few cycles of cleaning and drying but usually works well. Hash cleaners can make the material delaminate.

Hope this Helps,

Hank

User avatar

BuddyTheRoadster
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:29 pm
First Name: Chris
Last Name: Rini
Location: Huntington Beach CA

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:41 pm

What year and body style is the car? Some kick panels may be leather, fabric, imitation leather, or cardboard.


Topic author
MHSprecher
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:37 pm
First Name: Milford
Last Name: Sprecher
Location: Takoma Park, MD
MTFCA Number: 50046
MTFCI Number: 24309

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by MHSprecher » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:49 am

A 24 coupe. It looks like wool. It is a pin striped fabric.

User avatar

DanTreace
Posts: 1213
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:56 am
First Name: Dan
Last Name: Treace
Location: North Central FL
MTFCA Number: 4838
MTFCI Number: 115
Contact:

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by DanTreace » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:05 am

Older post on cleaning original material:

By Erik Johnson on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 12:08 pm:
Before using use a water extraction method to clean your interior, you should do as much cleaning of the upholstery as possible dry. The very first thing you should do is use a hand brush or whisk broom and gently brush off and loosen the dust and dirt. Then using a household vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or shop vac and gently brush and vacuum it to get more loose dirt and dust out of it. You can also take the seat cushions out and gently brush and beat the dust out of them, etc.

If you have a shop vac, you don't have to rent a water extraction machine. You can wet the material yourself with a Woolite mixture with a spray pump bottle (such as an old Windex or 409 bottle) or garden sprayer and suck it up with a shop vac. Try an inconspicuous area first.


Another hint was ways to lessen shop vac suction (retards pulling away the fabric) is to drill extra holes up the wand tube, if too many holes, cover over with duct tape, or some have suction control sleeves.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


Erik Johnson
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:25 pm
First Name: Erik
Last Name: Johnson
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:18 pm

To add what I posted way back when: be extremely careful when using a vacuum on old wool upholstery, especially a shop vac.

You don't want to scar or tear the upholstery. You may be dealing with some rotten material or rotten thread.

As Dan posted above, use a minimal amount of suction and "vent" the nozzle if necessary.

If you decide to add moisture and then extract it, test an inconspicuous area first.

User avatar

BuddyTheRoadster
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:29 pm
First Name: Chris
Last Name: Rini
Location: Huntington Beach CA

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:42 pm

You can also cut a piece of window screen mesh and sandwich it between the upholstery panel and the hose to keep the material from tearing if it’s getting delicate.


Topic author
MHSprecher
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:37 pm
First Name: Milford
Last Name: Sprecher
Location: Takoma Park, MD
MTFCA Number: 50046
MTFCI Number: 24309

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by MHSprecher » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:53 pm

Thanks for all the tips. I have seat cushions to clean, too, but I thought that I would start with the kick panels. I need to replace the fiber board it is mounted on, so I thought that I would take them off and hand wash them.


John kuehn
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:00 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Kuehn
Location: Texas
MTFCA Number: 28924

Re: Washing upholstry

Post by John kuehn » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:25 pm

Whatever you do be mindful your dealing with almost 100 year old material. I have a 24 Coupe and when removing the backrest which my Grandfather recovered with a blanket I removed it and the original wool material looked pretty good. But upon closer inspection the wool was shedding. Every car is different of course. Mine would not of stood much rubbing or cleaning so I replaced it.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic