How to Remove Water Stains From a Car Interior Roof?

Keep your car’s interior roof always clean and stain-free under any conditions!

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How to Remove Water Stains From a Car Interior Roof

Any car owner will tell you for sure how to clean their vehicle’s interior space including the seats, the floor rugs, and anything else you can find inside of a car.

And of course, every owner of a car knows perfectly how to keep his or her wheeled means of transportation in a proper state and how to take care of the exterior of a car properly.

However, when it comes to such a thing as a ceiling of your car’s interior, there are surprisingly few people who know exactly what to do in order to keep it the same clean as the rest of the space inside of the vehicle.

Not many people are even aware that the ceiling of their car is called a car headliner! Let alone how to clean that headliner correctly.

And if you think that the methods and products you usually use for cleaning your car’s upholstery and carpeting can also be used for cleaning its headliner, you are wrong! And that’s where we come in!

Today we will tell you how you can keep your car’s headliner clean, and we are also going to share seven different cleaning methods with you.

Like that, you will always have a wide choice of actions depending on what you have right now at your disposal.

In addition, you will learn how to get a water stain out of a car headliner quickly and safely for the ceiling. Unfortunately, you can’t just scrub it off with some hot water and soap.

But instead, we will share a few handy tips on what can be done and applied in order to get rid of that nasty water trace once and for all!

How to Get Water Stain Out Of a Car Interior Roof?

The car headliners are usually made of soft foam-like interior and finished with a material that resembles suede, vinyl, leather, or fabric.

Over time, however, any headliner (even in the most expensive cars!) can become soiled or stained from everyday use, such as dust or smoke.

These materials need special attention and care when cleaning to maintain the car ceiling.

In particular, if you have ever left your car windows open before the rain, you know everything about those nasty and annoying water stains all over the car’s interior.

And especially on the car’s interior roof! Unfortunately, such stains can not be cleaned away with just some soapy hot water and a brush! So what shall you do then?

Relax and don’t stress! We know a few handy methods and tricks that will help you to remove a water stain from your car’s headliner quickly and with minimal effort.

In addition, some cleaning solutions we are going to tell you about can be successfully used on a car’s upholstery, as well as for spot cleaning of the interior of your vehicle.

How to Get Water Stain Out Of a Car Interior Roof
Credits: welcomia, via

Removing Water Stains From Car’s Headliner

One of the methods you can use to get rid of the water stains on your car’s interior ceiling is to make your own homemade headliner stain remover.

For preparing this cleaning solution, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Microfiber towel

Start with mixing the water, white vinegar, and dish soap in a pulverizing bottle and shake the mixture well so that it becomes homogeneous.

Spray the solution onto a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the water-stained areas on your car’s interior ceiling in circular motions.

However, we need to warn you: do not use too much of this DIY cleaning solution or too much pressure while brushing, or you will risk damaging the fabric adhesive!

Instead, we recommend you use a dry towel to apply pressure to the area in order to absorb any liquid.

By the way, you can also make use of this solution for cleaning your car’s upholstery with stains or for those on the carpeting, as well!

You can use a little more of the cleaner on these stained areas, as there is no adhesive to worry about.

How I Clean Car Headliner..Made Simple!How I Clean Car Headliner..Made Simple!

Related: How to Keep Rain Out Of a Broken Car Window?

Cleaning Water Stains On Headliner With Foaming Cleaner

Foaming cleaner is an ideal cleaning appliance that is designed specifically for cleaning the lining on your car’s ceiling.

The foam does not saturate the material as much as water does, and it works really well for eliminating odors!

To make use of this method, you will need the following:

  • Upholstery foam cleaning spray
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Vacuum cleaner

The cleaning process is extremely simple itself. All you need to do is to spray the entire surface of the headliner evenly with the foam first.

Then, allow the cleaning foam time to work by letting it dry for the recommended time on the can instructions.

Then, use a soft bristle brush to gently rub the foam cleaner into the material. Once the liner has completely dried, make use of the handheld upholstery tool of your vacuum to suck away all the leftover residue.

That’s it! Your cleaning mission is finished successfully!

Cleaning Water Stains On Headliner With Foaming Cleaner
Credits: chanida_p2, via

Related: How to Protect Your Car From Snow Without a Garage?

How to Get Water Stains Out Of a Car Interior Roof With a Natural Cleaner

This method and the product are both perfect if you want to clean water stains on the headliner of your car without any chemical solutions.

First of all, to be able to make use of this approach, you will need to prepare the stain cleaning solution. For that purpose, you will need the following ingredients:

  • a quarter cup of white vinegar
  • one cup of water
  • microfiber cloth
  • spray bottle

First of all, before you even begin to clean the car’s inner ceiling, make sure your car’s headliner is secure and free from any damage.

If there is any loosening of the headliner fabric or other flaws that you can see, skip this method and have the car headliner examined by a professional at a repair shop.

But if there are no damaged parts on it, start by cleaning any dust and debris from the headliner using a car vacuum cleaner. Use the upholstery cleaner tool of the vacuum to focus on the outer edges, crevices, and dome lights of the ceiling to clean your car’s headliner.

Next, dampen a cloth with water. Mix the water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the solution onto the damp cloth.

Now, using moderate pressure, dab the cloth onto the liner, gently working one section at a time until all the dirt is removed completely.

Make sure not to soak the headliner with too much water though! Use a fresh, dry towel to dab excess moisture from the liner.

Doing this cleaning routine with such a DIY interior car cleaner will not only clean it but remove the build-up of smoke and dust that can accumulate on its surface.

How to Get Water Stains Out Of a Car Interior Roof With a Natural Cleaner
Credits: KWangmoozaa, via

Related: How to Keep Car Windows From Fogging Up In the Rain?

How to Clean a Headliner In a Car With Upholstery Cleaner?

This is the simplest way you can clean a headliner from that water stain! You can use a standard upholstery cleaner for deep cleaning your car’s headliner and for removing tough stains.

This cleaning product also works pretty well for cleaning and sanitizing other areas of the car interior, by the way. For example, for cleaning such areas as car seats and cleaning carpets in vehicles.

Just follow the same directions for the headliner, although you can apply a little more pressure since you don’t have to worry about harming any adhesive.

How to Clean a Headliner In a Car With Upholstery Cleaner (2)
Credits: AleksandarGeorgiev, via

In addition, before you start applying a car upholstery cleaner, we recommend you make sure that the car is well ventilated by opening the windows. Once you do this, you can pulverize the upholstery cleaner onto a soft, microfiber towel and apply it to the stained area.

The only nuance that you need to keep in mind when using this method for cleaning a stained headliner is that you do not have to spray the upholstery cleaner directly onto the liner! See, this could damage the underlying adhesive.

Simply gently pad the stain away with moderate pressure.

Pat the area dry with a clean towel to finish.

With this list of methods and products that even include a homemade cleaning remedy for dealing with water stains on your car’s headliner, you will be able to keep your vehicle’s interior always clean and super tidy.

How to Clean a Headliner In a Car With Upholstery Cleaner
Credits: supergenijalac, via

How to Deep Clean Your Car’s Headliner?

Now that you know how to remove water stains from a car headliner, you might be wondering what you should do in order to deal with more difficult and stubborn dirty traces.

Well, what can we say? Deep cleaning is an important part of your car maintenance. Moreover, it is recommended to deep clean your car’s interior now and then just to keep it up in a proper state.

But of course, it will be best of all if deep cleaning will be the last resort when it comes to cleaning the interior roof of your car. This process usually makes use of the combination of heat and moisture as a stain remover as a stain removing remedy.

But at the same time, it can also loosen the adhesive from the headliner, so make sure that you are especially careful and cautious when cleaning with the help of it!

How to Deep Clean Your Car’s Headliner
Credits: Oksana Radchenko, via

To deep clean you car’s headliner, you will need the following:

  • steam cleaner
  • upholstery stain remover solution
  • hot water

For this process, you will have to use a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment. To find the proper ratio of hot water and stain remover solution, we recommend follow the instructions that you can find in your cleaning machine’s instruction manual.

The process itself is very simple in fact. Use the upholstery attachment to begin cleaning at the corner of the headliner. Press the spray trigger as you move along the liner, making sure that you do not remain in one area for too long to prevent excessive saturation.

Afterward, use the same pace and technique across the entire liner.

How to Deep Clean Your Car’s Headliner (2)
Credits: Alex_Schmidt, via

After you finish cleaning, allow the inner car’s ceiling a day to dry. If you feel that you need to speed up drying time, do it by rolling down the windows or running fans. Once the headliner is dry, you may, however, notice dried lines in the material.

That’s fine, there is no need to worry! Just run your hands along the grain of the fabric to smooth out the surface.

With all these tips, life hacks, and recommendations, you are now aware of how to clean your car’s inner ceiling with several different methods and with the use of several distinct products as well.

We even provided you with the recipe of a homemade stain cleaning product that is both safe on the material of the car headliner and is organic and health-friendly since it consists of only the natural ingredients.

In addition, we shared a brief guide on how to deal with heavy staining with the help of a deep cleaning method. Like this, we are now absolutely sure that the insides of your car will always be super clean and tidy!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can you shampoo a car liner?

Yes, shampoo can be used on a headliner.

⭐ What to treat oily stains with on a car liner?

Use a watered-down formula made of paint thinner, and a cotton cloth.

⭐ How to remove coffee stains from my car’s interior?

Use cold water and a paper towel, and then apply some glass cleaner and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.