Keeping your semi cabin clean and tidy not only makes it a better work environment for you but also helps preserve the resale value of your vehicle. It is in your best interest to keep your truck clean if you plan to sell, upgrade, or even just enjoy your number-one working environment for life—but figuring out how to clean the inside of a semi-truck? That isn’t always easy.
Truck seats happen to be the most challenging component to clean in most cabins, mainly because most are made from materials like fabric, leather, or suede. Spills, food crumbs, and even sweat can cause unsightly stains, while moisture and exposure to the elements can cause materials to break down slowly. This results in rips, tears, and just an overall ugly appearance. Eventually, your seat degrades to the point that it impacts both your safety and your comfort.
Cleaning your truck seats is an essential part of protecting their look and function, but washing them the wrong way can cause just as many problems. Harsh cleaners and substances may bleach seat materials or even cause the fabrics to break down—the exact opposite of what you want. These semi-truck cleaning tips will help you do it the right way.
Remove Surface Dirt
Start with thoroughly vacuuming the interior of your cab. Cover all of the surfaces in your vehicle and be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where dirt and debris accumulate. The longer dirt stays in your car, the more likely it is to become ingrained in the fabric or carpet, becoming very difficult to remove.
Be mindful that merely vacuuming your truck seats typically isn’t enough. Dirt that hangs around on the floor or dash will eventually find—and grind—its way into the fabric on your seats.
Deep Clean Fabrics Quarterly
Be sure to deep-clean fabric and upholstery seats once every three months. Use cleaners made specifically for cleaning car fabric and upholstery; improvised cleaners may harm car interiors. Use a hard bristle brush to work the product into fabric fibers, allowing a more thorough cleaning.
Use just enough product to dampen the fabric; don’t pour it on or drench the seat with water. Using too much water will cause the seat’s interior cushioning to become wet, which can spur the development of mold.
Let Fabrics Dry
After scrubbing, let the upholstery sit for about half an hour before rinsing the fabric with water and blotting it dry. If you can do this on a warm, sunny day, it’s best to leave the windows and doors open for a few hours after your cleaning session.
Use the Right Products for Leather
If you have leather upholstery, be sure to clean it with a cloth soaked in water and cleaner made for leather seats. These cleaners typically have a low pH to avoid damage to the leather. Never use harsh cleansers on leather, such as Mr. Clean or Pine Sol, as they can remove the finish and cause the hide to break down.
After cleaning your leather seats, apply conditioner to prevent drying and cracking. This also helps to protect your seats by enveloping them in a moisture-proof barrier that locks out sweat, spills, and more.
Use Vinyl-Safe Products
For truckers with vinyl upholstery, it’s best to use a wet cloth and cleaner that’s safe for this material. In a pinch, you can safely use baking soda, but avoid using oil- or mineral-based cleaning solutions. A dampened cloth with a mild dish detergent will also work if you don’t have anything else available, but be sure to be gentle.
Consider a Detailing Visit
Every year or so, let a professional detailing service clean your vehicle. They can clean many areas you just can’t reach, and they also have special cleaners for dealing with stubborn stains. Full detailing is like a day at the spa for your truck—and your truck seat—and can extend its lifespan considerably.
Last tip: Don’t smoke in your truck. It leaves a residue and odor that’s nearly impossible to get out, but that isn’t the only risk. Nicotine stains are next to impossible to get out, and eventually become sticky. Regularly smoking will subsequently result in permanent stains and the need to replace your truck seat or cushion more often.
Call Suburban Seating & Safety Today!
Suburban Seating & Safety sells custom truck seats, truck accessories, and other gear that makes trucks cleaner and more comfortable for drivers. Whether you’re trying to make it easier to clean your semi-truck interior or you just want a more comfortable working environment, we can help. Access luxurious premium comfort and durability; shop Suburban Seating & Safety’s extensive catalog of products.