How to Clean Car Interior Roof?

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How to Clean Car Interior Roof?

The ceiling of a car is a part that easily sticks to dirt, odors and is a place for mold to grow over time. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the car headliner regularly along with upholstery-safe cleaners. So, how to clean a car interior roof?

What is car headliner?

The ceiling of the car is called the car headliner. Without it, the back of the car would be completely exposed to damaging elements. The covering of the ceiling is made of a material that receives dust, moisture, and sunlight. Therefore, sometimes it becomes dirty and needs washing.

The headliner is made up of several layers of fabric, foam plastic insulation, and other materials. The purpose of it is to insulate the vibration of the engine and sound absorption. Also, it has a decorative function. The fabric is embroidered with decorative patterns, which often have a logo or a decoration similar to the roof lining. All this can be easily damaged over time by neglecting regular cleaning procedures.

Why do we need to clean the car headliner?

As mentioned above, dust and dirt get under the fabric of the ceiling. It is necessary to clean the car headliner regularly in order to avoid the accumulation of mold, mildew, odors, and stains.

The first reason to clean the ceiling is aesthetic. It is important that the interior design of your car corresponds to your taste and also complies with all rules of a decent appearance of interior objects. Cleaning will be much easier if you remove unnecessary items from your car before cleaning it.

The second reason for washing a car headliner is a decrease in air quality inside your car. The air inside your vehicle will not be fresh and clean because of dirt and pollutants that stick on the ceiling fabric. If you are an active person and often go on a trip, you should clean the headliner at least twice a year. You can clean your car in the spring in order to make the car summer fresh, and in the autumn it will be great if you clean it before going to winter.

How to clean car interior roof

Some car owners think that the ceiling of a car is a place that is less affected by drivers and passengers, so it will not be dirty and needs to be cleaned periodically. In fact, car ceilings, especially car felt ceilings, can still be covered with dirt or the smell of smoke and people’s odors after a period of use. Therefore, this part also needs to be cared for and cleaned periodically. Here is how to do it:

For general cleaning car interior roof

Materials needed:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Soft brushes
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional)


  • Wash your car with a headliner-safe detergent. Mix the detergent and warm water into a bucket. Apply the mixture onto the whole ceiling, cleaning it thoroughly. Do not forget to clean the corners and seams of the interior. After cleaning, dry your car headliner with a soft cloth or chamois leather and vacuum it dry.
  • Clean hanging loose or torn fabric on your car’s ceiling using regular adhesive tape or mounting tape sticky. If the headliner fabric is dirty, wash it with warm water and a small amount of detergent mixed in a bucket. Then dry it with a cloth or chamois leather.
  • Also, you can use vacuum cleaners to clean the headliner of your car. First, make sure you vacuum your car and then roll the headliner over the air hose. In this way, you will not damage the fabric of the ceiling and will not leave dust on it.

How to clean stains & spots on car interior roof

Check your car headliner regularly for stains and spots. If you need to remove stains from the mold and mildew on the car headliner, mix 1 teaspoon of bleach for every 1 liter/quart of water in a bucket. Soak an absorbent cleaning cloth and then apply it to all stains on your vehicle’s ceiling. Do not use bleach if your car ceiling is not made of fabric, in order to avoid damaging the car’s roof.

In order to remove stains from your car’s felt ceiling, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. If you use an integrated vacuum cleaner on your car’s ceiling, follow instructions that came with its instruction manual. Clean stains with a dry cloth or chamois leather and then vacuum dry.

How to install a new car headliner

You can replace the old fabric of your car headliner with a new one. In this case, you must remove all parts on which the fabric is attached by removing clips and any other device that connects it to your vehicle.

To install a new headliner, you should carefully unroll it inside the car and then start attaching it to clips.

Finally, check that the headliner is securely attached to the ceiling. If you need to remove a stain, fogging or oily stains from your car headliner using warm water and a neutral ammonia-based detergent. Place the cleaning cloth on the stain, apply detergent and leave it on for an hour. Afterward, it is necessary to rinse with water. In this case, do not use bleach because it can harm the adhesive and fabric of your car’s ceiling.


Now you know how to care for your car’s headliner and about how to clean car interior roof. You should follow some simple rules of how to make the ceiling last longer: do not apply tape on it and do not keep any heavy stuff on the headliner. If your car is exposed to especially harsh weather conditions, it is recommended for you to clean the headliner after each journey.