How To Get Water Stains Out Of Car Headliner

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ 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.

Can Too Much Water Cause The Car Headliner To Sog?

A car’s interior can be seriously damaged by too much water, so it might be worth checking to see if your headliner is affected. If you do notice any signs of sagging, take your car in for repair as soon as possible. Headliners can be replaced relatively cheaply, and it’s definitely better than dealing with a wet and moldy interior.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, make sure to park your car in a garage or under a carport to keep it as dry as possible. And if you do happen to get caught in a rainstorm while your car is parked, be sure to open the windows and sunroof (if you have one) to allow it to dry out. It might take a little bit of time, but taking these precautions will help protect your car’s interior from water damage.

To prevent water damage on your vehicle:

  • Park in a garage or under a carport
  • Open windows and sunroof when weather permits
  • Use windshield wipers and defrost appropriately
  • Remove snow/ice from the vehicle after storms
  • Inspect for leaks regularly; fix immediately if found
  • Prevent pets from entering vehicles; they can bring in water and dirt
  • Clean carpets and upholstery regularly to remove any traces of water or moisture.


5 TIPS for Avoiding Car Headliner Damage When Cleaning

These tips may seem so simple, but still, many people are making mistakes and destroy their headliners.

1. Buy High-Quality Fabric Cleaner

The best thing you can buy is fabric cleaner for car upholstery. It’s more like a dry foam that won’t make your headliner too wet while cleaning.

Check out the list of Best Car Upholstery Cleaners.

2. Use a Soft Brush

Using a hard brush may damage your headliner fibers. Even if the stain is very tough, you’ll be able to clean it with the right cleanser and a soft brush.

3. Don’t Put Too Much Foam

Upholstery cleaners have very strong chemicals to clean your fabric. If you use too much of it, it may lead to glue damage, and again – to a sagging headliner.

Also, using too much foam will wet your headliner a lot, which is not good.

4. Give a Fabric Enough Time To Dry

This is one of the most important steps for cleaning a cloth car headliner. Give it enough time to dry out.

5. Watch Tutorials!

Yes, this may seem like a stupid tip, but watching a few YouTube videos or reading some articles will help you a lot. We all think that we know how to do anything, but it’s not always like that.

Check this video, it’s a pretty simple tutorial, and anyone can clean a headliner by following these tips.

Did you see how much fabric cleaner is he using? Just enough to clean a stain, not too much. Also, he uses a very soft brush attached to his drill. 


Knowing the different methods of how to clean a car headliner can help you keep your car clean and odor-free. It would also save you money, as there won’t be a need to send your car to a detailer. Just follow the steps required for whatever type of cleaning you need.

How did you find this tutorial? Share what you think in the comments. If you thought this was helpful, maybe you could also share this article to share some car knowledge with others.

5/5 – (3 votes)

Bruce Sonnier About me, I am passionate about cars and automotive projects. I know how frustrating it is to spend multiple hours and days investigating faulty parts and replacing them with suitable components. But once the process is finished, the effort is worth it. That’s why I am happy to be here, providing helpful content after thorough research and testing.

How do you get water stains out of a headliner?

If you’ve accidentally left your sunroof cracked open, you could be left with unsightly water stains. If your headliner is still wet, try to soak up any moisture with a dry microfibre towel. It’s important then to wait for it to dry before attempting any stain removal. 

For small or insignificant water stains, you could be fine using distilled water and a soft microfibre cloth. If you find the stain doesn’t come away, follow the above steps for spot cleaning.

Surface Clean

Applying upholstery foam to the headliner of a passenger car. Tomasz Majchrowicz / Getty Images

For more general cleaning of the entire headliner, use a foaming upholstery cleaner and soft brush. Without saturating the headliner, spray the entire headliner—aerosols tend to work best—paying special attention to notably dirty areas. After letting the upholstery cleaner work into the surface soils, use the soft brush to lightly clean the surface of the headliner.

The trick here is to let the upholstery cleaner work, as this will limit the collateral damage that can come from overzealous spraying and scrubbing. You can always try again if the first time isn’t acceptably clean, but the gentler you are the more likely your headliner will survive. Allow plenty of time for drying before putting your car away.

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