Cleaning marks from car hoodlinings

23 November 2013 

When getting into cleaning the interior of your car, some seem to neglect one of the bigger areas, that of course being right above; the hoodlining. This area is usually made from either fabric or vinyl, sometimes even a combination of both, and needs special techniques and products to clean it effectively. 


Sitting in the car, have a look up and around you? If it is like most cars we see, it will most probably have some hand and finger marks, and then different combinations of yellowing from embedded dust or smoke, (from window down cruising) water stains, red dust, mould, food, soft drink & coffee explosions, make-up, sunscreen, car sickness, rub marks, even feet marks or other stains that you might not wish to know where they came from! 

We have a couple of products that are essential to safely clean and help freshen up your hoodlining. Our steps below will help you remove many types of unwanted stains, to bring your hoodlining back to looking like new.



You will need our Fabra Cadabra interior cleaning spray, as it is a great and safe cleaner for fabric and vinyl surfaces. Also required is our Square Bear microfibre applicator, and our Plush Daddy microfibre cloth, otherwise use a dry and clean microfibre cloth for applying and another separate one for wiping it dry. 



Park the car in a shaded, well ventilated area, where you can open up all the doors to provide easy access. Have a good look up and ascertain what type of hood lining you have, whether it be a vinyl or fabric material. Both have slightly different ways needed to clean them efficiently.  


Always test the Fabra Cadabra in a small and inconspicuous place first, like under a sun visor, it is a pretty rare chance that there may be compatibility issues (have been none so far), but just in case your hoodlining has been cheaply painted or dyed (we have one famous XY GTHO Falcon in our collection with this) in its previous ownership, it is always best to test first!



Sitting inside the car, spray the Fabra Cadabra into the microfibre applicator pad, till it is reasonably damp, which should be about 5 to 6 sprays. Gently wipe the hoodliner with the pad in a circular motion. Take note to see if the pad is excessively dirty. If you find it is dirty, wash it out with water and wring it damp/dry, or change to another pad. Do this as you could just be continually spreading the dirt and other gunk you have cleaned off, further over and into the material. Then before it can dry, (about 1 minute depending on the weather conditions), wipe it down with a clean and dry interior buffing cloth. In most of our 4 seater cars, I like to break the area above me into quadrants, working on a section at a time and then moving to the next seat to clean the areas above them.


1957 Porsche 356 vinyl liner badly needed a clean after many years of window and sunroof open cruising. Using Fabra Cadabra, Microfibre cloths and the Magic Rub Bar, it came up great. 


This method should be enough to clean most daily drivers, however if you still have dirt, it might mean you need to give it another pass, until the dirt and grime is gone.


Also be sure to clean the sun-visors, door pillars and other plastic parts around the roof area exactly the same way as above. To get a nice darker look on any sun affected plastics, and some UV protection to your sun-visors, finish them off by using our Vinyl Care on it.



For other harder to remove stains that might be still on there, like make-up, sunscreen, water stains and other marks you will need a more targeted spot cleaning approach. Wet the stained area with the Fabra Cadabra, applying product via the pad well and then gently rubbing, with minimal pressure, continually into the surface for 30 seconds, which should foam the product up. Wipe dry with the clean microfibre cloth and inspect. If the mark is still there, keep doing a couple more times till the mark disappears. The longer the stain has been on the surface, the harder it will be to remove, with some old stains being very difficult to 100% remove.



For really badly ingrained marks, it is advised to try our Magic Rub Bar... Just so you are all aware, it's a melamine sponge and amazing at getting rid of scuff or other hard to remove marks from around your car. It works a treat on plastics, so to use it on your vinyl roof, sun-visors, side trim panels. The sponge is absorbent, so either dab in water, or for minor marks and Fabra Cadabra for more intensive ones. We cut it down to a size that suits the job we are doing, then gently rub the areas clean, in a side to side motion.  This foam bar has a cool design that uses intricate "micro-scrubbers" , that really allows for some epic cleaning power. Just do not be overly aggressive with it! If you are, it can wear away softer top layers of some surfaces, so wipe off and Inspect the surface area you are cleaning often, just to be sure it is not having any adverse affects. If used in a softly, softly approach you can find it is quite effective and has no issues. It also works a treat removing scuff marks from leather, plastic and inner door paint, especially if you have light coloured interior. Find the Magic Rub Bar on our website by clicking here.


Marks on these textured sun-visors were from mould happily growing in the hoodlining holes gap.

With a bit of work using the Fabra Cadabra and the Magic Rub Bar, it's all clean again. 


If the hoodlining is textured, with small indentations moulded in it, you may find that the cloth or bar cannot get them. For this you can use a soft brush like our Pouncer to spot clean the marks with the Fabra Cadabra. Again use a gentle, circular motion. Some marks, especially those that have been on the car for a long period may be quite difficult to entirely remove, so remember it is ALWAYS best to clean any marks off as soon as they happen.



There are two different types of fabric hoodliners, the suspended version with the cloth draped over a series of bars, and an air gap between it and the roof. With this type you have to be very gentle, so you do not stretch the material and so it sags later.  And there is the moulded type, that has the fabric glued into a moulded foam surface in the roof. With this type the biggest concern is the glue losing its bond and detaching the material from the roof, so it is VERY important that you do not repeatedly over saturate the fabric which can break the glues bond and cause this. If you have a glued on/ moulded foam roof that is more than 10 years old, we do not reccomend cleaning it, as the glues bond is potentially very weak and could fail. 


Our methods below are reasonably similar to cleaning the vinyl hoodliner roof except you do not apply as much of the Fabra Cadabra or saturate the material as much as you can with the Vinyl roofs. You will also need to wait for it to totally dry if you wish to give it a second clean.  Use a gentle side to side motion when cleaning, to make sure the fabric does not stretch and sag. Likewise using the side to side action will prevent the fabric bundling up into balls and creating piling.


Nice white finger mark from some sunscreen... 

Sitting inside the car, spray enough Fabra Cadabra into the dry and clean microfibre applicator pad so it is slightly damp, which should be about 4 to 5 sprays. Gently wipe the hoodliner with the pad in a side-to-side motion, trying to use to a clean section of the applicator pad with each pass, this is so you are not pushing any obvious stains across into new sections of fabric.


Apply in a side to side motion, try not to over-saturate the fabric, let it dry between cleans.

Inspect the pad often to see if it is excessively dirty, if you find it is, just wash it clean with water and wring it damp/ dry, or change to a new, clean pad. After letting the area you have cleaned sit for a minute, (but making sure it has not dried), wipe it clean with the same side to side motion using our dry Plush Daddy cloth. Do all this nice and gently as you do not wish to stretch or damage the fabric in any way. If you wish to give it a second clean, wait for the fabric to totally dry before attempting this, as it might affect the hoodlining glues adhesiveness. 


Wipe dry, in a gentle side to side motion.



Nice and clean again!



For more prominent stains in the hoodlining that the normal cleaning does not totally remove, you will need to do "spot cleaning". Spray Fabra Cadabra again into the applicator, then apply to the stain, but use a dabbing or blotting motion, working from the outside, pulling the applicator to the middle and then off the stain. Check the applicator to see if there is any of the stain on it, if there is, use a new clean section of cloth, so you do not rub it back into the material you're trying to clean. The way the Fabra Cadabra is designed to work, is to release the stain from the fibres of the material, so during this process you have to be careful not to push the stain deeper into the fabric, making it even harder to remove. You just have to be patient with this method and slowly you will be able to remove most stains. After you are happy, wipe it with a clean and dry microfibre buffing cloth. 


Grease marks on the side pillars were an easy clean.

You may notice if you have a darker fabric hoodlining, the bits of lint and fabric that get intertwined in the material. We find the best way to quickly clean this is to use a fabric lint remover, we like to use the roller ones, that you can get from any department stores.


Lint rollers are great for dark coloured fabric liners. 

Do not forget to clean the sun-visors and other plastic bits around the roof and pillars, all of which can be done with the Fabra Cadabra and the darker plastics can be finished off to a nice new sheen with the Vinyl Care.


Sunscreen, dirt, grease, and make-up on your sun-visors are a quick and easy clean with the Fabra Cadabra.


This material is used on a few late model transports and it can be cleaned the same way as the fabric above, with the Fabra Cadabra. Again just again be very gentle, as you clean. You can also use the Magic Rub Bar to spot clean any harder to remove marks.



We have seen this in a friends roof before, so thought it fit to mention.. First freeze the gum by placing a small plastic bag filled with ice on it, after about 5 to 10 minutes it will have hardened and you can then slowly peel, pick it off.  Clean any remaining residue off, (if any) with the Fabra Cadabra.



You can find these products at many of our great supporting retailers, find your closest store online here.
If there are no stores close to you, we can also send it direct from our online store here.


If you have any questions from this, or are facing a particular issue not in this article with your hoodlining, please email or FREECALL our office on 1800 351 308.


Love your car,

Dan Bowden