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Old 02-10-2019, 07:25 PM   #1
fortyfords
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Default old headliner cleaning

Has anyone ever tried to successfully clean and old 79 year old headliner?
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:47 PM   #2
TJ
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

Not a good idea. The stitching is very weak and the potential for it to come loose is very great.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:33 PM   #3
HDowse
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

I wouldn’t try it. Someone did in the past on the headliner in my '40, or a section of it, and it looks lighter than the rest but not enough to look cleaned up so they quit.
The long time previous owner was a smoker so the headliner has real 'patina'. I guess it takes time to get used to the original headliner, door panels and seats with all their years of use but to me it's part of the charm of the old car.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:51 PM   #4
tubman
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

I tried this on the '51 4 door I owned in high school in 1959. The car had been driven extensively on dirt roads when it was new, and every time I hit a bump, a fine shower of dust would descend from above. My high school girlfriend did not appreciate this at all. I carefully removed it with no damage, and washed it in my mom's Maytag, being careful to use a little Tide and cold water. I hung it to dry out on the clothesline (remember those) until it was dry. I WAS smart enough not to put it in the dryer. After it was completely dry, I tried to re-install it. It was 4" short front to back and 2" short side to side. The bare steel didn't cause any more dust showers, but it didn't satisfy her. Women!
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:29 PM   #5
FortyNiner
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

Generally, you'll be scrubbing mice - or at least their calling cards.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #6
DavidG
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

The material in at least the pre-WWII headliners was cotton, hence the risk of shrinkage is very real.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:29 PM   #7
fortyfords
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Default Re: old headliner cleaning

Thanks all, I won't try cleaning it now.
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