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What are your tips for wicking

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What are your tips for wicking
February 27, 2012 09:23AM
We have all had seats that get that ugly water-mark when they dry.

What are your tips for seats when you find the dirt has permeated the fabric and then wicks back up when it gets damp. Do you have an easy-fix surface solution or do you prefer to just go after the dirt down in the cushioning?
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 27, 2012 10:07PM
The bad thing is that none of the fabrics or foam are exactly alike, it depends on which vehicle manufacturer, what year, what model.
What will work on one, well, that process may not work on another.
Example, a few years back Chrysler was touting their new "stain proof" fabric, used in some Sebrings, Liberty Jeeps, etc.
If it got wet, say from some taking a trip to the beach, they sat with wet trunks on it, some salt still in the water, or someone spilled a good amount of any liquid, they could be a bear to clean and not have "wicking" marks in the fabric.
The only way Tim and I found to eliminate them was to do normal cleaning, but always follow up with an extractor and plain water.
Usually had to do it twice with the extractor, get them as dry as possible, then hit them with a hair dryer, watching to see if the water marks returned.
Quicker one can get the fabric dry, the less opportunity for the "water mark wicking" to take place.
Sometimes, most actually, it would work.
Other cars, usually just not using to much of the cleaning chemical and a light brushing, followed by a clean water only extraction would handle them.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 28, 2012 06:04AM
Ketch is there a difference between "water stains" and "wicking?"

I was of the impression that water stains were just that, stains from water.

That wicking was the dirt still left in the carpets or the dirt under the fabric sitting on the foam wicking up when it dried as that is what dirt does when it drives, rises to the surface.


Bud A
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 28, 2012 04:11PM
Carpets are one thing, seats and their fabric, another.
One can not have "water stains" without "wicking" of some sort when it comes to seat fabric.
Thinner material, so the water acts different, and then consider the foam under the fabric. The water and whatever, collects in the foam, then as it dries, "wicks" up on the surface. It then, sorta of works like a bead of water, the wicked up solids will slowly form a "edge", just like beading water does as it seeks it's limits.
Sorry I can't explain this better, it's been years since a fabric supplier to the industry explained it to me, having to draw deep down in the old memory brain cells to do as much as I have.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 28, 2012 09:13PM
Thanks for that, Ketch. I understand what you are saying. It would probably be a better idea not to let the seat too wet then. Maybe steam cleaning and rapid-drying is a better approach if you need a quick turnaround.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 28, 2012 09:51PM
If the soiling is in the cushion, I don't know how you'd clean it without taking the seat cover off? Sounds more like a band aid. You could extract all day, but don't see how you'll be able to pull out the soiling that deep?
You can get the seat cover clean, but yes (like you said), it might wick back up when exposed to wetness again.

I've always had good luck correcting these types of issues with either alcohol glass cleaner or a foam cleaner once the seat has been dried.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 29, 2012 01:38AM
You took the "top" off when you do that.
It works, but as you stated, you have to wait for it to dry.
Dry a heat gun or a hair dryer to speed it up.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 29, 2012 02:48AM
Ketch thanks for the explanation.

I would add that you must keep in mind that the foam from which the seats are made is not like a sponge that absorbs moisture. It is much more dense and does not really absorb.

What you have is a great deal of dry soil in and under the fabric so what you must do is a very deep and thorough vacuuming to remove as much of the dry soil as possible before putting any kind of moisture on the fabric be it spray shampoo; extractor or even vapor steam.

The culprit is the dry soil that becomes wet and wicks up.

Bud Abraham
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 29, 2012 03:09AM
Bud: Hate to tell you but it is a sponge that REALLY absorbs moisture and residue from spills migrating through the top cover, down to sponge backing... How do I know I am pulling apart seats all day removing stains, odors and drying spills. The real culprit is coffee, cola spills that have left heavy deposists of tannin under the seat cover and sponge as soon as they are wet from any moisture even pre-sprays... the tanin stains wicks right up to the surface and re-stains the seat leaving brown stains everywhere..


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2012 12:02AM by concoursgarage.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 29, 2012 09:50PM
You said it, Gina. Spent many a day chasing orange juice or coffee down into the foam. It is pretty absorbent stuff.

Nice to see you back. winking smiley
Re: What are your tips for wicking
February 29, 2012 10:23PM
If it looks and feels like a sponge, it's going to act like a sponge. It can and will retain moisture.
Re: What are your tips for wicking
March 03, 2012 10:00PM
The best way to prevent wicking is to remove the stain entirely . Gina mentioned disassembly and cleaning of the padding .

1) In some cases, repeated extraction will remove the stain entirely by getting it all to wick up to the surface to be extracted . To try this, add a little OxyKleen or equivalent to your extractor water .

2) In other cases, repeated wet rubbing with APC and white cotton towels will get all of the stain out .

3) Another way to minimize wicking is to clean the stained area with something that evaporates faster than water, such as Eagle One Spot and Stain Remover, Griot's Interior Cleaner, Stoner's Tarminator or alcohol .

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