With so many people in and out of school buses every day, it’s only natural that the seats of your bus get dirty and sticky. Gum stuck to seats and ink stains from ball point pens and sharpies are sure to happen. Vinyl and cloth seats are handled differently. Here are some tips to cleaning both.
1. Everyday dirt and grime – wipe the seats with a sponge or cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. You can make your own solution by making a 50-50 mix of water and washing liquid. Mix gently to avoid excess bubbles. Transfer to a spray bottle to clean the seats. Wipe the surface with a dry cloth before it dries. Do not use furniture polish or harsh chemicals as this can cause hardening of the vinyl material.
2. For greasy stains – wipe the area with a cloth moistened with denatured alcohol (open the windows when using this product). Then wash over with warm, soapy water and dry with a clean cloth. Note: If you do not want to use denatured alcohol, use a combination of baking soda and water, followed with the soapy water and dry cloth. This solution will also polish the vinyl.
3. For chewing gum – if the gum is soft, harden with ice. Then scrape the gum off with the edge of a spoon. As above, use a small amount of denatured alcohol, and finish with warm, soapy water and a dry cloth.
4. Ink – Dip a cloth in a little denatured alcohol. Press the cloth on the stain. The stain should transfer to the cloth. Finish with warm, soapy water and a dry cloth.
Note: Ammonia can be used in lieu of denatured alcohol. Either one should be handled with caution.
1. You can usually get rid of stains with simple household solutions that dilute and remove stains from your car’s upholstery. Or, you can purchase a carpet or upholstery cleaner from your local retailer. This is also the safest bet for leather seats.
2. For ink stains, use hairspray or rubbing alcohol mixed with water.
3. For grease, use a watered-down paint thinner formula and a cotton cloth. If you happen to spill coffee, use cold water on a damp cloth, followed by some glass cleaner and another dose of cold water. Always blot stains–never scrub them, so that they are not rubbed further into your vehicle’s upholstery.
Cleaning your seats before they get to the “extremely dirty” stage, picking up trash every day, and vacuuming small bits of food and dirt on a regular basis, will make your job easier in keeping the seats clean.