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DIY Seatbelt Cleaning

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Old 04-21-11, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default DIY Seatbelt Cleaning

DIY Seatbelt Cleaning

Hi All -

I have an Ecru interior on my CL LS430 and in searching for a seatbelt cleaning method came across the following thanks to gman44116 who posted it in the Lexus GS Second Generation Forum. It works! (ymmv)

"1. Use Dawn Dish Detergent. This detergent is different than the others as it is more of a stripper. Those of you who claybar their car know this detergent works very well in removing your wax/polish and build up.

2. Oxy Clean powder.

3. Clean cotton towel and a clean cotton wash mitt.

4. Plastic wire brush.

Start by filling up a medium size bowl with hot water, 1 tablespoon of Dawn liquid and 1 tablespoon of oxy-clean.

Fill up another bowl with clean hot water.

Stretch out your seatbelts and bring your seats all the way forward. Lock the belts with the buckle at the top so they don't retract while cleaning.

Get a cover for your seat while cleaning and drying (I did one side at a time).

Start by wetting the was mitt in the bowl with the cleaning products and wet the entire belt. Stretch the belt out so it is taut while cleaning. Do your best to get the liquid to penetrate the entire belt.

After it has soaked for a few minutes, Go ahead and start scrubbing the belt with the wash mitt 6-10 inches at a time working from one end to the other. Take care to rub the sides a little extra as mine showed more grime on the edges. Rinse the mitt every minute or so.

After 5-10 minutes with the wash mitt, grab your scrub brush and with the same process scrub the entire belt, both sides.

Next step is to grab your clean cotton towel and get it wet/damp with the clean hot water. Start from one end to the other and scrub out all the cleaning liquid taking a little extra time around the edges. You'll notice if your using a white towel the residue that you are removing.

Now, don't forget the buckles, they are dirty! grab some paper towels and windex and get out all the grime in the tracks off the buckle where the belt slides back and forth. If you don't do this step you risk getting more dirt on your belts and especially when its wet it will set in.

Let dry for 2 hours and don't let them retract during drying.

I only wish I had taken before photos. My belts were very dirty. The end result was no dirt and they actually shine like, well almost new!

Hope this helps as I have read many posts about cleaning the belts and frustration with the outcome. This works very well.... "

Again, thx to gman44116 for the DIY
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Old 04-21-11, 09:59 PM   #2
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good post, i was just trying to figure this out myself after taking a look at my seat belts this week
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Old 04-21-11, 10:27 PM   #3
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Good write up. I was also considering this but think ill get my hands on a good steam extractor to clean mine.
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Old 04-22-11, 05:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the post. It is amazing how dirty the seat belts can get.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:09 PM   #5
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i used dawn and a little liquid laundry soap and a chip bag clamp to keep the belt from retracting.i soaked mine in a 5 gal bucket and lightly scrubed it,then soaked in a fresh water bucket and dried it off with a was august in ga when i did mine.garage was maybe 120 so the belts dried pretty quick..good write up.
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Old 04-25-11, 11:28 AM   #6
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Seat belts are your first line of defense in case of a collision. You wouldn't want to do anything that could weaken the internal structure of the belt fibers. Damage could be caused that isn't visible, and you would only find out the hard way.

Personally, I would not use steam or heat, OxyClean, bleach, or any other oxidizing or caustic agent. Woolite or a fairly mild all-purpose cleaner would be the safest method.

From the 2002 LS430 manual: "The seat belts may be cleaned with mild soap and water or with lukewarm water. Do not use dye or bleach on the belts – it may weaken them. Do not use the belts until they become dry."

From the 1992 Mercedes 300D manual: "The webbing must not be treated with chemical cleaning agents. Use only clear, lukewarm water and soap. Do not dry the webbing at the temperatures above 176F (80C) or in direct sunlight. Do not bleach or dye seat belts as this may severely weaken them. In a crash they may not be able to provide adequate protection."

"Mothers wrote on that Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is safe for seat belts."

"Simple Green replied by email that Simple Green would probably be safe for seat belts, but they recommended me to use lukewarm water and soap due to liability issue."

"As far as I can remember ALL the user's manuals of ALL the cars I bought till now state that you are to use NOTHING ELSE but neutral soap and water to clean seat belts. Probably because the polypropylene used to weave and ultimately manufacture those belts are affected adversely by any other thing.

A steamer does not sound safe to me regarding that synthetic fibers tend to sag and degenrate / distort / warp under high heat..."
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Old 04-25-11, 12:03 PM   #7
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Good info VD!
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Old 04-25-11, 12:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by StanVanDam View Post
A steamer does not sound safe to me regarding that synthetic fibers tend to sag and degenrate / distort / warp under high heat..."
So you mean the high heat that my car see's every day from sitting out in the sun will also damage my seat belts? Ive personally checked temps in my car after sitting in the hot sun and its reached over 200*f. So as is my seat belts are already degraded and damaged
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Old 04-25-11, 01:27 PM   #9
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Perfect information, I am planning to clean the seat belt and not sure what will works. Thank you
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