Seat Belt Cleaning Tip

Hello. We have been restoring an 86 that was not very well taken care of. It is coming along nicely. We purchased a new interior from Highway Stars and as we work to install it we have been looking closely at all the seat belts which we have removed. We did not want to put the soiled and old belts back in the car with new seat covers, carpet, door panels and headliner. We had considered buying new belts but see they are expensive and not easy to come by. So, we heard they can clean up well so we did some experimentation and here is what worked for us and may work for you.

The belts had some minor mold spots (black) on the rear belts which were not used as much and almost always in their little shell not seeing much light and holding some moisture. We first tried regular soap and water and it was not real effective. This car sat outdoors for quite some time with weatherstrips that were gone or in very poor condition. We pulled the belts out fully across two saw horses. We then applied Simple Green (not diluted but full strength) to both sides. We let it soak in for five to ten minutes and used a toothbrush to work it into the areas with stains from the mold, soft drinks, food or whatever else was spilled on them over the 34 years. We then took a hose with an adjustable nosel and turned it to mist. We turned flow from the hose to full. We then pressed the nosel up against the belt forcing water into the fabric but not with such force (like a power washer) that would damage the material. We made sure there were no more suds from the Simple Green after this process and let the belts stay in place on the horses in full sun and let the sun and wind dry them out. They turned out fantastic. If you are concerned like we were about the process, start with a rear belt that is NOT visible when in use. These would be the short belts that are attached under the back seat. I wish we would have taken pictures before we started but we had little hope of them improving to the level they have. We did not have a plan to post about this when we started but hopefully this will help someone looking to improve the look of their interior. Best wishes.
 

Dhos1

Self-tuning wanna-be
So you put the Simple Green on the ENTIRE belt but only worked in the raunchy areas with the toothbrush? Did you get any spottiness. I mean areas that were cleaned better than the others or is it fairly even tone. I would still love to see the finished product so I can compare them to mine. Please post if you can-
Regards-
 

grass doctor

Dream Catcher
nice post ...I though of getting one of them steamer things to try on some of my other cars...especially the dirty ass truck LOL
 
We used Simple Green on the entire belt excluding inside the mechanism. We kept that dry and only wiped it off with SG on a rag.
We used the tooth brush on the areas with the mold and other areas that had stains. We used the hose on the entire belt and be sure to get all the suds out because leaving these may lead to some areas staining or spotting more than others. I just installed the belts today so I cannot get any pics to show how they look. I wish we had taken before and after with the belts fully extended. Maybe next time. Good luck.
 
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