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How to Remove & Clean Soft Top Headliner?

10105 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  myarmar
The Headliner on my soft top is stained and dirty and I would like to remove itand clean it. I see the six screws that holds the front of the headliner, how do you remove it from the rear bow? And what is the best product to clean it with? I am sure it is britle so I know that I need to be careful.
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I would have much preferred to have been able to take the headliner out altogether. Maybe yours will come off like the video above...
Mine is a 1999 car and removal was fine and as per video above until I got to the rear of the headliner, where in my car it seemed wrapped or glued to the rear of the soft top frame so I went no further.

I cleaned it while attached at the rear but otherwise it was hanging.

So, I put down sheets to protect the interior.

My headliner is light grey. If I was black I wonder if water marks would come up easily?
Panel by panel so as to avoid water marks, I sprayed Simoniz foam action upholstery cleaner, waited a few minutes, used a damp cloth and a touch of water and very gently scrubbed. For anything a little stubborn I used a sponge and agitated it with the grain of the headliner fabric. As best I could I added a little water with a sponge to dilute the foam cleaner. Using micro fibre cloths and light coloured towels I dabbed to soak out residue. If headliner was black I would have used dark towels in case of shedding. I then left the headliner overnight and in the morning it was clean and undamaged. It is still spotless two and a half years later.
Maybe others can advise you better. Be gentle.
Kindliest regardations,


I ran into the same problem when I got to the Rear Retaining Rail. It appears that mine has some type of Yellow Adhesive holding the Retaining Rail to the Rear Bow. I pried gently with a Screwdriver to try to remove it, but to no avail. I also removed the Main/Large Door Speaker Covers to replace the speakers, and decided to bring them inside to clean them as well (they are filthy from dirty shoes hitting them over the years.

I may try a Heat Gun tomorrow on the rear retaining rail to see if I can get the adhesive to let go. Are all of these glued except the one in the video? Has anyone else had this same experience? My Headliner is FILTHY and Water Stained!
Cleaned on the Car

I decide to clean it while leaving it on the car. Here are a few photos of the water stains and the progress. I used the "Turtle Wax Oxy Interior 1" which I found in the Automotive section at Wal Mart. The pics are of the Underside of the Headliner.

Before Starting the cleaning:

After Cleaning the Passenger Side:

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I actually finished it yesterday evening, but it was too dark to take any pics. I will post a few completed pics today. Those water stains were showing through to the side that you can see from the cabin of the car, so removing those water stains from the underside of headliner really helped clean up the interior. The headliner looked pretty skanky from inside the car.
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