Yesterday I found some time during the busy work at my design studio, to give the seats a major cleaning. The seats thankfully were in great shape, but really dirty. The cream colored vinyl, part of the factory L-package, does look tasteful to my opinion, but is easily stained.
One thing I learned from gathering info on the net, is not to use aggressive products on the vinyl, It can dry out and become brittle. Best way to clean the vinyl, is to use a mild soap like the good old “Green Soap” some warm water, a sponge, and a nailbrush for the hard to reach areas like the piping etc.
In my case Toyota used two types of upholstery fabrics. This is the only type of 40 series, I’ve seen with a combination of vinyl and woven fabric. Most only have gray or black vinyl upholstery. The woven fabric was also in great condition, no tears, holes, rips. Toyota must have used a good quality of fabric to survive 30 years of sunlight and usage. For cleaning the fabric I used a powerful furniture cleaner, made to remove all stains from your furniture.
I sprayed the cleaner on the seats and let it soak in for 10 minutes, then I used a sponge with some warm water to gently rub the fabric, and rinse the soap off.. afterward i dried the fabric with a towel.
Doing this resulted in several buckets with almost black water coming off the seats, this has probably never been done in the last 30 years… They turned out very good, although at some spots the vinyl was a bit discolored from the sunlight. I let it be for now… as I am very happy with the result.
Things to consider:
Maybe I will use some vinyl dye on the seats to make the color more even, since some parts are a bit discolored by sun and denim. I’ve found the VHT vinyl dyes of course, but their color range is very limited.. the white is too bright white, the tan too brownish. I also found a vinyl dye in a spray can made for repainting your shoes. Seems to work great on upholstery as well and the color range is very wide.. the product is called Magix Color.