12 Tips to Clean Car Seats

It is hard to keep your car seats clean, especially if you have toddlers or pets. To prevent stains from setting, you should maintain them regularly.

I know that it can be expensive, but you don’t need to have your car seats cleaned. There are a lot of effective ways to do it yourself. Everything you need is a cleaner, brush, and a few old clothes or paper towels.

Cloth Car Seats Cleaning

1. Vacuum the seats

To get the best possible result, you should remove all dirt and debris from seats before start cleaning. You will need a high-quality vacuum cleaner for that or the car vacuum.

Don’t forget to get into the seams to eliminate any loose crumbs your kids have left and to use a pet brush to remove hairs. After finishing the job, you can begin with cleaning. Which cleanser you use will depend on your preferences.

2. Microfiber towel

If you notice stains of grease, food, mud, makeup, even blood as soon as they appear, you can try to remove them right away. It is an excellent solution to keep a microfiber towel or an old cotton cloth in the car for such situations.

Use your microfiber towel to wipe away spilled moisture and soak up the mess. That way, you will effortlessly remove any leftovers with an appropriate cleaner when getting home.

3. Medium-stiff brush

It is an excellent solution for persistent stains, especially mud and food. Always use a medium-stiff or a soft, interior brush for scrubbing the dirt from the cloth seats. For a better effect, spray an adequate cleaner over the stained area before starting brushing. Never use a stiff brush to avoid damaging the cloth fibers.

4. Laundry detergent

Laundry detergent is a surprisingly efficient solution for cleaning seats in your car. Dissolve it in hot water, fill a spray bottle with this solution, and pour it over the place.

There is one more option available if you don’t have the appropriate bottle. Use a sponge and damp the seats with the detergent. Take care not to add too much liquid to avoid over-soaking the material.

After rubbing all dirty parts correctly, you will need cold water and a microfiber towel to rinse the detergent. It is crucial to squeeze out the excess water until removing all the dirt and soap.

5. White vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is an excellent option for cleaning fabric. You will need approximately 8.5 ounces (250 ml) of vinegar, 1 gallon (3.8 l) of hot water, and a few drops of dish soap. Add the mix onto the seat and clean it with a brush.

Be sure to wash this solution off your seat with a microfiber towel and clean water. If you have some stubborn stains there, you can repeat the process until your seats become entirely free from any dirt.

6. Baking soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleanser, which can remove both stains and unpleasant smells on seats, as well. Dissolve 2 ounces (60 ml) of baking soda in 8.5 ounces (250 ml) of warm water. Spray the solution on the seats you need to clean and rub the stains with an old toothbrush.

If they are difficult to remove, you should leave this dilution to sit for 30 minutes. Then, use a towel to remove all the dirt away. Believe it or not, baking soda is often a better solution than some chemicals available on the market.

7. Club soda

To get rid of persistent stains, including vomit ones, from your cloth seats, you can use club soda and spray it in a light layer over the dirty area. It won’t be too hard to remove all the stains with a brush. Repeat the procedure if needed, but always take care to wipe the excess of soda from the surface. In the end, use a clean towel to wipe the residue.

8. Upholstery cleaner

Once your car seats become free from dirt, you can take a proper shampoo or upholstery cleaner and spray it over the stained area. Depending on the type you use, you may need to dilute it in warm water. Therefore, check the label and follow the instructions to avoid unpleasant surprises.

You need to find a balance and avoid to make the seat soaking wet. It will be enough to damp it a bit and gently rub with a soft-bristled brush. After finishing, wipe the seat with a microfiber cloth to dry the place as much as possible. You don’t want water stains to become visible after your seats dry.

Leather Car Seats Cleaning

9. Rubbing alcohol or polish remover

Rubbing alcohol is an ideal cleaner for leather seats. Also, you can use nail polish remover for that purpose with a similar effect.

Dip a cotton ball in the alcohol or acetone and clean the stains gently with circular movements. Then remove residues off the seat with a solution of dish soap and warm water.

10. Non-gel toothpaste

Surprisingly, non-gel toothpaste can be an excellent cleaner for your leather car seats. Put some toothpaste on the stain and rub it with a soft cloth, an old toothbrush, or sponge until scrubbing away all the dirt.

Always work on a small area at a time. Then, move to another place after wiping off the residue of the paste with a soft cloth. Be sure that the toothpaste you use doesn’t contain bleach.

11. Lemon juice and tartar paste cream

If you are a fan of tartar paste cream, you can use it to clean your car seats made of leather, as well. Mix it with an equal part of lemon juice and apply that paste to the stained area.

After sitting for about half an hour, you should gently wipe it away with a damp cloth or sponge. Keep in mind that lemon has a bleaching effect, so you should avoid this method if your seats are dark-colored.

12. White vinegar

I am always highly surprised whenever discovering for which we can all use white vinegar. Mix it with hot water and clean your leather car seats the same way you can use it to clean the cloth ones.

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