How To Clean Cloth Car Seat Stains
Nylon and polyester are the two most common types of car upholstery, which is great news for car owners because theyre quite easy to clean. While stains do settle in far more easily on fabric seats than on leather seats, you wont have to worry too much about finding gentle cleaning solutions, as these materials are less likely to be damaged by dish detergents and other household materials. This makes it incredibly easy to achieve clean car seats without a professional detailers help.
In this section, well provide effective cleaning formulas you can use to counteract four common types of stains, and how to properly apply each one. Before you take action on any of these solutions, we recommend vacuuming your car seats to avoid rubbing abrasive dirt into the material.
If youre interested in learning how to clean cloth car seats to prevent dirt and grime buildup as part of your maintenance routine, read our step-by-step process for deep cleaning your car seats.
Expert Tips To Freshen The Cabin
Your car has probably been sitting unused more than usual over the past several months, but that hasnt stopped dust and dirt from accumulating inside. Even if your car wash stayed open during the pandemic, you may not have wanted someone to detail, or deep clean, the interior of your vehicle. Plus, the job can cost $100 or more, require you to drop off and pick up your car, and can easily be done on your own.
Keeping your car clean also keeps odors from developing and can help its resale value, too. And a deep clean just before selling it wont do the trickitll be too late to lift all the stains and dirt that have sunk in over the years. CRs team of experts at our Auto Test Center shares the following tips for keeping the inside of your car fresh and clean using supplies you probably already have at home.
How To Get Liquid Stains Out Of Car Seats
You can use a mixture of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. First, take a piece of cloth and dip it in the solution. Now apply this solution to the liquid stain. Let the solution sit for some time before you start scrubbing it with a clean cloth. Move-in circular motions till you get rid of all the stains.
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How To Keep Car Seats Clean For Longer
Once youve cleaned your car seats, its a great idea to protect them as well. For cloth seats this will ward off stains and repel dirt, meaning you wont have to clean them as often.
In a car with leather upholstery, conditioning the leather will not only help it stay clean, its an essential part of their maintenance. Because leather is a natural product, if it dries out too much. it becomes cracked and loses its supple feel and great smell.
To read more about protecting and conditioning your seats, check out our guide to the best car seat protectors to buy.
Why I Use The Bissell Spot Clean Pro
I want to say, I have not been paid for this blog post by Bissell. And, I was not given free product to do this either.
I bought this Bissell SpotClean after a neighbor recommended it. And, I honestly liked the results.
If you want to learn more about your Bissell, check out this post on Which Cleaners You Can Use in a Bissell Spot Cleaner, including alternative options.
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Give Special Considerations For Leather
Keep in mind that leather interiors need specialty products formulated for leather. Following up cleaning with conditioning certainly adds an extra step, but the effort is worth it. A good leather conditioner will keep the leather moist which prevents cracking, while also providing UV protection to maintain the color, says Peterson.
Condition The Car Seats
Same as when applying cleaner on leather car seats, you would also need to do a spot test before applying conditioner. This would check if the conditioner is safe to use on your car seats.
Apply a small amount of conditioner in a small inconspicuous area and rub it in gently with a microfiber cloth. If the conditioner doesnt discolor or damage the leather, then you can proceed with conditioning the car seats with the product.
You would put an adequate amount of conditioner on a microfiber cloth. Dont use too much conditioner, as excessive amounts of it would leave the car seats moist and greasy. Then rub the product gently onto the leather in circular motions.
Leave the conditioner to sit on the car seats for at least an hour to allow it to soak and cure the leather. When doing so, it would be best to have your car parked under a shade, with the suns heat out of the way to prevent interference with the absorption of the conditioner into the car seats.
After soaking and curing the leather, give the car seats a good polish by buffing them out with a microfiber cloth. This would also help remove any excess conditioner. You would again use circular motions when buffing them out.
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How To Clean Car Seats Fabric Yourself
In order to clean the fabric car seats, you have to make a cleaning solution. The cleaning solution should consist of equal parts of water and vinegar. Mix these two solutions in an air-tight container. Now take this mixture and spray it on the fabric car seats. You need to wait for some time before you wipe off the car seats with a clean, damp cloth.
The reason that this solution is preferred over other cleaning solutions is that it does not leave behind any streaks or dullness on the fabric of your vehicles seats.
Dry Clean Car Interiors
Not all car seat covers should get soaking wet. According to Home Explained, if your upholstery is made from a specialty fabric such as suede, you’ll want to avoid cleaning techniques that can add too much moisture to the material. You’ll need to dry-clean your car instead. Dry cleaning cloths such as Dryel will let you harness heat-activated chemicals to wipe down soiled upholstery, keeping your fabric safe.
Another popular method is to use a foaming upholstery cleaner like Woolite. Woolite foam often comes with a special fabric-safe brush attached to the nozzle that allows you to apply and wash simultaneously. You can scrub the car seat with the cleaner, let it dry, and vacuum away any residue. While these cleaners are designed for more delicate fabrics, it is still advised to try a test patch to make sure you don’t cause any color or fabric damage.
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Clean The Harness And Buckles
With the warm water and delicate cleanser, wipe down the saddle as much as possible. You may be enticed to attempt an all the more hardcore cleaner like Clorox, yet that isnt suggested.
Rough cleaners could harm the webbing of the outfit and bargain the seat. They may aggravate your babys skin also. Indeed, even regular cleaners like vinegar ought not to be utilized with car seats, so stay with a mellow cleanser.
The clasps are truly direct to clean. By and large, you ought to have the option to wash them around in water through them to unstick any garbage that might be stuck in the furrows and little corners. Make sure to check your manual for increasingly explicit directions, as every producer has various standards on how to clean the clasps.
What Household Items Can You Use To Clean Car Seats
Head to your kitchen and mix up a homemade car seat cleaning solution with a few common household products. Mix two cups water, one cup vinegar and approximately a tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray lightly on any stains or especially dirty spots, scrub gently and rinse lightly with clean water.
Lift Coffee Stains With Glass Cleaner
Coffee is practically a staple in our morning routines and gets us through even the toughest commutes. But when you spill that precious liquid all over your fabric car seats, you want to clean up immediately. There are many ways to address this coffee stain issue, all of which involve using cold water.
Use a clean cloth to absorb as much of the coffee stain from your fabric as possible, using cold water to blot the stain. Apply a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent to lift the stain.
In some cases, a little bit of home made glass cleaner will also help. Dry the area with a hairdryer afterward to ensure the coffee stain is completely gone.
The Step By Step Guide To Cleaning Your Leather Seats
You have your cleaner be it commercial or natural, and you are equipped with the knowledge on why you need to clean your leather seats, but how, exactly, do you do it?
Here is our step by step guide:
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Clean The Crotch Buckle
Invert the buckle in a cup of tap water, keeping the webbing out of the water. Swishing it around will dislodge anything trapped in the mechanism.
Invert the crotch buckle in a cup of tap water, keeping the webbing out of the water. Swishing it around will dislodge anything trapped in the mechanism.
How To Clean Your Car’s Interior
It’s recommended that you wash the exterior of your car approximately every two weeks to prevent salt, dirt, and other buildup from ruining its paint job. And while the interior can follow a looser schedule, it’s best to clean the inside of your vehicle once a month. While your car may not require a deep cleaning every few weeks, a quick floor mat shakeout or vacuum job is recommended. Tackle every nook and cranny with this step-by-step guide:
Before you tackle the carpet, remove the floor mats from the car and shake them out. Whether you have rubber or carpet floor mats, use a medium-stiff brush to break up any dirt or debris, and vacuum. To get rid of carpet stains, use a carpet cleaner like Bissell Carpet Cleaning Foam. Simply spray the carpet cleaner on any trouble spots and brush it in with a medium-stiff brush, applying more pressure for severe stains. Blot the carpet with an absorbent cloth to dry.
Start by vacuuming the carpet completely. Use the brush attachment and smaller nozzles to clean crevices and seat pockets. To get rid of unsightly stains and leave your car smelling fresh, use a carpet cleaner like Bissell Carpet Cleaning Foam. Spray it on any trouble spots and brush it in with a medium-stiff brush. It’s best to apply more pressure for severe stains. Dry the carpet by blotting it with an absorbent cloth.
Front Panel, Dashboard, and Console
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How To Clean Car Seats Tips For Car Interior Cleaning
Cleaning your car seats and the rest of the car interior can be quite a task. All of this together can easily take up an entire afternoon. Of course you want to use the time wisely and get the very best results. How? Read the handy tips for car interior cleaning and easy maintenance here.
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Spot Cleaning Car Seats And Upholstery With These Fabulous Recipes
Though the occasional routine cleaning is necessary for keeping your car smelling and looking great, the most common car cleanings come from mini stain emergencies. Not all stains fighters are created equally, and some stains require specific ingredients to come off quickly. Follow these helpful hints to lift stains and salvage your cars interior.
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How Often Do I Need To Clean Car Seats
Regardless of what type of car seat you have, following a monthly cleaning regimen is highly recommended. This is because materials like leather and faux leather can easily be damaged by abrasive materials, whereas fabric materials can quickly take on spots and stains.
That said, its also important to tackle any stains or noticeable debris as soon as possible. You dont necessarily have to clean your entire car interior when a small mess occurs if its only been a couple weeks since your previous cleaning. However, keep in mind that Uber and Lyft both require all aspects of your vehicle to be in top condition. Tackling problem areas straight away will prevent you from having to completely reupholster your car seats, which would only add on to expenses you need to personally cover.
How To Wash Car Seat Covers
Use vinegar, mild detergent soap and warm water to wash car seat covers.
Step By Step Guide On How To Wash Car Seat Covers
Prepare The Vinegar Mixer Solution
In the spray bottle, mix a cup of warm water, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and a dash of dish detergent.
Spray The Vinegar Mixer Solution
Spray the solution on the car seat cover fabric generously and let it sit for 10 15 minutes.
Wipe And Dry
Gently wipe the car seat cover with soft cloth and let it sit for air dry.
Vinegar has antibacterial properties and helps kill odor. Mild detergent will create foam and help in removing grease and stubborn stains. Warm water will help soak up stains and make it easier to clean. I always apply natural upholstery fabric conditioner after washing my car seats and recommend too.
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How To Clean Between Car Seats: Tips & Tricks
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The gaps between your car seats are where all the crumbs and hairs gather. Learn how to clean between car seats quickly and efficiently.
We all know how difficult it is to keep a car clean, especially if you have kids. Between spills, crumbs, and the inevitable dust bunnies that form in the nooks and crannies, one might assume that any attempts at keeping your vehicle neat would be futile.
However, a little knowledge about cleaning between car seats can save you from some serious embarrassment later down the road.
Tips For Keeping Your Car Seat Clean
Now that youve safely cleaned your seat, youre probably wondering how youre going to keep it that way. There are a few dos and donts to follow here, too, according to Dr. Baer.
While car seat protector mats may sound like a good idea for protecting the area under your seat, Dr. Baer advises to use them with caution. If the mat is made by the same manufacturer as your car seat and is approved for use with the seat, then it means the mat has been crash-tested along with the seat and is safe to use.
However, if its sold by a different car seat manufacturer or by a different company altogether , theres no way to know if its safe, so its best to avoid. Also keep in mind that some mats can be bulky and can affect your ability to get a secure installation of your car seat, Dr. Baer says.
And what if youve got a puker on your hands? Motion sickness can be tough for kids , so its best to try to take some steps to stop it in its tracks if possible.
While theres no magic cure for motion sickness, Dr. Baer does recommend several tips and tricks that may help. She also suggests the Bumkins SuperSized SuperBib as a great, full-coverage bib option that can help contain the mess if your child is prone to vomiting in the car just remember to put the bib on after your little one is safely buckled and strapped into their car seat.
Use Dish Soap And Water For A Routine Clean
Now that you have started with a fresh, clean slate, its time to use a mild car upholstery cleaner. Always start with the gentler cleaners first, then work your way up to more powerful cleaners. Dish soap is an excellent starting point since it wont damage your upholstery and already is a fantastic degreaser.
- ½ cup of dish soap
- 1 cup of warm water
For the best way to clean cloth car seats on a regular basis, mix the ingredients and scrub across the surface of your car seats with a soft cloth. Dont soak the seats with the mixture, though, as this makes it difficult for them to dry and could potentially cause mildew within the cushions.
Instead, lightly apply the cleaner in an even spread. Sop up any excess moisture when you finish scrubbing and allow the upholstery to air dry with the windows open. You could also use a hair dryer on a low heating setting to speed up the process.
This mixture is also ideal to use when you wash your car at home. Its simple and inexpensive to make and does a good job on the majority of the dirt that the exterior of your auto accumulates.