How to Clean Car Seats

How to Clean Your Car Seats – A Complete DIY Guide

If you decide to purchase car seats, you are bound to run into a situation where you will have to clean them eventually. That is why it is imperative to know how to clean car seats. Luckily for you, you do not have to get them professionally detailed to get your seats clean.

With the help of a vacuum, some cleaning solution, and a brush, you can wipe away all the dirt and grim away to perfection. In this article, you will be able to use a few methods to your advantage, so you can stay away from professional cleaners. This way, you can save money in the process and still get the cleanest seats around.


How To Clean Your Car Seats: Step by Step Guide

By going through 3 methods of cleaning, you will be able to take in an amazing step-by-step guide to help you along your way. The first method we will talk about involves removing stains altogether. This way, you can get to the root of the problem and move ahead from there.


1. Removing Stains From Your Car Seats

When removing stains from your car seats, you must start by vacuuming. As you do this, you will be able to move excess debris into your vacuum, instead of it messing up the process of cleaning. Using your vacuum will help with crumbs, dirt, and things that get stuck in your shoes and fall off.

If you have a child, you know how messier your car seats can become. From crackers to cookies to fruit snacks, things start to get quite dirty in your car. But, with the help of a vacuum, you will be able to clean up in no time.

What about a pet? If you have a pet that sheds, you know what your car seats can look like. Your seat can start to change the colors of your beloved dog. A vacuum is certainly important here.

To this point, you may be asking yourself what vacuum is helpful for my car? Any kind of vacuum that has a removable nozzle is a great place to start. This may mean a traditional vacuum is a way to go for you. In this day and age, the best vacuums come from great brands like Dyson, Kenmore, Shark, Miele, and Stick to name a few. When you get the right vacuum that is maneuverable for your vehicle, then you will be able to clear up debris in no time at all.

  • Spraying With A Cleaner

After you have vacuumed your car seat covers to perfection, it is now time to get out a cleaning solution to work wonders for you. Of course, you can get a cleaner from the local store, but you can also make cleaners to help your seat covers look new. Whatever you decide, ultimately you just want one to work.

  • D-I-Y Cleaners

When it comes to creating your cleaners, there are a few options to try. Club soda is a great place to start. As you spray club soda on a stained area, with the help of a brush, you can scrub the stain out of existence and then wipe it completely away with a white towel. This is an ideal cloth cleaner.

Or maybe you are more of a baking soda kind of person. With the help of a 1/4 cup, you can add hot water to the baking soda to make a light solution. Then, get a toothbrush and scrub away. Are you still struggling with a stain? Let the solution soak into the stain for about 30 minutes, and then scrub away again to clean your cloth seats.

Vinegar is another option to try. By adding a little dish soap, hot water, and some vinegar, you can let it soak on the stain. This mixture is great for cloth and leather seats. Just make sure to clean off the vinegar with clear water as you finish up.

Did you know laundry detergent is amazing for the process as well? When you are going with the do-it-yourself version, there is nothing better than mixing detergent with hot water to dampen a stain’s day. To rinse the detergent off, just use some cold water on the seat when finished, and scrub the stain completely away.

For a leather seat, rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover works the very best. Car seat covers just need a little stain remover with the help of a cotton ball that is dipped in these concoctions. When the stain disappears, you can wash it off with warm water and the help of dish soap.

Toothpaste, which is not gel-oriented, can clean a stain as well. You do not have to just brush your teeth with toothpaste and a toothbrush. You can now scrub away to send a stain off the right way. Lastly, try cream of tartar or lemon juice. When you mix them, you can apply them to a stain to work wonders. After you let the solution sit on the stain for 30 minutes, you can use a moist sponge to wipe the stain completely away. Just make sure you do not use this on light leather. If you are not careful, you could have a bleaching effect, which would be unpleasant.

  • Over The Counter Cleaners

Would you rather go for a store brand cleaner? If the do-it-yourself version is not for you, you cannot go wrong with brands like Mr. Clean, Clorox, and Lysol to name a few. Just like with the cream of tartar solution, make sure you will not get a bleaching effect on your seat covers. This way, you can have a positive experience working on your vehicle.

No matter what kind of cleaner you decide to use, only lightly spray or add a solution minimally to your seat cover. Remember a little dab will do ya! When spraying, 4 or 5 sprays is plenty. Do not saturate the entire area. If you do, you run the risk of having molding issues. Then, you can imagine all the awful smells that will follow.

Foaming cleaners might be the way you want to roll instead. The foam will take up the grim. In turn, you will be able to clean your seat covers to perfection.

  • Getting The Right Brush

After you have your solution sitting on the seat cover, find the right brush to get the job down right. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to help best in this project. However, never use a very stiff carpet brush. By using a carpet brush, you could hurt the seat itself, ruining the value of your precious vehicle.

  • Wiping Away The Grime

After you have scrubbed the stain out for good, it is time to wipe the grossness with a towel. A microfiber towel is best, but a traditional white towel can do the trick as well. Start by massaging the dirt on the surface of your seat cover. The suds from your solution will take up the dirt and your towel will wipe the dirt away forever.

As it pertains to towels, make sure the cloth is clean. If not, you may find old stains that add more issues to your car seat cover. Also, try a towel that is light in color. If you use this tip, you will be able to see if the stain is coming up because this kind of towel will show it much better than a darker towel.

Just a rule of thumb to remember. Make sure to not wait until the solution has dried up. If you do wait for the solution to dry up, the dirt, stain, etc. will stay on your seat cover and you will have not done a thing.

  • Repetition Is Key

Do not give up if you have tried to clean a stain once. You may not get it out the very first time. If this is what you run into, it may be time for you to repeat the cleaning process. Try adding the solution again, massaging, and wiping the area of the car seat cover again. With the help of light coatings of the solution, you will saturate the fabric to bring about victory for cleanliness. Sometimes, it may take you anywhere from 3 to 6 times to get the stain out. Is it not amazing how easy it is to create a stain, but the pain it is to take it out?

  • The Final Vacuum

When the stain does come out of your cover, then we hope you have not put your vacuum away. You need it again! Vacuum over the post-stained area. This will help dry the area and any moisture will get pulled up. Then, you will have dry fabric, and not have to deal with mold, smells, and other annoyances in your vehicle.

Lastly, make sure the area is completely dry before you get in your vehicle and drive away. This way, you will not sit in an area that is still most causing issues to your clothing. That certainly would not be a fun away to celebrate your stain removal.


2. Alternative Cleanings


Earlier, we talked about cleaning solutions that could aid you in the process of getting the stains out of your seat covers. Now, it is time to take a deeper dive into the process. This way, you will know what you are getting yourself into.

  • Laundry Detergent Not Just For Laundry

As stated, laundry detergent can be an advocate for cleaning purposes. With the help of dish soap and hot water, you will be well on your way to getting the stain out in no time at all. Dampen the seats with the solution. When the stain gets out, use a cloth with cold water to wipe your cover clean of the solution.

Also, try your best to squeeze the water out of the seat. This way, no smells, and mold will present themselves. It would be such a waste to spend more money on a seat cover that just needed to be cleaned correctly.

  • Virtuous Vinegar

Many think vinegar should only be used for cooking, but it is a quality cleaner as well. Add some dish soap and hot water, and let the solution get up all in the stain to clean the area to perfection. By using your brush, the stain will come out better than you thought humanly possible.

As you finish up, get some water to rinse away the solution. Then, wipe the liquid with a cloth or microfiber towel. Do not leave those dirty suds for later. Wisk them away for the betterment of your seat cover.

  • The Baking Soda Life

If the first couple of solutions is not for you, then maybe baking soda is the vibe you are going for. Just try a 1/4 cup of baking soda and a glass of water. Baking soda is the best if you are not only dealing with stains, but also the most appalling of smells. You know the smells we are talking about. The dirty dog? The smelly child? Rank food?

With the help of a light solution, you will get out the worst stains and smells on the planet. After about 30 minutes of work, you will unstick these issues with the help of a clean towel to wipe up the aftermath.

  • Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is not just to clean out a cut after you have been injured. It is a great car cleaning solution as well. When using hydrogen peroxide, make sure you have the 3% variety and clean your seat with water when finished, wiping it up with a towel to finish. Dilute ammonia can work for you beforehand if you want to try. With the help of a paper towel, this might do the trick for you.

  • Going Clubbing

The last solution you could try is club soda. This is a perfect solution for cloth seats. Remember to use the lightest of layers. Then, you can use a brush and reap the benefits of a beautifully clean seat cover. Lastly, recognize that you repeat the process for the best results.

Fun tip: have you had a child get sick and throw up in your car? Did someone have a few too many to drink and unveiled their evening on your seat cover? Then, club soda is a go-to. Do not use any other solution but this one.


3. Ways To Maintain My Seat Covers


Of course, cleaning is an essential part of keeping your seat cover prestine. You also need to maintain your precious purchase as well. A great place is to vacuum your car as often as you can. We know that vacuuming for many is a once-of-year thing inside your car, but you should try to clean the inside of the vehicle once a month if humanly possible.

However, every week or every other is ideal. Moreover, this certainly depends on how dirty a person you are. Think about how much you are in your car. Are you a salesman who travels every day in your car? With more wear and tear, you may need to vacuum even more. On the other hand, if you just drive to work and back, then you will not have to vacuum as much. When you clean your car seats, vacuuming is essential to take up dirt and debris. This will also help to prevent things that get stuck in your seat covers.

  • Get To It

Stains are usually detrimental to a seat cover because people do not clean the stain right away. If you have the time, clean the stain soon after the problem occurs, and certainly within 24 hours. It stains like blood, grease, and mud which are the absolute worst. Make-up is not great on the seat cover either.

When you are cleaning up a stain, soak up the problem area with a cloth, towel, or sponge as soon as you can. This will take up more of the mess than you might think. With this in mind, you will be able to limit the stain, making it a lot easier to deal with.

  • Setting The Standard

Do you want to have fewer stains on your seat covers? Of course, we all feel this way. But, will you go to any length possible to make this dream a reality. Then, you should consider setting rules in your car. This ultimately depends on what kind of stains you are dealing with. Let us say that you are getting grease stains in your car because of the food. If this is the case, then do not allow food in your car.

Or maybe you are dealing with mud or dirt. Consider having people take off their shoes when you enter the car and put them in a bag or on a mat that is rubber in your vehicle. This may seem like a tedious, over-zealous act, but this action could save you time and money in the long run.


How Important Is Cleaning Seat Covers?


Some wonder if seat covers are needed to be cleaned? Take in these statistics to see the ultimate importance. The manufacturer, Maxi-Cosi, of car seats did a poll in 2014 that polled over 500 parents. In the study, 85% of parents allow children to eat in their car seats. Even if a seat cover is over the child’s car seat, you can imagine the mess that this would make.

To make matters worse, the University of Birmingham, in 2014, researched bacteria and fungi on car seats. They surprisingly found that, on average, there are 100 types of fungi and bacteria on a car seat cover. This is why it is fundamental for you to clean your car seat consistently, if you have a stain problem or not.


Best Seat Covers


The last area to hit should be seat covers for a car in general. When this in mind, you should buy a seat cover that is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and breathable as you ride around. Now, a leather cover probably has the best look at it, but you can expect to spend a little more money. You will get, though, a water-proof option that will not stain as easily as the cloth will. Comfort is something you will like as well.

On the other hand, the cloth is inexpensive, but stains easily compared to leather. However, the cloth will not fade as quickly as the leather will. No matter what you decide, pick what your budget will allow and what you will like the best. You will get stains either way, but having a seat cover will surely save your bacon.


Final Thought

No matter what kind of stains you are dealing with, you have a very good chance of removing them from existence. Make sure that you get to the stain as soon as you can. This way, the stain will not deeply root itself in your seat cover.

Additionally, try to use a brand cleaner or make your own to get the stain out. Remember this process will take time. When you allow the solution to sit for about 30 minutes, you will all the stain get grabbed by the solution. Then, you can wipe it away, having your seat covers look brand new again.

At the end of the day, getting stains out is possible. If you have tried and tried with any success, it may be time for you to get a professional cleaner on the phone. Or you might just need to buy some new seat covers. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to show that stain who is boss. Then, when push comes to shove, you will have the cleanest seat cover around. And you will drive around on a clean seat cover. Best of luck on removing any stains that come your way. Now, get to use some elbow grease!

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