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How To Clean Car Seats? Cloth, Leather And Vinyl Car Seats In 2022

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How To Clean Car Seats? When it comes to keeping your car clean, the seats are one of the most important parts. Not only do they get a lot of use, but they also show dirt and stains more easily than other parts of the car. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can follow to clean your car seats and keep them looking their best.

How To Clean Car Seats? How to Clean Cloth Seats?

1. Vacuuming is the best way to get started

It is important to vacuum your car seats before doing any other cleaning thoroughly. Peterson says that this will remove pet hair, dust, and debris and prevent you from pushing it into the padding.

Michael Stoops, a senior global training specialist at Meguiar’s, recommends vacuuming with soft brushes to reach all the creases in the seat. To get the areas between the console and rear, use your vacuum’s crevice tool.

2. Do not skip stain treatments

Car seats can be left with marks from ground-in dirt, melted chocolate, and grease stains from drive-thru food. Use a leather or upholstery cleaner to clean the stain using a soft brush gently. Stoops warns you not to rub too hard on leather, which can cause damage.

To ensure that your upholstery isn’t damaged or discolored by cleaners, whether they are store-bought or homemade, always test it in a hidden area.

3. Try Homemade Solutions

What you’ll need


  • Use a crevice tool, a vacuum, or a hose to vacuum.
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush with a stiff, bristled appearance
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Bucket


  • Commercial carpet and upholstery cleaners
  • Bleaching based on oxygen
  • Water
  • Optional fabric protector


Vacuum your Seats. This will get rid of dust, debris, and pet hair and will prevent you from pushing it into the cushioning. The crevice tool can be used to reach the back of the seat. Use the upholstery brush to lift the fabric fibers.

Pre-treat Stains: You’ll be able to get better results if you pre-treat specific stains before you do an overall clean. You can use the upholstery cleaner to remove most food, drink, grease, and dirt stains. Use a brush to apply it to the fabric. It should be left to work for 15 minutes before you begin your overall cleaning.

Lightly dampen any dye-based stains that have bled onto your seat. Make a paste with dry oxygen-based bleach, water and a few drops. Spread the paste over the affected area. Let it work for at most one hour. The powder can be removed by vacuuming. Continue to clean the powder as necessary.

Use the Upholstery Cleaner Solution. Depending on which cleaner you have chosen, you might need to add warm water to the solution. Refer to the label for instructions on how much cleaner to use per gallon. Spray bottles are the best method to clean the fabric.

Lightly spray the entire seat starting at the top. The fabric does not have to be completely sprayed.

After spraying the cleaner on the seat, scrub the dirt off with a brush. Make sure to clean every inch of your heart, starting at the top. To remove any excess moisture, rinse the scrub brush in clear water.

To remove excess moisture, use an absorbent microfiber cloth. This will also lift any matted fibers.

You can repeat all steps if necessary: If your upholstery is still looking dirty, you can continue the efforts. Repeat the steps if your upholstery is filthy, even if it has been cleaned before. This will give you better results.

Allow the Seats To Dry: Give the seats time to dry before using the car again. This usually takes between two and three hours. A large fan can be used to speed up drying. To speed up drying, park your car in the sunniest spot. To trap moisture, you can place small containers of moisture-absorbing crystals in the car.

Spray-on Protective Coating: Once you have cleaned the seats and they look clean and fresh, apply a fabric protector to prevent dirt and stains from settling on the fabric. This will make it much easier to clean the next time.

4. It’s not better to have more

Be careful with the use of cleaner and water. These liquids can be absorbed deep into the seat, so they don’t dry quickly.

Dry foam cleaners are great for cleaning cloth seats as they don’t require a lot of water. Stoops warns that it is best to avoid using any liquid that can saturate cloth seats and cause the foam to wet. This could lead to mold growth. Many dry foam cleaners have built-in brushes that make cleaning even more accessible.

Leather seats can be cleaned and treated with a leather conditioner. Peterson recommends paying close attention to any creases or spots where hair or skin touches the leather.

5. Clean from Top to Bottom

After stain treatment and vacuuming are complete, it’s time to wash the seat thoroughly. Peterson says to clean every seating area, starting at the top. This will ensure that no solution is left behind. Peterson suggests that you rinse your brush with clean water after it gets dirty.

6. All parts covered

You should also clean the back, headrest and seat. Also, be sure to clean the buckle and seat belt. It would help if you also cleaned the area under the rear and the front of your legs.

7. Dry thoroughly

Allow your car seats to dry overnight or for several hours after cleaning. Peterson suggests using an absorbent microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture.

8. Take Special Care of Leather

Leather interiors require unique products that are specifically formulated for leather. While conditioning is an additional step after cleaning, it’s well worth the effort. Peterson says that a good leather conditioner will prevent cracking and provide UV protection to preserve the leather’s color.

9. Seat protectors are worth considering

Regular cleaning is key to keeping your car’s seats in good condition. Seat protectors are also a great option.

Leather Seat Cleaning

Because leather seats are more durable than cloth upholstery, they require extra care. These are some easy ways to clean leather stains and spillages.

Use nail polish removers or rubbing alcohol. The alcohol can be used to remove the stain from the leather slowly. After the paint has been lifted, wash the seat with warm water.

Use non-gel toothpaste. You can also use a toothbrush to remove the stain using a little toothpaste gently.

Make a cream of tartar and lemon juice paste. Make a paste of equal parts lemon juice and cream tartar and apply the stain. Let it sit for around 30 minutes before wiping it off with a damp sponge. This paste can bleach seats, so you should not use it on dark-colored ones.

You can also use the vinegar mixture on leather seats!

How to Clean Vinyl Car Seats?

Vinyl is an excellent material for any seat. It is easy to clean and resists dirt, grime and stains. A vinyl seat can be washed in minutes using a professional cleaner or your own. Here are some things you need to know.

1. Vinyl cleaners

You can find many vinyl cleaners at your local hardware shop or online at retailers like Amazon. You can use many of them on other materials. Some cleaners are made specifically for vinyl.

Scotchgard and Rustoleum are available in many commercial cleaners. This will protect your vinyl for a more extended period.

You can also use vinegar and warm water to make the natural route.

2. How to Clean Vinyl Seats

To remove more oversized items, vacuum the seat before applying any cleaner. After cleaning, spray the cleaner, either store-bought or homemade, onto the seat to mist large areas.

Use a soft cloth or brush to clean the vinyl. You can work with smaller sections to ensure that the cleaner doesn’t dry out—only one seat at a time. Dry the seat using a towel or cloth.

Sprinkle baking soda on vinyl seats if there are any odors. Let it sit for 20 minutes before vacuuming them off.

Baking soda can remove stubborn stains from vinyl seats that won’t come off with cleaners. Combine three baking soda and one part of water with 5-10 drops of dish soap. Add more baking soda if the mixture does not form a thick paste. Allow the paste to sit for five minutes before applying it to the stain. Continue cleaning as usual.

Tips to keep your cloth car seats clean longer

It is helpful to know which type of cloth car seats you have. Nylon is the most popular fabric for car upholstery. It’s strong and durable but also absorbs spills easily. You can find polyester as microfiber upholstery or microsuede upholstery. Its soft texture is similar to suede leather, but it’s more difficult to clean.

A towel can be kept under your seat to help you when eating in the car. To catch any spills, the towel can be used as a placemat.

Drink beverages in sealed cups. Make sure the covers are tightened.

Detailing your car will deep clean the interior and upholstery. Your upholstery will last longer if you detail it more often. You should detail your car once a month, depending on how dirty your car gets throughout the year.


1. Can you wash the fabric of your car’s seats?

Even if you don’t take long car trips, grease, dirt and sweat can build up over time. A buildup of spills and stains can cause unpleasant odors and make your interior look unpleasant, whether it’s juice, yogurt, or take-out coffee.

You don’t even need to hire a professional to clean your car’s interior. You can wash most cloth car seats quickly, and you have various options to remove stubborn stains.

2. What cleaner is best for fabric car seats?

You’re likely to have come across hundreds of online solutions when searching for car cleaning products. You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive cleaners, no matter how new or experienced you are at cleaning.

We’ve collected some of our most loved homemade solutions. Here are some ideas:

Baking soda paste: For more stubborn stains, add a little bit of baking soda to a few drops of water. Let the paste dry for a few minutes before gently scrubbing with a brush.

Vinegar solution: Combine one cup vinegar and two cups water, then spray the seats with a spray. A few drops of your favorite essential oil can be added to lighten the smell.

Shaving foam: Apply shaving foam directly to the seats or stains. Allow it to set, gently blot the area or wipe the stain until it is gone.

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