How to Clean Cloth Car Seats

Everyone treats trash differently when it comes to their car. Some let the trash pile high until they cannot see through the back window. Others meticulously clean their vehicles every week. Plastic wrappers and receipts clean up easy, but stains, crumbs, and dirt can get stuck on the seats as well.

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Cleaning the seats is a different story. Fabric car seats can be dealt with using fabric cleaner or average household items. Think of it as cleaning a couch or love seat. The process is very similar.

How to Clean Cloth Car Seats At Home

You will need to gather a few items:

  • vacuum with a hose or upholstery attachment
  • spray fabric or cloth cleaning product
  • medium stiff interior brush (not overly stiff)
  • microfiber towel

Vacuum first before you spray. Get into all the crevices; lift and spread the cushions to get into the seams. The hose attachment will make it easy to vacuum smaller spaces. Make sure all the loose dirt is cleaned before you move on to the next step.

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Spray the affected area with the fabric cleaner, but avoid drowning the stain. A light misting is enough. Stick to one stain at a time when spraying. Right after you spray, brush the area in circular strokes to massage the cleaner into the dirt. Wipe away the dirty suds with your microfiber towel before they dry on the seat.

Spray, brush, wipe. Repeat this process on all fabric car seats, or particularly for a resistant stain. When you are satisfied with the job, let your seats dry completely heading out on the road.

Using Household Products

Some common household items are just effective as brand name fabric cleaners. Check out some of the methods below for viable alternatives.

Laundry Detergent

Detergent works great on fabric, and car seats are no different. You will need to mix some detergent with hot water and use either a spray bottle or sponge to lightly wet the stain before brushing.

Baking Soda

No list of household cleaning products is complete without baking soda. Mix a solution of one-fourth cup of baking soda with one cup of water. Brush in a small amount of the solution on stains and wipe afterwards. You can let this mix sit on tough stains for 30 minutes before blotting it with a towel.

Steam Cleaning

A steam cleaner will easily remove stains and odors from fabric car seats. You can also use the steam cleaner all over the home, so it is a worthwhile investment.

Oil & Grease

For oil and grease stains, manage them as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains. Sprinkle baking soda to soak up the oil before vacuuming. Brushing the stained area with a water-detergent mix may also help.

Keep it Clean!

If you regularly clean your car, you can avoid these deeper cleaning methods. Vacuum once a week, especially if you use it frequently or drive others often. Always tackle spills and other liquid stains as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains on the fabric. Finally, you can set rules like no eating or drinking in your vehicle to minimize the chances of accidents.