How To Clean Car Seats

How To Clean Car Seats

The seats in our car take a lot of punishment from things like food stains, pet hair, kids, spilled drinks, and supermarket catastrophes, so it’s important to evaluate and know that the seats need to be cleaned. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the typical American driver covers roughly 13,000 miles annually.How To Clean Car Seats

Your car seat will eventually become a little soiled from spending so much time in it. Regular cleaning greatly increases the lifespan of the interior of your car, just like regular oil and filter changes and other standard mechanical maintenance procedures. Cleaning car seats includes vacuuming, pre-treating stains, and putting in a protective coating.

Well, in this guide, we’ll walk you through how you can clean your car seat effectively. Even so, you’ll get to know the answers to the following questions:

  • When should you clean your car seat?
  • What supplies do you need?
  • How can you clean your car seat?

Ok, let’s get started!


When should you clean your car seats?

The amount of use it receives, the ages of the occupants, and the existence of spills or stains can all affect how often you should clean your car seat. Here are some general principles to take into account:

  • Regular upkeep: To get rid of dust, filth, and debris, vacuum your car seat frequently. Depending on how dirty it is, you can do this every two weeks or whenever you need to.
  • Children and pets: You might need to clean the car seat more frequently if you have kids or pets who frequently use it. Cleaning may be necessary more frequently to maintain hygienic conditions because children and pets can be untidy and leave behind fur and odors.
  • Spills and stains: It’s advisable to take immediate action if there are any spills or stains on your car seat. To avoid them setting and becoming more difficult to remove, clean them as soon as you can.
  • Allergies or sensitivities: You may wish to clean the car seat more frequently to reduce potential triggers if you or any other passengers have allergies or sensitivities to dust, pollen, or pet dander.
  • Manufacturer recommendation: For detailed cleaning instructions and suggested cleaning schedules, it is always a good idea to refer to the owner’s manual or contact the car seat manufacturer. Cleaning requirements for various car seat types and materials may differ.

To prevent causing harm to the car seat, follow the specified cleaning procedures and supplies from the manufacturer. By adhering to these recommendations, you can help keep your car seat pristine, cozy, and secure for passengers.

What supplies do you need?


Depending on the method you’re going to use, the following are supplies you might need to carry out the task in question:


  • Water
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Commercial carpet and upholstery cleaner
  • Fabric protector (optional)

Equipment / Tools

How can you clean your car seats?

Here’s a step to help you go about cleaning your car seats:

  • Use a vacuum on the seats.
  • Pre-treat any stains visible.
  • Use upholstery cleaner solution.
  • Scrub away dirt from the seat.
  • Wipe too much moisture away.
  • Re-do all the preceding steps if necessary.
  • Allow some time for the seats to dry.
  • Make use of a protective coating.

Use a vacuum on the seats

Use a vacuum on the seats

When you’re prepared to clean your car seat cloth, start by vacuuming the fabric. The Brigii H5 is a fantastic portable hand-held vacuum since you can charge it using a lightning connection. By doing so, you’ll be able to get rid of any dirt, debris, or pet hair without accidentally pushing it farther into the seat padding. Reach between the seat and back with the crevice tool. After that, use the upholstery brush to aid in lifting the fabric’s fibers.

Pre-treat any stains visible

Pre-treating every stain before performing an extensive cleaning will yield better results if you can see them. Use a small amount of the upholstery cleaner on the stains and work it into the fabric with a scrub brush to remove the majority of food and drink, grease, and dirt stains. Give it at least 15 minutes to work before performing a thorough cleaning.

Lightly dampen the affected area to remove dye-based stains that have bled or transferred color to your seat. Make a paste by combining some water with dry oxygen-based bleach. Spread that over the soiled area and give it at least an hour to work. Remove the powder by vacuuming. Iterate as necessary.

Use upholstery cleaner solution

How To Clean Car Seats

You might need to combine the cleaning solution with warm water depending on the cleaner you chose. For information on how much to use per gallon of water, refer to the product label. The easiest way to apply the cleaning is with a spray bottle since you can regulate how much gets on the fabric. Spray the entire seat with a gentle mist starting at the top. The fabric doesn’t need to be overly saturated.

Scrub away dirt from the seat

Scrub away dirt from the seat

Spray the cleaning solution on the seat, then rub it in with a scrub brush. Start at the top of the seat and go over every square inch to ensure that any soiled solution drips down. When your scrub brush gets dirty, rinse it in a bucket of fresh water and shake it to get rid of any extra moisture.

Wipe too much moisture away

Wipe too much moisture away

Wipe away any extra moisture with a microfiber towel that is absorbent. Additionally, this will aid in removing any matted fibers.

Re-do all the preceding steps if necessary

How To Clean Car Seats

Repeat the procedure if the upholstery still appears dirty. If the upholstery is extremely dirty (or if it has previously been cleaned), you’ll see better results by going over it numerous times to get rid of the dirt.

Allow some time for the seats to dry

Allow some time for the seats to dry

If at all possible, wait until the seats are entirely dry before driving again. Normally, between two and three hours pass. If you need to hasten the procedure, direct a powerful fan in the vehicle’s direction of the seats. Alternatively, you can park the automobile in a sunny spot to hasten the drying process. Place a tiny jar of moisture-absorbing crystals (a drying agent) in the car to capture any remaining moisture if the seats still feel damp.

Make use of a protective coating

How To Clean Car Seats

Use a spray-on fabric protector to assist stop dirt and stains from penetrating the fabric once you’ve finished the work and the seats look clean and new. Cleaning will be considerably simpler going forward as a result.

Maintenance Tips

Knowing what kind of fabric car seats you have is helpful. The most popular fabric for automobile upholstery is nylon since it is strong but also absorbent and permeable. Upholstery made of polyester often comes in microfiber or microsuede. Although it feels wonderful, the delicate texture’s resemblance to suede leather makes cleaning it more challenging.

When you eat in your car, keep a towel tucked under your seat. The towel will serve as a placemat to mop up spillage. Use sealed cups and make sure the lids are properly secured when taking drinks in your car.

The inside and upholstery of an automobile receive a thorough cleaning during detailing. Your upholstery will remain cleaner and in better condition as you pay attention to more details. Depending on how dirty your automobile becomes during the year, it is advised to detail it every few months.


In conclusion, knowing how to properly clean car seats is important for keeping the interior of your car tidy and comfortable. The use of suitable cleaning chemicals and procedures based on the seat material—whether fabric, leather, or vinyl—is stressed in this guide’s practical advice and cleaning instructions.

Regular cleaning adds to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience while also improving the appearance of the car seats. Car owners may guarantee the seats in their vehicles stay in outstanding condition, enhancing both appearance and comfort, by following the suggested actions and instructions for your particular seat type.

Related Article


How do I clean my fabric car seats?

To clean fabric car seats, you can follow these steps:

  • Vacuum the seats to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Treat any stains or spots with a fabric cleaner or upholstery stain remover, following the product instructions.
  • Dilute a mild detergent with water or use a fabric cleaner specifically designed for car seats.
  • Apply the cleaning solution to a soft brush or sponge and gently scrub the seats.
  • Rinse off the cleaner with a damp cloth or by using a spray bottle filled with clean water.
  • Allow the seats to air dry completely before using the car again.

What is the best thing to use to clean car seats?

The best thing to use for cleaning car seats depends on the type of material. For fabric seats, a mild detergent or fabric cleaner diluted with water is suitable. For leather seats, it is recommended to use a mild soap solution or a cleaner specifically designed for leather upholstery. Vinyl or synthetic leather seats can be cleaned using a mild detergent or vinyl cleaner diluted with water. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions or any specific recommendations for your car seats.

What do car detailers use to clean cloth seats?

Car detailers often use professional-grade fabric cleaners or upholstery cleaners to clean cloth seats. These cleaners are specifically formulated to remove stains, dirt, and grime from car seat fabrics effectively. They may also use specialized tools like upholstery brushes and steam cleaners to deep clean the cloth seats and achieve professional results.

How do you shampoo interior car seats?

To shampoo interior car seats, you can follow these steps:

  • Vacuum the seats to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Apply a suitable fabric or upholstery cleaner to the seats, following the product instructions.
  • Use a soft brush or upholstery brush to work the shampoo into the fabric, creating a lather.
  • Allow the shampoo to sit on the seats for a few minutes to penetrate and lift stains.
  • Rinse the seats thoroughly with clean water, either by using a spray bottle or a damp cloth.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum or absorbent towels to remove excess water from the seats.
  • Allow the seats to air dry completely before using the car again.

What household products can I use to clean the inside of my car?

Several household products can be used to clean the inside of your car:

  • Vinegar and water solution can be used as mild cleaners for surfaces like windows, dashboards, and door panels.
  • Baking soda can help eliminate odors from carpets and upholstery.
  • A mixture of dish soap and warm water can be used for general cleaning of surfaces.
  • Rubbing alcohol can be effective in removing stains or sticky residue.
  • Microfiber cloths or old t-shirts can be used for wiping and cleaning various surfaces.

Are you supposed to wash car seats?

It is not recommended to wash car seats in the traditional sense, as soaking them with water can lead to potential issues such as mold, mildew, or damage to the seat components. Instead, it is advisable to spot clean and use appropriate cleaning methods for different types of car seat materials.

Can you use shampoo on car seats?

Yes, you can use shampoo on car seats, but it is important to use a shampoo specifically formulated for upholstery or fabric. Avoid using regular hair shampoos or harsh detergents, as they may leave residues or damage the seat material. Choose a mild and suitable shampoo designed for car seat cleaning.

What soap is safe for car seats?

A mild soap or upholstery cleaner specifically designed for car seats is safe to use. Look for products that are labeled as safe for fabric or upholstery cleaning.

Well, we’ve come to the end of this article, in which we looked at how to clean your car seat. Even so, the answers to the following questions:

  • When should you clean your car seat?
  • What supplies do you need?
  • How can you clean your car seat?

We hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with other folks it might be of help to. Thanks for reading; see you around!