how to clean car seats

How To Clean Car Seats In 5 Easy Steps

Few things are more frustrating for a car owner than seeing stains take over the car seats. Not only are the spots unattractive, but they are one of the top causes of agitated car temper tantrums, as they can be difficult to remove. Moreover, stains give an untidy appearance, diminishing the overall value of your vehicle. If caught early on, removing stains and dirt from your car seats can be really simple, you just need to know how to clean them properly.

And, in this article, I’ll tell you all about it...

Why Car Seats Get Dirty

Whether driving your car to work, dropping off the kids, buying groceries, road tripping, or taking your furry friend to the vet, your car interior sees much of you, and frequently. And car seats are the ones most likely to take the first hit when it comes to wear and tear. 

The reason car seats get so dirty is no rocket science. We restfully lean back on them every time we jump into the car, and we do so wearing clothes that have collected dust, dirt, pet hair, and all sorts of other debris. On top of that, most of us don’t shy away from bringing snacks, drinks, or downright entire meals when driving around. 

It’s no wonder that car seats can become dirty and in need of a makeover in no time — especially if covered in fabric. 

So what can you do about dirty seats? How can you turn things around when it comes to the cleanliness of your car’s interior? 

Many of you might have looked into cleaning treatments you could apply yourself but were afraid to ruin the tapestry. Thankfully there’s an easy way for you to get the results you’re after...clean, spotless seats.

Since I know just how daunting it can be to start something on your car without knowing whether it would work or not, today I share with you everything that I have learned about how to clean car seats after years of being a professional car detailer.

So let’s dig in!

Can You Clean Car Seats At Home?

Cleaning car seats is a pretty simple process that doesn’t actually require much. 

Of course, many car owners opt to take their ride for a professional car seat scrub, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, some people prefer to do the job themselves, and, if done right, the results will be pretty much the same as having a professional job done. 

Thankfully, this procedure won’t require you to make costly investments or buy multiple supplies of anything. All you need is Nexgen Interior Cleaner and a few other materials such as microfiber cloths and a soft-bristled brush. If the situation is pressing, and you don’t have a professional product at hand, a vinegar mixture or a baking soda solution can work too. 

As for the process — you’ll find all the answers regarding how to clean car seats at home efficiently and safely below. 

My goal is to share my professional tips so by the end of this article, you have all the information needed to give your fabric car seats the makeover they deserve.

Is It Safe To Wash Car Seats? 

In learning how to clean car seats, you’ll find there are all sorts of great tips and tricks that prove to be the obvious approach.

While it may be tempting, it’s not recommended to fully wash your car seats. In fact, some car models allow you to take the car seat cover off and wash it — most of them are machine washable. 

Just remember to not machine dry them. They’re just not designed to undergo that kind of procedure. Instead, simply leave the covers out to air dry, and put them back in when done. 

If your car seat covers don’t come off, start by removing the dust with a damp cloth. Once the surface dirt has been removed, proceed to apply the upholstery cleaner. 

What Is the Best Way To Clean Cloth Car Seats?

When cleaning the upholstery, there are a few steps to follow. Pay attention to all of them if you really want to learn how to clean car seats like a pro.

1. Vacuum

To clean cloth car seats properly, you’ll first need to remove dust, dirt, and debris from them. This means you’ll need to vacuum them. While you’re at it, I recommend a good vacuum that could pull out even the most stubborn debris from the most difficult angles. 

2. Pre-treat The Stains

Ideally, you should clean upholstery as often as possible, preferably at least every two weeks, to prevent permanent stains from forming.

At some point, some stains will become more difficult to remove and those ugly dots will set in. Stains ingrained in the seat cloth fiber should be pre-treated for maximum efficiency. This means you’ll need to grab a bottle of Nexgen Interior Cleaner, spray it on the most visible stains, and let the solution sit for about 15 minutes.

 nexgen interior cleaner

3. Apply The Cleaner

After this time has passed, I recommend that you start spraying the entire seats with Nexgen from top to bottom. You don’t need to use too much product or saturate the cloth.

4. Use a Brush To Scrub Away The Dirt

Rub in the interior cleaning solution and scrub away any remaining dirt. You can use a microfiber towel, but a detailing brush designed for the job will work better. Start scrubbing from the top and work your way all the way down. Once you notice an excess of product on the brush, rinse it in a bucket of clean warm water. 

5. Absorb Excess Moisture

With this last step, you’ll have successfully learned how to clean car seats by yourself.

Since all this process so far has made your car seats damp, now you must remove the excess moisture. Do this by simply wiping your car seats thoroughly with a microfiber cloth, which should lift off any excess water right away.

Follow these steps, and you’ll finally have those car seats looking fresh and sparkling clean again. 

If you feel like you haven’t done a thorough job, there are some other alternatives to get rid of tough stains.

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

When it comes to cleaning leather seats, the process is very similar to cleaning cloth ones. In fact, I would say it’s even easier! 

Unlike cloth, leather seats don’t hold odors and don’t stain as much. They also clean faster. This is because leather is way less porous than upholstery or cloth. Nexgen Interior Cleaner works perfectly on leather too and no other products are needed to return great-looking car seats. 

On top of the cleaning steps discussed above you’ll just have to consider adding a conditioner. Such a product can keep leather soft, supple and protected for an extended period of time by preventing dirt and moisture from becoming ingrained in the material.

Luckily, we stock professional grade Interior Conditioner. 

Alternative Ways To Get Rid Of Tough Stains

Having alternative stain removal options can be really handy when dealing with stubborn spots. Nexgen Interior Cleaner is a great buy if you really want excellent results. However, there are other ways to go about this, some involving staple household products. 

I will always recommend a professional product over home improvisations. But, at the same time, I can understand you might be in urgent need to clean your car seats and don’t have a bottle of Nexgen handy.

In these instances, baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar can also do a decent job.

Don't worry about these mixtures. They are all tried and true and won’t ruin your car’s upholstery. The best part is they also come at a minimum cost, and you can easily find them tucked away in a cupboard somewhere in your home.

There’s a chance using all these products makes you feel a bit of a crafty auto-enthusiast. In fact, anything related to car care or learning how to clean car seats can make you feel this way. Having said this, let’s get to how you can use baking soda or a mixture of detergent, dish soap, and vinegar.

Baking Soda

Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with a cup of warm water, apply a light layer of this mixture onto the fabric, and then scrub the stained area with a toothbrush. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. While the baking soda sits on the couch, make a simple cleaning solution out of dish soap and vinegar and tackle any remaining stains.

Dish Soap And Vinegar

Mix a cup of vinegar, some detergent, a few drops of dish soap, and plenty of warm water in a bucket. Dab the vinegar mixture into the cloth and lightly scrub the stained patch. This cleaning solution should do the trick in no time. Who said learning how to clean car seats needs to be complicated, right?

All In All

Regular maintenance will keep your pride and joy looking like new, and learning how to clean car seats is an integral part of your regular maintenance regime. In fact, this is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your vehicle's interior in great shape.

I hope these tips on how to clean car seats will come in handy for you too. Just make sure you follow all the steps above and repeat them as many times as necessary until you feel you’ve got the desired results. Afterward, you can literally lean back and enjoy the view and fresh scent.

Learn more about Nexgen products for car interiors and exteriors, or simply get in touch if you have any enquiries. We deliver across continental US.

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