Cleaning your car’s fabric seats is surprisingly simple and cost-effective.
To refresh and clean your car’s fabric seats on your own, here’s what to do:
- Vacuum the seats thoroughly to remove loose debris.
- Treat stains with a homemade mixture of baking soda and water.
- Use club soda for light soil and spot cleaning.
- Apply a vinegar and dish soap solution for a deep clean.
- Freshen up the seats with a DIY fabric spray or baking soda.
Now, let me walk you through the process. I start by giving the seats a good vacuum. This picks up any crumbs or pet hair and prepares the surface for a deep clean. For stains, I like to mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a cup of warm water. I apply it to the stain and scrub gently with a toothbrush.
If the dirt isn’t too stubborn, I spray club soda onto the seats and then scrub. Club soda is gentle and effective for light cleaning. For tougher grime, I make a heavy-duty cleaner with vinegar, a bit of dish soap, and hot water. I dip a brush in the mix and scrub the seats in sections, wiping them down with a microfiber towel afterward.
To keep my seats smelling fresh without the stains, I either sprinkle baking soda directly onto the fabric, let it sit, and then vacuum it off, or I create my own freshening spray. I combine vinegar, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of my favorite essential oil, and then I spray and wipe the seats down with a dry cloth. This leaves my car smelling clean and new.
By using these easy and economical methods, I maintain my car’s fabric seats cleanly and comfortably with minimal effort and expense.
With the hustle and bustle of life, the seats in your car have probably suffered many accidents and spills. You don’t need to take your vehicle to the detailer for cleaning, however. We’ll show how to clean fabric car seats at home for a fraction of the cost of professional care.
If you’re like most people, you probably spend a lot of your time in your car. You’ve likely also had your share of lunches on the go while driving.
A little spilled coffee here and a ketchup stain there can add up. If your car’s upholstery is in some need of a clean-up, then you’ve come to the right place.
Cleaning Fabric in Your Car
It is just as important to clean your car interior as it is to take care of washing the exterior. Doing both at the same time ensures that you have a spotless vehicle you can be proud to drive.
It is possible to get the clean cloth your car seats had once upon a time. All you need is the proper upholstery cleaner, some elbow grease, and a little bit of time to remove stubborn stains off the car seats. The following methods give you the cleaning solution that your car interior needs.
You can use these same recipes to clean the carpet and headliner in the car, too. The best way to clean rubber car mats is by first removing them from the vehicle. It is easier to reach stains and vacuum the mats on a flat surface.
The First Step in Cleaning a Car Seat
There is a step you should take before you begin cleaning the car seats with a cleaning solution, and that is to vacuum away any loose debris, dirt, and hair from the fabric’s surface. Get pet hair out of a car seat with a handheld vac and really work the crevices.
Vacuum the car seats after using a cleaning solution on them, as well, to remove any dried cleaning residue and dirt.
Vacuuming Cloth Seats
There are two ways that you can vacuum out your car. The first is to take it to your local car wash or gas station. Many of these automotive places have a high suctioning vacuum that you can use for cleaning your car.
You can also opt to use your vacuum cleaner at home to get the job done. You’ll probably need a heavy-duty extension cord so that you can easily reach all areas of your car’s interior. Use the hand-held vacuum tool to clean the seats, making sure that you get into the crevices of the seat upholstery and along the seams.
If you have a dog or even a cat that often rides in your vehicle, removing pet hair from car carpet and seats is particularly important. Sometimes the vacuum isn’t quite enough to get the job done. Pick up pet hair with an inflated balloon or by using a rubber glove. You’ll be surprised at the results.
How to Wash Car Interior Fabric Stains
If you need to do a touch-up job on your car seats to remove stubborn stains from small areas, use the following method for how to clean car interior fabric stains. Baking soda is an ideal cleaner and deodorizer that costs almost nothing.
To get stains out of car seats the easy way, combine the baking soda and water in a small bowl and then lightly apply a layer of the solution to the stained area of the fabric. Use the bristles of a toothbrush to work the stain out of the material using a gentle circular motion.
For difficult stains, allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing. Use a damp, clean cloth to clean away residue. Reapply the stain remover if needed.
Cleaning Car Seats with Club Soda
Club soda makes a pretty good upholstery fabric cleaner for cars if the seats are soiled lightly with dirt. Club soda is a weak acid and consists of water and carbon dioxide. While it is probably not useful for heavy-duty cleaning, it can work quite well for light cleaning.
Club Soda Cleaning Method
Pour some standard club soda into a spray bottle and spray it onto the surface of the car seat. Use a scrub brush to get the soda into the fabric and loosen the dirt. Use a clean towel to wipe away residue.
Best Way to Wash a Fabric Car Seat
The following technique is the best way to clean fabric car seats because of its simple yet highly effective ingredients. The dish soap and hot water scrub surface dirt while the vinegar breaks up and loosens grime that is more embedded into the fabric.
Vinegar is an excellent all purpose cleaner for almost everything that also works well for cleaning white leather car seats, as well as those of other colors. Not only can you use this common household staple to clean the car seats, but it is also ideal for cleaning car interior with vinegar, too.
Use it on the dashboard, windows, headliner, and mats. If the smell of the vinegar seems to be a deterrent to using it, add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture to cut the odor and leave a pleasant scent after cleaning.
For this heavy-duty car fabric cleaning recipe, pour the hot water and vinegar into a bucket and add a few drops of dish soap. Dip the brush in the solution and use the scrub brush to clean a small area of the seat at a time for the best way to clean car seats and remove all different types of stains and discolorations.
Follow this cleaning by using a damp towel to wipe the residue away. Repeat in sections until both the front and the back seat are clean. Allow the fabric to air dry.
Cleaning the Car Seats with Laundry Detergent
Probably one of the simplest ways to clean cloth car seats is to use laundry detergent. More than likely, you have some sitting in the laundry room. Both liquid and powdered detergent are appropriate for this recipe. This is often the best way to shampoo car seats and only takes a little effort and time.
To make this homemade foam upholstery cleaner, wet the cloth with warm water and pour a little bit of the detergent onto it. Use your hands to work the soap and water into suds and foam on the cloth. Wring out excess liquid to prevent saturating the car seat when scrubbing.
Use the cloth to wipe the stained areas of the seat using circular motions. Stubborn stains may require a little extra pressure or even additional treatment. Once the stain is gone, dampen a clean cloth with cold water and wipe all of the soapy residue from the seat. Let the seat air dry with the windows open.
How to Freshen Car Seat Fabric
Try a DIY fabric refresher if your car seats aren’t stained or soiled, but you still want to give them a fresh, clean scent. The following method is the simplest way to remove odors from the car seat using only one ingredient.
DIY Car Seat Odor Eliminator
Baking soda naturally absorbs odors and works quite well on car seats and car carpeting. Sprinkle some baking soda onto all fabric areas of the seats. Allow the baking soda to sit for a few hours and then vacuum.
Making Your Own Car Seat Freshening Spray
If you enjoy the smell of store-bought air fresheners, but you’re looking for something a little more natural, make your own freshening spray using a few simple household ingredients.
Start by picking your favorite essential oil. Citrus oils provide a fresh, invigorating scent while lavender is slightly floral and promotes relaxation.
Mix the vinegar, water, alcohol, and essential oil in a spray bottle and shake well. Lightly spray the seats with your homemade freshener and wipe using a dry cloth.
Of course, if you find gum on the seats, eliminating this problem is a little different than applying a cleaner and wiping it away. The easiest solution to remove gum from a car seat is to apply ice to the chewing gum. After it freezes, scrape off the gum.
If you have a steam cleaner, you may also want to use this machine to steam clean car interior. Steaming effectively gets rid of stains and odors and leaves the seats and carpet virtually spotless. Take care not to overly saturate the surfaces with the steamer, however, or you may end up with an even worse problem – mildew.
You probably spend quite a lot of time in your car. Using the right recipes to clean car upholstery can make those seats look, feel, and even smell like new. Just imagine how good the interior of your car will look once you go through the process of cleaning cloth and fabric seats using the right car upholstery cleaner.
Car upholstery cleaning won’t be a chore as long as you’re using the right cleaning products. Now that you’re aware of the ins and outs of how to clean fabric car seats, why not share these car seat cleaner tips with your friends on Facebook?