How to remove stains from cloth car seats


how to remove stains from cloth car seats

The hygiene of the interior of a car tells a lot about someone’s personality. Removing stains from cloth car seats is part art, part science. The secret is in the products you use.

To get rid of stains on car seats made with cloth fabric, you will only need household commodities such as baking powder, vinegar, laundry detergent, and club soda. Follow these procedures and you will be good to go.

Baking soda gets the job done

Baking soda works well in removing stains from cloth car seats. It has been used for years in stain removal due to its effectiveness as a cleaner and the fact that it is natural and super-inexpensive.

You’ll need the following: 

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • An old toothbrush
  • A microfiber cloth 

Procedure:

  1. Mix the baking soda and the water evenly to make a milky solution.
  2. Dampen the affected area of your stained cloth car seat with the solution.
  3. Using the old toothbrush, scrub the stain, rotating evenly so that the bristles can work on the stain from all angles.
  4. If it is a more stubborn stain, you may want to let the solution soak on the affected area for thirty minutes before scrubbing with the old toothbrush.
  5. Afterward, dampen a clean cloth and wipe the car seat clean.

Clean multiple car surfaces with versatile white vinegar

This versatile liquid contains acetic acid, which makes it a treasure trove for cleaning, cooking, and even medicinal uses. For your car, you can use diluted vinegar to clean your windscreen and your seats, act as a deodorant, and remove a stubborn bumper sticker residue as well.

Prefer videos? Check out the How2RemoveStains channel.

Make sure the vinegar is diluted with water or it can cause damage. It isn’t advisable to use it everywhere in your car.

You will require the following:

  • 1 cup full of white vinegar
  • A gallon of hot water
  • Liquid dishwashing soap 
  • A dry microfiber towel 
  • A soft brush

Procedure:

  1. Make a solution by combining the water and vinegar in a bucket.
  2. Add a dash of liquid dishwashing soap to create a slightly soapy solution.
  3. Dampen the affected areas with the solution and allow it to seep into the fabric for a few minutes.
  4. Using the soft brush, gently brush the affected area until all the stains disappear.
  5. Rinse the stained area with clean water to remove the soapy solution.
  6. Wipe the damp area with the dry microfiber towel.
  7. Air the car by leaving the windows or doors open for a while to allow the affected regions to dry.

Using a laundry detergent on car seats

You will be surprised what more laundry detergent can do, from mopping floors to clearing blocked drains, the list is endless. Laundry detergent isn’t only for washing clothes, you can also use it to treat stains on cloth car seats. You will need:

  • 1/2 a liter of liquid or powder detergent
  • Two gallons of warm water
  • A dry microfiber towel 
  • A soft brush

Procedure:

  1. Mix the laundry detergent with a gallon of warm water to make an even solution.
  2. Apply the solution to the affected stained areas and allow the laundry detergent solution to work on the stains for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the affected area with the soft brush if it is a stubborn stain. If not, you can simply wipe with a damp cloth so as not to damage the fabric.
  4. Rinse the affected regions with a dampened cloth to clean out any remaining residue.
  5. You can air out the car to dry the affected area

Using club soda

Club soda is carbonated water mixed with minerals such as potassium bicarbonate and potassium citrate. In nonprofessional terms, this is just water mixed with carbon dioxide with some salts in it. It is mildly acidic and therefore not recommendable for heavy-duty cleaning.

To use club soda to remove stains on your car’s seats, you will need the following:

  • 1/4 liter of club soda
  • A spray bottle (if possible)
  • 1 liter of warm water
  • An old toothbrush
  • A microfiber towel 

Procedure:

  1. Put the club soda into the spray bottle can and spray it directly onto the stain.
  2. Using the old toothbrush, rub the club soda into the stains, enabling it to work on the stained area for some time.
  3. Dampen a section of the towel and wipe the affected region clean.
  4. Then use a dry part of the towel to wipe the affected region clean and clear out the stain.

More about dealing with car upholstery stains

Can you use these methods to get rid of all types of stains on car seats?

It depends on the kind of stain on your car seat. These ingredients will work quite well on vomit stains, water stains and food stains. Another great and natural product to use in your car’s interior for getting rid of bodily fluid stains such as pee and blood is an enzyme cleaner.

Is white vinegar usable in cleaning other parts of the car’s interior?

No, vinegar should not be used to clean other parts of the car, and if you must practice caution. Though we have mentioned vinegar as a deodorant and excellent cleaning solution, it is very acidic and can damage some parts of your vehicle. It is advisable to use it with caution and always in a diluted state.

What is the best way of getting rid of oil stains on cloth car seats?

When you check your oil level and, by accident, it gets in contact with your cloth car seats, we suggest soaking up the oil as much as possible with a blotting paper. Then sprinkle baking powder on the stain for fifteen minutes and then rinse with hot water. If it is not gone, you can use a laundry detergent to clear off the oil stain.

Wrapping up

Whenever you are removing stains from your cloth car seats, it is advisable to generally clean the car, get rid of all the dirt or anything that does not belong in the vehicle before finally cleaning the stains as well if possible.

Always carry a pack of clean wipes in your car; this will go a long way to giving stains first aid before the stains become more permanent. It’s also a good idea to set ground rules for people taking food and messy drinks in your car.

how to remove stains from cloth car seats
The best cleaning product and stain remover
An enzyme cleaner is perfect for most indoor stains. It's great when you need to remove stains from clothes or carpet.
Perfect if your pet has had an accident.
Great for breaking down odors on laundry.
And much more.

You can find (the best) Enzyme cleaner here - a small bottle lasts a long time!

Read more about enzyme cleaners:
What is an enzyme cleaner.
If you have a couple weeks:
How to make your own enzyme cleaner

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