Car seat cleaning: here's how it's done for leather and fabrics


Why is car seat cleaning important?

Before we get into car seat cleaning procedures, it's important to remember why car seats are worth cleaning regularly. Just as we perform bodywork washing and car interior cleaning, car seat cleaning is a fundamental part of car ownership.

Unlike dashboards and "hard" surfaces, which in theory can be washed with a simple rag, car seats are tough dirt collectors to remove. Sharp corners, seams, leather creases are all places where dirt lurks and lingers for months.


In addition to the hygienic aspect, cleaning the car seat helps to better preserve the value of the car. Ask yourself: would you buy a beautiful car with bodywork but without the interior?

Last but not least, the best way to complete the car seat cleaning is to disinfect the interior of the car. This way the car will be as good as new.

What do you need for a DIY car seat cleaning?

For DIY enthusiasts, car seat cleaning will be nothing but a piece of cake. However, you need to be prepared with some products and tools that will allow for a thorough cleaning of all parts of the car seat.

To perform a perfect do-it-yourself car seat cleaning you need to have:

  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle and brush nozzle
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Clean, dry towel or microfiber cloth
  • Container to mix the ingredients

These are the ingredients for a good car seat cleaning, let's move on to the procedure.


How do you do your own car seat cleaning?

The first step to start car seat cleaning is to pour two teaspoons of baking soda into the container of hot water. Two or three glasses of hot water are more than enough.

We remove all traces of dirt with the vacuum cleaner with the narrow nozzle or the brush. Pay attention to the seams and corners of the seat and backrest. These are precisely the places where dirt lurks.

Once the surface dirt has been removed, we dip the brush into the water/baking soda solution. The brush should be damp and wet, but not dripping with water. We start cleaning the car seats with the brush making circular movements and trying not to wet the seat too much.

Once the seats are clean, wipe them with a dry cloth and leave the doors and windows open. Ideally, wait at least ten minutes for the seats to dry perfectly.

What is the difference with cleaning leather car seats?

In the case of leather seats there are some special precautions to take with car seat cleaning. Leather is in fact an easy material to clean but in some respects very delicate.

Let's start with a simple tip. If the outside temperature is not already warm, turn on the hot air. This softens the leather and makes it easier to clean and less water repellent.

Always follow the procedure described above and be careful to use less liquid, as leather dries less easily than fabric. We can use the magic gum that makes it easier to clean leather car seats (you can find it in all supermarkets).


If the leather is not only dirty but also dry, we recommend using a specific leather cleaner or applying some leather wax/grease at the end of the cleaning of the leather seat.

In case of stains on suede or velvet there is little to do. These leathers are very absorbent and you will need to rely on a professional to remove oil or dirt stains.

Cleaning Car Seats and Hidden Parts

A good car seat cleaning is not limited to the seat. A lot of dirt gets deposited under the seat that rarely gets cleaned.

The best way to clean the base of car seats is not from the front but from the back. So we pull the car seat as far forward as possible and recline the backrest forward. This will give you good access to the seat rails.

We always vacuum and use an old toothbrush to drag dirt and dust out of the seat rails.

If the car seats are a little hard to move back and forth, now is the time to compensate. Just apply a few drops of oil to the rails or a drizzle of grease and move the seats back and forth to spread them out nicely.



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