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If your car breaks down, there is no way around towing. It doesn’t matter whether this is done with a rope or a tow bar. In both cases, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Dog hair, chewing gum, bad odors: Find out here how to get all that out of fabric seats, leather seats, and upholstery.

Cleaning fabric car seats

The following home remedies and tools are suitable for cleaning fabric upholstery:

  • Detergent.
  • Shaving foam.
  • Vinegar.

Shaving foam and detergent against stains

Light stains can be removed well with shaving foam, detergent, or other foam sprays. Again, the fresher the stain, the better. If you use detergent, a mixture of 1 liter of water, 10 ml of liquid detergent, and a splash of liquid soap is recommended.

  • Apply the agent over a large area with a brush.
  • Leave to act for ten minutes.
  • Wipe off or brush out residues with a terry cloth.

Vinegar against odors

When unpleasant odors are a problem in addition to stains, vinegar is the remedy of choice. Dog, sweat, or nicotine odors can be removed from fabric covers with vinegar water. To do this, make a dilution of a few tablespoons of vinegar and water, spray and rub with a rag. The smell of vinegar will disappear after a short time and with it the unpleasant smell of animals or cigarettes. For dog owners, a simple lint roller or clothes brush is recommended against animal hair. Special odor removers can help if vinegar water does not remedy the situation or could damage the color intensity of the covers.

Steam cleaners and washing vacuums for deep cleaning

Car seats become hygienically clean with the washing vacuum cleaner. Together with water, the device applies detergent to the affected areas and sucks everything off again together with the dirt. Especially grease stains, but also other dirt as well as odors can be removed with a washing vacuum cleaner.

A steam cleaner is also suitable for cleaning stubborn stains.

This is because the hot steam softens the dirt and cleans the fabric fiber-deep and sustainably from dirt particles – completely without chemical additives. The prerequisite for a steam cleaner is that the seat upholstery is not sensitive to color. With light-colored covers, for example, water spots can form.

car seats cleaning

Cleaning leather car seats

Household detergents are usually not enough to clean leather car seats. In the worst case, you can damage them. Only in combination with professional products from a specialist dealer can a promising and gentle treatment be guaranteed. You will need the following utensils:

  • Leather brush.
  • Leather care product/leather spray.
  • Dirt eraser.
  • Shoe polish (colorless).
  • Cotton cloth.
  • UV protection care if necessary.

Step 1: Rough cleaning with the furniture brush
Step 2: Treat larger stains with the dirt eraser, leather fluids, or light detergent solution. Allow drying well.
Step 3: Care and re-polish: Work in a thin layer of special care product or colorless shoe polish with a soft cotton cloth and polish. For convertibles, a light protection factor is recommended.

The use of these cleaning agents and tools depends firstly on the type of leather and secondly on the degree of soiling. For the simple care of smooth leather, for example, you only need a colorless shoe polish of high quality.

Treat gently: Too much wetness, strong scrubbing, and pressing should be avoided in any case, so as not to damage the leather and cause discoloration. The loosened dirt should be carefully removed with a cotton cloth.

Cleaning suede car seats

Suede and velour also require gentle treatment and care, especially since they are even more sensitive than smooth leather. You will need the following utensils:

  • Leather brush.
  • Suede leather care product.

Even with high-quality suede and velour seats, the cleaning process begins with a rough treatment using a leather brush. This first roughen the fabric, making it more receptive to the subsequent suede care product from the dealer. It is essential to observe the recommended spraying distance when applying the product. Otherwise, there is a risk of soaking and stains may form.

Special case: Removing chewing gum

Sticky chewing gum on seat upholstery can be removed using a simple household remedy. Using conventional ice spray against bruises from the pharmacy, the chewing gum can be hardened to such an extent that it can then be scraped off. The remaining residue is sprayed again and then removed with a fine brush.

Problem and solution at a glance:

Type of pollutionWhat to use
Minor stains from drinks, foodSuds, shaving foam, vinegar water
Odors from smoke, animals, urine, sweat, vomitVinegar water
Chewing gumIcing spray
Stubborn grease stains and odorsWashing vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner, professional


🔧 How to clean car seats with home remedies?

Water with liquid detergent, vinegar and shaving foam are the best home remedies for cleaning car seats. Work it in, let it work, wipe it off – usually the car seat is then clean.

🔧 What can be done against urine stains?

If the stain is only superficial, vinegar water, a washing vacuum or special odor remover can help. If the stain has penetrated deeply, often only professional cleaning by a specialist can help.

🔧 How do you get water stains out?

Water can also leave unsightly marks. You can get rid of water stains with a foam cleaner, shaving foam, or a mixture of liquid detergent and warm water. Apply to a large area and wipe off and dry after a short time. Salt or a paste of baking soda are also tried and tested methods. If none of the above helps, a vacuum cleaner may be the solution.

Easiest and Cheapest Way to Clean Car Seats - Video

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.

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