How to Get Stains Out of Cloth Car Seats

So, what was the incident that came across your car seat? Was it indoor eating that went wrong and left a coke stain or a bumper that rushed coffee to fell from the holder to your seat, or did your mischievous son glued chewing gum on the seat while playing that left a permanent remark on the seat, or maybe worst than that?

But you know what? The point of concern is How to Get Stains Out of Cloth Car Seats and get your car into a new look again. Currently, just two solutions remain, and they are:

  • Get yourself a professional detailer with a piece of great knowledge to restore the seat’s beauty that might prove costly.
  • To read this article and get to know the easy solution, that will be cheap.

Getting Rid of Stains:

If you don’t pay attention to cleaning stains at the right time, they will older time to time and will become a part of your seat. Also, it will become difficult to impossible to relive from them and clean them. Also, the smell will be fetched in seats badly, making it difficult for you to sit in the car.

The most common asked question is how to get rid of stains? So, I will be providing easy and quicker solutions for it below:


Two approaches can treat stains:

  • By using natural ingredients.
  • By using readymade (market) products available in the market.

Products needed:

Natural Products

Market Products

Acetone (nail paint remover)


Baking soda

Some microfiber towels

Olive oil

A Spray bottle

Lemon juice

Water diffuser




Steam cleaner




Scrub Brush

Baby shampoo

Simple Brush

Cleaning Through Market Products

Firstly, discussing solutions by ready-to-use products. Let’s continue:

Deep Cleaning: 

According to the research, regularly deep cleaning your car is an efficient method to remove the stains and stop them from snapping back. It is a basic step and solution that remains twin even if you comprise a fabric or leather seat or treat your baby seat. The other solutions may vary according to your vehicle. The methods that I will discuss can be applied to every type of seat, no matter what type of material is used.

Steam Cleaner:

Steam cleaner is the top way to deep clean your car seat, including available interior and mats. Unfortunately, it has different models that may make it difficult for you to choose. Still, according to my recommendation, Fortador Electra is best because it is lightweight and easy to carry and use.


  • Steam cleaning removes every type of impurity from your car’s interior.

  • It prolongs car seats and gives them shine.

  • Removes dust and spots from seats.

  • High temperature and pressure of steam produced by machine kill the unwanted infections and bacteria, virus, mold present in the car that may affect your health if not treated.

  • It is less time-consuming and less tiring because it doesn’t need your extra effort. The machine itself does all the work.

  • You don’t have to scratch stains away by scrubbing because most work is done after this step.


The second and useful step to Get Stains out of Cloth Car Seats is to vacuum the covering. Note that this step doesn’t depend on the material of your car. Whether you have a fabric or leather seat, you will have to do this step. Plus, this step is extra important for child seats as they probably drop everything on the seat while playing. This step will help you remove every type of dirt, instability, infection, and stuff that shouldn’t be present in your car because it can lead to health problems. Use a long nozzle with a slot to remove collected detritus by outreaching deep pockets and gaps in seats. Use a vacuum to clean the child seat as it will be safer.

Vacuuming will be helpful to leather seats more as compared to fabric because it will act as a protected shield on the seats that may be damaged if you don’t vacuum before applying any shampoo. Run vacuum across cracks and closures and remove as much dust and debris as possible. If you note that it is still not cleaned after finishing, don’t step back to repeat and do the procedure again. Take a microfiber towel and clean the area once you are finished. Make the area ready for deep cleaning, and also use an upholstery brush to clean the area if you have cloth seats.

Important Steps to Get Stains out of Cloth Car Seats

Following steps are important to perform while you’re cleaning your car seats.

Seat Stains Treatment:

If you are having aged and profound stains pretreating them is always advised. Doing this step is important for treating stains. Make it a priority to use homemade compounds initially. If it doesn’t work, move towards readymade ones, but never use chemical-containing compounds.

Pro Tip

Always use some drop of any compound on some invisible area of the stain. If it appears to be effective, then use the product. Else if it leaves some damage, skip the product

It’s always being recommended to test the product on rage and wait until it shows any result. Then operate the remaining procedure based on the result that the product shows.

Stains that are harder to treat, including that of coffee and ketchup. Apply the product with a brush and give a gap of 10-15 mins until it perches. Keep in mind that dye-based products require more time and a gap of about an hour to perch after that break wipe of the product with the help of a towel. Some commercial products require to be mixed in water, and when it forms a paste, fill it in a spray bottle and apply. The most useful method is using a spray bottle for cleaning solution because using a spray bottle, you will apply a consistent amount of product without overusing it. Also, don’t forget to follow the written instructions before using any product.

Cleaning Surface:

To upraise the dust on the car top, use a steamer again. Beginning from the top, move briskly from left to right of seats. Please don’t stick to one extra dirty point, as we can repeat the method. After you are done, use some shampoo and clean the area in the same flow as the steamer. Use shampoo, apply it on seats, scrub it as kindly as possible, and finally wipe it off with a microfiber. Keep in mind that these steps may repeat twice or thrice, depending on the seat condition. Repetition may help you to improve seat condition and in removing layers of dirt.


If you have already used steamer and shampoo extractor, this step might not be necessary as steamer will already wipe surplus moisturize, but still, you can do it for your satisfaction. Use a microfiber towel as it helps a lot in getting rid of surplus moisture. Run towel on the seats and let them dry for 2-3 hours. You can dry seats by leaving the car in the sun or by using a fan if you want to speed up the process.

Protective Layer:

This step is useful once you are done with the deep cleaning process. As per my above recommendation, the Fordator Kevlar kit is efficient in protecting against dust and stains. You can apply this coating layer in the interior, and it will last longer and save your time instead of wasting your time cleaning and treating stains daily. Apply product on a towel and then run towel on interior covering every part.

Read More: Top 6 Best Car Detailing Bag Review 2021

Treating Cloth Seats

It is advised to deep clean your car whenever possible because it makes it easier to treat them and get rid of stains.

1. Tips for Treating Dirt for Seats and Mats:

Pro and most advised trips are to keep towels, wipes, or tissues in your car, as it will make you the infected area right when the incident occurs. Like when you are eating in the car, and some ketchup falls on the seat or floor, clean that up; if some child threw bubble clean that right at that moment, it will make it easier for you to get rid of those stains afterwards. Moreover, you can also keep a kit in your car if you are out on some road trip, to ideally deal with the trouble.

2. Fabric Roles in Preservation:

Fabric plays a greater role in maintaining the beauty of seats. Like, nylon is such a material that it hurriedly soaks whatever falls on it. Polyester is tough to clean as it has microfiber material that is smooth enough to absorb rapidly.

3. Clean as Perusing:

If your car is used too much, make sure to clean the interior and seats as rapidly as possible, even once in a week, to upgrade and maintain its beauty.

Treating Leather Seats:

No doubt, leather seats add more beauty to your car than others, but their care is also greater than any other stuff. Car seats are designed using a different type of leather from primary to deluxe, varying in beauty and ease. Most of them are already protected with some polisher, making maintaining their shine and beauty easy. Treating leather makes that to maintain its beauty. However, leather needs extra effort in terms of care. So, let me guide you properly on how to retain them and help them keep their special values.

1. Cleaner Usage:

Unlike fiber or some other cloth, leather needs special keeping. When you don’t want the cleaner to dry on fiber seats, it’s more careful while applying on leather. Never apply your cleaner directly on leather. Always use fiber cloth. Apply the cleaner on a cloth and then apply it to the car as applying the solution directly to the surface can make it run into the slot, making it possible to damage. Try to work on small parts so there will be no chances of cleaner to dry.

2. Avoid Chemicals:

Avoid using chemical products like alcohol, acetone, and other chemicals while cleaning leather seats because it may dull them. Instead, you should observe what kind of material is used in a cleaner to keep your seats in a glowy, attractive, and bright position. DIY cleaners are often best among any other type because it helps the leather retain its shine. Also, please don’t use any offensive material like baking soda that is usually available in our kitchens. That can also make leather dull, so choose wisely to remove stains.

Plus Point

You can dilute your cleaner or baking soda with water, and it will reduce the saturation of chemicals and help you clean efficiently without the fear of losing glamour

3. Watch Outbreaks:

Look at or gaps, breaks, and holes in your seats. Applying any product in those areas without noticing may go through the holes and compress the foam and cushioning. Try minor to no product on these zones, so there will be no product residue on the seat.

4. Bristled Brush:

Use bristled brush to wipe off the stains from leather as it gets damaged easily. Using a brush to drain the dust and accumulated strains without damaging furniture works smoothly in a circular motion. Working with a brush will take a long time and patience, don’t hurry up and apply greater pressure. Avoid using drill-attached brushes because there is a greater chance of pressure applied in those areas, and there is a greater risk of damaging leather.

Cleaning Products Brittle on the Surface:

It is never good for a cleaning product to be dried on any cloth. It is a more important point that doesn’t let the product brittle on leather. Because you have to scrub dried products that may leave scratches on the leather surface, so apply the solution using a spray bottle to the desired area and then do your work.

1. Drying:

Once you have done all the steps, it’s time to apply the protective layer on the leather too, apply some sort to the protective product on a towel and then run off along the seats and clean the surface; this will leave a shield on them. Now, leave your car for drying but not in the sun because UV rays can damage and dull the leather. It is advised to turn a fan on to dry the area.

2. Treating spots:

Some spots on leather need to be treated differently from the cloth, and it is tough to get them out, and you would not be able to achieve complete success.


You can’t even treat ink spots with some amount of alcohol or acetone. These are tough to treat. For this purpose, use some conditioner and put it on a towel or cotton. Press the cotton on the spot and try to remove as much ink as you can, you can’t remove all the ink, but you can dull the spot and make it look invisible. So keep on doing it again and again unless you are succeeded.


Fuel is the same as grease. It has a sticky and liquid consistency. It drips more quickly into the surface, especially around the corners and stitches. If by mistake oil drops on the seat, make sure to clean that off immediately. Clean that as same as a lubricant but make sure to add more powder and give it more time to absorb.


It is tough to treat lubricant because it contains an excess amount of grease. Therefore, it is almost impossible to get it out accurately. Moreover, it leaves spots on the seat. The best solution is to firstly wipe off the lubricant with a towel and then dredge some powder on the seat and let it soak the remaining amount of grease. Soaking may take hours or maybe a day. After, this vacuum and wipe the powder. Remember that person may not succeed properly and fully after this step, so the procedure and treatment may vary.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is also one of the hardest materials to take off. It is also sticky and cohesive. The top way to get rid of it is to wipe it off when it falls off on the seat, else use a lesser amount of oil and scrub the bubble off. Repeat as per need. Make sure not to apply pressure while scrubbing because it can make leather dull.

Cleaning Through Natural Products:

Natural ingredients play a huge part in cleaning the spots and stains from the surface; some ingredients have excellent cleaning and bleaching properties that prove powerful while treating stains. I have listed them all earlier. So let’s move towards the solution without wasting time.

Remember that lemon and baking soda have a bleaching effect, so always use this material in paste form only on cloth or fibre of light-coloured furniture. Avoid using these materials on leather as it may prove to be harsh and may lead to dull that. Always dilute the material and then use that. Also, start with a weaker, normal to harsh solution only if you can’t cut the stains out. Never scrub your seats with full pressure even if the spots are deep because it may damage the surface. Try to scrub calmly because some spots are so endured that you can’t get them out. Also, your goal is to make the interior clean, clear, and scent nicer.

Thanks for reading our article. Hope you get enough knowledge to kick out your car seat stains professionally at home.

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Hello from James Cameron. I am automotive lover and car detailing expert over 7 years. I am a passionate blogger and auto detailing enthusiastic. So I am sharing my experience and pro tips about auto detailing which you'll love and helpful for you.

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