Best Cleaning Car Seat Tips & Tricks 2023

Car owners should clean the car seats in their vehicles regularly so that they don’t just look beautiful and well-groomed for the first few years. Instructions and tips for proper care!

Car seats are used every day and they quickly become unsightly due to stains or soiling. Cleaning the car seats is recommended, especially on warm days, as the upholstery dry quickly in the sun and therefore no moisture remains. 

Read this Article to know the Best Covers for Car Seats.

It is important that the car seats are completely dry so that there are no unpleasant mold stains. Which points have to be considered when cleaning the car interior and to what extent does the material matter when cleaning car seats?

Car seat cleaning depends on the material

Before you can clean your car seats, it is essential to determine what material the car upholstery is made of. Because the leather has to be cared for and cleaned differently than fabric or upholstery. 

Upholstery or fabric can be treated very easily at home with household remedies, just as you can wrap the car yourself. The following are helpful when cleaning upholstery:

  • an empty spray bottle
  • some washing-up liquid
  • some mild detergent
  • a cleaning sponge
  • a microfiber cloth
  • a vacuum cleaner with upholstery brush and crevice nozzle

Proper cleaning of the car seats

The well-known home remedy baking soda is popular in the household, but also for cleaning car seats. Here, a little baking soda is sprinkled on a damp, soft sponge and then the car seat is carefully wiped off. 

After drying, all unpleasant smells and dirt should be removed by cleaning the inside. If this method doesn’t help, here are a few more household tips for cleaning car seats. If you are willing to spend a little more money on seat cleaning, you can buy or borrow a vacuum cleaner, also called a spray vacuum cleaner. In this way, cleaning liquid is applied to the surface to be processed via an additional spray nozzle and this is then sucked off with a suction nozzle. This variant of car interior cleaning of car seats is particularly suitable for the deep cleaning of these textile fabrics.

Clean car seats step by step

Cleaning car seats can be much easier than washing the engine. Especially if you use these home remedies here, you can’t go wrong or run the risk of damaging the car engine, like washing the engine.

  • STEP 1 – The spray bottle is filled with a little washing-up liquid and mild detergent. The bottle is then filled with warm water.
  • STEP 2 – After vacuuming the seat covers with a vacuum cleaner, cleaning the car seats can begin.
  • STEP 3 – The prepared solution for cleaning car seats is now evenly distributed on the seats and rubbed evenly on the surface with the cleaning sponge.
  • STEP 4 – After drying for about two hours with the car windows open, the seat covers are dry and clean again.
  • STEP 5 – The car seats are rubbed again with the moistened microfiber cloth.

Cleaning car seats: treating stubborn stains

To clean car seats that have stubborn stains, you need a glass from the kitchen. After the stain has been sprayed, the glass is placed over the stain with the opening facing down. The glass is now moved over the surface as with cupping. With this method, the stain is massaged out of the upholstery. After cleaning the car seats, the car must be ventilated thoroughly for a long time so that the moisture can escape.

Tip: A soap solution with a little fabric softener can also be used to clean car seats. After that, the car smells pleasantly for weeks after the fabric softener used.

Another way to clean car seats is to mix one or two tabs for the third teeth, lukewarm water, and fabric softener. Tabs for third teeth, i.e. denture cleaners, are often used as an aid in the household. The upholstery is treated with this mixture with a sponge. Alternatively, of course, a special upholstery cleaner or upholstery foam can be used. A dry cloth can then be used for drying.


Cleaning car seats, even if they are made of leather, is very easy. First, the superficial dirt on the surface is removed. Before cleaning the car seats, you should consider whether there are perforated areas on the leather seat, because no water or cleaning agents should be used here. Leather cleaner is used to clean the leather seats, although you can make it yourself. 

To make the cleaner for cleaning car seats, one part vinegar and two parts linseed oil are mixed together. The solution is spread over the leather with a soft brush. This loosens the dirt and carries it to the surface of the seats. The leather is wiped dry again with a microfiber cloth. Grease and dirt are easily removed.

In order to be able to clean their leather seats properly, car owners should first remove coarse dirt and dust with the vacuum cleaner’s grout attachment. You should be careful not to scratch the leather. Then, with the help of a sponge, a mild leather cleaner can be applied evenly and over the entire area.

It is important not to carelessly wipe the seams as they will quickly lose their shine. It is therefore better to work your way from seam to seam in one direction. If the leather cleaner has been applied, the seats should be wiped again with a damp cloth. But be careful: while smooth leather is insensitive to cleaning agents and water, it looks different with suede and perforated leather. With these open-pored types of leather, liquids can be absorbed quickly and cause unsightly stains. The same applies to car seats with older covers made of smooth leather that is already cracked.

By the way, car owners should keep their hands off conventional household cleaners: Even if the cleaning agent is diluted, the chemicals it contains can dry out the leather, causing it to crack or, in the worst case, even tear. This could also damage the protective layer of the leather so that the leather fades and then absorbs dirt better. When it comes to ventilated car seats, car owners use cleaning foam. This has the advantage that the holes in the leather cover do not become clogged. Special cleaning agents are also available for artificial leather from specialist retailers.


Leather seats that are more than three years old should also be given a moisturizing treatment once or twice a year after cleaning. This prevents the leather from becoming brittle and cracked over time. Corresponding care products for matt and glossy leather are available from specialist retailers.

Especially for the care of leather seats in convertibles, it is advisable to use care milk with a UV filter to protect them from being faded by sunlight. To ensure that the care product does not discolor the leather seats, car owners should first test it in an inconspicuous area.

The care can then be applied with a microfiber cloth and massaged into the leather. It then takes some time to take effect. Drivers should definitely follow the instructions of the respective manufacturer and use the care product sparingly – otherwise, a greasy layer can form on the leather.

Finally, the leather seat is polished with a soft microfiber cloth until any excess care product has been completely removed.


To ensure that leather seats remain supple and resilient over the long term, they must be cleaned regularly. If it is sufficient in the first few years after purchase (usually up to three years) to clean the leather seats once a year and treat them with a care sealant, older leather needs more intensive care. Vehicle owners should then clean and maintain their leather seats up to twice a year. In the case of lighter leather covers, you should use them even more often.

Since these get dirty more quickly and are prone to color residues from clothing, cleaning and sealing are recommended about every three months. Above all, the driver’s seat – especially the left entry cheek – otherwise quickly shows heavy signs of wear due to the constant getting in and out.