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How to Best Clean Car Seats on Your Own

Car Seat Cleaning Huntsville & Madison AL

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    Car Seats Cleaning

    Motorists will benefit from learning the proper way to steam clean car seats and vacuum car upholstery. Those who have small kids or spend a lot of time in their cars understand how messy automobiles can get within a short time.

    Before you start cleaning your vehicle’s seats, you must know what materials they are made of. Wool and cloth do not require the same cleaning products and procedures as leather seats.

    The first step is to empty your car of all paper, bottles, and containers. You want to throw all kinds of stuff that have accumulated inside before you vacuum the seat, surfaces, and corners.

    Auto Seats Cleaning Tip

    With sophisticated techniques and specialized cleaning products, an expert detailing service can help you keep your car always looking its best and minimize interior wear.

    Cleaning Products to Use

    Certain materials in the car may be cleaned using more than one type of car seat steam cleaning product. You may need some of the following tools (depending on the spots and types of blemishes you want to clean).

    • Carpet cleaner

    • Vacuum cleaner

    • Scrub brushes

    • Paper towels

    • Rags

    • Glass cleaners

    A paint thinner can be used for removing harder stains on the car’s upholstery, but you want to make sure it will not cause discoloration on the leather. If stains are difficult to remove, use any of the following products:

    • Foaming cleaner

    • Mechanics's cleaner

    • Alcohol

    Shoe grease and road tar can be the most difficult to clean. Use biodegradable mechanic’s cleaner for this type of greasy stain. If you are dealing with a pen mark, you can use some hairsprays for this purpose. You can use baking soda for cleaning the vehicle’s carpet. Vacuuming is the easiest way to remove accumulations of dirt and dust. Better use a hand-held cleaner because cleaning car leather seats will be more effective that way. Make sure to pass the vacuum cleaner through all corners of the seats.

    Most especially, you must vacuum along the seams between the seat back and the bench. That is where dust and dirt accumulate the most.

    How to Steam Clean Seats Made of Leather

    Leather is the costliest type of material used in car seats and the one that most car owners are afraid to mess with.

    You can steam clean your leather vehicle seats, but you must not do it too frequently. Too much exposure to moisture and heat can cause the leather to stretch and lose its suppleness.

    Generally, water and leather are incompatible, so when you steam clean leather seats, ensure you maintain the appropriate distance between the leather and the steamer. When your car is already free of trash, you are ready to steam clean the seats. Fill the steam cleaner’s tank. Then switch it on. Depending on the steam cleaner model, it may take you about 30 minutes to get it ready.

    The steam cleaning process is akin to using a vacuum cleaner. You can start cleaning either from the front or the back.

    • The first step to clean and condition leather car seat is to vacuum it.

    • Top to bottom – Steam clean from top to bottom. If you start from the bottom, you might be kneeling on damp fabric as you go up.

    • Avoid passing over the metal parts – Metal parts like zippers will rust when exposed to moisture.

    • Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub stains away.

    • Wipe the seats. Use a microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture.

    On the flip side, leather is prone to cracking when the material becomes too dry. Apply leather conditioner to the seats’ surfaces every three to four months. That way, you can provide the needed moisture for the material and protect it from the sun.

    The cleaning process applicable to the leather material is also applicable to the other types of fabric for car seats.

    • Nylon – A type of fabric made from synthetic plastics and resistant to age-related wear, stains, and heat.

    • Polyester – UV and water-resistant fabric

    • Vinyl (PVC) – Flame resistant-fabric

    Vacuuming Leather Car Seats

    Before shampooing or steam cleaning your car seats, you will need to vacuum them first. If you skip vacuuming, you might end up grinding dirt or debris into the material while applying a cleaning solution or during drying.

    You will use these attachments:

    • A crevice tool – A great tool for getting in between tiny spaces. Attach this tool to your vacuum.

    • A smaller crevice tool – a little miniature version of the crevice tool.

    • A miniature brush attachment.

    Just a quick tip: When you work on high-end leather, it is a good idea to sand down the tip of the attachments you are using. Because they are plastic, the tip of these attachments can fray the material and ruin part of it. Sanding down the nozzle will prevent it from getting caught on leather.

    The steps:

    • Attach the crevice tool and run the vacuum cleaner. Pass over the crevices and the seams. Make sure that the nozzle goes inside the crevices as far as it can go.

    • Pull off the crevice tool and switch to the smaller version. With the smaller crevice tool, you can really pull the seams apart and get inside the crevices closer to the part where dirt accumulates.

    • The third step is with the use of the brush attachment. The brush’s bristles allow you to move and scrub everything out of the tight spaces. Then it is easier for dust and small debris to be sucked up by your vacuum machine.

    With these three steps, you have completely rid your car seats of dust and debris. There is no such thing as going overboard in vacuuming your car seats. You want to make sure it is 100% dust-free so you can proceed with cleaning without worrying that you might scratch or fray your leather seats.

    Rigorous cleaning steps are typical with superior services that motorists receive from top-notch auto detailers.

    Shampooing Car Seats

    Shampooing your car’s interior is best if done regularly to provide quick and effective cleaning. Car detailing shampoo seats has benefits that are different from the other ways of cleaning.

    The best shampoos can easily remove dirt and grime, and help water flow down the bodywork. That is one of the best ways you avoid smears on the bodywork during drying.

    The steps:

    • Vacuum the seats first.

    • Use spray enzyme cleaner. Let the solution sit on the surfaces and stains for three to five minutes. Apply just enough shampoo. If you spray too much, it will be hard to remove the excess amount later.

    • Scrub stains and surfaces using a microfiber towel. Stubborn stains need a few rotations. Repeat the process for difficult stains.

    If you are not successful in removing stains, you might need to get a car seat shampoo service where car detailing professionals can get rid of those stains once and for all.

    Cleaning Cloth Car Seats

    Cloth as material for car seats is more breathable and will not be as hot to the touch as leather when baked under the sun. Also, sitting on cloth upholstered seats feels soft and not as rubbery as leather.

    If you maintain the cloth fabric well, it will last long. However, cloth materials are easily punctured compared to leather.

    Cleaning steps:

    • Vacuum the seats to remove dust, pet hair, and debris. Use the crevice tool to access the tiny space between the back and the seat.

    • Pre-treat stains. Use upholstery cleaner on stains and work it into the cloth using a scrub brush. Spread over the stained spots using a solution of water and oxygen-based bleach. Do not over-saturate the fabric.

    • Scrub away dirt. Scrub over every inch of the seats from top to bottom, allowing the dirty solution to drip down.

    • Wipe away excess moisture.

    The Takeaway

    With sophisticated techniques and specialized cleaning products, an expert detailer in Huntsville, AL can help you keep your car always looking its best and minimize interior wear.

    Why Get Car Upholstery Cleaning Service

    There are many reasons why people get regular car upholstery cleaning service rather than going DIY for cleaning car seats. With this approach, you ensure a high degree of hygiene within your car as you can keep your seat upholstery in pristine condition.

    These services are often low-cost and provide quality results without causing damage to your car’s interior.

    Other benefits of such services include:

    • Deep clean leather car seats – Auto cleaning services use thorough cleaning procedures. Professional auto cleaners cleanse the seat’s fabric and treat it with so much care that the color does not fade.

    • Keep your family healthy – By improving the air quality inside your car through vigorous cleaning procedures, you can ensure your vehicle is free from bacteria and germs. It always feels refreshing and safe when you can breathe clean air inside your car.

    • Increase perceived value – Professional cleaning services make sure that they bring the car’s interior back to like-new condition, including the vehicle’s seats. That is the best way to extend the life and service of your car seats.


    Offering a wide variety of car detailing services, such as hand washing, polishing, waxing, paint correction, cockpit cleaning, vacuuming, leather treatment or deodorizing. Indeed, Huntsville Car Detailing is based in Rocket City (Huntsville/Madison AL).


  • 100% Hand Wash

  • Snow Foam Bath

  • Wheel Clean & Tire Shine

  • Condition Leather

  • Spray Wax


    We pledge to put you, our valued customer, first and provide a stress-free detailing experience.

    Only the best quality products on the market are being applied to your vehicle and we pay attention to our all environment.


    Huntsville Car Detailing

  • + 256-795-3399

  • We can't serve walk-ins so please give us a call! Our friendly staff will help you find answers.