How To Clean Car Upholstery

Published by Jeff Torres

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How To Clean Car Upholstery

How To Clean Car Upholstery

If your car upholstery is starting to look a little dingy, it’s probably time for a good cleaning. Here are a few tips on how to clean car upholstery, so you can get your car looking clean and new again.

Taking your automobile to the neighborhood car wash is a breeze. Washing a car by hand on a hot summer day can be a pleasurable experience. Your vehicle’s exterior isn’t the only thing that requires upkeep. Is it in line with your new home’s design? Is your vehicle’s interior in need of some TLC? Is the back seat of your new automobile a shambles from a prior owner who appeared to have run a bus station out of it? A tornado has hit the snack aisle of your minivan, but you’re going to upgrade to an SUV and want to trade it in for something fresh.

We frequently clean our automobiles after being contaminated by ants, mud, dog hair, or filth and grime. What is the greatest approach to restoring the appearance and aroma of your car with the least amount of effort? We’ll outline a basic way of removing normal levels of filth that accumulate over time due to daily use in this brief article on How to clean car upholstery.

How To Clean Car Upholstery

How to Clean Car Upholstery

Vacuum everything

If you have child safety seats installed in your vehicle, you may want to take them out before you begin cleaning to get the best results. Cleaning them will be a full-time job in and of itself, so don’t attempt it now. Set them aside for a later time after a quick vacuum. Separately, wash the car seats of your children.

You should set up a vacuum for dry cleaning. Vacuum your seats thoroughly using the crevice tool to clean the seat seams and crevices, and remove any trash from the car. Adjustable seat backs should be moved as far back as possible to thoroughly clean the area where the back of the seat meets the bottom of the seat.

It is best to use a crevice tool to get into the nooks and crannies of your seats and crevices where seats meet carpeting or trim. Even though the focus of this guide is on cleaning the upholstery, you may as well vacuum the carpets of your car at the same time.

Remove stains immediately

Even the worst stains can usually be removed from your car’s upholstery using simple household solutions that dilute and remove the stains. Hairspray or rubbing alcohol mixed with water can remove ink stains. You can use watered-down paint thinner and a cotton cloth to remove grease. Using cold water and a damp cloth, clean up any coffee spills, then use a glass cleaner and cold water again to finish the job. To avoid damaging your car’s delicate upholstery, always use a blotting motion rather than scrubbing.

Invest in an upholstery cleaner

For the best results, use a professional upholstery cleaning service. In addition to getting rid of the stains, the shine will be restored to your interior. The market is flooded with options for you to choose from. Look for a fabric-specific upholstery cleaner. Foam cleaners, for example, can be applied with a brush and then rubbed in with a cloth.

Wipe the seats

Wipe the seat’s surface clean with a clean wet cloth after applying the upholstery cleaner to the entire seat. You’ll get the best results if you scrub the seats with hot water and then rinse them with cold water. Once your seats are spotless, use the cloth to remove any remaining soap stains. The upholstery should appear as if it were just installed, with no signs of wear or tear.

Those with seats that you can remove and a cloth substituted for them should perform this procedure every six months to keep their upholstery looking its best—taking the seats out, washing them at home, and reinstalling them is best.

Clean the fabric or leather

To clean leather seats, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and combine your mild cleaner with a bucket of warm water. Scrub the leather with a wet microfiber towel, wring it out slightly, and rinse it as needed with a clean cloth.

Microfiber can be wrapped around your soft brush and used to scrub a little harder, or you can use your soft brush to brush the surface of the leather. Avoid hard scrubbing on worn or cracked leather areas with your brush, and take care not to damage it further.

You can use leather cleaners and vinegar solutions to clean leather in small sections at a time, wiping away excess dirt and turning your towel into a clean area frequently. To ensure that your upholstery and carpet cleaner is safe for your fabric seats, perform a test spot in a hidden location.

Don’t be alarmed if the fabric appears lighter in your test spot. That’s perfectly normal and indicates that the vacuum cleaner is doing its job. Spray a section of the seat liberally if all goes well during testing. Allow a small amount of cleaner to soak into the fabric before using a soft brush to scrub the surface. Blot up any excess cleaner as necessary.

Finishing up

Dump your wet-dry vacuum and dirty towels into the washer after cleaning the dirty wash water. Put away your brush and any other items you’ve previously used. After taking a shower, change into something more comfortable and relaxed. You’ll still have a clean and fresh-smelling car for your Monday morning commute. Reinstall any removed child safety seats after your vehicle’s interior has dried. Consider using a protective pad under a car seat to secure the child seats. That’s what we’re going to talk about next.

Related: How to Clean Car Windows


Your vehicle’s interior and exterior should be in excellent condition. As a result of your preparations through the tips mentioned above, your car will be spotless and free of stains in the future. Enjoy your sparkling new ride! Take pride in your work and fall in love with your vehicle again. Make plans to go for a drive with a friend. Your car will look its best while you run errands. Your car’s interior now looks fantastic, so raise your price accordingly if you’re about to put it up for sale. Lastly, if your friends ask where you had your car detailed, be prepared to give them some tips on how to clean car upholstery.

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