How To Clean Car Seat Stains

Getting into a car with clean car seats is a wonderful feeling. How are you cleaning your car seats?

It’s no secret that car seats can get pretty dirty. From spilled drinks to muddy paws, there are a variety of stains that can accumulate over time. If you’re not careful, those stains can be tough to remove and can leave your car seats looking less than their best.

Fortunately, there are several ways to clean car seat stains. In this article, I’ll outline some of the best methods for tackling various types of stains. So whether your seats are stained with pet hair, food or mud, I’ve got you covered!

If you have leather seats, make sure you check out our article specifically about cleaning leather.

How To Clean Stains From Your Car Seats

Food stains can be a huge hassle to clean, but you can get the job done in no time with the right tips and tricks! Make sure to check out our other article if your are looking particularly to clean leather seats. 

a dirty and stained car seat

Here are a few ways to clean food stains from your car seats:

1. Blot The Stain With A Paper Towel Or Cloth

When you accidentally drop food or liquid on your seat, be sure to blot it with a clean paper towel or cloth. Then, leave the stained area alone until you’re ready to clean your car seat properly.

2. Spray Lukewarm Water on Stains

Fill a spray bottle with some lukewarm water from your faucet. The purpose of this is to loosen some of the stains from your car seat. Spray it on your car seat at the area where the stain is and let it soak for a couple minutes. 

Now that the stain has loosened a bit, scrub a little to get some of the stain off. Make sure to only spray a small amount onto the seat – the goal is not to soak the seat. 

3. Spray Seat Cleaner

After loosening the stain and brushing the seat, it’s time to use a seat cleaner. I recommend using Auto Magic Power Foam

Spray your cleaner and soak the stains thoroughly. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to work its way entirely into the area. 

4. Scrub with a Brush

Use a soft-bristled brush or a plastic scrubber and scrub the area. Keep scrubbing until you have removed the stain. Make sure to use gentle, long strokes. Scrub vigorously but don’t scrub too hard. 

You may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 for stubborn stains. 

6. Absorb with a Microfiber Towel

Use a quality microfiber towel to absorb the residual water and cleaner. Microfiber cloths are sturdy and very absorbent, so they work well for this task. I recommend that you only use a single side of the towel. 

A person's hand wiping the car seat using a yellow cloth

How To Clean Food Stains From Your Car Seats 

Food stains can be some of the most difficult to clean from your car seats. Depending on the type of food that is spilled, different methods will need to be used to remove the stain.

Here are a few tips on how to clean different types of food stains from your car seats:

Grease Or Oil Stains

For grease or oil stains, try using a degreaser or a detergent such as dish soap. Apply the degreaser or detergent to a cloth and rub it into the stain.

Let the degreaser or detergent sit for a few minutes, then scrub the stain with a brush. Rinse the area with water and let it dry.

Juice Or Soda Stains

To remove a juice or soda spill, I recommend carrying out the aforementioned steps. Using a qualilty car seat cleaner and a plastic scrubber can go a long way in getting rid of stubborn stains.

Ink Stains

Ink stains can be difficult to remove. If the steps above do not work, you can try using a steamer on your car seat or you can also try using some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and dabbing it out. These stains can be quite stubborn, so you may need to try several methods and be patient with the process. 

Chocolate Stains

For chocolate stains, try using baby wipes. Blot the chocolate stain with a baby wipe before wiping it off with a damp cloth soaked in warm water. If that doesn’t work, then give it a go at using OxiClean. 

A box of oxi clean cleaning and stain detergent

How To Keep The Rest Of The Interior Looking New And Fresh

It’s important to keep the rest of your car looking just as good as your seats! Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Vacuum regularly: Vacuuming your car regularly will help keep it looking clean and new.

Wipe down surfaces: Wiping down surfaces such as the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console regularly will help prevent dirt and dust from building up.

Keep it clean: It’s simple – the less dirt and dust there is, the less likely it is for your car to look dirty.

Make sure to also clean your car’s ceiling and wipe off windows so they are streakless.

A very clean and stain free car back seats

Things To Avoid So That You Won’t Ruin Your Seats

There are a few things that you should avoid doing if you want to keep your car looking clean and new:

  • Avoid eating in the car: Eating can lead to food stains on the seats and dashboard. It avoids any mishaps from vomit as well!
  • Avoid letting pets ride in the car: Pets can leave hair and fur all over the seats and windows.
  • Avoid leaving items in the car: Leaving items such as shopping bags, toys or tools in the car can lead to dirt and dust accumulation.

Overall, keeping your car clean is a lot easier than you think. By following the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to keep your car looking new and fresh!

Caitlyn Koch
Caitlyn Koch has been working in interior design for over 5 years. Caitlyn believes that interior design is more than just making a space look pretty - it's about creating an environment that people will enjoy living in.
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