It is almost impossible to keep a car in pristine condition, more so if you have a bunch of energetic kids jumping around with their snacks, toys, and very colorful art materials in the backseat. Almost all of us have been there; almost all of us have stained our car seat’s upholstery and crossed our fingers hoping that the damage can be erased.
If you have ever spilled any kind of beverage, smeared any sort of condiment, dribbled sauce, or made any sort of mess while sitting in your car; then this is the how-to for you. This is the time when you learn how to clean car upholstery seats yourself.
Get Your Gear Ready For Battle: The Materials
The most likely reason that you are reading this how-to is because you have decided that you do not need to pay hundreds of dollars to get your car seat’s upholstery cleaned; or you do not have enough money to do it.
Leather car seat upholstery is relatively easy to clean and you can use glass cleaner to clean vinyl upholstery. Although taking out the lint fabric upholstery using a lint roller or tape is child’s play; removing stains from fabric car seat upholstery can be a nightmare. Do not fret, because here are everyday things that you will need to clean your car’s seats.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Spray bottle
- Measuring cup
- Spoon or Stirring rod
- Microfiber cloth or hairdryer
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
Although the above materials are needed to generally clean the car seat’s upholstery some materials may be needed in order to address specific stains. Here are some additional materials that you may need depending on the stains that you need to erase.
- Hairspray or a rubbing alcohol and water solution for ink stains
- Water-diluted paint thinner for grease and oil stains
- Cold water for new coffee and vomit stains, as well as bloods
- Dishwashing liquid or glass cleaner for older coffee stains
- Baking soda and water for older vomit stains
When you want do not want to use dishwashing liquid as the main ingredient in your cleaner; then there is an alternative. You just need a couple of more things and a few more extra steps.
- 6 tablespoons of grated non-caustic soap bar
- 2 tablespoons of borax
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 bucket
- Spray Bottle
- Warm water
Making Your Homemade All-Purpose Upholstery Cleaner
In a measuring cup, put equal parts of water and dish washing liquid. After mixing the two liquids well, pour it into the spray bottle. After replacing the bottle’s top, you are all set.
If you opted for the non-caustic grated soap bar option, then you would need to put the borax in the bucket before adding the grated soap. After which, you would slowly add the boiling water. Wait for the mixture to cool before mixing it up until it is all foamy.
Although the grated soap cleaner option smells fine as it is, you can add your own flair to it. Before letting the mixture cool, add about 10 drop of your favorite essential oil. This way, your car can smell like peaches, lavender, or whatever you like.
Test Out Your Cleaner
After you have made your cleaner, it is finally to go and attack the stains. Before you go on a stain offensive, test your cleaner out. Although we swear by this cleaning formulation, it is always better to be safe than sorry. That is why, pick a small inconspicuous spot where you can spray on the dishwashing solution cleaner or work in the grated soap cleaner and blot out the spot. Use the microfiber cloth to dry it out a bit and wait for a few minutes. If your car seat upholstery does not dissolve into nothingness, which we swear it would not, then; it is time to attack.
Furthermore, it is also wise to test out the stain-specific solutions in an inconspicuous area. You will never know if some materials in your upholstery do not agree with the specific brands or substances that you might use in your car.
How to Resurrect the Beauty of Your Cars Upholstery
Instead of working hard to clean your car, why not work smart? Identify the most irritating, hateful, and in-you-face stains and then spray on the cleaner 3 to 4 times. Just remember to spray your weapon of mass stain eradication about 6 to 8 inches away from the spot before using the rag to blot out the stain. Always remember to blot do not rub.
If you are using the grated soap cleaner, then you would have to use the soft-bristled brush and work it in the fabric. Work it in slowly and thoroughly until the stain is removed.
Although you have created an all-purpose cleaner, some stains need a little more attention. Most of the stain-specific cleaning options we have mentioned earlier are dab-on-blot-off; the glass cleaner for older coffee stains needs to sit for about 5 minutes for you to get good results.
Rinse Off and Dry Off
Using another rag and warm water, blot away the spot where you applied the cleaner. Do so until you see that there are no more traces of the cleaner. Lastly, take the microfiber and blot the wet spot away or use a hairdryer.
Assess and Repeat Again
After attacking that one stain; look at the other seats. Identify the other stains that need to be removed and repeat steps 3 until 4 until you have removed all that needs to be removed. Then, look at your handiwork and celebrate by hopefully not staining the car seat again. But if you do, you know what to do.
Get To Cleaning
Now that know how to clean car upholstery seats yourself, and possibly armed with your own inexpensive homemade all-purpose upholstery cleaner; you are more than capable in tackling that hideous stain that you have had in your car seat upholstery for the longest time. Try it out and share with us your stain removal success stories us in the comments section below. We would love to hear how you fought and won the battle of the car seat upholstery stain.