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How to Clean Car Seats with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a product every household is never without. It is often referred to as a miracle product because it is an ingredient in almost any project in the home including cleaning your car seats. Learn how to clean car seats with baking soda and discover how versatile this household item can get.

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a good cleaning agent because of its moderate alkalinity. When dissolved in water it can cause the effective removal of grease and dirt. When sprinkled directly on the surface it is a mild adhesive that can lift dirt for ease in removal.

Baking soda, just like salt, is a neutral compound developed through an ion that has been positively charged (cation) and negatively charged (anion). While baking soda is a neutral compound, it has a ph level that is higher than normal. This means baking soda is basic and the opposite of being acidic making it a good cleaning agent.

  • Baking soda reacts with vinegar. Mixing baking soda and vinegar creates a reaction that is acid-based. This chemical reaction produces the cleaning magic.
  • Baking soda is significantly abrasive. This makes baking soda a better cleaning agent than a typical soap. Soap and baking soda are basic and not acidic. Soap however contains fat molecules making it less abrasive than baking soda. The abrasive properties of baking soda make it a good cleaning agent as it is able to dislodge dirt and remove stains.

There are many reasons why you need to deep clean your car seats. The mess your passengers can create on your car seats can be a disgusting sight, not to mention the fact that it is unhygienic, too. A spilled drink, food residue, and even the rubbing of your clothes on the car seat can cause them to be dirty.


Photo Credit: By Ciro from flickr.com

Given that baking soda is a good cleaning agent here are ways on how to clean car seats with baking soda.

Method 1: Removing Stains

WhatYou Will Need

  • ½  cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • A few drops of dish detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Spray bottle


  • Mix ¼ cup baking soda and warm water in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix ¼ cup baking soda, vinegar, a few drops of dish detergent and warm water. Pour on spray bottle.
  •  Apply the baking soda and water mixture on the car seat stain.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes to penetrate the stain.
  • Wipe off the baking soda and water mixture with a towel absorbing as much of the liquid mixture as possible.
  • Spray the baking soda, vinegar, detergent and water mixture on the car seat.
  • Gently brush the mixture all over the seats.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Absorb as much of the excess moisture as you can with a dry towel.
  • Leave the car windows and doors open for a few hours to get rid of any cleaning smell.

Method 2: General Cleaning

Any car seat material can be cleaned with baking soda.

What You Will Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sponge
  • Toothbrush or bristled brush

Vinyl Car Seats

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of water to form a paste.
  • Gently rub the paste on the vinyl car seats.
  • Clean car seats with a wet microfiber cloth.
  • For tough stains, place baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub the car seats.

Fabric Car Seats

  • Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and water.
  • Spray a thin layer of the mixture on the stain.
  • Use a toothbrush or bristles brush and scrub the stain. For tough stains, allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Wipe the mixture away with a microfiber cloth.
  • For fresh stains, sprinkle baking soda on the stain so it will absorb the moisture. Brush off the powder.

Faux Leather

  • Place some baking soda on a slightly damped microfiber cloth.
  • Rub the microfiber cloth on the car seats.
  • Remove excess moisture with a slightly damp and clean microfiber cloth.
  • Allow car seats to dry.


  • To remove grease and oil stains, sprinkle area affected area with baking powder.
  • Rub area with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Let baking soda sit overnight to allow it to absorb grease and oil.
  • Wipe the powder of with a dry and clean microfiber cloth to get rid of residue.

Stains and odors in your car seats can often be difficult to deal with. This does not however mean that you will need to always take your car to an auto detailing shop for the regular cleaning.

While there are commercial cleaning solutions for car seats, baking soda is the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to clean your car seats.