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How to Remove Stains from Car Seats

  • How to Remove Stains from Car Seats
    June 6, 2016

    If you’ve been looking for tips on how to remove stains from car seats, you’ve come to the right place. DetailXPerts, the world’s first car and truck wash franchise that uses a unique steam cleaning methodology for cleaning all types of vehicles, is giving you a comprehensive guide about some of the most common car seat stains and how to best remove them.

    How to remove stains from car seats? It starts with identifying the material of your upholstery and knowing which stain remover suits it best.

    How to Remove Stains from Car Seats: Things to Consider

    • Should you use home remedies or store-bought stain removers? As green detailing experts, we encourage the use of home remedies. But if all else fails, choose organic detailing products. They’re safer for your health and your vehicle’s upholstery.
    • Clean the car seats This is to help you make a better assessment of the type and size of the stain. For faster and more effective car seat cleaning, use steam. here’s how to steam clean car seats properly.
    • Be aware, however, that home remedies are best for nylon and polyester fabrics. Vinyl upholstery is a dream – most stains are typically removed with a damp cloth. For leather or faux leather car seats, use detailing products specifically created for these materials to prevent premature cracking and discoloration.
    • In this guide, you will find several instances where it says “rinse”. By this, we mean dabbing the area with a cloth dipped in water until all traces of soap or solution are removed.
    • Some people are wary about using water on their cat seats, as excess liquid might seep deep into the material and affect the material underneath. Yes, you can use water – only in small amounts. And make sure that you dry the area thoroughly. You can use a small fan or a blower to facilitate and speed up the drying process.

    The most common car seat stains and how to remove them


    You can use several home remedies to remove blood stains: saltwater solution, baking soda solution, meat tenderizer paste, cold water-liquid soap solution, hydrogen peroxide and lemon. Always use cold water for blood stain removal. Do not steam or apply hot water because these would only “cook” the blood, making it more difficult to remove. Worse, the stain can become permanent.


    Ink stains can be removed by the following home remedies: baking soda, vinegar, hairspray, and rubbing alcohol. For tougher stains, use organic all purpose cleaner or upholstery cleaner.

    Bubble Gum

    The best way to remove bubble gum from car seats is to “freeze” it first by putting an ice pack over the area. After 5-10 minutes or when the gum hardens, scrape it off with a dull knife. Inch your way into it so as not to damage the upholstery of your car seat. Remove any residue by gently scrubbing the area with an old toothbrush dipped in white vinegar. Gum residue from leather or faux leather car seats is best removed by putting scotch tape over the area. You’ll see the residue come off when you peel the tape off.


    Oil stains can be removed by applying a small amount of dishwashing liquid on the affected area. Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Rinse by wiping with a damp cloth. You must be careful – because liquid dishwashing residue can cause cloth upholstery to fade prematurely. On leather or faux leather, it can cause cracking. This is why it’s important to repeat rinsing until there are no traces of dishwashing liquid.


    If it’s still fresh, remove it as you would remove an oil stain. For tougher ones, use a solution of one part paint thinner mixed with one part of water. Use a cloth for application. Let it rest for not more than 5 minutes then rinse with clean water.


    Blot excess ketchup from upholstery. Dab the affected area with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Apply some liquid detergent on the area. Wipe gently until all ketchup traces are removed. Rinse and dry thoroughly.


    Wiping off fresh chocolate stains with a cloth or tissue is a no-no. This will cause the chocolate to set deeper into the material. The best way to get rid of chocolate stains is to apply ice over the area and scrape it off with a blunt knife when it hardens. Wash chocolate residue with a damp cloth dipped in water mixed with some dishwashing liquid. Rinse and dry thoroughly.


    Blot off excess coffee with tissue. For vinyl, faux leather and leather car seats, wiping the affected area with water and some liquid detergent will do. Rinse and dry thoroughly. For cloth, spray the area with a water-vinegar solution. Then wash as you would leather car seats.


    You can remove lipsticks stains with white toothpaste and rubbing alcohol. First, apply some white toothpaste over the stain. Wipe it off with a damp cloth. To remove residue, dab the area with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.


    Remove vomit with tissue. Then gently wipe the area with a damp cloth and liquid detergent. Rinse and dry. If the smell lingers in your car’s interior, sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area. for best results, use steam. It will remove germs and bacteria that come with organic waste like vomit and urine.


    Put newspapers or kitchen paper towels over the area to absorb the wetness. Then follow instructions for removing vomit.

    Knowing how to remove stains from car seats can keep your interiors safe, clean and beautiful all the time. And yes, it can increase the durability of your seats.

    If you find stain removal time and effort consuming, or you want the best results, schedule an appointment with us.

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