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How to Sanitize Your Car Seats

  • Sanitize Your Car Seat
    February 15, 2022

    Vacuuming and cleaning a car interior will improve its appearance. However, a quick clean-up is not always enough if you want to create a safe and healthy environment for the driver and passengers. You will also need to regularly disinfect the inside of your car. This includes taking measures to sanitize your car seats to ensure a deep, superior clean.

    Steps to Sanitize Your Car Seats

    Your car seats tend to catch most of the dirt, crumbs, and other spillages during car journeys. Therefore, it is a good idea for you to clean and sanitize car seats every couple of weeks or whenever you spot some dirt or a stain on the upholstery. Here is how to achieve a sanitized clean.

    1. Remove Trash and Personal Items

    First, remove any trash and personal items from inside the car before you begin to sanitize your car seats. You need a clear, unrestricted area to work with before you begin your interior cleaning and sanitizing. Be sure to check that the front and rear door pockets are empty. Any storage pockets on the backs of seats should be clutter-free too. Remove the floor mats and shake off any loose dirt transferred from bags, footwear and pets.

    2. Vacuum the Carpet and Car Seats

    Next, vacuum the car interior from top to bottom. Vacuuming a car the right way will save you time because you will avoid going over the same area twice. For example, vacuum the carpet last otherwise you’ll need to clean this area again if any dirt falls from the car seats or door/seat pockets onto the floor.

    Pay special attention to the car seats. Crumbs, hair and dust can settle in crevices, such as the seat-stitching grooves in the upholstery. Choosing a car vacuum with special tools specifically for upholstery makes your job so much easier. You can access crevices and those hard-to-reach places before you sanitize your car seats. Pull the seats forward to access underneath the seats, too. Don’t forget about the armrest between the driver and passenger and the rear center console if there is one.

    3. Remove Stains from Car Seats

    Then, inspect the car seats for any stains. Stubborn, dirty marks on seats from shoes and boots, drink spillages, greasy marks from food wrappers, grass stains and so on can spoil the appearance of your car seats. If you regularly have children or pets in your car, your seats are more susceptible to stains. Knowing how to remove stains from car seats will also ensure you don’t damage the fabric or leather upholstery in your vehicle.

    4. Shampoo Seats to Refresh Upholstery

    The next step is to shampoo and wash car seats to clean and refresh the upholstery. Always use the correct products for either cloth or leather seats. However, using shampoo and water is not enough to sanitize your car seats. Therefore, you need to take an additional step to ensure a deep clean for the health of the driver and passengers. One effective way to do this is to steam clean car seats and all other surfaces as this will effectively kill bacteria, viruses and harmful pathogens, see below.

    5. Sanitize Your Car Seats and Interior

    Choosing a recommended disinfectant is an important part of your car sanitization process. If you use a disinfecting solution or spray to sanitize your car seats make sure it doesn’t damage the upholstery. It should also be safe to use on hard surfaces and carpets. Avoid using bleach and abrasive cleaners on sensitive material. The disinfectant shouldn’t have a strong odor either. This is because a build-up of any powerful, toxic fumes within the enclosed space of a car is not safe or pleasant for the driver and passengers.

    You can research the range of non-toxic, eco-friendly car wash product and disinfectants that manufacturers recommend for car sanitization purposes. Alternatively, you can seek out the services of a professional detailer. For example, DetailXPerts will use EPA-certified disinfectants and powerful steam technology to sanitize your car seats and the rest of your car interior. Steam cleaning with organic products not only kills germs but also shows care and responsibility towards the environment.

    6.Deep Clean the Seat Belts and Head Restraints

    Don’t overlook the seat belts or head restraints (headrests) when you sanitize your car seats. We touch our seat belts at the start and finish of every car journey. Therefore, the belt fabric quickly picks up dirt and grease. This is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Head restraints also pick up dirt and oils from people’s hair. Again, this is why professional detailers recommend steam cleaning the interior of a car.

    The high temperature of steam is powerful enough to kill bacteria on seat belts and head restraints without damaging the fabric. Furthermore, the steam treatment dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about damp seatbelts/head restraint resting against your clothes/head if you are driving later that day.

    7. Disinfecting AC Vents

    Finally, after you have successfully followed these steps to sanitize your car seats, pay special attention to the steering wheel, parking brake and all the dials, controls, cup holders, AC vents etc. These high touchpoints need special attention. Also, if you know how to clean your car A/C vents correctly, it will help to eliminate unpleasant odors and airborne germs and bacteria. Cleaning with steam is a great way to remove odor from car interiors. It is also suitable for use in AC vents.


    If you want a safe and healthy car environment, sanitize your car seats and your car interior regularly. Vacuuming the interior and wiping down seats and surfaces will make a difference, but this isn’t enough to ensure a deep, sanitized clean. Therefore, follow our steps to take your cleaning to the next level. This includes discovering the power and effectiveness of steam. It cleans and sanitizes your car seats and high touchpoints throughout the car.

    If you don’t have a steam cleaner or would simply prefer to leave the job to the professionals, please get in touch. You can schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to have your car superbly detailed and sanitized with the power of steam and eco-friendly products.

    Make sure you also sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for more tips and ideas on auto detailing and sanitization.

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