Most of us spend several hours in their car each day. Quite often, we eat and drink there, we transport our children, our pets, our shopping there… It is therefore not surprising that the interior of our vehicles and their seats get dirty over time. Fortunately, there are solutions to remove most stains and give your car a clean look. Ride in a car with clean seats with these tips and tricks on the best way to clean car seats. With minimal effort, your car seats will look great again!
1. START BY VACUUMING
The first step in properly cleaning your car seats is to vacuum the car seats. This will not only remove dust, crumbs, small pebbles and pet hair, but also prevent those everyday messes from penetrating deeper into the seat upholstery.
Vacuum with a soft brush head to thoroughly reach all creases in the seat. On fabric seats, feel free to use an upholstery brush to lift the fibers of the fabric and make your job easier.
Then, use the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner to reach the space between the seat cushion and the seat back as well as other hard to reach places where dirt can nevertheless accumulate.
2. PRE-TREAT STAINS
Melted chocolate, grease stains, mud… all of these tend to leave lasting marks on car seats. If you observe these specific types of stains on your car seats, you will get better results by pre-treating them before proceeding with a general cleaning of your seats. Start by using an upholstery cleaner that you will apply to the heart of the stain, making sure to penetrate the product with a soft scrub brush.
Leave to act for at least 15 minutes before proceeding with a complete cleaning of your seats.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, always test a new cleaner in an inconspicuous area of your seats to make sure it won’t discolor or damage fabrics.
3. COMPLETELY CLEAN YOUR SEATS
To clean the fabric of your car seats, you can use commercial upholstery cleaners or “homemade” solutions such as sparkling water alone, a mixture of water and baking soda, a mixture of vinegar white, washing-up liquid and hot water or even detergent mixed with water
A sprayer is usually the best way to apply your cleaner because it allows you to limit the amount of water and cleaner on the surface of the seats. Start at the top of the seat and lightly spray the entire seat then scrub with a soft brush to dissolve the dirt. It is not necessary to supersaturate the fabric with water. The risk is then to wet the foam present inside the seat, which could lead to the formation of mold or delay the drying of your seats.
Use an absorbent microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture . This will also help remove dirt. If your seat fabric still looks dirty, repeat the steps. You will get better results by making several passes.
Be aware that there are also cleansers in the form of foam. This type of cleaner is particularly suitable for fabric seats because it allows “dry” cleaning, without wetting the fabric.
For leather seats, use a cleaning milk and conditioner specifically designed for this material. Pay particular attention to seat creases and places where skin or hair comes into contact with the leather, which will get dirty more quickly.
4. LET THE SEATS DRY
If possible, let the seats dry completely before using your car again. This usually takes two to three hours if you’ve taken care not to over-wet the seats.
If you need to speed up the process, park the car in the sunniest spot to speed up the drying time. If the seats are still damp, place a small moisture absorber in your car to dry out your seats faster.
5. FINISH BY APPLYING A WATERPROOF PROTECTOR
Now that your seats are squeaky clean, use a waterproofing spray fabric protectant to keep dirt and stains from clinging to them again. Cleaning will be much easier and faster next time!
6. PREVENTION RATHER THAN CURE…
Dedicating a little time each week to keeping your car clean and hygienic will pay off in the long run and will keep seats looking good for much longer. Ideally, cloth car seats should be vacuumed once a week and stains should be dealt with without waiting for them to set in and dry out.
If you tend to get your car dirty quickly, there are a variety of seat covers on the market that you can install in a snap to keep your seats from getting dirty and looking like new. It will generally suffice to put them in the washing machine to ensure that they are clean. Choose covers tailored specifically to your make and model. Make sure they are compatible with airbags and seat belts.