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How To Clean Cloth Car Seats

How to clean cloth car seats

Regular cleaning of your cloth car seats is a must if you want to keep your car’s interior looking and smelling fresh. Over time, dirt, grime, food spills or pet stains can make your seats look dirty and unappealing.

In this post, we’ll show you an easy step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly clean cloth car seats.


Products and tools you might need to clean your cloth car seats:

Step By Step Guide On How To Clean Cloth Car Seats

Step 1: Vacuum your car seats

First you wanna remove loose dirt and debris from your car seats with a vacuum cleaner before you start the cleaning process. This is important because it makes cleaning your seats easier and allows the upholstery cleaner to properly penetrate the fabric. If you skip this step, you’ll rub any loose dirt deeper into the seat upholstery. 

You wanna use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to thoroughly vacuum your seats. Once that’s done, proceed using a crevice nozzle to get into recessed crevices and seams where dirt and dust accumulates. 

Step 2: Apply the cleaner

Pour some cleaner diluted with tap water in a spray bottle according to the product instructions. Apply the upholstery cleaner by spraying it directly on the car seat cloth. You wanna avoid over-wetting the seats, because this can cause the fabric to become waterlogged and damage the padding underneath. Gently scrub the seat evenly using an upholstery brush. Be sure to cover the entire seat, including the backrest and sides.

Step 3: Wipe the seats down

Once the cleaner has been applied, use clean microfiber towels to wipe the seats down and remove any excess cleaner and dissolved dirt. Each time your towel is saturated or dirty, grab a clean one. You wanna absorb and remove the dissolved dirt, not rub it in deeper with a dirty towel. Be sure to dry the seats completely to prevent mold or mildew growth. Use a light touch and be sure to blot up any excess moisture to facilitate the drying process.

Step 4: Allow the seats to air dry

It is important to allow your car seats to air dry completely before using your car again. You should avoid exposing the seats to direct sunlight or heat while they dry, because this can harden or shrink the fabric. To speed up the drying process, it helps to open your car windows to allow fresh air to circulate. If possible, leave them open until your seats are completely dry. Once dry, you can enjoy a clean and fresh smelling car interior.

What a difference, great job!


When you regularly clean and maintain your cloth car seats, they will keep looking and smelling fresh. Just follow these 4 easy steps to keep your car seats clean and appealing. Isn’t it satisfying to have a fresh looking and smelling car interior? 

Great job!

Wanna clean other types of car upholstery? Got stains or smells that are hard to remove? Then you might wanna take a quick peek at our post “Top 10 Best Car Upholstery Cleaners” to find the right product for your needs.


Can I use regular household cleaners on my cloth car seats?

Regular household cleaners are not recommended to clean your cloth car seats. These products may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric or cause discoloration. Upholstery cleaners for cloth car seats are specially formulated to clean thoroughly without damaging them.

Do I need to use a scrub brush on my cloth car seats?

You don’t need a scrub brush if your cloth car seats are not heavily soiled. However, an upholstery brush can be very handy to loosen and remove dirt if your seats are very dirty or heavily stained. You wanna be careful to always use a gentle touch and to not apply too much pressure because this may damage the fabric.

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my cloth car seats?

You don’t wanna use a hairdryer to dry your cloth car seats because the heat may harden or shrink the fabric. Too much heat can also damage the padding underneath. It’s best to allow the seats to air dry with open windows and out of direct sunlight.

How often should I clean my cloth car seats?

To keep your car’s interior looking and smelling fresh, it is recommended to clean your cloth car seats at least once every few months. However, how often you should clean them mostly depends on your individual driving habits and the conditions in which you use your car. If you have kids or pets for example or regularly eat or drink in your car, you may need to clean your cloth car seats more frequently. Regular maintenance will prevent the build-up of dirt and stains and make the cleaning process much easier.


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