How do I clean car seats? Step-by-step instructions for cleaning leather, fabric and suede interiors

Having your car professionally cleaned can prove to be a costly process when you find yourself doing it all the time.

With the cost of living escalating day by day in the country, we’re trying to help you cut your expenses with a step-by-step guide to doing the work yourself.

Cleaning your car yourself can save you a fortune in the long run


Cleaning your car yourself can save you a fortune in the long runPhoto credit: Getty

How to clean leather car seats

Leather seats can be more daunting to clean if you’re worried about ruining them by getting it wrong.

Done right, you can save money, protect your seats, and make them look like new again.

Check if they have any perforated areas

It is important to know what you are dealing with as having cleaning solution or water stuck in the holes will cause you problems in the long run.

It’s always a good idea to check your car’s manual as it may contain anything that isn’t recommended for use on your seats.

Vacuum the seats

Make sure you use a vacuum hose and accessory.

While you want to remove excess dirt, be careful not to be too clumsy as you could scratch the leather.

Remove surface dirt

Spray a microfiber cloth with cleaner and wipe down the seats.

It is important to apply the cleaner to the cloth and not directly to the leather seats.

Use leather cleaner, saddle soap or another mild leather soap for cleaning.

Thoroughly clean the leather seats

For this step, spray the cleaner directly onto the seats.

The approach to this depends on whether or not you have perforations in your seats. If you do this, apply the cleaning solution to the brush and not the seats.

For this step, you should use a soft bristle brush to thoroughly clean the seats and gently scrub the leather.

Wipe the seats clean

Use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to remove the cleaning agent you just used on the seats.

You should see dirt and grime coming off the cloth.

Clean the seats regularly

The seats should ideally be given a light cleaning once a month, but it’s also important to give them a deep clean three or four times a year.

How to clean cloth car seats

Cloth seats are much easier to maintain on a regular basis than leather seats and therefore it makes a lot more sense to do it yourself than to take your car to a professional cleaner.

Vacuum the seats

With a vacuum hose and nozzle, it’s important to clear the seats of any dirt or debris.

Pull the seams apart and go straight in to make sure all the crumbs are removed.

Use your fingers to separate parts of the seats to completely remove loose dirt.

Spray light solution onto fabric

Try not to use an all-purpose cleaner and use a fabric or cloth cleaning product instead.

Spray each area 4 or 5 times, do not overspray as this will saturate the seat and result in mold or odors on the cushion under the fabric.

Use an inside brush on the area

Before moving on to another area of ​​the seat, use a soft bristle brush to scrub the area you just sprayed.

Using anything harder will damage the fibers in the cloth.

Wipe the area clean

Remove dirty suds with a microfiber cloth and massage the seat with it.

Make sure you do this before the seat dries as the dirt will just soak back into the upholstery.

How to clean suede car seats

Suede seats can often be the most difficult to clean, and you need to be extra careful when doing this job.

You need to make sure you have a suede brush for this.

Brush the seats

Brush the seats in all directions, top to bottom, left to right and repeat the process.

After scrubbing, use a vacuum for a few minutes to pick up all the dirt and debris.

Use a suede eraser

For smudges or marks, use the end of the eraser tip and rub in a circular motion.

Immediately use a microfiber cloth to pick up dirt.

Use a suede upholstery cleaner

Because suede is not a water-resistant material, it’s important never to spray a cleaning solution directly onto it.

Try using a fluffy white cloth or sponge and spray the solution onto it.

Clean the seats by spraying a small amount of the cleaner onto the sponge or cloth and gently rubbing the area.

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Make sure you have a dry towel handy to gently rub the area after cleaning to try to get as much moisture out as possible. How do I clean car seats? Step-by-step instructions for cleaning leather, fabric and suede interiors

Tom Vazquez

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