How To Get Stains Out Of Car Seats: Leather And Fabric

There are many things you have to look to maintain and have a clean car. Your car seats especially come in this category. Since seats are fabric or have foam in them, they are more prone to get stains and even accumulate bacteria.

You need to have a solution in your mind on how to get stains out of car seats so they do not gather mold or any bacteria. It also helps your seats look new. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your seats.

How to get stains out of car seats

How to get stains out of car seats with professional equipment?

Car seats tend to stain for several different reasons. It may be because of food, sweat, or just general stains from the environment. Moreover, it is especially common in cars where there are children in the back seat. There are several different answers on how to get stains out of car seats. Let us discuss the different ways with professional solutions first.

Cleaning fabric car seats

Cloth seats absorb more of the stain. Here are a few tips with professional cleaning that can help take stains out. Remember that in all instances, you need to gently scrub.

Dry cleaning

Fabric Seats are easy to take off and put back again. If you know the stain and it is relatively fresh, then go to a dry cleaner. Dry cleaners tend to work best with chemicals and steam. They clean the stain without ruining or shrinking the fabric.

All-purpose car seat stain remover

Another easy way to clean is with a strong all-purpose cleaner. This solution works for almost all kinds of stains. They use enzymes, which help loosen the stain and remove it. It is also perfect to use as a degreaser. If you have stains with grease, this type of cleaner works great. There are so many in the market you can pick out any. However, make sure it is especially for cloth seats if it does not work for all the surfaces. A good Upholstery cleaner will work here too.

Woman with gloves cleaning seat


Enzymes work great if you know the kind of stain that is on the fabric car seats. These work as a natural stain remover. The particles use the lock and key method to break down. Different elements have different enzymes that break them down in the simpler form. In the human body, they help with digestion. However, in the cleaning business, they work great as loosening the stains. The following are the kind of enzymes for the types of stains.

  • Lipase works best for oil spills and fatty stains. These stains include lipstick, creams, lotions, sweat, and even condiments.
  • Amylase works best for starchy stains. These include baby food, syrup, and even sugary stains.
  • Pectinase is a great enzyme for your fruit stains. However, it may not work with fruit flavors in different things.
  • Protease works as a stain remover for proteins. These stains include grass, urine spills, blood, and even meat stains.
  • Mannanase is an enzyme that works for food stains. This enzyme can work for spills and stains of tea. It also works on coffee stains.
  • Cellulase works as a general stain remover for dirt and mud.

Cleaning leather seats

Cleaning leather seats of cars is different than cleaning fabric seats. The reason is that fabric generally withstands a lot more pressure than leather. Leather stains are also more solid and stubborn. However, there are plenty of professional ways you can clean them.

Leather cleaners

One of the best ways is to get leather cleaners for your car seats. Leather cleaners are chemicals that work great without ruining the leather. They are a great and very effective stain remover. The chemicals do not make the part thin or give a melted shape to the seats. Modern leather seats generally have a safe coating over them. These allow the leather to survive for a long time and not withhold stains.

Leather Car seats

Dry cleaner

You can always give the leather coverings to the dry cleaners. However, you will need to look around for special cleaners that deal with leather. This is a slightly expensive option, as leather needs a lot of attention. However, they usually get the job done.

How to get stains out of car seats at home

There is nothing better than home remedies. They are natural and do lesser damage to the material of the seats. There are many ways you can get stains out from your seats. All you need is a few things from the pantry and you are good to go. Remember, none of them is elbow grease so be soft.

Cleaning fabric seats

Cleaning fabric seats at home require a little hard work. However, it is less expensive and you do not have to run to the grocery store. Here are a few tips on how you can work to clean fabric seats at home with household products. Just make sure not to use hot water.

Baking soda

Baking soda is almost a magical substance in household products. If you do not use it in your food, you should keep it in your house nevertheless. It helps in many different things. One of these is cleaning your fabric seats.

Baking soda

To use baking soda solution, first vacuum the stain. This process helps remove the residue entirely. It also helps the spread of the stain during the cleaning process. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda all over the stain and let the solution rest. Baking soda has the power to absorb stains. It also works as a natural enzyme. It helps digest grease and even motor oil stains. After about 30 minutes brush to scrub the stain with warm water and remove the baking soda. It is truly one of the best household products.

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You can also use club soda with baking soda. Club soda gives the baking soda a reaction that activates both the products. However, if it is a sweet club soda, it can have an adverse reaction.

Vinegar and laundry detergent

Vinegar is another magical substance in the pantry. If you do not use it in the food, just keep it in your pantry because it comes in handy on rainy days. It works as a great cleaning product for many things.

For a good vinegar solution, the best thing to do is to use white vinegar with some laundry detergent. About one cup of vinegar works. Make a paste out of them and brush to scrub with a microfiber cloth. You can also apply the paste and leave it for about 30 minutes. The acidic nature of vinegar and the natural enzymes in detergent help break down stains. Scrub it for a while and then vacuum over it. You will see the difference. You can also add some warm water and make a solution in the spray bottle and spray it. Let the solution air dry.

To remove stain use dish soap

Dish soaps and liquids all advertise their product by endorsing the power of degreasers in them. Some use lemons and some use other nontoxic chemicals. Nevertheless, they all work well. Hence, for harsh stains, you may use them too.

Dishwashing liquid

Scrub the stained area with your dish soap for a while. This method is particularly helpful for greasy stains. However, it may not work well with heavy greases like motor oils and tire grease. Add warm water if you have to make a bubbly solution. Alternatively, you can make the cleaning solution in a spray bottle and spray it. Let the solution air dry for best results.

Cleaning leather seats

Cleaning leather seats at home requires a little more concentration. Leather is strong but with the wrong chemicals, you can make it worse. Here are the safest ways to clean your leather seats at home. Just remember if you have to use water for wiping, use cold water. Hot water tends to set the stain faster. Besides, always use a clean cloth.


One of the safest and best tips for your leather seats is toothpaste. However, make sure you do not use gel toothpaste. Use a soft microfiber towel and put a little toothpaste on the stain. Do not jump in with a huge amount. Rather begin small and slowly build it up. Wipe away with a clean cloth or a microfiber towel. Make sure to use leather conditioner in the end.

Toothpaste is also great for car windows and mirrors.

Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover has either spirit or acetone. Both of them are harsher chemicals than usual. So use this method for tougher stain only. Apply a little on a microfiber cloth and slowly wipe away the stain. Make sure you do not scrub too hard or you can ruin the leather. Instead of using huge amounts, just start with a little quantity and build it up. Use a spray bottle for the right amount. Gently rub the solution over.

The best way to ensure the material remains safe is to do a patch test on a very small area of the seat. If it works then go for it. If you remotely feel that it is too harsh, discontinue the process. Keep your leather safe with a leather conditioner in the end. Stop using immediately if it gives a bleaching effect. Always use a clean towel and clean water.

Dish detergent

There are several types of dishwashing solutions. One of them is dishwashing detergent. These work best for cleaning leather seats. They have anti greasing or degreasing options. However, they are lighter on leather that makes them the best tips.

The best way to use it is to make a warm water and detergent solution. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the stain. You can also use a brush attachment and wipe away the stain. Remember to scrub gently.


Stains are a common part of life. It does not matter if you have kids or not, stains in your car are a must. They can be when you get the car back from the mechanics, or because you enjoy food in your car every occasionally. Having the right car seat stain removers are important. So, keep all these tips in your mind.

However, it is important to remove stains and not leave them. As soon as you spot a stain, immediately react to remove it. If time passes, the stains get more stubborn. At that point, you will have to change your seat covers entirely. Just make sure to be softer on the leather seats in comparison to fabric car seat stains. If you act fast, your seats may look new.

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