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Car Detailing: What Are The Best Seat Cleaning Practices?

Posted by Lance Cheney

December 24. 2013

Car_DetailingA dirty car seat is not only unsightly, but can give your car a funky smell over time ... and no one wants that, right? Cleaning your seats is a big part of car detailing. Unfortunately, a huge number of car owners never take the time to get this done or simply have no idea how to clean their seats. Today, we're hoping to take some of the mystery out of the process.

How to clean upholstery in your car

Removing dirt, grime, and stains that have been collecting in your vehicle for years isn't nearly as difficult as it might seem. The first step is to vacuum the seat as thoroughly as possible. This will extract any shallow substances on the surface, which is the same as you'd do to the carpets in your home. Next, pick up a carpet or upholstery cleaner, maybe even a spot remover, from a local store. If you'd like, you can get one that's geared toward car seats, but it's not essential. Then apply a liberal amount of cleaner on the seat and scrub it with a stiff brush. If the seat has a stain that isn't coming out, use a professional degreaser instead, and once you've scrubbed the spot for a while, wipe off the cleaner with a handtowel. 

How to clean leather seats

If your car has leather seats, you won't have nearly as tough of a time with your car detailing efforts. With these types of seats, dirt and grime have no way of getting deep down into your seat, which means that only the surface will be dirty. If you want a professional product to help clean the leather, pick up a leather cleaner at the store. If you'd prefer to use a natural remedy instead, create a mixture of vinegar, water, and dish soap. Regardless of which one you choose, simply apply the cleaning solution to the seats and scrub them down with a handtowel, wiping in a circular motion, then dry them off once they're done. You may need to put a little extra elbow grease into dirt that has built up, but you'll be amazed at the results.

Professional cleaning

While car detailing can often be done at home by a vehicle's owner, getting your seats (and the rest of your interior and exterior) cleaned by a professional every once in a while can work wonders. You would be amazed at the "before and after" that even a filthy car can experience. Professionals have all the tools needed to get even the toughest stains out, even those that have been there for years. And even in larger vehicles, the cost of doing so is more than reasonable. Looking to clean your car air vents out next?  Check out this article on interior car detailing for your air vents.

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Photo Credit: Sunfrog1 via Flickr

Topics: Car Interior Cleaning

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