Person spraying a cleaning chemical aerosol can on the tan fabric upholstery of their vehicle in Springfield, IL.

How to Clean Your Car’s Upholstery

Keeping your car’s upholstery clean is not only good for visual sake, but it helps keep bacteria, dirt, and grime from getting you, your children, or pets sick. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on getting your car detailed, our experts at Jack Stoldt Auto Services Center in Springfield, IL have put together a list of DIY cleaning options for your vehicle’s upholstery! Keep reading below for more information on how to clean, disinfect, and remove stains from your car’s fabric.

Black polyester seats being cleaning with a professional fabric car cleaner in Springfield, IL.Cleaning Cloth Seats

One of the most common fabrics for your car’s upholstery is a simple cloth material. Here are several ways to clean your cloth seats with simple and everyday household solutions:

Club Soda

Club soda is a great way to remove small stains from your cloth fabric. Simply pour your club soda into a spray bottle and lightly spray the liquid onto the stained area. Use a soft bristle brush to scrub away the stain and wipe it clean with a damp towel.

Baking Soda

It’s no secret that baking soda is a cure-all for just about everything. The same goes for cleaning the cloth on your vehicle! Mix about ¼ of a cup of baking soda with warm water and lightly layer the solution onto the stain using a toothbrush. If the stain is large, let the solution sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing, if not, scrub away at the stain until you see it start to disappear.

Vinegar Mixture

Mixing 1 cup of vinegar with a few drops of dish soap and a gallon of hot water, this solution will surely get rid of any dirt, grime, or stains covering your car’s cloth fabric. Dab the mixture onto the stain and use a scrub brush to remove it from the fabric. Clean the spot with clean warm water and repeat for other upholstered areas of your vehicle.

Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent mixed with hot water is another great technique to remove stains from your vehicle’s cloth fabric. Use a towel to dampen the area with the detergent solution and scrub until the stain is no longer visible. Use cold water and a fresh towel to remove the detergent from the seat.

Person with a white rubber glove holding a blue and yellow scrub brush cleaning leather seat upholstery on a vehicle in Springfield, ILCleaning Leather Seats

While leather seats are just as popular as cloth upholstered seats, they require a much different cleaning process to remove any stains, grime, or dirt accurately. Here are a few of the most effective ways to do it yourself:

Nail Polish Remover or Rubbing Alcohol

Believe it or not, nail polish remover or a strong rubbing alcohol solution is one of the easiest ways to remove a stain from a leather car seat. Simply use a cotton ball with the alcohol solution to gently rub the stain until it is lifted from the fabric. When done, use warm water and dish soap to remove the excess alcohol on the seat.

Non-Gel Toothpaste

Grab a clean toothbrush and a non-gel toothpaste to remove a light stain from your car’s leather upholstery. We recommend using a soft or medium bristle so as not to overly scrub the leather and damage the material. When finished, grab a damp towel and warm water to remove the excess toothpaste.

Lemon Juice & Cream of Tartar Paste

Any equal portion of lemon juice and cream of tartar paste can easily remove stains from your leather upholstery. Let the mixture sit on the stain for about 30 minutes and wipe it away with a damp sponge when the stain is removed. The paste in the tartar has a bleaching effect, so only use it on light-colored leather seats.

Vinegar Mixture

Just like your cloth seats, a simple cup of vinegar with a dash of dish soap and hot water is a great solution for cleaning your vehicle’s leather seats and removing stains.

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