Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


How to Wash Car Seats - Vol.148

Whether you have fabric or leather seats in your car you are bound to get stains and dirt on them from time to time. Even if there are no visible stains you do need to take steps to clean them just as you do with the upholstered furniture in your home. Unless you use protective coverings that you can remove and launder on a regular basis, you will find it difficult to wash car seats because you can't easily remover them before you start. Of course you can bring the car to specialists in car detailing to get the work done but there are ways of doing the chore on your own and saving money.

Cleaning tips for fabric car seats
Fabric cleaner for car seats is widely available in hardware, auto parts and home improvement stores. You can purchase this in a spray container. You simply spray on the foam, let it stand for the recommended time and then wash it off.

  • * Dish detergent is the most widely used product for washing car seats. Simply pour a very small amount of the detergent into a bucket of water. It doesn't have to be soapy because this will be difficult to rinse out of the fabric. Using a cloth or a sponge you gently scrub the seats using a circular motion. When you are satisfied with the cleaning, use clear water to rinse the detergent from the seats. Leave the car doors open to let the seats air dry or turn on the car and use the heater to blow warm air on the seats.
  • * For hard to remove stains, use a scrubbing brush to really get into the fabric and loosen the stain. There are also stain removers you can use to spray on the stain to make it easier to remove.
  • * If you notice that some stains start to reappear when the seat is drying, use a towel to rub the area dry. The towel will pick up the remaining residue of the stain.
  • * Huggies Baby Wipes are great for cleaning stains from car seats. These are best used for small areas of the seat.

Cleaning tips for leather car seats
You may have purchased a car with leather seats because you feel that it won't stain as easily as fabric. Leather stains too, as you will see if you spill coffee, wine or cola on the seat. The problem with washing leather car seats is that you could remove some of the finish on the product as well as the stain if you don't take proper care in the process.

You should dust the seats with a soft cloth on a regular basis and wash them with clear warm water. This will keep the leather looking as good as new. If you do notice a small stain in one part of the seat there is a very simple way of removing the stain without costing you a lot of money. The solution is unbelievable – a slice of bread. Yes – bread! Take a slice of bread and roll it into a small solid ball. Then rub the stained area of the leather. You will be amazed to see that it will come out.

A large stain on a leather car seat is more difficult to take care of. In this case you will need to have professional help. Although there are many products on the market for cleaning leather you have to make sure that they don't contain any chemicals that do not work well with leather. Always consult a professional to make sure you choose the best method of washing car seats made of leather.