How To Clean a Car Seat?

This article will show the process involved in “How to clean a car seat?” if this process is done correctly you will end up with fresh new-looking fabric car seats that have had a real deep clean.

Tools Required for Cleaning Fabric Car Seats

Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is essential in the process of cleaning cloth seats, as most stains are deeply embedded into a car’s seat. The wet vac will allow you to remove this dirt that would otherwise be impossible to reach with your hands alone.

The Nilfisk wet and dry vacuum cleaner detailed below is a popular choice among car valeters, especially for seat cleaning as it is robust, easy to use and is a nice size for maneuvering around your vehicle.

Nilfisk Multi ll 30T Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner – Indoor & Outdoor Cleaning – 22 Litre Capacity...
  • Powerful Vacuum and Dust Extractor: Versatile hose and barrel vacuum with input power of 1400 watt and power take off of 1100 W
  • Large Capacity: Bagless vacuum cleaner has a capacity 18 Litre when bagless. Vacuum cleaner with bag has a capacity of 14 Litre
  • Versatile Cleaning Power: High suction power for efficient cleaning and blow function for optional cleaning
  • Filtered Cleaning: Push&Clean, a semi-automatic filter cleaning function. This function is a semi-automatic method of cleaning the filter by creating an airwave hitting the filter from inside out
  • Wet Vac and Dry Vac: Great for home, auto, workshops, garages, extraction, pet hair and more. Suitable for all surfaces. Clean on hard floor, carpet and in hard-to-reach locations

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Detailing Brushes

A soft detailing brush will allow you to agitate your cleaning product onto the cloth surface of your seat, this process will remove awkward grime without harming the fabric of your seat.

The example detailing brushes below are perfect for this process.

5 x Specialist Detailing Brushes for Car Cleaning Vents, Dash, Trim, Seats, Wheels
  • ✔ SET OF 5 DETAILING BRUSHES - Various Sizes for Different Valeting Applications
  • ✔ SELECTION OF SIZES - Five Sizes to Allow you to get into the Nooks and Crannies
  • ✔ SOFT HOG HAIR BRUSH - Densely Packed Hair Provides a Sturdy and Efficient Cleaning Brush
  • ✔ SOFT BUT STURDY - The Soft But Sturdy Brushes Allow for a Variety of Uses on Wheels, Plastics, Badges and Interiors
  • ✔ STRONG PLASTIC HANDLES - Each Brush Has a Strong Plastic Handle with Hole, Allowing you to Hang Brush to Allow to Dry Properly

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Microfibre Cloths

A microfibre cloth has to be one of the essential tools for car cleaning, and I would recommend you have plenty of clean cloths to hand for all types of car cleaning, they are the perfect tool for wiping away residue product, dirt, and grime.

The microfibre set below would be a great choice for your vehicle cleaning needs as they are lint-free and super soft.

Lint Free Microfibre Exel Super Magic Cleaning Cloths For Polishing, Washing, Waxing And Dusting....
  • Microfiber cloths suitable for use on all surfaces
  • Ultra soft cloths are made from fine microfiber, that gives a swifter and safer clean
  • Tiny microfibers work hard for you when collecting dirt from any surface
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Car Seat Cleaning Process for Fabric Seats

  • Firstly use your vacuum cleaner in dry suction mode, vacuum the entire seat to remove any loose dirt, make sure you get deep into the crevices of the seat removing as much dirt as you can, this cleaning process will be easier with the front seats moved back as far as you can to allow you plenty of room to work.
  • The next step is to apply a spray cleaning solution of your choice and agitate the area you are working on to loosen any deep grime.
  • Wipe away any excess product with your microfibre cloth.
  • The final process is to use your vacuum cleaner in wet mode to extract the cleaning product and dirt from your seat.
  • Allow your seats to dry thoroughly before sitting on them.

Great Video Showing The Car Seat Cleaning Process

Best Selling Car Interior Cleaning Products

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Cleaning leather car seats is a similar process to cleaning fabric seats except for the products used to revitalize the leather and leave them looking fresh and new.

The Process

  • First of all, vacuum the seats thoroughly to remove all of the loose dirt.
  • Next, use a leather cleaner to remove any dirt and grease that has built up on the leather surface area.
  • Spray the leather cleaner onto the seat working each section of the seat at a time.
  • Work the cleaner in with a firm sponge, soft brush, or microfibre towel to lift the dirt out.
  • The dirt will now be caught in the foam residue of the leather cleaner which can be wiped away with a clean damp cloth.
  • Once the entire seat has been cleaned and wiped with a clean damp cloth it will leave a matte finish on the surface of the leather.
  • Dry the seat thoroughly with a microfibre towel to finish the cleaning process.
  • The next process is to protect the leather seats using a leather conditioner or balm, make sure the leather has dried before doing this.
  • The leather conditioner can be applied using a cloth or soft pad, only a small amount of product is required and the whole of the seat should be treated.
  • Allow at least 24 hours for the leather conditioner to dry properly, if possible do not sit in the seats while it cures.

Popular Car Leather Cleaner

Bestseller No. 1
Autoglym Leather Cleaner, 500ml
  • Safely cleans and freshens automotive leather upholstery
SaleBestseller No. 2
Meguiar's G17914EU Gold Class Rich Leather 3in1 Leather Cleaner Leather Conditioner Leather...
  • 3in1: cleans, conditions and protects your leather in one easy step
Bestseller No. 3
Diamond Shine System Leather Cleaner and Conditioner with Microfibre Cloth and Two Applicator Pads -...
  • Leather Interior Car Care - Diamond Shine's Car Leather Seat Cleaner and Conditioner is perfect for protecting and cleaning leather car interiors. This leather cleaner for car seats and other car interior features such as steering wheels or dashboards allows for gentle removal of stains and spots, all without damaging your automobile.

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Popular Leather Car Seat Conditioners

Bestseller No. 1
Autoglym Leather Care Balm, 500ml
  • Blended mixture nourishes, moisturises and protects
  • Suitable for use on car upholstery and motorcycle leathers
Bestseller No. 2
Ignition transmission car leather cleaning kit leather cleaner and conditioner balm for car seats...
  • Car seat leather cleaning kit with leather cleaner and conditioning balm.
  • Safe trade formula to lift ingrained dirt and deep condition and protect.
Bestseller No. 3
Car Gods Leather Reviver Conditioner Moisturising Balm For Seats 500ml - Cleaner Interior Seat Care...
  • PREVENT AGING: Replaces essential oils within the leather, improving leather flexibility and reducing the effects of aging.
  • NAUTRUAL LOOK: Cleans and moisturises all shades of leather, leaving an original, natural finish.

Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


In Conclusion, cleaning a car seat can be achieved more easily with the correct tools and products.

Removing as much dirt as possible with a vacuum cleaner before adding products will help with the seat cleaning process.

Agitating dirty areas of the seat with a good spray cleaning solution and detailing brush will ensure you get better results.

Removing cleaning solution and dirt from the seat with a wet n dry vacuum cleaner in wet mode will pull all the unwanted dirt from the cleaned seat area.

Allow the cleaned car seat to dry thoroughly before sitting on it.

I hope you found this article “how to clean a car seat” useful giving you an insight into the process when cleaning your cloth car seats.