Over time, car seats can get damaged due to cigarette burns, and stains or tiny holes can get on their cover, hence the importance of knowing how to clean your seats or repair them if necessary. So what to do if this happens to you? You have several options:
Call in an automotive professional to renovate the upholstery of your seats: this will allow you to leave with seats like new, regardless of their composition (fabric seat, leather seat, velvet seat…).
How to clean fabric seats?
First of all, start by vacuuming your car’s interior and your seats to remove as much dust or crumbs as possible. Many solutions or products can help you clean fabric seats. Here are some of them:
Ammonia: diluted in water, it removes all kinds of stains! However, beware of its irritating vapors for the eyes. It is preferable to apply it with the doors open, using a cloth and vigorously rubbing the stained areas of your seat.
White vinegar: the virtues of vinegar for daily maintenance are well known. You have to dilute it in water and a little dishwashing liquid before applying it to the stains with a sponge. It is also particularly effective against vomit or urine stains…
Soda water: in case of extreme emergency, it is just as miraculous in case of vomit stains!
Detergent: it can be used to absorb gasoline or oil stains, but beware of its irritating properties. Thus remember to use gloves.
Steam cleaning: you can go to a car wash or use your steam cleaner at home to give your car seats a facelift!
How to clean leather seats?
A leather seat requires more thorough but gentler maintenance to avoid damaging the material with too abrupt gestures or abrasive products.
The first thing to do is dust your seats every week with a vacuum cleaner with an adapted nozzle for the most dust or crumbs, then use a simple microfiber cloth soaked in water.
Nourish the leather: use a suitable product such as leather milk or moisturizing wipes to polish your seats, preferably once every three months.
Clean stains: cleaning products are available for purchase, but you can also use your homemade mixture of white vinegar and flaxseed oil.
Don’t hesitate to refer to your vehicle’s maintenance booklet, which may contain cleaning tips for your seats, to know what to do or what product to use.
Can a car seat be repaired?
There are several ways to repair your car seats yourself. However, some of them are not permanent and will only save you time before you have to call in a professional. Again, it all depends on the composition of your seat.
Repairing a fabric seat
You can purchase a car seat repair kit to fix tears or burns on fabric car seats. It contains the following components:
- An applicator
Other special products include stain removers or foam renovators for persistent stains or faded fabric.
Repairing a leather seat
There are many specialized products to help you repair a scratched leather seat:
- A repair paste for tears or holes in a leather seat.
- A unique leather glue to repair a tear in a leather seat.
- A repair resin to fill a tear in a leather seat.
- Leather pigment to renovate your leather seat and varnish to preserve its color.
Repairing the foam of a car seat
You can either buy the original part from your manufacturer, which will already be adapted to your vehicle model or buy foam from a retailer to repair it yourself. However, you will need to get the correct template for your seat before installing it.
It is also possible to reattach the loose foam with neoprene glue, but this solution is not sustainable over time.
Now you know how to properly care for your seats, whether leather or fabric, to avoid stains and maximize their life span. However, if you want to refurbish your seats, or replace them completely with new or used ones, don’t hesitate to call a professional.