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How to Clean Car Seats

vacuum cleaning up car seats

You sit in your car every day, so why not treat it with the care it deserves? Cleaning your car seats at home only requires a few simple steps and materials, no matter if you have cloth or leather seats. Use these step-by-step instructions to keep your ride comfortable during every trip through Westbury and beyond!

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How to Clean Leather Car Seats

To get started, you will need the following materials:

  1. Leather cleaner, saddle soap, mild leather soap, or 1 part white vinegar/2 parts linseed oil solution
  2. Microfiber towels
  3. Interior brush (soft-bristled, not a stiff carpet brush)


  1. Before starting, check your owner’s manual for any specific instructions for your model and product recommendations.
  2. Vacuum the seats to remove all particles, being sure to not scratch the leather. Use the smaller attachments or an air compressor to get into the cracks.
  3. Spray your leather cleaner on the microfiber towel to wipe the seats clean, removing surface dirt and oils.
  4. If you have perforated leather seats, spray onto the brush to apply to the seats, gently scrubbing the surface with the brush.
  5. Wipe the seats with a dry microfiber towel.

How to Clean Fabric Car Seats

You will need:

  1. Cleaning solution spray designed for fabric (but not an all-purpose cleaner)
  2. Interior brush (soft or medium stiff bristles, no stiff carpet brushes)
  3. Microfiber towels

Note that cleaning cloth seats will make them damp, so give yourself enough time to clean before your next drive. Instructions:

  1. Vacuum the seats to remove all dust, dirt, crumbs, and hair. Use the smaller vacuum attachments to get into the cracks and seams of each seat. (If you have a lot of pet hair in your car, you may need to also wipe down the seat with a lint roller or special pet hair removal tool.)
  2. Open the doors or windows for ventilation, and then lightly spray the cleaning solution onto the seats. Avoid oversaturating the fabric to prevent mildew issues.
  3. Use the interior brush to gently massage the cleaning solution into the fabric.
  4. Wipe suds out of the fabric with the microfiber towel. Be sure to work quickly, because if the fabric dries before you do this, the dirt will be pulled back into the fibers.
  5. Continue this process until you are satisfied with the condition of your seats.
  6. Vacuum the seats once more to accelerate the drying process. Let the seats finish drying before using the car.

Alternatives to Fabric Cleaner

If you don’t have any upholstery cleaner accessible, try using these additional cleaning options:

  1. Baking Soda: Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water together, using a toothbrush to scrub out tough stains. After scrubbing, let sit for 30 minutes, then use a clean cloth or towel to blot away the stain.
  2. Vinegar: Combine1 cup of vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and a gallon of hot water. Dab onto the seats and scrub with a brush. Use clean water and a microfiber towel to remove the dirt and suds.
  3. Club Soda: Use a spray bottle to apply a light layer of club soda to the fabric, and a soft-bristle brush to scrub out the stains. Be sure to wipe away the dirt as it comes to the surface.
  4. Laundry Detergent: Mix detergent with hot water and apply the solution with a spray bottle or sponge. Use cold water on a microfiber cloth to scrub and wipe the dirt away.

Maintain Your Vehicle with Rallye BMW

The service pros at Rallye BMW have a wide variety of service tips and tricks to keep your new car performing at its best for years to come! Whether you have questions about your warning lights, cleaning floor mats, or want to learn how to program your key, we’re here to help! Contact us today to schedule your next service appointment.

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