How to Clean Car Upholstery in 15 Minutes or Less

What is Upholstery?

Before discussing Car Upholstery, let’s talk about the word Upholstery! What does the term Upholstery mean?

Well, the term upholstery was introduced in upgrading or molding old sofa into new by changing; leather top, adding more to cushions, replacing old springs with new, and adding new looks to its general appearance. It used to refer for your home sofas, chairs or your auto seats.

But It has now grown widely covering home furniture, curtains, auto detailing including interior and body paint other than legendary sofa upgrade. And now as expanding more to its meaning is commonly in use for remodeling boats and small aircraft for the same, adding the alteration of fiber body to yachts.

Okay now, let’s come to the main topic!

What is Car Upholstery?


How to clean car upholstery
How to Clean Car Upholstery.

Upholstery is gradually changing its meaning towards auto detailing. In other words, covering the formation of old car seats into modern articulated seats, doors interior upgrade… etc

Car Upholstery includes dashboard tops, body-paint, front and back lights customization, replacement of old tire rim with fancy alloy rims. It also deals with the replacement of old heavyweight engine with a new efficient lightweight engine and much more.

Guidance to Learn How to Clean Car Upholstery

Learning how to clean car upholstery can be made simple when you follow the guidelines in steps. For this, you need to know start with the removable parts of the upholstery. These are the fabrics, cushions, headliners, sun visors, carpets, panel covers, steering wheel covers and dashboard upholstery. Once you have taken them out you can clean them individually. The rest of the interior non-removable upholstery can be cleaned with the help of vacuum cleaners, air blowers, steam blowers and other tools.

How to Clean Car Upholstery.
How to Clean Car Upholstery. Vacuuming Car seats…

Step 1 – How to Clean Car Upholstery Accessories

    • The car carpet is the first part you would like to clean. Take a large container and fill it with warm water. Add two cups of carpet cleaning shampoo and stir well. Dip the carpet and let it soak for about 20 minutes. Then you can use a brush to scrub the carpet all over. If there are any stains, dirt and soil deposits you need to spray the stain and dirt removing liquid on those specific spots. Soak again for another 15 minutes and scrub. This will take out all the stain marks. Let the carpet day in the sun.


    • The interior fabrics like the neck and lower back cushions, seat cushions window screens and accessories covers can be cleaned with foam based fabric cleaners. Use small sized brushes to remove the stains. Wash the cushion covers made of fabrics with liquid concentrates mixed with water.

Check: Best Car Upholstery Cleaners

Step 2 – How to Clean Car Upholstery Interiors

  • The first part you need to clean is the ceiling. Use a soft cloth to rub the entire surface for removing the dirt and dust. Then spray the stain remover and use the scrubber. Be careful while cleaning any electronic and remote sensing installations. You can use a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to remove the stains.


  • You can now proceed to vacuum cleaning the seats. Make sure that you have removed the dirt and dust from the corners and grooves. Use the stain removing liquid and tough to clean stains and soil accumulations. You need to let the liquid soak the spots before scrubbing. Hard stains from grease can be tough to clean. But you can’t afford to use hard brushes on seat upholstery fabrics for the fear of causing scratches and tear marks. Hence you need to be vigilant in the process of scrubbing.
    Use the concentrated liquid instead of mixing it with water and other solvents.For this, you can depend on spray types which have stronger concentrated liquids which can be used directly. At the same time, you need to ensure that they are free from chemical ingredients which can corrode the upholstery material.


    • You can find seams on the car seats which attract dirt and dust. You need to use a toothbrush for cleaning these areas.


    • Then proceed to vacuum the dashboard and the front panel completely. Avoid using water-based liquids for the panels. Instead, you can opt for aerosol based liquids which dry faster without leaving any spots.


    • Use a steam cleaner on the interior upholstery all over. This will take out the hardest of dirt and grease spots with ease. You can use only water or combination of water with cleaning liquids for generating the steam. For this, you need to use the liquids which can evaporate faster. Water-based liquids are said to be ideal for this. If you are using the steam cleaner on metal surfaces you can opt for oil based cleaning liquids to be mixed with water for generating steam. They should have the ingredients with rustproof characteristics.When you steam treat the metallic surfaces in this method you are ensuring a protective layer of rustproof ingredients also.Car Upholstery


    • Now you can clean the car floor and the seats with the pressure wash. When you do this you can also clean the external surfaces and parts of the car. You need to be careful to avoid splashing of water into the electronic gadgets, so control the water below. Then you can use a hot air blower to dry the cleaned upholstery.


  • The whole process of car upholstery cleaning can be done using manual or automated methods. If you are using manual methods you will be opting for handheld devices and equipment which can be time-consuming. On the other hand, automated upholstery cleaning can lower the time consumption and ensure accurate cleaning also.

For this, you need to take your car to a professional service provider who knows how to clean car upholstery in a methodical manner. This may be expensive compared to manual cleaning, but you can experience the practical benefits of efficient workmanship and long life of your upholstery. This can also ensure cleaner and hygienic environment within your car interiors.

How To Clean Car Seat Stains [Steps]

Car seats always get stains no matter how careful you are. Whenever you are eating or drinking something and you accidentally spill the drink or some chunks of food items find their way to the seats and leave stains on the seats. You can easily clean your car seats by the following steps.

1. Use a dry cleaning brush to scrub off any bits and dirt from the seats.

2. Vacuum your car seats to lift off any dirt or debris from the seats.

3. You can either buy an interior shampoo or make some cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons of dish soap and 2 tablespoons of washing soda in a bowl with two cups of hot water. Use a cleaning brush to dip into the bowl of mixture and work over the brush on the car seat. Gently dampen the stains but don’t soak the fabric.

4. Next step is to wipe the car seats using a clean towel till the seat is cleaned.

5. Open the car windows and let the car seats to dry off completely.

How To Get Stains Out Of Car Upholstery

Your car seat upholstery can encounter many different kinds of stains. Getting stains out of your car upholstery can be a headache. You cannot save your car seats from getting stains all the time but what you can do is you simply clean the stains by using simple techniques and keep your car clean. A few techniques are given below:

  • Use a stain remover to treat the stain, be sure to test the stain remover on an inconspicuous spot so you know the stain remover won’t ruin your upholstery.
  • Pretreat your leather upholstery with a leather conditioner for any stubborn stains. Then use the leather stain remover and work it on the stain. Let the stain remover settle for half an hour then wipe it off.
  • Greasy and oily stains such as food grease stains or lipstick stains can be removed by using some watered down paint formula and a cotton cloth. Dip the cotton cloth in the thinner and rub it in the stain. Sprinkle some salt over the stain and leave it overnight. Vacuum the area of the stain. ( note: test the thinner on your upholstery to make sure it won’t ruin or stain the upholstery )
  • To clean blood stains from your upholstery, never use hot water or soap as it will set the stain. Soak a piece of cloth in cold water and blot it on the blood stain. Rinse n clean the cloth in cold water and blot again till the stain lifts.
  • One way of cleaning stains is using commercial upholstery cleaners that are available at home supply stores. These products are not very expensive. Instructions are provided along with the products to use them properly and cleaning the stains from the car upholstery.

A Guide on How To Clean Car Carpets [Steps]

Keeping your car carpets is a good thing as it results in keeping your cars overall appearance. Cleaning car carpets might not be too important but it can always get you extra marks for maintaining your vehicle. This does not take a lot of time and is a very simple process. You can easily clean your car carpets by following the simple steps given below:

  • Remove the floor mats from the car and shake them so most of the dirt and other trash fall off. Then keep the carpets beside the car in a dry area.
  • Vacuum the car floor thoroughly under the pedals and also under the seats so you can clean all the dirt and trash inside the car before we start washing. Try not to leave any dirt behind.
  • You can buy and use any carpet cleaner from the market as you like. Spray the carpet cleaner shampoo on the carpet and let it sit for 10 minutes. Work the shampoo on the carpet using a soft-bristle brush.
  • Use a wet rag to dampen the shampooed areas. Try pulling as much soap as possible without getting the carpet too wet.
  • Open the doors of the car for a few hours and let the cloth floor to dry. Leave the car doors open till the carpets are completely dry.

What is the Cost To Reupholster Car Seats

Car reupholstery gives you an amazing look and your car seems luxurious. As well as it looks amazing, but with time the grace of the upholstery dies and you need to reupholster your car seats. You need to see carefully if you really need to do it, can you afford it and is it worth the investment or not. Reupholstering your car seats is a good way to change your interior look but it is better to do so if you need to repair any damages.

You can get your car seats reupholstered by any automotive upholstery shop. You have to pay for the labor and the material used. Better quality material costs more. The labor includes removing the old upholstery, adding foam and batting the damaged areas and reupholstering the car seats and making the fabric to hold in place. Pricing for every case is different according to the material and the labor. Luxury car seats are upholstered leather or high-quality fabric and the cost for such upholstery work runs about $320 to $350 for one seat. The standard vinyl material is cheap relevant to leather or high-quality fabric so it costs around $125 per seat. Car seat upholstery for factory quality can cost you around $200 to $250 for each seat.

The cost for reupholstering car seats depends on the material used and the labor required.

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