How to Remove Stains From Car Seat Covers


From coffee and soda to grease and mud, the inside of a car can take a beating from stains. Car seat covers accumulate years of debris, and some of these contaminants form unsightly blemishes on the cover's surface. Some stains that have been left untreated may be impossible to remove. However, if you take immediate action on a fresh stain, the chance of removal is greater. When trying to remove stains from car seat covers, start with simple measures before moving to more extreme methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean towels
  • Brush
  • Mild soap
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Upholstery shampoo
  • Baking soda
  • Car vacuum
  • Remove any visible remnants of the staining material. Use towels to blot any liquid residue from soda or coffee. Scrape off any gum or mud that has attached itself to the seat cover.

  • Apply a mild or neutral soap to the stain and use a moist, clean towel to wipe the area. Mild soap has a pH level of about 7 and will not harm the car seat's fabric. A brush can also be used to scrub the stain.

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the stained area if the simple soap method was unsuccessful. Allow the mixture to set on the stain before blotting dry with a clean towel.

  • Use a shampoo specific to car upholstery. These products can be purchased in any auto parts stores and feature a more heavy-duty cleaning agent. Follow the directions on the product for application.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and allow it to set for at least 15 minutes. Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that removes the stench associated with some stains. After the baking soda has set, vacuum the car seat cover clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, remove the car seat cover from the vehicle. This can provide easier access to the stain, allowing you to better treat the area.
  • Open the windows of the vehicle upon completion of the cleaning process. This creates air flow that will dry the car seats quickly.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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