How to Remove Car Seat Stains: The Ultimate Guide for a Spotless Ride

Stains on your car seat make the interior look unappealing, here’s how you can get rid of them effortlessly without damaging the seats.

How to Remove Car Seat Stains: The Ultimate Guide for a Spotless Ride

The first step in maintaining your car interiors in good shape is to keep your car seats clean. But it is easier said than done when you include stains in the picture. Stains are a serious pain to deal with no matter what kind of kind of car seats you have. But there’s no cause for concern when you have this article handy. Read on to learn all about the common types of stains and how to deal with them based on seat material. Put on your cleaning gloves, and let's dive in!

Understanding Different Types of Car Seats

Before we start with stain removal techniques, it's important to familiarize ourselves with the different types of car seats. Most vehicles have either fabric or leather seats, each requiring specific cleaning methods. Understanding your car upholstery will help you tackle stains more effectively.

Know Your Stain

Now you know what type of seat you have, the next step is to find out the type of stain you are dealing with. This is a very easy step, if it’s your car, then you should have no difficulty knowing what the stain is from. If that is not the case, it still wouldn’t be challenging to identify the stain unless it’s very old.

Car Stain

Here are some very common stains types and their best cleaning methods:

  1. Tea or Coffee:
    These are probably the most common type of stains the seats are acquainted with and for good reason. Use a White Vinegar and Water solution in a 1:2 ratio.
  2. Ink:
    If you are the scholarly type or like keeping your pens uncapped, well… there’s no surprise in seeing you here. Just use some rubbing alcohol or a nail polish remover.
  3. Grease or Oil:
    Serves you right for eating in the car is what I would like to say, but you can’t drive hungry or with hungry folks nagging you from the backseat, perfectly understandable. The stain removal method for this is rather straightforward- dish soap solution.
  4. Blood:
    I won’t ask you how or why you got blood over your car seats. But here’s how you can get rid of it- cold water and a mild detergent. But I’m pretty certain a UV light can still expose the stains.
  5. Chocolate:
    First things first, that’s a waste of chocolate, don’t waste chocolate it’s a precious resource. You can get rid of your chocolate embarrassment with some dish soap and water.

Gear Up

Just like how Batman can tackle any situation with enough preparation, we need to prep up to tackle the task at hand. You will need the following cleaning supplies to make the stain disappear.

cleaning tools
  • Clean Cloth/ Sponge
  • Clean Towel
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Soft-bristled brush for cloth seats
  • Leather cleaner for leather seats
  • Cleaning solution for your stain (mentioned in the previous state)

Clean-up Steps

Vacuum the Debris

If you don’t want to make the stain worse and increase your work, it is best to remove all the loose debris and dirt from and around the stain, this you can do with a vacuum. If you don’t have access to a vacuum you can always brush it off with a soft-bristled brush.

Test Your Cleaning Solution

Before you go all out on the stain, pick a small inconspicuous spot of the stain and test out the cleaning solution. This is just in case your car seat is allergic to your cleaning solution, you don’t want it to have a rejection effect, do you? If you didn’t catch my lame attempt at being humorous, I know seats don’t get allergies, but they can get discolored or sustain damage if they react to your cleaning solution.q

Apply the Cleaning Solution

Now that you are done testing the cleaning solution, it should be pretty obvious whether to continue using it or not. In case you have a fabric seat use a piece of clean cloth or sponge, dampen the cloth or sponge with your cleaning solution, and gently blot the stain out. For leather seats apply the leather cleaner onto a piece of cloth and gently wipe the stain. After you are done cleaning the stain, wipe it with a clean cloth to remove any residues.

Preventive Measures

Now that you have successfully completed your task, it’s time to take some preventive measures to make sure you won’t have to do all of this again in case something like this occurs again in the future.

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything in your if you can help it, it’s as simple as that.
  • Use seat covers, in case you spill anything they will save your seats from getting stained.
  • Keep tissues or wiping clothes handy in your car, they can help you quickly clean spills before they turn into stains.

Professional Car Cleaning Services

If your cleaning efforts failed you or if you can’t be bothered to clean it yourself or if you are the cautious type who does not want to experiment on their car you could always leave the stain pain to the professional car cleaning experts.


These steps and information should get you started with helping you remove stains from your car seats. Armed with this knowledge and the right tools, you can confidently decimate any stain that dares smudge your seat. Remember to use the appropriate method for your car seat type or you will just end up making it worse.