Fabric seats: Our tips and tricks to clean these properly

Choosing a fabric interior for your car’s seating makes it easier to keep the seats in good condition. Still, this doesn't mean you’re immune from marks and stains from time to time. So, how do you tackle these types of problems? What methods work best? How do you protect your seats from dirt and stains? ViaMichelin takes a close look at how to keep your car's fabric seats in good condition.
Fabric seats: Our tips and tricks to clean these properly

What products and methods should you use to clean your fabric seats?

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cleaning solutions for your car’s upholstery:

  • White vinegar is a very effective, low-cost solution. Simply dilute 500 ml of white vinegar in 200 ml of hot water and add a little washing-up liquid. Take a sponge, dip it lightly into your solution, then, rub away at the stains. When you’ve finished, rinse the fabric with clean water. That’s all there is to it! Vinegar acts like a disinfectant and is also a deodoriser. It can get rid of food residues, urine and mud stains once they’ve dried.
  • Soda crystals can also help you to clean your fabric seats and other surfaces inside your car. Simply dilute a cup of crystals in a litre of water. Then, use a sponge to clean your fabric seats and other surfaces in your car. Using a damp cloth, wipe the area where you’ve applied the soda crystals, then pat it dry with a towel. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer.
  • Ammonia is also good at cleansing and removing stains. On the other hand, it gives off irritant fumes: Therefore, it’s important to protect your face and make sure the car doors are open when using it. First, dampen a cloth in the ammonia solution, then rub the stain vigorously. Rinse and wipe down the area before drying it. Just like sparkling water, ammonia is especially good at removing vomit stains. You can also use it to remove dried blood stains.
  • Detergent is really the only effective solution for oily stains. Dilute about two caps of detergent in one litre of warm water. Then, use a sponge to carefully dab at the stain. After this, you can use a vacuum cleaner. Repeat the process until all marks and stains have completely disappeared.

Remember: no matter what product you use, it’s best to wear gloves and to clean your vehicle in a well-ventilated place (ideally, outside).

There are also other solutions for cleaning your fabric car seats:

  • Soapy water: Simply take a basin of tap water and use Marseille soap or black soap. This will give you excellent results, especially when using these products on dried mud;
  • Steam cleaners: You can buy or hire these. Steam cleaners are very effective when it comes to cleaning and you don’t need to use any additional cleaning products or solutions.

Some stains need specific treatments:

  • Ink: Prepare a solution of half water and half alcohol or use a solvent;
  • Fresh blood: You can remove this by using a mixture of cold water and flour. Once the area where you’ve applied this has dried, use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the remnants.

Cleaning companies: If you decide to use these services, your vehicle should come back spotless

Do you find you’re lacking the time or motivation to clean your car seats yourself? Now’s the time to call on the professionals! Professional cleaners have all the right equipment and high-tech products to make your vehicle look like new. What’s in it for you? You’ll benefit from a thorough clean, both inside and out.

The prices for professional car cleaning services range from £20 to £150, depending on the model of your car, the level of cleaning required and the cleaning services you choose.

How can you protect your car’s fabric interior?

It’s a little tricky to keep the inside of your vehicle spotless, but here are some tips to help limit the damage:

  • Use seat covers: Choose good quality, breathable and machine washable covers to extend the life of your vehicle’s fabric seats;
  • If taking children in your car, wipe their shoes thoroughly before they get into the vehicle;
  • If you’re transporting animals in your vehicle, use a carry crate or get them to sit on a sheet or towel;
  • Keep some cleaning spray in your car so you can use it straight away if you have any problems.

So, now you know about all the products and tips to get rid of the toughest of stains. If you follow these simple recommendations, your fabric seats will stay clean for a long time to come.