How do I clean car seats? Step-by-step guide to cleaning leather, fabric and suede interiors | The Sun

GETTING your car professionally cleaned can prove a costly process if you find yourself doing it all of the time.

With the cost of living in the country escalating by the day, we try and help you cut your outgoings with a step-by-step guide to doing the job yourself.

How to clean leather car seats

Leather seats can seem a more daunting proposition to clean as you worry about ruining them by doing it wrong.

Approaching it in the right way can save you money, protect the seats and leave them looking brand new again.

Check to see if they have any perforated areas

It is important to know what you are dealing with as getting any cleaning solution or water stuck down the holes will cause you problems in the long-term.

Checking your car manual is always a good idea as it may outline anything that is not recommended to be used on your seats.


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Vacuum the seats

Ensure that you use a vacuum hose and attachment.

While you want to get any excess dirt, be careful not to be too heavy-handed as you may scratch the leather.

Remove surface dirt

Spray a microfiber towel with cleaner and wipe the seats.

It is important to apply the cleaner to the cloth and not directly onto the leather seats.

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When it comes to cleaning, use leather cleaner, saddle soap, or another mild leather soap.

Deep clean the leather seats

Spray the cleaner directly onto the seats for this step.

The approach for doing this will depend on whether you have perforations in your seats or not, if you do, apply the cleaning solution to the brush and not the seats.

For this this step you will want to use a soft-bristled brush to deep clean the seats and gently scrub the leather.

Wipe the seats clean

Using a clean and dry microfiber cloth to remove the cleaning product you have just used on the seats.

You should see dirt and grime coming off onto the cloth.

Regularly clean the seats

Lightly cleaning the seats should be done once a month ideally but it is also important to deep clean them three or four times a year.

How to clean fabric car seats

Fabric seats are far easier to regularly maintain than leather seats and this makes it far more sensible to do it yourself than taking your car to have professionally cleaned.

Vacuum the seats

Using a vacuum hose and nozzle, it is important to clear the seats of any dirt or debris.

Pulling the seams apart and getting right in there to ensure any crumbs are cleared away.

Use your fingers to separate sections of the seats to completely clear any loose debris.

Spray light solution onto the fabric

Try not to use an all-purpose cleaner and instead use a fabric or cloth cleaning product.

Spray each area four or five times, do not overspray, as this will saturate the seat and lead to mould or smells on the cushion beneath the cloth.

Use an interior brush on the area

Before moving onto another area of the seat, using a soft-bristled brush, work the area you have just sprayed.

Using anything harder will damage the fibres in the cloth.

Wipe the area clean

Clear away dirty suds using a microfiber cloth and massage the seat with it.

Make sure to do this before the seat dries as the dirt will just re-enter the upholstery.

How to clean suede car seats

Suede seats can often be the most difficult to clean and you do need to take particular care when doing the job.

You will need to make sure you have a suede brush for this.

Brush the seats

Brush the seats in all directions, top to bottom, left to right and repeat.

After scrubbing for several minutes, use a vacuum to collect all of the dirt and debris.

Use a suede eraser

For any stains or marks, using the end of the eraser top and rub in a circular motion.

Immediately use a microfiber cloth to picks up any dirt.

Use a suede upholstery cleaner

Since suede is non-water-resistant material it is important to never spray a cleaning solution directly onto it.

Try using a fluffy white cloth or sponge and spray the solution onto it.

Clean the seats by spraying a small amount of the cleaner onto the sponge or cloth and gently rubbing the area.

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Make sure you have a dry towel to hand to gently rub the area after cleaning to try and get as much moisture out as possible.

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