Today, I’m going to teach you how to clean your cloth interior car seats in the most efficient way I have found that won’t break the bank. The method I’ll be using is a standard off-the-shelf carpet cleaner that I picked up for about a hundred and fifty bucks and it comes with a bagged attachment for a smaller wand specifically for upholstery and those hard to reach places. The cleaning solution I am using is the Zep premium carpet shampoo concentrate which smells halfway decent, clean stains and is definitely something that is up to the job.
As you can see I have two car seats here from my 1997 Honda Civic and the one on the left is definitely showing a lot of dirt and grime especially on the bolsters. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is you definitely don’t want to over saturate the carpet because you will extend the time to dry substantially regardless of the extraction method. Make sure it’s a sunny day so you can let it sit outside after the cleaning process is complete.
Step 1: Vacuum the car seats to remove any surface dirt before you start scrubbing because all you’re going to do is scrub that dirt into the fabric and make your extraction much more difficult.
One thing to keep in mind especially throughout this whole process is that depending on which direction you vacuum or if it’s forward back left or right, you will leave lines on the fabric. Don’t let that deceive you when you’re working through the carpet cleaning process because it will make it look like there is dirt in certain areas when it’s not. Just press it over with your hand to move it around if you need to and double check. I know some of you are thinking why am I using just a standard carpet cleaner but to be honest it actually works really really well for this sort of job and you can use it around your house. If you guys are interested in something more professional and you do have a detailing business or you just want to spend the extra money by all means there’s plenty of options out there that are much more capable and rugged than a standard off-the-shelf carpet cleaner
Step 2: Mix five ounces of the concentrate cleaner in one gallon of hot water. One thing I always recommend is if you can get hot water always use hot water because it will always clean better in a carpet cleaner
Step 3: Start extracting in slightly overlapping lines and take your time, go slow and allow the extractor to pull out as much water as possible. Subsequent passes without spraying additional cleaner will extract further water.
Step 4 (Optional): Use a bristled brush to agitate the fabric if you have heavy staining and dirt buildup and followup with the carpet cleaner to remove the lifted debris.
Step 5: (Optional): Follow up with an additional 2-3 passes after extracting cleaner from the seat if the fabric is especially dirty.
Step 6: Highly recommend just letting it sit out in the sun on a warm day to dry as it will speed up the process over leaving to sit in your garage or car.
One thing to keep in mind guys if you don’t want to buy an extractor or any carpet machine, you do have the option to rent one for $30-50 a day instead. If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful share on your socials and check out the video as well to see the before and after results with the method listed above.