No matter how careful you try to be, at some point, you’re likely to get stains on your precious car seat. Now, I know that the first thing that comes to mind might be taking your car to the car wash but this depends on the kind of stain. If it’s ink or just a little stain, then you could totally follow this guide, otherwise, the car wash is your best bet for cleaning.
This article contains a guide on how to remove stain from your car seat without trouble. On a lighter note, of all the most common materials used as car seat covers, vinyl and leather are the most delicate and requires detailed attention in order to get the stains off and preserve the integrity of the material while at it.
Therefore, I will provide two guides, each concerning vinyl and leather respectively. Also, you should note that in DIY, there are lots of materials found in our homes that can be used to remove ink from car seat covers. While they might be effective, to say the least, it’s in your best interest to use products manufactured specifically for this purpose to avoid unnecessary consequences.
However, to use such products, all you have to do is follow the instruction attached to it, and you’ll be fine.
Before anything, take the covers off the seat! Applying any solvent to the cover while it’s still on will leave a lasting impression on the seat foam, and you don’t want your car smelling like chemicals after cleaning.
Removing Stain From Leather Car Seat Covers
Leather is not a very delicate material, but if you’re careless enough, you’ll make the ink spill permanent. In this section, I will explain the use of three different solvents that can be found in most homes.
Alcohol or Methylated Spirit:
There’s not much difference between the chemical compositions of both materials when it comes to cleaning, except for the smell if you’re not a fan of alcohol. All you need to do is carefully apply to the desired area and rub with a cotton swab. This will dampen the ink and make it retrievable.
Then blot it with a clean (preferably tissue paper) microfiber cloth. Make sure you don’t spread the ink while doing this. After a few tries, you could follow with a nice soap wash. If done right, it should be clean in a matter of minutes. Washing will also replace the alcohol or methylated spirit smell with a nice fragrance from the soap.
Nail Polish Remover:
Ladies would be more familiar with this product. You can use this in the same process as the methylated spirit. Washing it afterward with soap is still a preferable addition afterward.
Aerosol Brake Parts Cleaner:
Compared to nail polish removers and methylated spirit, this solvent is more potent when reacting to clothing materials, so, extra caution is required of you. Also, do not use the type that foams so that you don’t complicate the issue.
What these solvents do is dampen the ink, so that you can retrieve it with a clean cloth, and not direct washing. Direct washing more than likely tends to make the ink spread to other parts, thus complicating the issue.
Removing Stain From Vinyl Car Seat Covers
For vinyl car seat covers, the procedure is a bit more complicated in terms of cleaning. You will need an all-purpose cleaner, mild soap, household ammonia, spray bottle, soft cloths or paper towels, and water (obviously).
Considering the delicate nature of vinyl, it’s best to first test the cleaner on a small and hidden section of the cover to see if it won’t cause any more trouble for you.
Start by applying the cleaner to the area affected by the stain. Afterward, gently wipe the soft with a clean paper towel, or clean soft cloth without applying too much pressure. You can repeat that process until the stain is significantly reduced. Then rinse the area with water, without letting it spread to other parts of the cover.
After that, there’s a chance that some of the stains will remain on the cloth, even if it’s just a fade. To remove that, damp the clean cloth (preferably a different one compared to the one used earlier) with a little amount of ammonia and place the cloth on the stain for a few moments.
Then using that same cloth, gently wipe the area till the stain is completely removed. Finally, wash the entire seat cover with mild soap to even the look, and give it a better fragrance than the ammonia.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.