Your car may get a little dirty from time to time. Okay, maybe your car can get really dirty from time to time. But with pets, kids, trips to the beach, or a night out with your friends, you can expect your car to look – for lack of a better word – unpleasant. And while your floor mats can receive the bulk of the beating, your car seats are never truly safe.
From kids jumping with their shoes on to four-legged companions bringing their muddy feet right onto the seat, your car can’t seem to get a break. And what if you have a date tonight, or you have to pick up your friends for a fancy event, or your mom’s coming to town, and you don’t want her seeing your rust bucket of a car. What do you do?
Well, you’re in luck. Because in this guide, we will go over all of the different ways that you can get rid of stains with ease. This guide will help your car look brand new, even if you don’t really have the budget to go through a car wash. However, before we can get into how you can clean the stains from your car, you will need a few things.
Things You Need
You will have to pick up a few things from the store before you can get to cleaning your car’s interiors. Whether you have leather seats, cloth seats, car floor mats, or carpet floor mats, here are some things that will come in handy.
Club Soda/Baking Soda
Both of these work great on your car’s cloth interiors, especially the seats. They can help remove tough stains right from your seat without destroying the upholstery. People even use both of these solutions interchangeably, as they have virtually the same effect on cloth seats.
Laundry detergent is also a very effective tool when removing stains that are more stubborn. Laundry detergent is also a popular choice among drivers because it leaves a nice smell after cleaning.
This is a great solution to clean any type of interior. Leather or cloth seats, plastic or carpet foot mats, regardless of your interior, white vinegar will help take those stains right off.
This a fairly creative technique that mostly works on leather interiors. Applying toothpaste can be very effective in taking off stains.
Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover is also a very effective way to clean your car’s interiors, as long as they are leather. Nail polish remover, unfortunately, doesn’t do much for cloth seats.
Soft Nylon Brush
You will also need a soft nylon cleaning brush to scrub the stains off the interiors. It is also important that you get a soft brush, as you don’t want to scratch the leather seats, ruin the upholstery of the carpet mats, or tear the cloth seats.
With all of these things now in your possession, you can start with the actual cleaning process.
Removing Stains from Your Floor Mats
Whether its raspberry juice, coffee, or awful ketchup stains, your floor mat is often at the receiving end of some serious punishment. And since it’s most likely that your floor mats contain most of the stains, we’ll start from there. Here are a few ways that you can remove stains from both your carpet and car floor mat.
EVA Foam Floor Mat
EVA foam floor mats are possibly the easiest floor mats to clean since they don’t absorb any liquids. That said, it’ll take more than a wipe from a wet rag to clean stains from an EVA foam mat.
Step 1: Get the Vacuum
Before you can get to cleaning your stain, you will have to give your car floor mat a nice vacuum. Even if your main objective is just to get a stain off, you shouldn’t neglect the rest of your car mat from the care that it deserves. The best part about vacuuming car mats is that they don’t necessarily require the same level of care. A quick run over the surface can get most of the dirt and debris off from the floor mat.
Step 2: Use White Vinegar
Since you are not washing your car mat, white vinegar should help get stains right off your mat. First, add white vinegar to a spray bottle that will help you better use the solution to help you clean. Once you add the white vinegar to the bottle, you can now spray it onto the stain. After applying the white vinegar to the stains, simply wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. This should get the stain right off your car floor mat.
As we said, EVA foam mats are incredibly easy to clean. This is because you don’t have to worry about brushing down a certain way or being too careful with the upholstery. Of course, if you don’t have a vacuum, you can just take the mats out and give them a good whack against the wall. This should get most of the dirt and debris out of the floor mat.
Carpet Floor Mats
Carpet floor mats are possibly the worst interior in your car to clean, seeing how they require a lot more care than their EVA foam counterpart. While they may improve the look of your interior, they do come at the cost of being an absolute pain to clean. Moreover, carpets can absorb stains, making them even more difficult to clean. Here is how you can clean those pesky stains.
Step1: Scoop Up and Clean
The first thing that you will have to do if the stain is fresh is to clean it up with a spoon. You can’t remove the stain without taking off the excess liquid or paste first. When you get the excess stain off the carpet, or the stain is now dry, you can now start cleaning the carpet. As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t neglect your carpet the care that it deserves. This is especially the case with carpets, as they require that extra time and care in order for them to last.
Give your carpet floor a nice vacuum, and be sure to scrape up most of the debris and bits off your carpet. Cleaning up your carpet from the bits and debris will also help in better cleaning off the stain.
Step 2: Prepare Your Solution
Once you are done vacuuming the carpet, prepare a solution that will help you get that stain off. The solution can be widely different depending on the approach that you are willing to take. Here are some of the solutions you can choose from:
These are just a few of the many solutions that you can use to help get rid of tough stains. However, some of these solutions are better for different types of stains. You should not use hydrogen peroxide paste on your normal stains, as this may damage your carpet. You should only use it on stains that are very old and refuse to come off your carpet.
Step 3: Apply the Solution
After your solution is ready, apply it to your stain and scrub gently. Of course, you will not be scrubbing the paste. Simply leave the paste for 15-20 minutes, and then wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. This should get rid of even the most stubborn of stains.
However, for liquid solutions, there will be plenty of scrubbing. After applying the solution on the stain, use a soft bristle brush to scrub the solution onto the stain gently. This scrubbing should create plenty of foam on the carpet, which will soon soak up the stain.
You should be careful when scrubbing and not be too harsh with the carpet. Scrubbing with too much force can ruin your carpet’s upholstery, or ruin its feel. You should also scrub in a circular motion as that can help remove stains faster.
Step 4: Wipe Clean
Once you get done with scrubbing the stain off your carpet, it is time to wipe off all the foam from the carpet. Preferably, use a microfiber cloth when wiping. And if the stain persists, but looks faded, give your solution of choice another go. But if the stain still doesn’t leave, you can then use baking soda paste, or hydrogen peroxide paste to get rid of your stain.
Cleaning Your Seats
While your carpets certainly receive the bulk of the punishment when it comes to dirt, they are not the only interiors to get stains on them. Your car seats can also be prone to stains, especially if you have some very clumsy and messy friends. So let’s talk about how you will clean your seats.
Since there are two major types of upholstery when it comes seats – leather and cloth – we will talk about each in detail.
The crunchy feel mixed with amazing colors makes leather a prime choice for car owners. But due to the premium quality of material, you will have to be very careful with these seats when washing them.
Step 1: Vacuum and Scrape
The first thing that you will do when cleaning your leather seat is, say it with us now, scrape and vacuum. Leather seats are expensive, so if you are cleaning the stain, you might as well give your seats a nice vacuum.
You should also scrape the stain off your leather seat, as to avoid it spreading more than it needs to. Not to mention, you can only get to cleaning your leather seat after you take off the excess stain.
Step 2: Prepare Your Solution
After cleaning the seat, it’s time to choose your weapon for fighting off the stains. Your solutions can include:
These are about all that you can use on leather, without having to worry about ruining the leather.
Step 3: Apply the Solution
Apply the solution to the stain, and let it rest for a minute or two. Once you apply the solution, you can start scrubbing the leather seat gently. Use a circular motion as you scrub, and be very careful while you scrub. If you scrub too hard, you might scratch or, worse tear the leather from your seat.
As for the toothpaste, do not scrub it. Instead, apply the paste to the stain and leave it there for 10-15 minutes. You can then wipe the paste clean with a microfiber cloth. This should get the stains off your leather seat.
Step 4: Use a Little Bit of Leather Conditioner
When you are done cleaning your seat, you might as well use a little bit of leather conditioner to make your seats last longer. The conditioner will keep your leather safe from wrinkles and will help retain most of its crunchiness.
These are possibly the easiest to clean, as you don’t have to worry as much about damaging the material. You can use solutions like baking soda or laundry detergent to help remove some of those stains. The vinegar mixture works especially well with the cloth car seats, making it ideal for most car owners.
With that, we come to an end of our guide on getting rid of car seat stains. Whether they are on the car seat or on the floor mats, with this guide, you can clean off any stain. And while it may get a little tedious at times, it is the only way to make your car look clean and fresh. More importantly, these DIY tricks are completely simple and incredibly easy to use.