Wouldn’t it be nice if your beloved car seats are stain-proof?
You’d probably be a lot more enthusiastic to go on a road trip and food trip with your family and pets. You might also be more confident about inviting your booze-loving friends over without worrying about the possible mess. But since you’re afraid to stain your car seats, chances are that you have set strict car rules for protection, which tend to kill all the fun.
Luckily, removing tough stains can be a piece of cake. Here are 10 common car seat stains and how to tackle them with home remedies.
Note: In this guide, “rinse” means dabbing the area with a cloth dipped in water until all traces of soap or solution are gone. When cleaning car seats, you can use water but only in small amounts. Excess water may seep deep into the material and affect it underneath.
So, someone had her “time of the month.” Before turning this into a fight, check out these easy home remedies for removing blood stains.
- Several home remedies include saltwater solution, baking soda solution, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon combo, cold water, and liquid soap solution, and meat tenderizer paste.
- Make sure to use cold water for the removal of blood stains. Never steam or apply hot water. Doing so will only “cook” the blood, making it harder to remove, or worse, making the stain become permanent.
Stuck in the traffic? Sketching, doodling, and writing a poetry are great things to do to kill the boredom – except if one accidentally gets your car seat inked.
- Hairspray can be used to remove ink stains.
- A little rubbing alcohol mixed with water works too.
- For tougher stains, use an organic or all-purpose cleaner or upholstery cleaner. Skip upholstery cleaners if you’re dealing with leather and vinyl seats, for they can harden the material.
3. Bubble Gum
Stuck gums are irritating. Before you take that fresh, soft gum out of the upholstery the moment you see it, read on first.
- One of the best ways to remove bubble gum is by “freezing” it first. Put an ice pack over the area for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the gum hardens, scrape it off with a dull knife or razor blade. Keep the blade flat to prevent poking holes in the fabric.
- Gently scrub the area with an old toothbrush dipped in white vinegar to get rid of any residue.
- If your car seat cover is genuine or faux leather, better remove residues by sticking scotch tape over the area and peeling it off.
Chocolates are nice until they melt, soil your fingers, and stain your car interior.
- Never wipe off fresh chocolate stains with a tissue or cloth. It will not hide the crime – it will just smudge and set deeper into the material. Instead, add ice over the area and scrape it off when it hardens, like how you would with a gum.
Wash chocolate residues with a damp cloth dipped in water and dishwashing liquid solution. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Who can say no to burgers and fries on the road? No one, except you if you’re a driver who’s sick of cleaning the traces of every McDonald’s drive-thru on your seats.
- Blot the catsup squirts from your upholstery.
- Dab the stained area with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Apply some liquid detergent and wipe gently until there are no catsup residues left.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry.
You grabbed a cup of joe on your way to work. Just when you’re about to take a sip, that unanticipated road hump appeared.
- Use a tissue paper to blot off excess coffee.
- For cloth car seats, spray the area with the water-vinegar solution. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- For vinyl and leather car seats, wipe off the stained area with water and liquid detergent. Rinse and dry as well.
Applying your makeup while on the road is a talent shared by most women – but not all are skilled to prevent the mess.
- The unlikely combo of toothpaste and alcohol works to remove lipstick stains. Apply white toothpaste over the stain. Wipe it off with a damp cloth. Then, dab the area with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to get rid of the residue.
8. Oil and Grease
Whether it’s a small amount of fried chicken grease or a huge amount of spilled fuel, oil can be a tough foe.
- For oil: A small volume of dishwashing liquid on the affected area works on oil. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and rub with a damp cloth to rinse. Just take note: dishwashing liquid residue can cause cloth upholstery to fade. Make sure to rinse well to get rid of the dishwashing liquid.
- For grease and gasoline stains: Use a mixture of equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray the stain and let it sit for an hour. Rub with a damp cloth to rinse.
- For tougher stains, use one-part paint thinner and one-part water solution and apply using a cloth. Let it rest for not more than 5 minutes, and rinse with clean water.
Whether it’s a result of a passenger’s motion discomfort or irresponsible drinking, vomit is every car owner’s nightmare. It has ruined a lot of relationships for sure.
- Get rid of the vomit with tissue, then gently wipe the affected area with a damp cloth and some liquid detergent. Rinse and dry.
- While it’s easy to get rid of vomit visually, the smell may still linger in your car’s interior. When this happens, sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area.
Removing urine stains is way easier than having your little kid (or pet) potty-trained.
- Place newspapers or kitchen paper towels over the area to absorb the wetness.
- Follow the instructions for removing vomit to get rid of the traces of urine.
- For best results, try using steam. These will remove germs and bacteria that come with the organic waste.
You can also amp up the protection by choosing the right car seat covers for your lifestyle.
Mina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for The TuffSeat, a leading supplier of genuine accessory seat covers to the Australian car market, offering vehicle-specific car seat covers for top brands including. Toyota, Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi, Hino, Fuso, Isuzu Trucks, and more. She loves writing about automobiles, travel, and lifestyle.