It usually goes like this: you feel awesome when you see your car being admired by onlookers because of its shiny exterior. You wash it or take it to a car wash facility regularly to maintain its exterior luster. Unknown to others, the luster polish of the exterior hides the water stains from your car seats. The aesthetics are almost perfect, if not for those visible water stains that happen in accident occasionally.
Whether you like it or not, there will be a time that an accident water spillage will happen inside the car. The stains are quite unsightly and look gross even though it’s only a water spill. These stains can stay in the car seat for a long time, which will worsen as more time goes by. Is there a way to remove these stains without pulling out the seats for a separate wash?
Fortunately, with a few rags, water buckets, and cleaners, a car owner can clean the car without getting an interior wash. In this article, we will feature how to remove light water stains for both fabric and leather car seats. Take note: severe cases of heavy liquid spillage that cause mold and mildew should get help from professionals.
How to remove light stain from car seats (fabric)?
For this method, you would need a handful of materials available for automotive cleaning. Here are the things you need to remove car stains in fabric upholstery.
- Interior shampoo (or upholstery shampoo), dry foam
- Foam sponge
- Dry absorbent cloth
- Water (for rinsing)
- Car vacuum
- Vacuum the Area To Remove Dust
The first step is vacuuming loose dirt and dust from the seat. Vacuum the entire area thoroughly to remove all the dust in the upholstery. If not properly done, these particles will mix with the foam and will add more stain to the fabric. Include the seams and other corners while vacuuming to get the best result while foaming.
- Spray the foam cleaner in the stained section
This is an important part: only spray your foam cleaner in one section at a time. You can either clean the whole car seat or cleaning one section only. Overlaps in spraying often happens, which results in uneven cleaning. It’s recommended cleaning the whole car seat to even result in color.
- Scrub the stain out of the affected area
Get the foam sponge and thoroughly clean your car. Dampen the sponge first before scrubbing the seats. For light stains, one spray is enough to remove the stains in the fabric. But for tougher ones, you can add more foam cleaner and rinse the sponge for multiple cleaning.
- Wipe out the seat
Next, get a dry cloth and wipe your wet car seat. Rinse the cloth to the bucket as you go, because it attracts the dirt and dust left behind by the foam cleaner. If the drying cloth can no longer be rinsed properly, replace your cloth and throw away the dirty water inside the bucket.
- Repeat and dry
If you’re cleaning via sections, you can move on from a section to another once you’re done. Repeat the steps 1 to 4 on other sections of the car seat until all the stains are gone.
Optional: you can let the door stay open until the seat is perfectly dry. This is to let air circulation inside the car.
How to remove stain from leather seats?
New and unused leather car seats are not shiny and glossy. It sports a matte finish fresh from the factory. Believe it or not, the shiny polish of leather seats are triggered by dirt and oil accumulated in its surface. For leather seat cleaning, you need a leather cleaner, vacuum, foam sponge, damp cloth, and microfiber wipes.
- Remove dirt and dust via a vacuum.
Cleaning leather seats also require vacuum first and foremost to avoid baking dust and dirt to the leather cleaner foam. Don’t forget to vacuum the hidden corners of a leather seat, especially on flaps and corners where dirt and dust can enter in. Like fabric car seats, you should spray your cleaning agent per section.
- Spray the leather cleaner
Spray the leather cleaner in the area and use a foam sponge to clean up the surface. Ensure that you don’t scrub it too hard as it might damage the material. If you don’t have a firm sponge, you can use a soft brush or any cloth that you won’t use again. A fine brush will help reach out to pockets that the sponge cannot reach. The suds from the leather cleaner will lift the dirt and oil from the leather. Take note: only spray one section at a time for an even polish.
- Clean the dirt using a firm sponge
After getting all the dirt from your leather car seats, it’s time to clean up using a damp cloth. Wipe the leather cleaner suds and bubbles away. Rinse the damp cloth if needed. When the cleaning is done correctly, the sheen of leather should disappear after the wash. It would be back on its original matte shine.
- Finish with microfiber
Last but not least, dry your car seat with a microfiber to remove all the excess from the cleaner. Your car seats should look like how it did many years ago. Then, leave your seats to dry for an hour.
Tip: If you want to keep your seats from fading, then you can apply a conditioner with sunscreen.