How To Clean Your Car Seats With Soap And Water

I’ve always wanted to know if I should scrub the car seat with soap and vinegar. I say, if it’s feasible, it’s a really economical option. So I’ve given it a try:

Yes, you can disinfect your car’s leather, fabric, and plastic seats with soap and water without damaging them. If you have fingerprints on your car seat, you should use baking soda to remove them. Choose a bright day to make sure the car seat is completely dry.

I think this topic not only needs an explanation but the seat can also be cleaned with soap and water. Let me clarify why and how you can disinfect car seats.

Understanding Car Leather

Pigmented leather is the most popular style of leather used in modern automobiles. After cleaning, tanning, and dyeing the leather from pure animals, the perfect quality and color can be obtained.

The leather is cleaned and tanned after collection from the vehicle at the source. Chrome tanning is the most popular method of tanning process for automotive leather. This is because chromium sulfate is used in the process, not because the leather is soaked in chromium (which is ridiculous).

Tanning is a time-consuming procedure and requires a lime bath to wash the hair and water from the hide. The leather is then rehydrated by immersing it in a chromium sulfuric acid bath and then in water. As a result, the leather takes on a bluish hue. This indicates that the material is about to be colored and finished.

Why is it important to clean car seats?

Most car owners want to control their expenses. Some owners do it for aesthetic reasons, while others simply despise bacteria. It doesn’t matter if they do it as long as they do it. Here are some examples of why you can keep your car interior clean:

There are twice as many bacteria on car seats as there are in toilets:

This may come as a surprise, but it’s real. We all eat while driving. We also consume fluids. That’s why a handful of food lands on the bench and stays there. The University of Birmingham examined car seats at random and discovered a hundred highly harmful bacteria and fungi.

This is more than double the amount of bacteria present on toilet seats. I realize that if we sit on the toilet seat, we are directly susceptible to microbes, but some of us drive around in shorts/skirts. Even wearing jeans is a problem. You lay on the couch after driving and contaminate it.


Pollen allergy is one form of allergy. Consider picking up a dust-allergic acquaintance or partner. You could instantly make them sick.

Maintain price value:

For some reason, you must sell the automobile that will become the focal point of your existence. A well-kept interior space can increase the price.

How to inspect leather seats

1. Prepare your seats

Clean the leather seats and leather interior trim with a vacuum cleaner. Pay close attention to seams and stitching. To avoid friction damage when washing or sitting on a leather bench, vacuum as much dirt, dust, and sand from the surface as possible.

2. Take a sample

Vigorously wipe each surface with a damp microfiber towel. Do not use excessive pressure when cleaning the leather seat. Disregard if stain removal is difficult. I will deal with that later.

The key is to remove all the extra dirt from the surface of the leather. It’s also a safe idea to check the color transition. Pay close attention to some faded places on leather chairs.

3. Results

Determine the amount of cleaning required. You can now proceed after vacuuming and cleaning the seat. If the seat has become excessively discolored due to deep soiling, you can use a leather cleaner. You do not need to do anything if the seat is sufficiently clear after the initial cleaning and sufficiently clean (e.g. in a new car).

To further protect the leather seat from friction injuries, it is highly recommended to use a protective leather cover. A uniform and elegant leather protective cover will nourish and preserve the quality of the leather surface of older cars (wrinkled and faded leather seats). More on this later.

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Leather car seats are expensive and require advanced techniques. There are several methods to ruin leather car seats. That’s why I want you to follow my directions.

Step 1: Gather the materials

You need water, hand sanitizer, olive oil, and a soft cloth. Before you start, do a little test cleaning in some secret areas to make sure your seat doesn’t get shinier.

Step 2: Soak the rag

Soak the rag by dipping it in the paste and then squeezing out the excess steam.

Step 3: Cleaning cloth

Start cleaning your car seat. Start with the stained area, as you will have to use a lot of force. After scrubbing, soak another clean cloth in water and scrub the car seat to make sure no soap residue remains.

Step 4: Dry rag

Wipe the car seat with a dry cloth before continuing. Also, open the door and leave the car for 30 minutes to dry.

Step 5: Condition the leather

Remember how I described olive oil? Now is where it comes into service. Olive oil is an excellent leather conditioner. It will have the perfect shine.

How to Clean Vinyl Seats

The seat is made of vinyl and is very comfortable. However, they need to be washed regularly, like any other bench. Use a sponge or warm cloth to clean it.

1. Maintenance instructions:

Make sure you have read the vinyl seat repair instructions before you begin. Each vinyl seat is different from the others.

2. Cushions:

Remove the movable cushions from your seat before you begin. Clean the cushions separately.

3. Mild cleaning implements:

Soft cleaning materials such as sponges, soft brushes, or rags can be used. If you use old cleaning materials, you risk tearing the vinyl seat.

4. Distilled water:

Clean the seat after soaking the sponge in distilled water.

5. Soap and water:

Combine any water and neutral dish soap. Dip a soft washing tool into the solution. Scrub the vinyl seat until a perfect result is obtained.


Abrasive cleaning materials such as unbleached bleach, concentrated detergent, glue, petroleum distillate, solvent, and acid-based cleaner may not be used. Although vinyl is a very tough material, these cleaners will undoubtedly ruin your bench.

How to Clean Baby Car Seat

The first thing that comes to mind is the first thing that comes to mind. Please do not use a child car seat manufactured before the year 2000. Child car seats have a support period of 10 to 15 years. The manual that comes with the seat has an expiration date. Get in the habit of vacuuming the seats once a month. The methods are as follows:

  • Thoroughly vacuum the back seat.
  • Remove the cover and wash it in the dishwasher.
  • Use a detergent designed for children’s clothes.
  • Air-dry the seat. Avoid exposure to strong sunlight.
  • Vacuum it a little more and then wash it with a baby wipe.
  • Try to do it at least once a month.


The above leather cleaning tips are suitable for all types of automotive leather, including white, beige, brown/tan, and even red leather seats. The initial stage would be almost the same whether it is a luxury vehicle or a crash car. The only stage that differs from here should be the execution.

Keep evaluating the condition of the leather seats before deciding on the right cleaning solution. This will also prevent you from buying unnecessary products, which will save you more money in the long run.

Liam Dare

As CEO of, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.