How to get stains out of car seats (and how to avoid them in the future) 

How to get stains out of car seats (and how to avoid them in the future)

The car is the place for adventures – but if only those adventures just involved fun games and journeys to exciting places, not sticky spilled cola and fumbled mint-choc ice-cream cones. Never mind. That’s all part and parcel of taking your kids out in the car (or any mucky passengers, for that matter), and you needn’t sweat it when you know how to get stains out of car seats 


We’ll also show you how to avoid car seat stains happening again (wishful thinking maybe, but we all love a trier!). So, get ready to discover the secret to happy family outings. Well, the bit about getting stains out of car seats – we’ll leave the backseat arguments to you. 


The kit you need to remove stains from car seats  


To successfully clean car seat stains you need the right tools and products to get your fabric seats looking a bit better. Here’s what you need to get stains out of car seats: 


  • Handheld vacuum cleaner 
  • Upholstery cleaner (or laundry detergent or baby shampoo) 
  • Water 
  • Kitchen towel 
  • Soft-bristled brush 
  • Microfibre cloth 
  • Rubber gloves 


With that selection of goodies, you’ve got everything you need to clean car seat stains. Let’s move onto the step-by-step instructions for how to remove stains from car seats. 


How to get stains out of car seats step by step 


You know what equipment you need to remove stains from car seats, so now it’s time to learn the method. Remember to always test your cleaning products on a discrete spot before using them, just in case they react funny with the stain or material and leave an even bigger mess than before. Here’s how to remove stains from car seats the easiest way: 


  1. First, use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove any loose bits of dirt, grass, or chocolate biscuit crumbs first. 
  1. Then, use an upholstery cleaner to remove the stain, following the instructions on the bottle. (Some prefer to use a baby shampoo or laundry detergent, but these can leave water stains.) 
  1. Typically, the instructions will say to dampen the area first. You can do this with a piece of strong kitchen towel. Make sure you only use a bit of water, as oversaturating the fabric seats can lead to lingering smells and mould. 


Tip: Plenty kitchen towel is super-strong even when wet, so it won’t break down and add to the mess. Result. 


  1. Next, spray on the cleaner. 
  1. Then, use a soft bristled brush to rub it in. Pop on rubber gloves first, if instructed to do so. 
  1. Leave for the specified amount of time. 
  1. Rub the area dry with a clean microfibre cloth. Ideally it’ll be a dry, warm day, so it dries quickly – but we can’t always choose when the kids make a mess!  


How to avoid car seat stains in the future 


Knowing how to clean car seats stains is all well and good, but in an ideal world we’d avoid having to deal with stains at all. So here are some tips for how to prevent them from happening again (fingers crossed):  


  • Have a bin (e.g. a plastic bag) in the car, so it’s easy to keep sticky chocolate or lolly wrappers away from seats 
  • Place a waterproof rug or blanket across the back seat to protect the fabric from muddy jackets 
  • Don’t let the kids eat or drink in the car (easier said than done!) 
  • Avoid eating or drinking on bumpy roads/winding corners (more likely that banning food and drink entirely!) 
  • Keep some absorbent kitchen towel in the car so you can quickly soak up spills 


Tip: Plenty kitchen towel is 40% more absorbent, so it’s perfect for cleaning up any unexpected spills in your car.  


Now you know how to clean car seats stains you can head off on your adventures without needing to worry about those inevitable little accidents. Share the best way to get stains out of car seats with your fellow passengers and they can share the stain-cleaning load… or maybe they’ll buy you an ice cream as a thank you for your efforts, instead. Either way, it’s a win-win. Just make sure you don’t eat it on your clean car seat! 

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