Car seat covers are exposed to dirt and dust the most since cars are meant to be used outside during traveling. Even if you keep the windows shut and use air conditioning, dust still gets in when the passengers open the doors.
That alone can make the seats get dirty. Accidentally spills of food or drinks are also common when you are eating or drinking, but at the same time, the car is on the move.
So, cleaning your car’s seat covers regularly is important to keep the seats in good condition instead of them rotting or starting to smell bad. That is why we are going to teach you a few steps on how to clean a car seat cover in the most efficient way.
Steps to Cleaning a Car Seat Cover
There are many different kinds of car seats available. They are mostly categorized into size and material. There are different materials like fur, fabric, leather, etc. for car seat covers.
And for different types of vehicles, the design depends on the size of the seats and what kind of seats they are. For example, the car seats on a truck will not be the same as the car seats in a small private car.
Thus, the car seat covers will also be very different. Depending on the type of car seats you have, the cleaning method may differ. Below we are going to talk about a few steps that might help you know how to clean your average car seat cover.
Step 1: Remove Covers
You might have a user manual or guide that came with the seat covers you bought. But in case you don't, there are still many videos online or manuals online that will show you how to remove the covers.
Many people keep a video camera on the dashboard and record themselves stripping their car seats covers off.
The advantage of this is that you get to have a recording of how to take it off so you can do it again next time. Also, when you're about to put the covers back on, all you need to do is follow the video in reverse.
After you have successfully removed all the seat covers from the car, lay them down on the garage floor, driveway ground or wherever it is you’re working on this.
Step 2: Shake off Debris
Take a vacuum cleaner. It would be preferable if you have those portable and small hand vacuum cleaners so you can clean all the folds of the seat covers.
You need to use the vacuum on the covers to suck in the top layer of dust, crumbs, dirt, or pet fur that has been shed. Lint brushes also help do the same job as the vacuum cleaner.
Even if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you just shake the covers out to let the dirt fall. In case your seat covers are made of fabric or fur, then try taking a clean and strong stick and beat the covers gently while holding it up. This also let the debris fall off.
Step 3: Wash the Covers
After all the debris has been sucked into the vacuum cleaner or shaken off, you can now move on to washing the covers.
On the manual that you manage to find, there will be strict instructions given on the material of the seat covers. In general, most seat covers are advised to be washed by hand with cold water and soap.
And then you need to dry them by laying them down on a clean area and letting the sun or wind dry it with time.
Some people try hair dryers too, but you have to keep it at a good distance to avoid damaging the covers with that amount of direct heat. Ironing is strictly prohibited unless the manual says it's safe.
Step 4: Rinse off the Buckles
You may think buckles on car seats aren’t removable, but there are ways to remove them as well, and you’ll find it in your manual. The material that buckles are made of is not the same as the seat covers, so they don’t get that dirty either.
And you can just rinse them off with some warm running water so that the debris gets washed off. No form of soap is needed for washing buckles since buckles don't attract odor from passenger's bodies, and neither do they stain. For drying, you can just use a towel.
Step 5: Clean the Straps
The material used to make the straps need the same type of care as with the car seat covers. Get some warm water and soap and use that soap and water to clean the long harness straps.
But do not submerge the harness straps into the warm water because it'll make the fibers on the harness fabric get weaker from softening in the water.
Ironing, bleaching or washing the straps in a washing machine is strictly prohibited. These straps are considered to be the most delicate and fragile parts of the car seat.
But in case your harness straps are too dirty, then you might want to get a replacement because roughly washing them will only damage the whole strap anyway and make it useless in time.
Cleaning your own car seats seem pretty easy, doesn't it? Now you can avoid the alternate option of having to send them to people whose profession is to clean various internal parts of a car. You managed to save yourself the extra cost.
And your car seat covers will always get dirty. Cleaning it daily like this may be a hassle. You can try the above method once a month or a week, depending on the way your car is used.
But be sure to make a habit out of vacuuming the seats and the crevices every day, even with the seat covers attached to the seat. This way, you can manage to decrease the amount of dust the seat covers collect.