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How to Remove Stains from Your Seats

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Auto and Trucks

Unfortunately for most car owners, stains have a real tendency to arise in the most unwanted spots in a cars interior. One of the most common spots for a car to develop stains is on the seats; and whether they are made from cloth or from leather, stains are bound to arise sooner or later. Fortunately, it is easy to remove stains from leather seats, as there are literally hundreds of different products available from manufacturers like Mr. Clean and Armor All, which can quickly and easily remove even the toughest blemishes from the leather of your car seats. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford leather seats, meaning that more and more people are likely to have a car with cloth seats in it instead. Cloth, however, is not nearly as easy to take care of as leather is, making it problematic for people who may have accidentally spilled a soda or wiped a set of greasy fingers on the interior. Nevertheless, even though cloth is more difficult to clean than leather, it can still be done provided you follow a specific process.

Obviously not all sodas will stain your car. You can spill 7up on your seats all day long if it suits you and it will never stain even if your cloth interior is a light shade of grey or something similarly colored. However, darker soda and a variety of different fruit juices will give you a spot that is completely noticeable and highly difficult to remove under any circumstances even if your cloth seats are dark charcoal colored or black. Stains will be much easier to remove if you can get to them early before they are given a chance to set into the material, so provided you are not driving down the road at high speed when the stain first happens, it is advantageous to you to grab a napkin, paper towel or Kleenex and wipe up as much of the spill as you possibly can immediately.

Even if you get to the stain as soon as it occurs, chances are that some of the liquid will still end up settling into your fabric seats.  A small amount of liquid is fine, so long as it is not a massive spill. You will want to use some sort of foaming fabric cleaner to get the stain out when you get back to your home or to a store that sells such cleaning products.  You can generally find such cleaners for a relatively decent price (under 10) and they are definitely worth every penny if it saves your upholstery. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and cold water to remove stains if you are too cheap to purchase a chemical based stain removal product. If you do happen to own a car with leather interior, simply use warm water to wipe away the spill and prevent any staining.

A better method to remove stains is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Good ways to do this are to purchase stain-repellent products like Scotch Guard and Armor All or to simply not allow yourself or your friends to drink or eat in your car.