Car seat cushions for long drives should be clean and odor free to ensure that your travel is fun and enjoyable.
There’s no doubt that with time, the seat covers in your car will inevitably become dirty. It can be because of your mischievous little ones, a careless blotch of sunscreen after a day at the beach, or muddy post-soccer practice stains. Whatever the reason, keeping car seats clean is every car owner’s priority.
Regular maintenance and cleaning is needed for the purpose. And to do that, you will need to handle the covers carefully to ensure that the material is not damaged. You will also have to pay special attention to drying them properly to prevent them from shrinking.
Want to know more about the cleaning process? Dive in!
How To Wash Car Seat Cover Correctly?
To ensure that your car seats are cleaned properly and have no specks on them, it is essential that you follow a set of instructions. Here car seat covers make it worth a lot, so you don’t have to wash your car seats, which are expensive. And, to make the process easier for you, we have a guide that will help you wash most car seats with ultimate precision.
Step 1: Remove Loose Contaminants
When you haven’t cleaned your car in a long time, there is a good chance that there will be a number of loose particles present on the seats. So, start by removing all the contaminants from the sheepskin seat covers or machine-washable seat covers before you send them for a wash.
Removing unwanted dust and other debris from the car seats is essential to ensure that they don’t get left behind when you put the covers in the washing machine.
Step 2: Take Note Of Loose Hooks And Ties
If you are planning to send the car seat covers for machine washing, you will first need to observe that there are no loose ties or hooks. In case they are present, the loose hooks may get caught in the agitator of the washer, causing damage to it.
So, make sure that you remove the loose hooks and tie up all loose ends before the covers get machine washed.
Step 3: Spot Cleaning Stains
1. For Sheepskin Seat Covers
To spot clean a sheepskin cover, you will either need to dampen the area or use a damp cloth. We suggest that you wet the stained area and rub mild detergent on it. After that, dip the damp sponge in cold water and dab it on the stained portion of the seats.
It is best that you stay away from using hot water as that might cause shrinkage and other damage. Once you are done doing that, use another sponge to rub detergent on it and remove unwanted stains. Then, with a damp soft cloth, wipe off the detergent and stains at a go.
2. For Machine-Washable Seat Covers
If you have tough stains on a machine-washable car seat cover, you will have to soak it in warm water and a cleaning solution for a while. We suggest that you go through the car seat manual to get a proper idea about how long you should soak the covers. On average, soaking for 20 minutes is sufficient.
Also, it is crucial that you pay close attention to the seat manual to understand if the chemicals present in the stain remover will be suitable for the covers. Some detergents might not be suitable and may cause damage.
In that case, we recommend that you use baby shampoo instead for pre-soaking.
Step 4: Wash The Car Seat Covers
1. Sheepskin Car Seat Covers
We understand that you would want to keep your car clean at all costs. However, when handling sheepskin car seat covers, you will have to be extra cautious and choose your laundry detergent carefully. With harsh cleaners, you might notice the seat cover colors fading.
Honestly, the best option for sheepskin covers is woolskin shampoo. However, to be sure, always spot test using a soft bristle brush before applying the solution to the entire cover.
If you are handling a non-machine-washable sheepskin cover, use a combination of cold water and mild detergent. Soak the covers in the mixture and then rinse them properly. On the other hand, if you are sending sheepskin car covers for a machine wash, make sure that you put the machine on a gentle or delicate cycle.
2. Machine-Washable Car Seat Covers
A lot of people have the question- “how to fix uncomfortable car seats?” To be honest, a great way to ensure that your car seats are comfortable is to keep them clean at all times. And when you are handling machine-washable covers, your job will become way easier.
To make the covers feel more plush and soft, consider using a fabric softener. We suggest that you follow the car seat manufacturer manual to know what kind of detergent and softener will be suitable. And do not forget to select a short washing cycle once you put the covers in the washing machine.
All said, there are a few things that you must avoid doing when washing the seat covers in a washing machine.
The most important thing to remember is to never use hot water as that might cause irreparable damage to the fabrics. Also, avoid long cycles that can destroy the cover material, and always remember to use mild soap and avoid using bleach.
Step 5: Dry The Seat Covers
1. Sheepskin Car Seat Covers
After washing sheepskin car seat covers, it is best that you let them air dry and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. Mostly, these covers take around three days to get completely dry. We recommend that during this time, you keep stretching out the covers to make sure they do not shrink.
When you notice that the covers are close to drying up, install them back on your car seats to ensure that the fit remains intact. Some people even opt for a sheepskin brush to fluff the covers once they are completely dry.
2. Machine-Washable Car Seat Covers
Just like you should not use hot water on the seat covers, refrain from using a dryer as well since the heat might make the covers shrink. And like sheepskin covers, you should let your machine-washable covers air dry.
How To Clean Car Seat Covers Frequently Asked Questions ?
How can you prevent car seat covers from getting messy?
In case you are wondering how to make car seat more comfortable, let us remind you that the easiest way is to keep it clean at all times.
So, before touching the seats, we suggest that you use a hand wash. If you drop something, immediately wipe the covers with a wet cloth before it turns into a permanent stain. And to avoid staining problems, you can ask your kids to only carry spill-proof water bottles and covered snacking options.
Removing dirt and cleaning stains becomes a tedious exercise when you do not wash your seat covers for a long time. To make your task easy, use a vacuum cleaner from time to time to ensure that the dust and debris do not collect.
You can also consider putting a protective liner on the seats to prevent the covers from possible stains and damages.
How frequently should one wash the car seat covers?
When you are handling removable car seat covers, it is best that you wash them every two weeks at least. In case you have kids traveling in the car, you might need to wash the covers more often.
Know that it takes some time for the covers to dry. So, it is best that you schedule the washing session accordingly. Also, once you remove the covers, don’t forget to disinfect the seats before putting the covers back on.
How To Clean Car Seat Covers Final Words
Follow the steps that we have suggested in this guide, and you will have (almost) brand-new car seats.
Cleaning car seats using the DIY process is super easy and cost-effective. You will just need to get your hands on the right set of things and spare some time to clean the seat covers. In case you do not have that much time, you can always send the car to the cleaners.
But we suggest that you take some time out on the weekends and do it yourself if possible. Trust us; your pocket will thank you for doing that.
Until next time!