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Cleaning Car Seat Covers

Cleaning Car Seat Covers

Your car seat covers are designed to protect your seats from the messes of life so you may notice after a while that they are covered in spills, grime, and dirt. Many covers are designed to be washed in your washing machine. However, just like with other fabrics, your covers will have instructions for washing and drying, and it’s always best to read the label on the inside of the car seat cover. Learn more about cleaning your car seat covers and getting out the stains by reading on.


It’s best not to just throw covers in the wash without a little prep work. Be sure to find the label and read any washing instructions from the manufacturer. Remove any hooks and tie any loose ends to make sure these things don’t get caught in the agitator of your machine. If you have stains on your covers then you will want to use a stain remover to get out these stains. Fill a sink with warm water and do a presoak for about 15 to 20 minutes, or the time recommended on your stain remover. You can also use a mild detergent and presoak the seat covers.

Washing the Covers

Unless instructed otherwise, wash the seat covers in warm water. You don’t want to use the hot water setting since this can shrink the seat covers. Cold water is not recommended since it won’t completely remove any stains or dirt. You don’t need to choose the longest cycle with a long spin time and a short cycle is fine. Use a mild detergent and don’t use any bleach. You don’t want to wash the seat covers with any other clothing or fabric.

Drying Seat Covers

You don’t want to put seat covers in the dryer and instead dry them on a flat, clean surface or an outside clothes line. Be sure the covers are completely dry before you put them back in your car. Check the condition of the covers when they come out of your washing machine and look for any loose ties or threads. Fix any problems before putting them back in your car.

When the Washing Machine Isn’t Recommend for Certain Materials

If your covers are made from certain materials, such as sheepskin, then machine washing won’t be recommended. You need to wash them according to specific recommendations and not use detergent. You may want to use a shampoo, such as baby shampoo, and wash on a delicate cycle only. In order to dry these covers, don’t place them in direct heat or sunlight, and keep in mind the dry time will be a little longer. To fluff out sheepskin covers, use a wire brush. Covers such as leather and vinyl need to be washed by hand using a mild soap and warm water. Don’t let water pool on the covers, especially in the seams. Use a cloth to get out stains and apply the soap. Then wipe the covers dry using a soft towel.

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