If you’re like most people, you probably like having a snack or two while driving to work. Sometimes, you’ll get a drink from a drive-through coffee shop, and other times you’ll drive your dog to a vet. All of these activities have a single thing in common — dirt. Spills, stains, hair, and crumbs easily find their way into the crevices of your car seats, where they can remain completely unnoticed for months.
So if you don’t want your shiny and polished car to look like a pigsty from the inside, cleaning your car seats (and the space between them) regularly is a must. But doing this properly can be trickier than it seems. That’s why I’ve made this short guide to teach you how to clean between car seats, so you never have to drive a dirty car again!
Removing Car Seats — Is It Necessary?
Whether you’ll need to remove the car seats or not depends entirely on how detailed you want your cleaning to be. If you have an older car and you want to clean the seats thoroughly, you won’t have any choice but to remove them. In that case, it’s a good idea to watch a tutorial on how to do it properly.
However, most modern cars have movable seats that can glide along the rails. By simply moving the seat back and forth, you’ll be able to clean most of the area underneath quite thoroughly. In that case, you don’t need to take the extra step of removing the seats.
How to Clean Car Seat Folds and Crevices
Your seat may seem clean when you wipe it with a wet towel, but that doesn’t mean it really is. Unfortunately, a lot of dirt gets stuck in the folds and crevices, where it’s harder to see it and clean it. Still, harder doesn’t mean impossible, so let’s get started!
You will need:
- Car vacuum cleaner
- Crevice tool
- Microfiber towels
- Upholstery cleaner
- Interior brush
- Compressed air duster (optional)
First, vacuum the back and the bottom of the seat using a vacuum cleaner with no attachments. This way, you’ll remove any loose hair or dirt on the upholstery, so it won’t fall into the folds later on.
Once you’re finished, attach a crevice tool and start vacuuming along the folds. Open the crevices with your fingers as you go, and be as thorough as you can. It may be a little difficult to clean out all of the dirt, especially in the area where the back meets the bottom, but don’t give up.
Next, apply some upholstery cleaner and remove any remaining dirt from the folds using an interior brush. Usually, vacuuming will remove only surface dirt, so this step is necessary for deeper cleaning. Instead of the brush, you can use a compressed air duster for this step.
Once you’ve done this, wipe the remaining product from the seats carefully with a microfiber towel. Then vacuum one last time to remove any dirt that landed on the seat after you cleaned out the folds.
How to Clean Between Car Seats and Console
The area between the seats and console can be especially tricky when you’re cleaning without removing the seats. The spaces between are very tight, so you might feel like you can’t reach the dirt properly. Still, with the right tools, you’ll find that no area is unconquerable.
You will need:
- Car vacuum
- Compressed air duster or interior brush
- Steam cleaner (optional)
- Microfiber cloth
First, remove any change, receipts, and junk that is stored in the area between the seats. Then, vacuum the area around the console and don’t leave out the space between the seats and the console. Most of the particles tend to hide in this area.
Now it’s time for the compressed air duster. Use it to blow out any small particles that are stuck in the tighter areas. If you don’t have a compressed air duster, use a brush, though keep in mind that it might not be quite as effective.
If you see any stains on the console or the sides of the seats, grab a steam cleaner and use it to loosen them. Then wipe the stains away with the microfiber cloth. Of course, you don’t have to use a steam cleaner for this — any sort of cleaner that can loosen stains will do.
How to Clean Seat Rails
Are you having trouble adjusting your seat? Your first thought might be that something’s wrong with the seat, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Dirt and debris lodged in the seat rails can just as easily be the culprits. And the only solution to the problem is to thoroughly clean the rails.
You will need:
Before you start, take out the front and back carpets and vacuum the area around the seats to make the job easier. Then, push your seat as far to the front as it can go. That way, you can start cleaning in the back.
Begin with the bristle brush and carefully sweep the carpet under the seat. Move the dirt towards yourself so that you can easily vacuum afterward. One good idea is to brush while simultaneously using a vacuum with a crevice tool. By doing this, you’ll hoover up the particles as soon as you dislodge them, so they won’t be able to fly away.
When it comes to the rails themselves, run over them with the vacuum a few times. This should ensure that most of the dirt is collected, but for especially hard-to-reach areas, use a small paintbrush. Once you dislodge the hidden particles with it, you can vacuum them or sweep them with a regular brush.
Once you’ve finished, you can move on to the front and push the seat backward. Unfortunately, this means that some more dirt will come loose, but you can’t expect to get rid of every single particle.
When you’re done, lubricate the rails using white lithium or any other type of lubricant of your choice. Don’t skip this step — you want your seat to move smoothly along the rails.
How to Clean Back Seats
I have good news for you — back seats are fairly easy to clean compared to the front ones. For a thorough clean, all you need to do is remove the bench and the back parts of the seat, which is rather simple. If you’re not sure how to do this, here is a video to illustrate it. Once you remove the seats, vacuum the area underneath and remove all dirt particles that you can see.
However, if you don’t feel like you need a deep clean, it’s enough to clean the upholstery and the folds. The process is the same as the one for cleaning the front seats — vacuum the back seats, use the crevice tool in the folds, apply the upholstery cleaner, brush out the remaining dirt, and then wipe them with a microfiber towel. After you’re done, your seats will look brand new!
Learning how to clean between car seats isn’t difficult — with a bit of practice, anyone can do it. And if you clean your seats regularly, they will stay in good shape, so you’ll only need to deep clean once in a few months. So what are you waiting for? With the help of this guide, give your car seats the treatment they deserve!