Written by Tenley Haraldson.
From coffee spills to mystery marks, cars are a time capsule of stains. Add in summer temps and they're baked into upholstery. Obviously, it's important to get stains out of car seats ASAP, but you might have purchased a used car or you have small kids that are smudge factories.
Not to worry: Puracy’s got your back with the best car upholstery stain remover anywhere.
How Our Natural Stain Remover Works So Well
You've got a car interior to clean so we'll keep it brief: Our biodegradable, 99.96% natural Stain Remover is the only stain remover that uses all 6 plant-based enzymes. Whether you need to obliterate chocolate, dog drool, coffee, or blood out of a car seat, you'll be able to clean any washable fabric without the caustic chemicals and gross fumes.
If You're Cleaning Car Upholstery by Hand
Don’t have time to buy (or rent) a carpet cleaning machine? Not a problem: You can clean stains by hand.
1. Suck It Up
Vacuum loose dust and debris from around the stain on the car seat. Use the vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment (with the upholstery tool attachment) or a hand-held vacuum. Bonus points for a crevice tool that lets you get between gaps and along seams.
2. Blot, Blot, Blot
For fresh stains, use a clean microfiber towel to blot the wet area. Continue blotting until your cloth stops picking up liquid.
3. Go Crazy with the Stain Remover
Spray the affected areas liberally with our Natural Stain Remover. Even though we carefully tested and formulated to be color-safe, it’s still better to test it in an inconspicuous area first.
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4. Break out the Brush
For tough stains, massage the affected area with a soft-bristled brush or even a makeup brush that you no longer use. Avoid rubbing too hard or you could damage the fabric’s fibers.
5. Play the Waiting Game
For the plant-based enzymes to do their work, let your stain remover sit for at least 15 minutes. We find that 8 hours or overnight provides better results.
6. Put a “Wring” on It
Saturate a clean microfiber towel in a bowl filled with warm water and wring it out. Press the damp cloth into the stain and rock it back and forth with mild pressure to "pull" the stain remover from the surface. Rinse, wring, and repeat as many times as necessary until you’ve “rinsed “ the stain particles and stain remover out.
For large stains, you may need another microfiber cloth. Lucky for you: We sell them in 2- and 4-packs!
7. Dry Things Out
Let the damp spots dry naturally, preferably by parking in the sun and cracking your windows to allow moisture to escape. In a hurry? Use a blowdryer or put down a clean, white towel before you head anywhere.
If you’re battling a urine stain or if the stain isn’t completely gone, a blowdryer can bake the stain further into your car upholstery. We promise that you don’t want that! Simply repeat the above steps if stains and odors aren't gone the first time around!
A Carpet Cleaner Is the Fastest Way to Get Stains out of Car Seats
For mattresses, carpets, or – you guessed it – car interiors, we recommend investing in a carpet cleaning machine to fully remove and eliminate stains. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid damaging your seats.
Our current favorite carpet cleaners include:
- Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe: We like that this option comes with a car attachment and fast-drying technology.
- Bissell Portable Carpet Cleaner: This lightweight option is especially designed for small spaces (like car interiors and staircases).
Not interested in buying a carpet cleaner? Not to worry: Most hardware stores offer hourly or daily rentals for affordable prices.
How to Remove Coffee Stains from Car Seats
Dealing with coffee, dark sodas, or tea? Vacuum, blot, apply the Stain Remover, and wait (AKA steps #1 through #5 under the hand-cleaning section). Next, break out the shop vac that's filled with water or a carpet cleaning machine.
If the Stain Wasn’t Totally Eviscerated
That’s okay. Some stains are super tough. Do another round with the stain remover.
If the Stain Has Disappeared
Celebrate by drying those wet spots, either by using a hairdryer (on the lowest setting) or cracking your car windows and parking in the sun.
Might we also suggest investing in a spill-proof travel mug?
How to Get Blood out of a Car Seat
If you can’t fully treat a blood stain, quickly use a clean microfiber towel to remove as much as you can. Dealing with a dried smudge? Don’t attempt to remove blood stains from your car seats by hand: Use a carpet cleaning machine.
1. Spray It
Saturate the stained area with Puracy Natural Stain Remover. If you’re dealing with a particularly large stain, start at the edges and gradually move towards the center of the stain, to keep it from spreading. Also consider working the formula into the fabric with a soft-bristled brush.
2. Wait It Out
Let it sit overnight so the protease enzyme (which is ideal for protein stains) has enough time to break stain particles down.
3. Break out the Big Guns
Apply warm water to a wet microfiber cloth, but take care not to oversaturate the upholstery (because damaging electronics is probably worse than stains). Shop vacs and carpet extractors are far superior to pulling stains out than blotting by hand.
4. “Dry” Your Best
Press a clean, microfiber towel into the previously stained area to absorb any remaining moisture.
5. Pretend There Never Was a Stain
Removing Vomit from Car Seats
Not only can vomit acids permanently damage fabric fibers, but they can also leave a gag-inducing smell that lingers for months. Take care of it ASAP with a carpet cleaning machine. This will help to completely remove all traces of odor-causing acids and particles.
1. A Close Scrape
Wearing rubber, silicone, or nitrile gloves (you seriously don’t want to touch this), scoop solid particles off the car seat and interior. Use two small pieces of firm cardboard/rigid plastic, a spatula, a spoon, or anything else you have on hand.
2. Smother and Cover
Spray the “upchuck area” liberally with Puracy Stain Remover. For particularly big messes, let it sit overnight (but at least 30 minutes).
3. Break out the Machine
We cannot stress this enough: Use a carpet cleaning machine.
If you’re dealing with a particularly bad “stomach upset”, pair it with Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo. This product not only removes stains from your car seats, but it also leaves the interior smelling fresh and citrusy.
4. Repeat the Process if Necessary
If your nose still crinkles when you hop in the car, the entire stain wasn’t removed. Don't panic: Repeat steps #2 and #3. When the area is dry, sprinkle it liberally with baking soda. Let it sit for at least 2-3 hours, then vacuum it up with a wet/dry vac.
How to Get Stains Out of Leather Car Seats
Most modern leather – especially in cars – has a protective coating that makes cleaning a breeze. To remove most stains, use our 99.96% natural Multi-Surface Cleaner and a clean, microfiber towel. Spritz one trigger spray of cleaner onto your cloth and gently rub the stain using circular motions. If you’ve got a particularly stubborn splotch, you might need a few extra sprays.
Seriously: It's that easy.
Remember: Frequent Care Is Easy Care
Consistent routine maintenance is the best way to keep your car looking (and smelling) great:
- Vacuum your car’s interior every month. Regular vacuuming keeps dirt and grime from getting trapped in the fibers.
- Wipe your interior down with a damp microfiber towel every week.
- If you can't deep clean stains, blot them up as soon as they happen (keep a microfiber towel in your glove compartment).
- Ask family members to use closed cups/mugs when drinking beverages in the car. Otherwise, limit consumption to water.
- Headed out on a long road trip? Keep a travel-sized container of our Natural Stain Remover and microfiber towels handy.
- After sweaty workouts or if your dog tends to roll in truly grotesque messes, cover seats with old towels.
The Best Stain Remover Anywhere
From cleaning car seat stains to erasing splotches on your favorite t-shirt, we believe that we've created the best stain remover on the market. We're so confident that we’ll give you a 100% refund if you’re not completely blown away. No returns, hassles, or questions asked.