Written by Tenley Haraldson.
From coffee spills to mystery marks, cars are a time capsule of stains. Add in summer temps and you've got baked-in, hard-to-remove messes.
Though it's recommended to get stains out of car seats as soon as possible, life happens. Puracy's got your back with the best car seat stain remover, guaranteed.
How to Clean Car Seat Stains by Hand
Don’t have money to buy – or time to rent – a carpet cleaning machine? While we absolutely recommend these applicances, you can absolutely clean car seat stains by hand.
1. Suck It Up
Vacuum loose dust and debris from around the stain using your vacuum cleaner upholstery tool attachment (or a hand-held vacuum). Break out a crevice tool to 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. Apply Your Car Stain Remover
Spray the affected areas liberally with our Natural Stain Remover. Though it's been carefully tested and formulated it to be color-safe, always test an inconspicuous area first.
4. Break out the Brush
Massage the affected area with a soft-bristled brush, clean makeup brush. or old toothbrush. Avoid scrubbing too hard to avoid damaging fabric fibers.
5. Wait It Out
To let the the plant-based enzymes to do their work, leave your stain remover for a minimum of 15 minutes. However, we find that 8 hours/overnight provides better results.
6. Put a “Wring” on It
In a bowl filled with warm water, saturate a clean microfiber towel, wring it out, and press the damp cloth into the stain. 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 the stain particles and stain remover are lifted out.
Pro Tip: 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. The best way is by parking in the sun and cracking the windows, but you can also use a blowdryer. In a hurry? Put down a clean, white towel before heading anywhere.
Should you not fully remove the mess, a blow dryer can bake the stain into your car's upholstery. Simply repeat the steps outlined above if stains and odors aren't gone the first time around,
Consider a Carpet Cleaner for Tough Stains
A carpet cleaning machine is the easiest way to eliminate stains in mattresses, carpets, and – you guessed it – car interiors. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid damaging your seats.
Our current favorite carpet cleaners include:
- Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe: Comes with a car attachment and fast-drying technology.
- Bissell Portable Carpet Cleaner: Designed especially for small spaces (like car interiors and staircases).
Pro Tip: Most hardware stores offer hourly or daily carpet cleaner rentals for affordable prices.
How to Remove Coffee Stains from Car Seats
Dealing with coffee, dark sodas, or tea? Vacuum, blot, apply Puracy Stain Remover, and wait (AKA steps #1 through #5 under the hand-cleaning section). Next, either break out a shop vac that's filled with water or a carpet cleaning machine.
If the Stain Wasn’t Totally Removed…
That’s okay. Some stains are super tough. Do another round with the Stain Remover.
If the Stain Has Disappeared…
Dry wet spots with a hairdryer (on the lowest setting) or crack your car windows and park in the sun.
Pro Tip: Might we also suggest a spill-proof travel mug?
5 Steps: How to Get Blood out of a Car Seat
Use a clean microfiber towel to quickly remove as much as you can. Don’t attempt to remove old blood stains from car seats by hand: Use a carpet cleaning machine instead.
1. Spray It
Saturate the stained area with Puracy Natural Stain Remover. For particularly large stains, start at the edges and gradually move towards the center (to keep it from spreading). Consider gently working the formula into the fabric with a soft-bristled brush.
2. Wait It Out
Wait at least 8 hours so the protease enzyme (ideal for protein stains like blood) has enough time to break stain particles down.
3. Break out the Big Guns
Wet a microfiber cloth but take care not to oversaturate the upholstery: Damaging electronics is worse than stains. We recommend using a shop vac or carpet extractor instead, since they're better at pulling out stains.
4. “Dry” Your Best
Press a dry microfiber towel into the upholstery to absorb any remaining moisture.
5. Pretend There Never Was a Stain
Bloodstain? What bloodstain?
Removing Vomit from Car Seats
Vomit acid can permanently damage fabric fibers. It can also leave a gag-inducing smell that lingers for months. Remove all traces of odor-causing particles by using a carpet cleaning machine and car seat stain remover ASAP.
1. A Close Scrape
Wearing rubber, silicone, or nitrile gloves, scoop solid particles off all affected areas. 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 (at least 30 minutes).
3. Break out the Machine
We cannot stress this enough: If you’re dealing with a particularly bad “stomach upset”, pair a carpet cleaning machine with Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo. This product 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 and vacuum with a wet/dry vac.
How to Get Stains Out of Leather Car Seats
Most leather in modern cars has a protective coating that improves the cleaning process. To remove most stains, use our 99.51% Natural Surface Cleaner and a dry microfiber towel. Apply one trigger spray to your cloth and gently rub using circular motions. If you’ve got a particularly stubborn splotch, you might need a few extra sprays.
It's just that easy.
The Best Stain Remover for Car Seats – and Beyond
You've got upholstery to clean, so we'll keep it brief! Our 98.95% Natural Stain Remover is the only one of its kind to use all 6 plant-based enzymes. Whether you're fighting chocolate, dog drool, coffee, or blood, it's easy to clean all washable fabric – without the caustic chemicals and gross fumes.