How to Look After Car Upholstery

Vaccuming the car interior

Car seats can take a bit of a beating, with stains, mud, moisture and bad odours affecting how they look and feel. But whether you have leather seats or fabric, there are ways to keep them looking their best mile after mile.

In this guide, we offer practical tips on how to clean car seats, with step-by-step guidance on taking care of upholstery and leather.

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Cleaning Leather Car Seats

Leather car seats are durable, hardwearing and practically stain-proof, making them easy to keep clean. However, because leather is a natural material, you will have to maintain the seats regularly to make sure the leather stays looking its best.

Car seat belt on The passenger seat inside cars. Safely on car

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to clean and maintain leather car seats.

What You’ll Need

  • Good quality leather cleaner and protector lotion – Simoniz Leather Protection Cream both cleans and nourishes leather to keep it in the best condition
  • Leather wipes – for easy, on-the-move cleaning
  • Two soft, micro-fibre applicator cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner or soft-bristled dustpan and brush

5 Steps to Clean Leather Car Seats

  • Step 1 – Start by removing loose dirt, debris and dust from the seats; you can either use a vacuum cleaner (with the brush head attached) or a soft-bristled dustpan and brush for this.
  • Step 2 – Apply a small amount of leather cleaner into the applicator cloth, and press together to spread the product evenly. Then, begin working the cleaner into every part of the seat, starting with the headrest.
  • Step 3 – Leave the product to work for a few minutes. If you’re using Simoniz Leather Protection Cream, the natural oils in the product will help nourish and hydrate the leather so that it doesn’t crack.
  • Step 4 – After 5 minutes, buff the seats with your second applicator cloth, removing all traces of the product. This guarantees an improved finish and excellent, just-bought shine.
  • Step 5 – To clean your leather car seats on the go, keep a pack of leather wipes to hand. Perfect for spillages or just when your seats look a bit tired, Simoniz Leather Protection Wipes are enriched with lanolin and natural oils, so they work to clean and condition your seats anywhere, anytime.

Tip – If you’re using a leather cleaner other than Simoniz, make sure that it’s suitable for the type and colour of the leather on your seats – because you don’t want to stain them! The great thing about our leather cleaner is that it’s suitable for use on all types and colours of leather, so you’ll always get great results.

Click here for more tips on how to take care of leather in your car

Cleaning Upholstered Car Seats

Upholstered cloth car seats are a little trickier to keep clean than leather. Any spills or dirt can easily stain the fabric, while they can also absorb bad odours and moisture. That said, with the right products, it’s easy to keep upholstered seats looking their best. Follow our guide below to find out the best products and techniques to use.

Man is vacuuming the indoors of his car

What You’ll Need

  • Upholstery cleaner – Simoniz Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner features a handy brush head tool that works the product deep into the fibres, lifting stains and odours.
  • Upholstery wipes – great for mopping up stains and dealing with mess on the go
  • Vacuum cleaner

5 Steps to Clean Fabric Car Seats

  • Step 1 – Begin by vacuuming the seats to remove loose dirt and bits. A brush head tool is great for this, but you may need to reduce the suction of your vacuum cleaner to prevent pulling or stretching the fabric.
  • Step 2 – Using Simoniz Upholstery Cleaner, spray the product directly on to the surface of the seats, applying it evenly in lines to every part of the fabric.
  • Step 3 – With the brush head tool, give the seats a good rub, working the product into the fibres of the fabric. When you’re happy you’ve covered all areas, leave the product to work for a couple of minutes.
  • Step 4 – After a few minutes, repeat the vacuuming process. This will remove any leftover residue, helping the seats to dry more quickly.
  • Step 5 – To keep fabric car seats clean on the go, grab a pack of Simoniz Upholstery Wipes. Infused with special cleaning agents and a fresh new-car smell, these handy wipes are great for freshening up your seats on the move.

How to Vacuum Car Upholstery

Clearing away dirt, dust and debris is the first step to a clean interior, and for that you’ll need a vacuum with plenty of pulling power. We’d always recommend using your standard vacuum where possible, as they have much more power than even the most advanced handheld car cleaners. Make sure you have plenty of attachment tools, too, as they’ll come in useful for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.

how to vacuum upholstery

Vacuum Your Car in 6 Simple Steps

Step 1 – Clear out larger bits of rubbish and remove the mats.

Step 2 – Use a brush head attachment to remove dust and dirt deep in the carpet fibres. If the carpet is heavily soiled, suction alone won’t do the trick, but the brush head should help stir up the bits for easy removal. Work the carpet in different directions to lift the dirt from the coiled fibres, being careful not to apply too much pressure which could spoil the finish.

Step 3 – While you’ve still got the brush head attached, go over the seats and any other areas of upholstery. Again, be careful not to apply too much pressure, or you risk scratching the fabric or leather.

Step 4 – Fix the nozzle tool to the vacuum and remove dirt and dust from those hard-to-reach crevices. Dirt tends to build up around the rim of the seat, in door cubby holes and around the gear stick, handbrake and control panel, and the crevice tool is great for clearing out these areas.

Step 5 – Vacuum each mat before placing it back in the car; this ensures that you won’t bring dirt and dust back into the car.

Step 6 – Don’t forget to vacuum out the boot too!

Additional tips – If your vacuum cleaner has a soft brush tool, this is great for cleaning dust from the dashboard, steering wheel and control panel; just be extra careful not to leave any marks or scratches. Also, if you notice dirt in a tiny crack or crevice, a can of compressed air is perfect for moving it quickly and safely.

At Simoniz, we offer you guaranteed shine with our range of interior and exterior car care products such as shampoo, wheel cleaners and dashboard cleaners. For more car care tips, head to the Simoniz blog for how-to advice and tips. To browse all our products, visit the homepage today.