How to protect cloth car seats prevents them from damage. Scratches, stains, tears, and grime are some causes car seats will deteriorate faster than usual. More so, it takes a slight mishandling of drinks to soil car cloths.
Vinyl car seats are easier to clean, but you may use more effort when dealing with cloth seats. Frankly, laundering alone won’t keep cloth covers looking nice for long. They need proper maintenance and care. Next is how to protect cloth car seats and keep them looking new for longer.
How to Protect Cloth Car Seats
Vacuum the seats regularly
Leveraging a vacuum cleaner machine is an excellent way to protect your car cloth seats. The best part is that a vacuum cleans dirt, debris, contaminants, and grime faster. It retrieves them from deep within the cloth to cause discoloration or damage.
A workable timeframe to vacuum your car seats is to do it once a week, even if they don’t appear dirty. This will help remove grimes and debris that wear and tear on the upholstery.
Apply upholstery cleaner
It can be tempting to clean your car’s exterior and leave the interior. But again, cleaning the seats’ upholsteries once every few months boosts their longevity.
Before cleaning the upholstery, empty the car and vacuum it. Open all the doors and cover the non-cloth parts with towels. Next, splay light layers of upholstery cleaner on the seat cloths and let the car rest for about an hour.
Air out the car
Cloth car seats can become humid or damp easily. They can absorb sweat and grungy smells from drinks quicker than leather seats. If you ever notice dampness on the seats, roll down the windows to allow fresh air in.
You can even leave the doors open for an hour or two. Achieving this will allow fresh air to circulate and dry the damp seats, preventing the development of mildew or molds.
Cover the cloth seats
Seat covers are often unattractive when installed in a car but go a long way to protect the fabric. They add a deterrent layer to the upholstery and keep dirt and debris from damaging the clothes.
First, clean the car seats and run an upholstery cleaner machine before installing the covers over the fabric. This will ensure you don’t leave debris under the covering cloth.
Some car seat covers are one-size-fits-all, while others are custom-made. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent liquids from seeping through the cloth seats.
Use towels when necessary
Sometimes, beverage spillages on your car seats are inevitable, especially if you have kids. Also, your shopping bag can contain items that may leak, soaking the upholstery. Food particles and drink spills can stain the clothes if you haven’t installed fiber protectors on the seats.
It is prudent to lay a towel, tarp, or sheet over the cloth seat if you or other car occupants want to eat while in the car. This will also be crucial if you travel with your pet on the seat or transport bulky, dirty, or sharp items. More so, it will come in handy to prevent poked holes and scratches on the cloth.
Use your trunk
Some items are unnecessary to carry on the seats. It is wise to ferry heavy and sharp objects in the trunk if you have cloth car seats. This will protect the clothes from potential tears and contaminants, upholding their appearance.
Blocking direct sunlight rays from penetrating the interior of your car helps lengthen cloth seat life. Ideally, UV rays can tear and fade upholstery over time. An effective way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to install a robust sunlight protector.
You can also lower the windows to keep the car’s interior temperature cooler. More so, if the outside temperature is 40 degrees, the heat inside the vehicle can hit significant levels if the conditioner doesn’t work or the windows are rolled up.
Use cotton wipes
It can be tempting to wipe car seats with a napkin whenever a beverage spills. But again, some wipes are tough and can leave scratches or marks on cloth fabrics. It is advisable to use soft cotton-based products to clear spillages before they dry and form permanent stains. Also, consider buying spill-proof drink cups to avoid messing up the seats.
Deep clean the cloth seats
Vacuum and upholstery cleaners are wise ways to protect cloth car seats but won’t leave hard-to-reach areas spot-on. A thorough wash of the cloth and seat belts is necessary to avoid stains and stenches.
Start by removing the seats if possible. It will make cleaning the nooks and crannies breezy. Vacuum the clothes and spray a high-quality fabric cleaner. Ensure the product doesn’t oversaturate the seats.
Next, agitate the clothes with a brush to loosen the dirt and stains. You can use a cordless drill brush to scrub all the parts faster before extracting the grimes with an extractor vacuum. Wipe the cloth seats with a microfiber towel to pick any left water and speed up the drying process.
The easiest way to clean the seat belts is to pull them out and place clamps to prevent coiling. Spray a cleaning solution on them and scrub with a brush to remove dirt and sweat. Lastly, wipe off any wetness and allow the seats to dry.
Frequently Asked Questions on Car Seats
How does a spray fabric protector work?
Fabric protectors create a hydrophobic barrier on the cloth seat, repelling liquid from penetrating. They also prevent stains from embedding on the fabric.
How do you protect plastic parts of cloth car seats?
Spray interior protectant like Meguiars Ultimate detailer on the plastics and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
Why does water stain cloth car seats?
Water often contains lime which can dry and create stains.
Following these tips to protect cloth car seats will be handy to maintain the interior appearance and smell. If the seats seem to have permanent stains, consider taking the car to an auto-detailing center for a proper clean-up. Achieving this will ensure you get professional service. Afterward, install seat covers to prevent future stains and make cleaning easier.