Easy DIY Car Upholstery Stain Remover That Works

Do you have kids in car seats? In my experience I have found this equation to be very, very true: Kids + Car Seats = Stains for days. The other day, I was cleaning my car out and removed the booster seats. What I saw mortified me. Stains, melted chocolate, spilled red juice, and the smell, we are not even going there.

I called around to some local car detailers and I WAS NOT going to pay almost $200 for someone to clean my seats. I have tried using my steam cleaner on them before and it only took about 3% of the stains away AND left me with water spots everywhere.  Not exactly what I was going for.

So I did some research and I found the perfect solution! This really worked well for me. You may have to tweak the amounts a little bit (but equal parts of each should get you really close!).

What You Need:

  • Club Soda
  • Blue Dawn Dish Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Scrub Brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • Shop Vac/Steam Cleaner

I grabbed a heavy duty spray bottle and added in equal parts of club soda, Dawn, and vinegar. My spray bottle was pretty big so I used 1 cup of each of the ingredients. Some of you are worried that this was too much Dawn, but it the amount that I use. You can try less if you’d like, and if you do, let us know in the comments below how it worked! Make sure to shake it pretty good to get it all mixed up.

Spray the stains and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. I let it sit about 3 because I am impatient as heck.

Take your scrub brush and brush in circles on the stains.  This is where you are going to be wondering if it’s worth the $200 to have your car detailed.  But I’m not afraid of a little hard work, and I did it on an “arms” day, so I got to skip part of my workout!

Now use your shop vac or steam cleaner with ONLY water in it to “rinse” out the seats. If you have the shop vac, I would spray water on the seats and then suck up the mixture.

Let the seats dry and get ready to be amazed.

My car did smell like vinegar for about 2 days. It was totally worth it though. You could use an essential oil to help the smell!  The purification blend or wild orange would be great choices!  Be wise with your choices of oils though.  Some aren’t pure and will stain your hard work! I personally only use and trust doTERRA Essential Oils.

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DIY: DETAIL YOUR CARS UPHOLSTERY!

INGREDIENTS

  • Club Soda
  • Blue Dawn Dish Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Scrub Brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • Shop Vac/Steam Cleaner

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine equal parts of club soda, Dawn, and vinegar in a heavy duty spray bottle
  2. Shake well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Spray the stains and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  4. Using a scrub brush, brush in circles on the stains.  
  5. Use your shop vac or steam cleaner with ONLY water in it to “rinse” out the seats. If you have the shop vac, I would spray water on the seats and then suck up the mixture.
  6. Let the seats dry out with windows down
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