Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On Car Seats?

The thought of a long drive with your kids and pet sounds so blissful, but that blissful thought turns into a nightmare when you have to clean the food crumbs, pet hair, and spilled soda from your car seat, and to clean it, all you are left with is carpet cleaner. But can you use carpet cleaner on car seats?

Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On Car Seats

Well, of course yes, if you have no other option but is using carpet cleaner on car seats safe? How can you use carpet cleaner on car seats?

In guide, we have compiled every data which will help you understand whether you can use the carpet cleaner to clean your car seats or not.

What Are The Common Ingredients Used In Carpet Cleaners?

Before starting your process of cleaning the car seat, it’s more than essential to know the common ingredients that are used in carpet cleaners and check whether they are compatible with the car seat fabric or not.

Here are some common ingredients that are used in almost every carpet cleaner:

  1. Surfactants– These elements cause soapy foam and help absorb the dirt and grime from the fabric.
  2. Enzymes– These elements are beneficial in breaking down protein-based stains. Also, if you have a pet, then using an enzyme-based cleaner is a must.
  3. Optical Brighteners– Remember when one of your guests complimented how bright and new your carpet looks? Yes, that’s because of optical brighteners. They give that ‘just clean’ look to the fabric.
  4. Fragrances– Every carpet cleaner comes with fragrance ingredients. These help you get a pleasant smell like a breeze.
  5. Solvents– Solvents help you get rid of stubborn stains.

Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On Car Seats?

Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On the Car Seats

The answer is Yes! You can use a carpet cleaner to clean the car seats, but only when the manufacturer’s instructions are consulted and the right method is used with the right cleaning solutions.

Carpet cleaners are designed to clean stubborn stains of food, red wine, and even BBQ sauces. They are also designed to clean couches.

However, for the best results, use a portable carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment. This will make it easier for you to clean every nook of your car seat.

You can also use Bissell Spot Cleaner, which is making waves in the cleaning industry for its excellent results.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Carpet Cleaner On Car Seat?

Evaluating the pros and cons comes in handy when you are in doubt of using the product. And when it comes to using products on your beloved car, then doing experiments might ruin your darling.

The following are some pros and cons of using carpet cleaner to clean car seats:

Pros Of Using Carpet Cleaners

  1. Carpet Cleaners are cheap and can be easily found in the market.
  2. The ingredients used in making the carpet cleaners are designed to clean the stubborn stains of the carpet. This makes it the ideal product to clean car seats for satisfactory results.
  3. Carpet Cleaners can be used for spot cleaning in a pinch.

Cons Of Using Carpet Cleaners

  1. The very first disadvantage of carpet cleaner is that it might discolor or completely damage the car seat.
  2. It takes a lot of time to dry as compared to upholstery cleaners.
  3. Carpet cleaners may not be as effective as specialized cleaners.

Difference Between Carpet Cleaner And Upholstery Cleaner

Difference Between Carpet Cleaner And Upholstery Cleaner

Carpet Cleaners and Upholstery cleaners have the same purpose that is cleaning the fabric and keeping it fresh. However, this doesn’t make them same as the ingredients used in both the products are different.

Here are some points that sets them apart:

  1. Formula Strength– Carpet cleaners are designed to clean stubborn stains and make your high-traffic carpet look new. This makes them more potent than upholstery cleaners.
  2. Design Of The Applicator– The applicator of the carpet cleaners are designed to clean the larger surface area. On the other hand, the applicator of the upholstery is designed to clean a more precise and smaller area.
  3. Drying Time– When it comes to drying time, then upholstery cleaners take less time to dry as compared to carpet cleaners.

How To Clean Different Car Seat Materials?

Knowing the material of your car seat before cleaning them is more than essential. So, here are three main characters of the car seat material:

  1. Leather– These give a luxurious and stylish look to your cars, and you have to be extra cautious when cleaning them.
  2. Vinyl– These are easy-to-clean and low-maintenance materials. Vinyl materials are also water-resistant.
  3. Cloth– These are normal fabrics that are a cozy, comfy, and budget-friendly option.

Let’s begin the process of cleaning car seats using carpet cleaner.

1. Pre-Cleaning Task

Start by vacuuming your car seat. Remove all the dirt, debris, or any food crumbs using the vacuum. Then using a crevice brush clean every nook of the car seat.

This will ensure no dust particles or food crumbs stuck in your machine. Remember to follow this step for all the car seat materials.

How To Clean Leather Car Seats?

How To Clean Leather Car Seats
  1. Vacuum the car seat removing any dust or crumbs from the car seat.
  2. Spray a generous amount of carpet cleaner on the leather seat.
  3. Using a microfiber cloth, gently scrub the stained spots. For heavily soiled seat, wrap the cloth around a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the affected area.
  4. Rinse the spot using a damp cloth. This will remove any residue from the leather seat.

How To Clean Cloth Car Seats?

How To Clean Cloth Car Seats
  1. Use a portable carpet cleaner machine like Bissell Little Green.
  2. For stubborn stains you can use Bissell Professional Pet Stain & Odor Remover. Spray the solution on the affected area.
  3. Work on the stains using a white cloth for a few minutes according to the label’s direction.
  4. Rinse with a clean dry cloth and blot it dry. Repeat this step until the car seat is dry.

Method To Clean Vinyl Car Seats

Method To Clean Vinyl Seats
  1. Vacuum the crumbs and dirt from the car seat.
  2. Next, spray the carpet cleaner on the vinyl car seat.
  3. Wipe it dry using a microfiber cloth.

What Are Some Alternative Methods To Clean The Car Seat?

What Are Some Alternative Methods To Clean The Car Seat

If you are totally against using any chemicals on your car seat or simply want to try a different method than using carpet cleaners, then here are 3 methods you can use:

1. Steam Cleaning

Steam Cleaner only uses water to clean your carpet, car seat, or upholstery. The water is boiled and forced out pressurized steam through a nozzle, brush, or other attachment that is attached to the machine.

Then, the vapor helps in loosening the dirt and dust. Steam Cleaners are also effective in killing any bacteria as it use high-heat water. So, if your car seat has some stubborn stains, then using Steam cleaners will do wonders.

2. Fabric Cleaner

Specially formulated fabric cleaners are easily available in the market. They are a concentration of chelates, surfactants, and sequestrants, which carefully clean any spot from the fabric.

You can make your own fabric cleaner by mixing 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and spraying the solution on your car seat.

3. DIY Solution

When nothing works or if you are skeptical about using any cleaner on your car seats, you can always go for making your own DIY mix.

DIY mix can be made using white vinegar, lemon juice, dish soap, and baking soda to clean the car seats. But be aware that all these ingredients have the capacity to damage the fabric of the car seat. So, always test the solution in a small area and then use the entire product.

Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Car Seat Like New

Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Car Seat Like New

Keep your car seat on fleek with these handy-dandy tips and tricks.

  1. Regularly Vacuuming– Vacuum your car seat once a week to remove any dirt, debris, or crumbs from the car seat.
  2. Spot Cleaning– Clean the spills or spots on the car seat as soon as possible. Use a milder cleaner and a microfiber cloth to clean it thoroughly.
  3. Deep Cleaning– A car seat might look fresh, but it can hold various bacteria if not deep cleaned thoroughly. Therefore give your car seat a deep cleaning in every few months.
  4. Air Dry– When cleaning your car seat, allow it to dry air. This will prevent the growth of mold or mildew on the car seat.


Spilling food on your car seats is a mishap and will do little to no harm, but ignoring it will do more harm to you and your wallet.

The good thing is that you can use carpet cleaners in place of expensive car cleaning products. However, carpet cleaners can also do damage to your car seat if not used the right one with proper care.


How do you dry car seat after using Bissell?

After cleaning the car, take a clean, dry towel and blot it over the cleaned spot. This will soak as much as water from the car seat. If possible, leave the car outside in the sun with open windows and doors.

What cleaners are best for car seats?

If you don’t want to use chemical products on your car seat but also have a busy schedule to make your one DIY mix then you can use baby shampoo to effectively and safely clean the car seat.

How often should I clean my car seats?

Clean your car seats once or twice every week and for deep cleaning the seat once every month will do the job.

Leave a Comment