How to Remove a Dirt Stain From Cloth Car Seats

by Scott Levin
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If you are an outdoors lover, there is little doubt that you have tracked dirt inside your vehicle at some point. Muddy soccer players or dirty mountain hikers find a seat in your car, leaving behind an ugly stain. These stains are typically non-greasy, making removal a much easier proposition. Begin with mild forms of cleaning before graduating to heavy-duty products that will attack the stain.

Step 1

Scrape or brush off any dirt and debris on the car seat. You can vacuum out the dirt later.

Step 2

Soak a clean towel in cold water and blot the stained area. Gently rub the towel on the stain, attempting to absorb the dirt.

Step 3

Add some mild laundry detergent if water alone fails to remove the stain. Use a sponge to lightly scrub the area.

Step 4

Mix together equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Coat the stain with the vinegar solution and blot dry with a clean towel.

Step 5

Apply a foam cleaning product designed for car interiors, available at most auto retail centers. Follow the product's directions for removing stains.

Sprinkle baking soda on the car seat and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Baking soda acts as a cleaning agent, and it will also remove any odor associated with the stain. Vacuum all visible dirt and baking soda from the car seat.


  • Use a hair dryer to dry the area if the car seat is needed immediately. An extension cord or a cigarette lighter adapter allow you to use a hair dryer inside your vehicle.
  • Harsh detergents may set the stain further and are not recommended in this application.

Items you will need

  • Clean towels
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • Detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Foaming upholstery cleanser
  • Baking soda
  • Car vacuum

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