DIY Tips: Best Interior Car Cleaning Products for Car Seats

Very dirty backseat car seats

While the average person might not view their car seats as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, a 2014 study from the University of Birmingham found that the average car seat is actually teeming with microscopic life. In fact, each square centimeter of the car seats inspected by scientists contained an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi. With the plethora of cleaning products available nowadays that can be used to clean car seats, it can be difficult to sift through all of them and decide which the best interior car cleaning products are for your purposes. Perhaps more importantly for many of us, the cost of such products can be quite high. A better alternative than opting for these high cost car seat cleaning products is to create DIY car seat cleaning solutions. These are easy to put together and are, in most cases, even better than their branded counterparts. If you’re wondering how to clean the inside of your car, you can try these top interior car cleaning blends which can easily be made at home, before using an interior car cleaning service.

Water and Vinegar DIY Car Seat Cleaning Product:

Hand spraying cleaning solution on dirty car seat

First on our list is a DIY solution which contains two common household items: water and vinegar. This straightforward mix is easily made by combining 1-part water with 1-part vinegar (make sure that you’re using white distilled vinegar as it is more acidic than other types of vinegar and thus breaks down dirt more efficiently). White distilled vinegar is eco-friendly and can be used for getting rid of both dirt as well as any pesky, stomach-churning smells that can linger in your car despite your best efforts to freshen things up. Another advantage of using this vinegar and water solution is that, unlike many of the cleaning products you can buy nowadays, vinegar contains no ammonia and does not leave any unhealthy smells after use.   

This is one of the best interior car cleaning mixtures as it is easy to make and can be used not only to scrub dirt and grime off car seats, but also to clean your vehicle car mats and dashboard (it can even be used for regular domestic cleaning). For ease of use we recommend pouring your mixture into a spray bottle, diffusing the solution all over the seat surface, and using a cloth to scrub off any unwanted matter.

When looking to get rid of stains, be sure to first lightly press the affected area with a paper towel several times without applying too much force and without rubbing. This will ensure that you’re not making things worse by pushing the stain further into the fabric.  

It’s important to keep in mind that leather car seat cleaning can be trickier than wiping off seats covered in polyester or other synthetic fabric. This is due to the fact that leather is a more delicate fabric which can easily be ruined if not treated with proper care.

Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil and Castile Soap for DIY Car Seat Cleaning:

This baking soda, tee tree oil and castile soap homemade car seat cleaner will allow you to fight off any built-up filth while also imparting a fresh, pleasant smell that will last for hours.

In order to make this solution, you will need to mix:

  • One tablespoon of baking soda
  • One tablespoon of castile soap
  • 3 to 5 drop of tea tree oil into a water base.

As with the previous mixture, we recommend using it out of a spray bottle. In fact, for ease of use, you could pour the three ingredients into an empty spray bottle, pour water over and then mix the contents.

The mild alkaline properties of baking soda make it an effective cleaning agent and degreaser. It allows for efficacious removal of dirt and grease by making these easily soluble in water. Furthermore, castile soap, named after the Castile region in Spain, is a versatile, environmentally friendly, non-toxic vegetable-based soap. We add this mainly to strengthen the cleaning power of our cleaning solution, while using a substance that is free of synthetic ingredients or animal fats. Tea tree essential oil adds its disinfectant properties to the mix and brings this DIY cleaning product together. It also lends to the blend its long lasting, pleasant smell.

When cleaning your car seat with this natural concoction, feel free to spray generously on the surface of the seat, leave for a minute or two in order to allow the three ingredients to work their magic, then wipe off with a paper towel or cloth.

Borax and Vinegar Mix for DIY Car Seat Cleaning:

Two bottles containing olive oil and cleaning solution alongside three sponges and cup of baking soda

The final mixture on our list is meant for those germophobes amongst us. If your car seats aren’t necessarily covered in dirty or grime, but you would still like to freshen them up and get rid of any lingering germs, then this is the best interior car cleaning product for you. All you’ll need to do is mix:

  • Two tablespoons of borax
  • Four tablespoons of white distilled vinegar
  • 3 cups of warm water

This produces a great car seat cleaning blend. Borax, a white compound often used as an antiseptic, has magnificent germ-killing properties. When using this mixture be mindful of the fact that borax is almost as toxic to humans as it is to germs. Make sure to take all necessary precautions to keep the borax off your skin and out of your eyes; goggles and rubber gloves are a must!

You can either pour a bit of mixture on a cloth and use that to wipe down your car seats or you can use a spray bottle and paper towels. If you want to add something else to this mix, we recommend getting your hands on some essential oils. A few drops of lemon essential oil will add a citrusy smell to your car seat cleaning products. Lemon also has proven antibacterial and antiviral properties. Similarly, rosemary is a great antibacterial and antiseptic which will also provide a pleasant smell.

Too Lazy for DIY Car Seat Cleaning Solutions?

Having a professional service take care of your interior car cleaning needs is probably the best option if you’ve put off cleaning for a long time and have allowed dirt and grime to build up on your car seats. When dealing with accumulated dirt on your car seats the task of cleaning them, even while making use of our recommended best interior car cleaning products, can be a daunting and exhausting endeavor. If you’re not about that DIY cleaning life, make use of our interior car cleaning expertise and contact us!