how to do a upholstery cleaning

4 Tips on Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery cleaning car can seem like a complex, difficult task to perform.

As such, most people tend to resort to a quick vacuum when cleaning their upholstery. However, vacuuming your car upholstery will only help remove some dirt.

Keep reading this article to find out about the various car upholstery cleaning solutions available to your vehicle.


What does it mean to clean your car upholstery?

As the name implies, car upholstery cleaning is the process of cleaning the upholstery on a vehicle seat.
This cleaning can be performed at home or at car detailing specialists as long as you have the right products for the task.


How important is cleaning your car upholstery?

It’s essential to clean your car upholstery, not only to keep the seats looking good but also to increase their durability.

KROFtools advises you to wash your upholstery regularly so as to protect your car interior from unpleasant odours and impurities.

You could also wash your engine while you’re at it! Check out our article Engine wash: How to properly wash automobile engines

Keep reading to find out how to clean your car upholstery.


4 Tips on how to clean your upholstery


  1. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual

Before you start cleaning your car upholstery in any way, check your car’s owner’s manual, as there may be specific instructions on what to do for the various types of components.


2. Take a close look at stains

Give harder-to-remove stains and powders on the surface of your upholstery some extra elbow grease so that the products you use penetrate the fabric even more effectively.



3. Use products designed for upholstery cleaning

Remember to use specific upholstery products so as not to run any risk of damaging your car upholstery.


4. Avoid overloading upholstery with detergent and water

Only use the recommended amount of detergent and water on your car upholstery. Excessive use can dampen your upholstery and lead to mould growth and unpleasant odours.


How can you remove unpleasant odours from your car upholstery?

Over time, it’s common for car upholstery to absorb stains and odours. Before starting any type of upholstery cleaning operation, you must get rid of any bad smells.


To remove odours from your vehicle upholstery, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Fill two bowls with white vinegar;
  2. Place one of the bowls on the car dashboard and the other in the backseat the night before cleaning (if your vehicle is a two-seater, one cup should be enough);
  3. Close the windows and doors and leave the bowls with the vinegar inside the car for at least 8 hours. White vinegar should absorb all odours from your car’s interior;
  4. After 8 hours, remove the bowls of vinegar and leave the car doors and windows open for as long as necessary until the vinegary smell completely disappears;
  5. Vacuum your car upholstery (optional step).



How do you remove stains from car upholstery?

To remove stains from car upholstery, use baking soda, warm water, washing-up liquid, vinegar, and a spray bottle.


For the first part of the cleaning process, you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup baking soda;
  • 1 cup warm water.



  • Mix the baking soda and water;
  • Put aside.


For the second part of the cleaning process, you will need:

  • Warm water;
  • Washing up liquid;
  • ¼ cup vinegar;
  • A spray bottle.



  • Mix the warm water, a few drops of the washing-up liquid and a ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle;
  • Shake the mixture well and let it harden for 5 minutes;
  • Put aside.


Now that you’ve got everything ready to clean your car upholstery, follow these steps:

  1. Use a brush to gently apply the baking soda and water solution to upholstery stains and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes;
  2. Once half an hour is up, use a clean, dry towel to soak the stains covered in the baking soda and water solution. Absorb as much liquid as possible before moving on to the next step;
  3. Use the second mixture of washing-up liquid, water, and vinegar to spray the upholstery, starting with the front seats;
  4. Once you’ve sprayed all the seats, use a stiff-bristled brush to gently rub the area with this solution;
  5. Let the mixture sit on the seats for 15 minutes;
  6. Absorb any excess moisture with a dry towel;
  7. Leave your car doors and windows open for a few hours or until all the smell of the cleaning products has gone.


How else can you clean your car upholstery?

Alternative products you could use to clean your car upholstery are:

  • Upholstery cleaning wipes

Wipes work well for cleaning car upholstery. They are a great alternative and should remove a significant amount of dirt. Wipes do not contain abrasive chemicals, which is especially good for the environment and safe for children or adults with sensitive skin or allergies.

  • Microfibre cloths

Microfibre cloths are also great for cleaning car upholstery, as they are affordable and effective when it comes to cleaning car upholstery.

  • Ammonia

An ammonia-water mixture can be used to clean car upholstery (as well as carpets). Use only one cloth, and then let the upholstery dry by leaving your car windows and doors open for a few hours.

To find out more about how to clean your car carpets, check out our article How to clean the car mats


How much does car upholstery cleaning cost?

Prices for car upholstery cleaning start at 50 euros and can reach as much as 150 euros. The price may vary depending on the size and specific characteristics of the upholstery of your vehicle.

Regularly cleaning your car’s upholstery helps extend its lifespan and keep it looking newer for longer.

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