Comprehensive Guide To Steam Cleaning Car Seats

Steam cleaning the car seats is one of the smartest ways of making them look and feel brand new. If you are someone who spends a lot of time in their car, you know the importance of clean and hygienic upholstery. With that being said, steam cleaning isn’t just about aesthetics, it is also about getting rid of dirt, germs, and bacteria.

In this guide, we will give you a step-by-step process for steam cleaning car seats. So, if you are ready to get into the nitty-gritty of deep cleaning using a steam cleaner, let’s get started.

Things to Prepare

  • Steam cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Microfiber towel
  • Water
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Face mask
  • Non-porous hand gloves
  • Body cover all

How to Do It in 8 Simple and Easy Steps?

Step 1: Clear your car interior from any other dirt or trash.

Start by cleaning your car from dust and dirt, especially the tiny particles embedded within seat edges and car upholstery. Use a vacuum cleaner for better results. Remove all other stuff, especially the car floor mats, from the car to ensure smooth and hassle-free steam cleaning of the seats. If stains are present, remove them first using a stain remover. Steam cleaning the stains may leave marks on the car seat.

Step 2: Wear your protective equipment (PPE)

It is important to wear proper cleaning gear when steam cleaning to avoid hazards and ensure safety. Even though steam cleaning only requires water, it is always best to prioritize your safety when cleaning. The steam cleaner can heat up and cause burns if it comes in contact with your body.

Step 3: Identify the kind of material your car seat has

Knowing the material of your car seat is crucial in steam cleaning. The pressure applied in a car upholstery cleaner may vary depending on the material. Nylon, polyester, vinyl, and leather materials have different properties, and some may be heat-resistant or dry quickly. Note that there are different car seat materials, and they conform to using a car seat steamer if properly administered.

While most car seats are made of leather, other materials can also be steam-friendly. Leather seats are the easiest to handle but should not be steam cleaned too often as it can damage the material. Properly cleaning other materials like suede and black cloth car seats is also important. Check out how to clean leather car seats here.

Step 4: Set up the things you will need

Prepare all necessary materials for car seat steam cleaning and ensure that they are compatible with the car seat material. The limitations of your reach may cause longer cleaning times, so having everything ready beforehand is recommended.

Step 5: Get ready with your steam cleaner

Before using the car seat steam cleaner, refer to the tool’s guide or manual to avoid any damage to the unit. Setting it up is similar to a vacuum cleaner, with an upholstery attachment for cleaning. Fill the tank with water up to the maximum capacity, being careful not to overfill to avoid spillage.

Step 6: Start steam cleaning

Starting from the topmost portion of the car seats in steam cleaning can help minimize work, avoiding repetition. Avoid cleaning metal parts that may rust or stain, like zippers, as the produced steam is still water and may affect the material. Achieve satisfaction with a high pressure steam cleaner specially designed for cars.

To effectively clean your car seats with a steam cleaner, start from the top and work your way down. Apply pressure on the microfiber towel to wipe away any moisture left behind. You can repeat the process until you achieve the desired results. Additionally, a steam cleaner can be used to clean the car floor mats and windows.

Step 7: Dry the car interior

To ensure quick drying time, open the car windows and doors after steam cleaning. If possible, take advantage of the sun’s heat to speed up the drying process. Typically, the car should be completely dry in three to five hours.

Step 8: Assess the outcome

Don’t be discouraged if the result isn’t perfect the first time around. You can always redo the process until you achieve the desired outcome. Finally, compare the car’s appearance before and after steam cleaning and enjoy the fresh, clean interior while driving.

Reasons Why Steam Clean Car Seats

To ensure a spotless vehicle, some car owners opt for steam cleaning instead of traditional methods. While wiping and vacuuming can be effective, steam cleaning offers numerous benefits that make it a preferred choice for car interiors. Wondering why more people are choosing steam cleaning for car seats? Here are just a few reasons:

  1. Steam cleaning deep cleans every angle of the car seats, even removing dirt that’s deeply embedded.
  2. Steam cleaning saves time and money, as it eliminates the need for costly professional detailing services and lengthy cleaning sessions.
  3. Steam cleaning is gentle and non-damaging, relying only on water to produce steam that lifts and removes dirt.
  4. Steam cleaning is safe for all car seat materials, making it a practical and versatile solution for car owners of all kinds.


How Often to Steam Clean Car Seats

It is recommended to schedule a steam cleaning of your car seats at least every two years. However, if your car interior has a musty odor or you have pets, it is advisable to steam clean the upholstery every 3 months.

Does steam cleaning car seats remove stains?

When it comes to removing stubborn stains from your car seats, steam cleaning is very effective. Nevertheless, it is important to take note of the material of the seat. Polyester, nylon, and vinyl are compatible with steam cleaning, while real leather requires special care as excessive moisture can lead to shrinking.

What is the best way to clean leather car seat?

When dealing with leather car seats, the blotting technique is the most ideal solution. Rubbing the stain might worsen the situation by pushing the dirt deeper into the leather grain, thereby causing a permanent stain. It is best to gently press down on the stain and lift it away.

 Steam Cleaning Car Seats


In conclusion, steam cleaning your car seats isn’t just a luxurious add-on to car maintenance but is necessary for better hygiene and cleaner air inside the car. With the step by step guide we have provided, you can now go ahead and steam clean your car seats and enjoy a whole new level of comfort and cleanliness. Remember to follow all the safety precautions while cleaning with the steam cleaner and also read the instructions manual carefully. Happy steam cleaning!