How to Clean Car Seats with Shop Vac? – 7 Steps Guide

Cleaning your car seats is as vital as taking a bath for yourself. But the job is never easy if you don’t do it the right way. So, what is the right way?

Well, we know your problem, and we have the solution to it. Therefore, here we will discuss cleaning car seats with a shop vac.

Why Shop Vac?

If you look closely inside your car, you will find crumbs, dirt, leaves, empty packets, cigarettes, and whatnot. A battery power vacuum cleaner is not enough for dealing with the trash.

You will need a wet dry vacuum to suck all this garbage out of your carpets and car seats. In addition, you need to use liquid cleaner on the seats. And for vacuuming the liquid along with the dirt, a shop vac is strongly recommended.

Clean Car Seats With Shop Vac

How To Clean Car Seats With Shop Vac

To start cleaning your car seats, you will need some equipment. Before any further discussion, let’s see what the required tools are.

  1. An all-purpose cleaner such as Folex, Meguairs, or SuperClean. These can be found in an online store, or you can also collect them from a physical automotive store.
  2. Some pieces of clothes or a towel.
  3. A spray bottle.
  4. A stiff brush.
  5. Bucket with warm water.
  6. And most importantly, a shop vacuum.

After you have arranged all the tools and necessary products mentioned above, we can proceed with the cleaning process. So, without wasting any time, let’s start.

1. First of all, remove all the dirt and debris from the seats. This is important because spraying the cleaner without removing the dirt will stick them onto the seat, which will be a pain in the neck.

So, take your shop vac and vacuum all the areas of every single seat thoroughly. Use the brush to loosen up any dirt stuck to the hidden part of the seats.

2. Take one seat at a time and spray the cleaner properly on the seat. Don’t use too much, or you will end up soaking the seat, especially if the seat is a cloth car seat. Make sure you shake the solution before spraying.

Using too much liquid may create a big problem. The cleaner will go into the foam, taking the dirt with it. So, spray gently.

3. Now is the interesting part. Take out the brush and give the whole seat a gentle scrub. Scrub from different directions. It helps the cleaner to break up the dirt quickly.

4. Now wait at least 10 minutes for the cleaner to complete its work. Then inspect the dirt. Give another brush if needed. And then wait for another 5 minutes.

5. Now, take out the towel and wipe the whole area. Be gentle with the process. Wash the towel in water when it gets too dirty. Then start wiping again.

6. Now comes the most important part. After removing as much dirt as possible with the towel, the main job will start.

It is time to bring your wet/dry vac and start vacuuming all the areas of the seats properly. Don’t use too much power; instead, vacuum the seats multiple times with lower power.

The wet/dry vacuum will suck all the dirt in no time. The shop vac also speeds up the drying time by sucking up as much liquid as it can.

7. Leave all the windows open to ensure enough airflow. This will help the seats to dry faster. Leave the seats overnight and don’t use them before they are completely dried.

After everything is done, you will get new-like seats in your car. And now you can get your car out on the road and go for a long drive.

Clean Car Seats

When Should I Clean the Cloth Seats in My Vehicle?

The cleaning time mostly depends on the color of the seats and the amount of usage. If the seats have a lighter color, they will become dirty faster. Also, if you use the car too frequently, it will catch more dirt.

The best practice is to clean the seats twice a year. If the color is lighter and you don’t use a seat cover, you may increase the number to three.

How to Protect My Seats

Protection of the seats from dirt is necessary if you don’t want to go through the boring cleaning too frequently.

Using seat covers is the easiest and cheapest way to protect the seats from dirt. Using seat covers, you don’t need to clean the whole seat. Just remove the covers and put them into the washing machine. The machine will do the rest.

If the covers become too old and dirty, you can easily replace them. You can buy different covers both from online and offline stores.

Another way to protect your seats is to apply sealant. It protects the seats from dirt and stains as well.

Red Car Seats


Can You Clean Car Seats with A Shop Vac?

Of course, you can clean car seats with a shop vac. This whole article is on the same topic; you can see the complete guide.

Can You Use a Wet/Dry Vac to Clean Upholstery?

Yes, you can use it for hard products. Also, you can turn it into a multi-purpose vacuum cleaner by replacing the spray handle and hose with specific nozzles.

What Is the Best Thing to Use to Clean Cloth Car Seats?

An all-purpose cleaner like Car Guys and Super Cleaner is the best for cleaning cloth car seats. Using a shop vac will boost up the cleaning process.

Can I Use Household Products in the car?

Yes, you can. Household cleaners work great in cleaning your car seats and carpets. You can also use your vacuum to make the cleaning better. Using household products helps you to avoid extra costs.

Final Thoughts

This discussion on how to clean car seats with a shop vac will help you all the way to clean your car seats. Just read the whole process carefully and follow them step-by-step.

Cleaning car seats is not a regular job. You may need to clean them once every 6 months. However, you can extend the time using car seats and save yourself from this bothersome job.

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