Aaron Widmar
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Homemade Methods to Remove Stains from a Car Seat or Carpet

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remove stains from a car seat carpeting scrub clean spill
Photo: The News Wheel

If you spill a drink or smear sauce on your car seat, you’ll wind up with an unsightly blemish. The most effective way of cleaning stains is to prevent them from initially setting. Unfortunately, you don’t always have the opportunity to clean up a spill before it becomes a stain. Common store-bought carpet cleaners will generally do the trick, but there are homebrews that will cost less money and cause less chemical-induced headaches. Here are some possible solutions you might already have in your home.


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Vinegar and dish soap

The go-to solution for scrubbing stains out of car seats and carpets is to use a homemade blend consisting of one part vinegar, two parts water, and a squirt of dish soap. Mix this solution in an empty plastic spray bottle typically used for household cleaners. This concoction is particularly good to use on road salt stains left by shoes.

Spritz this soapy cocktail onto your cloth upholstery or carpeting, and then work the liquid into the stained area with a cloth or soft-bristle brush. Blot the area with a damp rag to soak up the soap and reveal if it removed the stain.

Baking soda and water

If the stain persists, try this method. In a bowl, mix baking soda and warm water. Use a toothbrush to work the paste into the fabric and let it sit for a minute. Then, remove it the same way you removed the soap solution: dab with a wet rag. If you smear it, you’ll just rub the contaminants even deeper into the cloth.

If those methods don’t work, Reader’s Digest offers a list of other household products that will combat particular dyes. For instance, would you think milk and cornstarch could remove ink stains? It’s surprisingly effective!

Knowing how to remove a stain from a car seat or carpeting is useful in many circumstances, like preparing to sell your car by making it look clean or scrubbing out the interior of a used car you just purchased.


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