Are you wondering how to get rid of the squished fragments of cheerios, chips, and other assortments of food and dirt trapped in between your car seats?
You are not alone.
In as much as I love my car and I try to keep it as clean as possible, I have to admit that it took me some time and a bunch of practice to learn how to clean between car seats.
The job can be a bit tricky so car owners often neglect the seat tracks, seat folds, and the area between the seats and console. Yet, this is where a lot of the debris, food particles, and dust hides, making deep cleaning particularly important.
That being said, with the right tools, you should be on your way to enjoying the bliss of clean car seats.
How To Clean Between Car Seat Folds
To clean car seat folds, you will need:
- Car vacuum
- Crevice tool
- Stiff bristle brush
Remove loose dirt. For this first step, you can use the vacuum hose without installing any attachments to remove dust that is loosely hanging on the seat back and bottom.
Next, clean along the seams of the seat. First, attach a crevice tool and then use your fingers to open the seams of the seat bottom and back. Run the crevice nozzle along the seams, paying particular attention to the area where the seatback meets the bottom, to get rid of dirt hidden there.
Lastly, use a stiff bristle brush to remove remaining dirt trapped in the fiber. Vacuuming with the hose alone or the crevice tool will only remove surface dirt. For a deeper clean, attach the stiff brush to the hose and run it over the car seat, focusing on the seams and the folds in between the seat back and seat bottom.
How To Clean Between The Car Seats and Console
The space between the car seat and console has some hidden nooks and crannies and may take some time to get it squeaky clean but it is well worth the effort.
You will need:
- Car compressor
- Steam cleaner (optional)
- Dry microfiber cloth
Here is what to do:
Remove any items and clutter stored in this area. With the vacuum set on low, run it around the console area and the space between the console and both seats to remove loose dirt and debris.
Next, dislodge smaller hidden particles. Grab your pancake type car air compressor and direct pressurized air into the tight spaces on the console and between the seats and the console, to blow out smaller particles. Wipe the area using a dry cloth.
Use a steam cleaner to get rid of any stains between the sides of the seat and the console. Direct the opening of the steam cleaner to the stain and keep at it for several minutes. With the stain loosened, attach a small stiff bristle brush to the vacuum and gently brush the stained area then allow to dry.
How To Clean Between Car Seat Tracks
I once had a problem moving my front car seats backward and forward. Whenever I tried to, the seat would move a fraction and then it would become stuck. So annoying!
When I finally checked to see what was happening, I was surprised and disgusted by the amount of food, dirt, pet hair, and dust particles trapped under there.
You should definitely clean this area as regularly as possible. To clean between car seat tracks, you will need:
- Crevice tool
- Handheld vacuum
- Handheld bristle brush
- Small paintbrush
First, remove the floor carpets at the front and back of the car to get to the dirt underneath.
Next, move your seat all the way forward so you can have enough space to clean the back area. Using your handheld bristled brush, sweep the carpet underneath the seat to dislodge dirt and for easier vacuuming. Sweep the dirt from the front toward the back of the seat.
Attach a crevice tool to the vacuum hose and pick up the dirt you have dislodged using the bristle brush. A nice trick is to use the bristle brush at the same time you are vacuuming to really get rid of those small stubborn particles lingering on the car carpet underneath the seat.
Move to the seat track rails. Direct the nozzle of the crevice tool over the metal seat rail severally. Be gentle when cleaning the track to avoid removing the lubricant that helps the seat move smoothly along the track.
For hard to reach crevices, use your small paintbrush to dislodge and sweep hidden dust. Working in an anti-clockwise direction, vacuum around the ac, move toward the center console, and further down to the footwell.
I like to push the seat further back to brush and pick up any debris lingering underneath and toward the front of the car seat. Repeat this process for the other seat.
Should You Remove The Car Seat?
Most modern cars have electronic seats that easily glide back and forth along the tracks. The seats can extend far back or forward to give you ample space to clean the entire area underneath the seat all the way from the bottom of the back seat to the footwell.
If yours is an older car or the seats won’t move at all, removing the seat might be your next best option. Depending on the model of your vehicle, there could be four or six bolts that you need to unfasten to remove the car seat. You will need a nut driver and, preferably, an extra hand to loosen and lift the seat out of the car.
It takes a little bit of time to learn how to clean between car seats but once you get the hang of it, you should be able to do it quite fast. If possible, try vacuuming your car seat folds and cleaning the tracks regularly as this is where all nasties hide. The good news is that unless you are doing car detailing as a business, you do not need a commercial vacuum cleaner; a smaller handheld car vac is enough to keep your ride clean at all times.