DIY: Detail Your Cars Upholstery!!

June 23, 2016 33 Comments | Disclosure

diy car detail

Clean the seats in your car YOURSELF!

Do you have kids in car seats? In my experience I have found this equation to be very, very true: Kids + Car Seats = Stains for days. The other day, I was cleaning my car out and removed the booster seats. What I saw mortified me. Stains, melted chocolate, spilled red juice, and the smell, we are not even going there.

I called around to some local car detailers and I WAS NOT going to pay almost $200 for someone to clean my seats. I have tried using my steam cleaner on them before and it only took about 3% of the stains away AND left me with water spots everywhere. 🙁 Not exactly what I was going for.

So I did some research and I found the perfect solution!  This really worked well for me.  You may have to tweak the amounts a little bit (but equal parts of each should get you really close!).

What You Need:

DIY: Detail Your Cars Upholstery!!

I grabbed a heavy duty spray bottle and added in equal parts of club soda, Dawn, and vinegar. Make sure to shake it pretty good to get it all mixed up.

Spray the stains and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. I let it sit about 3 because I am impatient as heck.

Take your scrub brush and brush in circles on the stains.  This is where you are going to be wondering if it’s worth the $200 to have your car detailed.  But I’m not afraid of a little hard work, and I did it on an “arms” day, so I got to skip part of my workout!

Now use your shop vac or steam cleaner with ONLY water in it to “rinse” out the seats. If you have the shop vac, I would spray water on the seats and then suck up the mixture.

Let the seats dry and get ready to be amazed.

My car did smell like vinegar or about 2 days. It was totally worth it though. You could use an essential oil to help the smell!  The purification blend or something citrus would be great choices!  Be wise with your choices of oils those.  Some aren’t pure and will stain your hard work!  If you want more information on the oils we recommend, email us at!

DIY: Detail Your Cars Upholstery!!


  1. I wonder if you could get the same result using rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar? The smell will evaporate much quicker.

  2. Lilli torbert says:

    Can you use this to clean your headliner? Thanks.

  3. What kind of club soda did u use?

  4. what is club soda? I am from south Africa…

  5. Thanks alot I don’t have a car but this will be very useful when I do get one.

  6. Thanks worked great………….I used the leftover mixture to spring clean my patio chairs.
    Smell didn’t last that long…………………………………………………………….


  7. you said 1 cup of equal part do I use 1 cup of Dawn as well ??

  8. Roy Luevano says:

    1 cup of dawn ? Seems a little excessive.

  9. Do you add water to the dawn , club soda and vinegar ? 1cup Dawn soap?

  10. Charity says:

    1 cup of dawn? Seems like a lot.

  11. I live in Italy and want to know how can I do this mix…
    can I use a normal powder dish soap? Is club soda a water with bubbles or the water for ironing?

  12. As a professional auto detailer, if you use equal parts of liquid dish soap, you will have a nightmare on your hands and the soap residue, of which there will be MUCH, will attract dirt quickly. I don’t know which ratio you will need, but this will be a very soapy mess. I have read that it was updated, but I don’t see how this can work. It would take a LOT of passes with a steam cleaner to rinse this out.


  1. […] with stain remover and tossing them into the washing machine (If its tub is big enough) or use this DIY recipe and a scrub brush (add an essential oil, like Lavender to the mixture if the smell of vinegar is […]

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