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Tips for Removing Stains from Your Car’s Interior

Does your vehicle’s interior need a little TLC? Spills and messes are bound to happen with your family’s hectic schedule and hours spent in the car—but removing stubborn stains can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Thankfully, with the right tools and guidance, you can have your vehicle looking spotless again!

Check out our guide below on tips for removing stains from your car’s interior. We’ll walk you through the tools and materials you need and give advice on how to remove even the most stubborn stains.



Before you start using our tips for removing stains from your car’s interior, be sure to clear the area of trash, remove loose objects, and learn the do’s and don’ts of treating the different kinds of vehicle fabrics.


Carpet & Seats

Stains left behind from crumbs, spills, and dirt can start to smell if left uncleaned.

What to do: Vacuum the area and remove any leftover dirt, grime, or crumbs. Then, use a rag, or toothbrush to lift as much of the stain as possible before trying a more abrasive cleaner. If a stronger cleaner is needed, be sure to let the area air dry after any product application.

What not to do: Avoid over saturating the area with water. Damp seat cushions are a breeding ground for mold and can lead to more unwelcome smells and allergens.


Leather & Vinyl

Both leather and vinyl are treated with a protective coating to elongate their color and durability. This protective coating needs to be treated gently to avoid unwanted damage.

What to do: Wipe away any crumbs or dirt and use a soft cloth with a small amount of water or a  gentle cleaner to treat the stain. If a stronger stain remover is needed to lift the stain, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any residual soap and apply a leather conditioner to prevent the leather from drying out.

What not to do: Avoid any products containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These products can remove the protective coating and damage your vehicle’s interior.


Stain Removal Methods

Every stain is different, and stubborn set-in stains may take more than one cleaning product. It’s important to test a small spot of your vehicle’s interior with the chosen stain remover to avoid additional damage or discoloration. If you are unsure whether a store-bought or DIY cleaner will cause additional damage, be sure to contact a professional detailer.


Baking Soda

One of the simplest ways to remove a stain is with something laying around your house. Baking soda!

Grab a spare bowl, ¼ cup baking soda, a dash of water, and a toothbrush. Mix the baking soda and water into a paste and apply it to the stain. Then, use the toothbrush to scrub the paste in a circular motion. For more stubborn stains, let the paste sit for 30 minutes before wiping it away. After the stain has lifted, wipe the area clean with a damp rag and let it air dry.


Club Soda

Club soda isn’t just for your favorite mocktails! It’s great for removing some of the most stubborn stains with a gentle solution. This carbonated water is packed with extra minerals like potassium bicarbonate, and potassium citrate that act as great grime fighters.

Removal is simple. Grab a spare spray bottle, add some club soda, apply liberally to the stained area, and scrub away at the stain. As it lifts, wipe away the residue and watch the stain disappear.



Vinegar is another kitchen staple that’s great at removing stains! To create a stain-fighting solution, add one cup of vinegar to a gallon of water with a little bit of dish soap.

Scrub the solution into the stain and watch it lift away. After the stain has lifted, apply warm water to the area and use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the soap. To dry the area, leave your doors open and let the fresh air do its work.


Laundry detergent

Laundry detergent isn’t just for dirty laundry! Make a mixture with your dry or liquid detergent and warm water in a bucket and scrub the stain as needed, allowing it to soak.

After the stain has lifted—use a clean, cold rag to wipe away the residue. Let the area air dry for best results.


Car Upholstery Cleaner

If DIY cleaners are not your style, a store bought cleaner might also do the trick! Apply the cleaner to the stain per the instructions on the bottle and scrub the stained area with a wet rag. Scrub with enough pressure to begin to lift the stain and add more cleaner, if needed.

Let the area air dry and wait at least an hour before covering the stained spot.


With how busy life keeps us, stains in our cars can quickly get out of hand. And while you can definitely clean your own vehicle at home, it takes a few tools (and a few hours) to get the job done right.

If cleaning your car’s interior is on your to-do list, but you don’t have time or expertise for the DIY route, you can always bring it to a professional for an interior detail. Then, you can sit back, relax, and look forward to getting into an amazingly clean, fresh-smelling car!

Premier’s mission is to create happiness through professional detailing, and our purpose is to exhibit a philosophy of servanthood! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or visit our website. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well!

Read more from our blog.

That's why, at Premier, you’ll get more than just exceptional service for your car.

You’ll drive away happy knowing you’re also valued and a huge part of supporting and celebrating others.

If you’re ready to restore, protect, or style your car—book an auto detailing service in Lafayette, Indiana or Kokomo, Indiana. Our professionally trained staff (and satisfaction guarantee) promise that you’ll be impressed with our attention to detail and blown away with the final results.

* There will be an additional charge of $50 for Iron Decontamination. If your vehicle has tar, overspray, or road paint on it, we will provide a custom quote for removal.

* Removing stains is an intricate service, and while we always try to do everything possible to remove stains, we cannot guarantee full stain removal. In the event a stain cannot be fully removed, we will try to attenuate it as much as possible.

* Headliners are extremely delicate. Excessive cleaning and wetting of the headliner can cause it to fail, so excessive soiling may not be able to be removed.


Ceramic Wash, Clay, and Seal

* These prices are based on a vehicle in average condition. For a more accurate quote, pictures or a detailer’s estimate may be needed to see if your vehicle qualifies for this price.


Full Detail

* These prices are based on a vehicle in average condition. For a more accurate quote, pictures or a detailer’s estimate may be needed to see if your vehicle qualifies for this price.


Interior Detail

* These prices are based on a vehicle in average condition. For a more accurate quote, pictures or a detailer’s estimate may be needed to see if your vehicle qualifies for this price.

*The paint polish is not intended to remove any deep paint defects. It is only intended to enhance gloss and deep clean the paint in preparation for the coating application. Additional paint correction services can be quoted at an additional charge.

Because we value you and your vehicle as much as you do, we recommend following a maintenance protocol after the initial curing time of your ceramic coatings application.

This maintenance plan will keep your warranty intact and allow you to enjoy a smooth, glass-like finish for years to come.

A professional hand wash—with a specialized ceramic coatings approved cleaning agent—is recommended every week to every other week. As a ceramic coatings VIP, you'll receive a $20 discount on all hand washes.

Pricing: Call for Details

Why is ceramic coating the most elite paint protection product on the market?

Premier ceramic coating offers nano-ceramic compounds that provide the maximum level of slickness, protection, and durability.

A normal clear coat has hardness between 2H and 4H. However, ceramic coatings have a hardness above 9H. This shield is the hardest paint coating on the market today and prevents minor scratches to your clearcoat and acts as a sacrificial layer.

Think of ceramic coatings as an additional clear coat layer, only a lot harder. All of this allows for more peace of mind and a fuller enjoyment of your vehicle, even in harsh environments.

Surface Scratches

UV Protection


No-Bond Surface


Permanent Protection

* We protect all plastics, vinyl, leather, Alcantara, carpet, and upholstery to help repel dirt, dust, and stains. We do not coat interior glass as it will cause fogging issues.

* A new tint can be applied to driver and passenger windows to match other factory-tinted windows on SUVs and trucks.