5 Simple Steps To Prevent Water Spots On Your Car Seats

Water stains are one of the problems many car owners face when washing their cars.

Cleaning your vehicle can leave water stains in and on the car, which isn’t a pretty sight.

It makes the car seats look less attractive and dirty, even when you just washed them. Thankfully, water stains are avoidable.

Quick Answer

As a whole, you can clean car seats without leaving water stains by vacuuming, washing with upholstery shampoo, brushing, and appropriately drying the seats. 

The major contributing factor to water stains on car seats is when you don’t dry them after using liquid to wash them.

Whether your car seats have water stains after cleaning depends on what you do or don’t do when washing. 

Therefore, read through them before taking out your cleaning supplies for your car seats. 

How Do You Clean Car Seats Without Leaving Water Stains?

Taking your car to the detailer for detailing is an effective and effortless way to clean it without leaving water stains on the car seats or other interior and exterior parts.

However, many DIY lovers prefer to wash their car seats at home, but one problem they may face is water spots, which can be quite discouraging. But there’s a solution.

Quick Answer

As a whole, you can clean car seats without leaving water stains on them by taking the following steps:

  • Use a car vacuum
  • Dry foam cleaner or upholstery shampoo
  • Blot out and scrub 
  • Wipe with a dry microfiber towel
  • Dry the seat

Mineral deposits from water evaporation leave water stains on car seats, leaving dark stains and a bad impression.

However, you can prevent that from happening by cleaning your car seats with these steps:

Step One: Use A Car Vacuum

The first thing to do when cleaning car seats is to vacuum them to remove dust.

You also need to remove dust hiding in the crevices. 

Use a crevices tool or brush to get to hard-to-reach places and vacuum.

Skipping this process will leave the dust in the seats and let it mix with moisture which will further contribute to water stains after washing. 

Step Two: Dry Foam Cleaner Or Upholstery Shampoo

The next thing to do is to take a dry foam cleaner or an upholstery cleaning agent, depending on the material, and spritz it on the car seats.

Spray it all over the seats, and let it settle for the recommended time on the product. 

However, you should test the cleaner in a discreet spot to check for any changes.

If you have no specific cleaner at home, you can use a homemade cleaning mixture of vinegar and water.

Step Three: Scrub The Car Seats

After leaving the cleaner to settle for some seconds, take a soft-bristled brush meant for cars and gently scrub the car seats. 

Be careful, so you don’t get carried away, and start aggressively scrubbing, as it can damage the seats.

Scrub gently to remove mineral deposits and leftover dirt from the seats.

Step Four: Wipe With A Dry Microfiber Towel

Get a light-colored dry microfiber cloth and use it to wipe off excess cleaner from the car seats.

Avoid using a moist or wet towel to dry them, as this will likely leave water stains behind.

Step Five: Dry The Seat 

Ensure you air-dry the seat completely before shutting your car door.

You can roll down the windows or use a blow dryer or fan to completely rid the seats of moisture that may leave stains behind.

If you wash the car seats outside, you can leave them to dry away from direct sunlight before returning them to the car.


The goal behind washing your car seats without leaving water stains is to ensure you remove dirt from the seats and air dry them completely.

Leaving dirt and dust in the seats will compromise the cleaning process; therefore, ensure you remove the dust completely before washing. 

Lastly, ensure you use a sealant on the car seats and use covers to prevent dirt and stains from getting to them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use a vacuum to suck dust and dirt from car seats before washing to prevent water stains.
  • Air dry the car seats completely to prevent water stains.
  • Don’t wipe off the upholstery cleaner with a damp towel.
  • Scrub the seats gently to prevent damaging the material.