Don’t Hose Off Your Car Seats – Here Is Why

Cleaning your car seats is essential and shouldn’t be a one-time thing.

While it’s great to have your car seat detailed at an auto shop, it may not always be an option since it costs money and you may not have the time to visit.

And if you enjoy DIY, you’re at liberty to wash your car seats in whichever way you deem fit.

However, are you sure it’s fitting to hose off your car seat?

Quick Answer

As a whole, you shouldn’t hose off a car seat in your car as excess water can cause rust buildup under the seat and affect its mobility. 

Hosing off the dirt from your car seat seems easy and effective, with force pushing the dirt, especially if you use a pressure hose.

However, it’s not the best way to wash your dirty car seat. How, then, should you wash your car seat? 

Can You Hose Off A Car Seat?

You should clean your car seats at least every week as you shake off the car mat, depending on how much time you spend in the vehicle.

Leaving dirt to linger on car seats can lead to permanent stains. However, deciding how to clean a car seat could be a problem.

Quick Answer

As a general rule, you shouldn’t hose off a car seat as the water can get underneath the car seat and lead to rust buildup, making the car unsafe.

Rust on the underside of the car will eventually cause a mobility problem that could be dangerous in an accident.

You should avoid hosing down the seat belt because they’re braided, and water can loosen the thread, which could lead to a malfunction should an accident occur.

Plus, it can compromise their durability. 

In addition, wet car seats in your car will make the vehicle quickly generate mildew.

Therefore, instead of trying to take the easy way out of blasting your car seats with pressured water, you can choose a more effective way to clean them. 

How, then, should you wash your car seats? For starters, here are some of the things you need:

  • Microfiber towel
  • Vacuum, crevice tool, and upholstery brush
  • Bucket
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Commercial carpet and upholstery cleaners
  • Scrub brush
  • A spray bottle
  • Spray on fabric cloth

Cleaning Fabric Car Seat

Fabric car seats are very common and durable; however, cleaning them can be tedious, especially if there are no seat covers.

To clean them, you need to remove the seat from the vehicle to ensure easy access and wash.

Then, vacuum the seats while using a brush to brush out dirt from the crevices.

Spritz the upholstery cleaner over the car seats to get out the stains.

Depending on how bad the stains are, use a brush or towel to scrub. Then, wipe out excess using a dry microfiber cloth.

Allow it to dry completely before installing it back in the car to prevent mildew and smell.

Then, use a spray-on fabric protector to prevent future stains. Reinstall the car seats and check if the mobility is intact.

Cleaning Leather Seats

Cleaning leather seats takes a different approach, but first, you need to unscrew the car seats and remove them from the vehicle.

Then, vacuum the seats while using a crevices tool to remove dirt from hard-to-reach places.

Mix vinegar and water and spritz it directly on the seat or a microfiber cloth.

Test how well the leather reacts to it on a small, hidden part of the seat before using it all over it.

Wipe off the mixture using a microfiber towel and ensure you get to hidden spots.

Then, leave the seats to air dry away from direct sunlight. Use a leather protector if necessary before reinstalling the car seats. Ensure you check the mobility.


Blasting a hose on your car seats isn’t the best way to clean your car.

The seat can retain moisture that may cause the underside to rust. Instead, you should wash gently using the right tools without drenching the car seats. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Hosing off a car seat can cause the seat’s underside to rust and compromise the car seat’s mobility.
  • Wet car seats will host mildew and make the car seat smell


Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge