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How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

Need to clean your car seats?

Want to do it yourself to save on the cost?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to clean car seats with household supplies. Yes, most of the things you’ll need can be found in your home. 

Plus, we’re going to show you how to clean different car seat materials. And also, we’ll share some cleaning hacks from the pros. 

There’s something for everyone here.

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies
Source: canva.com

Leather seats improve the interior of any car. 

However, leather needs a special kind of care to keep it in great condition.

And it’s so important to use the right materials and cleaning method. If you don’t, then you might see your leather car seats cracking sooner rather than later. 

Here’s what you’ll need to clean leather car seats:

  • Microfiber cloth or towel (best to have 3 on hand)
  • Leather cleaner, mild leather soap, or a homemade solution using one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum

Here are the steps to cleaning your leather car seats:

  1. Secure the cleaning materials listed above. If unsure of the solutions suitable for your car seat, it’s best to ask for assistance in the hardware store.
  1. Grab your vehicle’s manual and see if there’s a list of dos and don’ts for seat cleaning.
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and in between the crevices. Use the smaller attachments and nozzles to suck in dirt from the sides of the seats.
  1. Spray your leather cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth and wipe the seats clean.
  1. If there is caked in dirt, spray the solution onto the seats directly. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping off. If your car uses perforated leather (those with holes), spray the solution on the brush instead. Scrub lightly until you no longer see grime coming off the leather.
  1. To dry, get another clean and unused microfiber towel and wipe the surface.

There! As easy as that!

How to Clean Vinyl Car Seats

If you have vinyl car seats, then you’re in luck. 

Sure, it might not be the most visually appealing, but it’s the easiest to clean and maintain. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth or towels (again, best to have 3)
  • Mild cleaning soap or a homemade solution using warm water and a cap of laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda

Here are the steps to cleaning your vinyl car seats: 

  1. Grab your cleaning supplies. For the homemade solution, we recommend transferring it to a spray bottle.
  1. Create a baking soda paste for darker stains. Mix a small amount of baking soda, a few drops of water, and half a cap of liquid detergent. Make sure it creates a thick and paste-like texture that’s not diluted.
  1. Check your vehicle’s manual for cleaning precautions. 
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and between the crevices. 
  1. Spray your cleaning solution on different sections of the car seats and immediately scrub using your soft-bristled brush.
  1. Once done, get a damp towel to wipe off the residue and grime.
  1. Still seeing stubborn stains and spots? Get your baking soda paste and apply it on top of the surface. Leave it there for 3 minutes to absorb.
  1. Gently scrub off the baking soda paste. Only brush on the stained area so that it won’t spread. 
  1. Reach for your dry and unused microfiber towel to wipe off all the solutions and dirt.

And tada! You now have clean vinyl car seats 

How to Clean Cloth Car Seats

Cloth seats are the easiest materials to get stains. 

So if your car has cloth seats, it’s best to clean them regularly. You don’t want to prolong the stain, too, as it’ll be harder to remove. 

Here’s what you’ll need for cloth car seats:

  1. 3 microfiber cloths or towels 
  2. Mild cleaning soap or upholstery solution
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Soft-bristled interior brush
  5. Oxygen-based bleach
  6. Vacuum

These are the steps to cleaning cloth car seats:

  1. Start by vacuuming the car seats. Since cloth is the most absorbent, push down the vacuum nozzle, so it captures dirt found deeper into the seat.
  1. Unlike other types of car seats, you need to pre-treat the stains you see on cloth, whether it’s ink, food, drink, or mud. Pour the upholstery solution on the stains and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  1. For stains where another bright color is transferred to your seat, it’s time to bring out the bleach, specifically an oxygen-based bleach. Bleach is generally a harsh solution, so grab an oxygen-based one from the grocery. Pour a small amount of bleach into a spray bottle and dilute with water. Spray the bleach solution onto your car seat and let it seep for an hour.
  1. When 15 minutes or the hour is up, brush the area using a soft-bristled brush or scrubber.
  1. Next up is to spray the upholstery solution on the surface of the seats. You don’t have to shower it with the solution. Just keep it damp.
  1. Start scrubbing from top to bottom until you see no more dirty water dripping from the seat. You can also scrub this off with clean water.
  1. Now that is done, you just need to wipe off the excess moisture and dirt with a microfiber cloth.
  1. Keep your doors open for the seats to air-dry.

As we said, it’s best to clean stains right away. This way, it’ll be a lot easier to remove. 

Tips to Clean Car Seats Faster

We know. Who has 2 to 3 hours to spare cleaning their car seats?

To help you cut down the time, we’re going to share these fast car seat cleaning tips from professional cleaners. 

Tip 1: Clean from Top to Bottom

The last thing you want is to keep dirt going back to the already clean areas. So in that case, vacuum and scrub from top to bottom and collect all remaining grime at the bottom of the seat.

Tip 2: Change your brush and micro-fiber towel as needed

Only you can tell how dirty these towels become while cleaning. If you see that it needs replacing or hosing with water, then go ahead! 

Don’t skimp on cleaning your towels. You don’t want dirt to accumulate on the bristles and get transferred back to your seats.

Tip 3: Invest in your upholstery and mild cleaners

Choose the most recommended solutions in the groceries or the hardware stores. This way, you don’t have to keep spraying the liquid on your car and towels as you clean. 

Remember, more sprays don’t necessarily mean better removal of dirt, stains, and grime. It’s the solution that matters most. 

Conclusion

It’s so important to keep your car seats clean. 

Thankfully, you can get the job done with a few household supplies. 

So whether you have a leather, vinyl, or cloth car seat, make sure you clean it the proper way. And don’t forget to use the right materials.

What are you waiting for?

If you see your car seat needs cleaning, get started right away! You already know how to clean car seats with household supplies. 

And, as we said, the materials you need are most likely already with you. 

Happy cleaning!

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost?

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost

A car wrap is perfect for those who want to keep their cars protected from chips and scratches without compromising the look and style.

But…

Is it within your budget?

Here, we’re going to talk about how much does a car wrap cost. We’re going to give you the factors that determine the cost, as well as the standard cost you can expect. 

On top of that, we’ll also talk about whether or not you really need a car wrap. 

So let’s get started right away! 

Factors that Determine the Cost of a Car Wrap

car wrap
Source: canva.com

To determine the cost, there are several factors that need to be considered. 

Let’s look at these now. 

The make and model of your car will be a determining factor in the overall cost of a car wrap. The more complex the design, the more difficult it will be to finish the task. This means extra working hours and above-average expertise. 

Your desired vinyl finish also contributes to the final cost. A gloss, matte, or satin finish all differ in price. 

For example, matte finish vinyl wraps are more popular as it gives a classy, sophisticated look to any car, but they may cost a bit more than the other types of finishes.

The parts that you want to be covered are going to be a point for consideration as well. Of course, covering your entire car will cost higher. If you’re doing just partial coverage, you might be able to save up a little. 

Upgrades such as applying a specialty vinyl, wheel wrapping, or design customization may also incur additional costs to a car wrap service.

Lastly, as this process is labor-intensive, the pricing for a car wrap is often influenced by the service provider’s technical skills and expertise. It may be cheaper to hire a newbie, but an experienced professional might be a better choice if quality is your priority.

Standard Cost of Wrapping a Car

As you probably guessed by now, there is no one set price for car wraps. 

But don’t worry.

We’re here to give you a rough estimate of the cost. 

The standard cost for a car wrap made of heavy-duty vinyl material sits around $5 to $15 per square foot. If you add the installation cost, which is around $5 per square foot, that will mean $20 per square foot at most.

To give you an idea, here are the average baseline costs of having a professional apply a wrap to specific types of vehicles:

  • Compact cars or coupes – starts around $2,000
  • Family sedan – about $3,000
  • Compact crossovers and larger coupes – start around $3,50
  • Full-size SUVs – about $4,000
  • Luxury sports cars – start around $5,000 and can go as high as $10,000
  • Trucks – from 1,500 up to $5,000.

Meanwhile, here are the basic prices for the vinyl types: 

  • A vinyl matte costs around $2 to $3.50 per square foot.
  • A standard gloss vinyl material cost ranges from $2 to $3 per square foot.
  • A Carbon fiber wrap costs around $4 to $9 per square foot.
  • A custom chrome wrap’s base price is around $8 per square foot.

All things considered, an average full car wrap can range from $2,500 to $8,000.

Will DIY Car Wrap Cost Less?

To be sure, doing it yourself will allow you to save A LOT on installation costs. 

However, you could end up buying the materials at a higher price. Plus, you’ll have to spend on the different tools that you’ll need to apply the wrap. 

And that’s not yet a guarantee it will turn out great. 

Nevertheless, we’d say that it’s still cheaper. 

With an average car requiring around 250 square feet of vinyl to cover its entire surface, standard DIY car wrap sums up to only about $500 to $750 in vinyl costs. 

Do we recommend it?

If you have what it takes to wrap your car yourself, then why not?

Do You Really Need A Car Wrap?

Yes, car wraps are expensive. 

But it can also be worth the investment. 

So before you take the plunge, consider if you really need one. 

Here are some things you can think about. 

Why consider a car wrap?

If you want a chrome-like finish or a highly stylized color scheme that’s not available in the factory, you’re in the right direction. A car wrap is perhaps the most ideal way to achieve this. Even if your car is on a lease, it will be easy to remove the wrap once your lease is up.

How’s your car’s condition?

Although wrapping a car is supposed to improve the appearance of an old car, it won’t cover up for a badly beaten vehicle. The paint and the surface of your car must still be in good condition to get a desirable outcome.

Have you considered painting your car instead?

Depending on the quality, a paint-over might be a cheaper option for you. A car wrap gives you a variety of creative designs to choose from. However, there are times when the make of your car will make it more difficult for a customized wrap.

Where do you intend to drive your car?

Maintaining the wrap on your car is not going to be easy if you live in a place where it’s constantly snowing or has a hot climate. Exposure to elements will shorten the lifespan of this investment. So better consider that as well.

Conclusion

How much does a car wrap cost?

Well, it can go from $2,500 all the way up to $8,000. 

It is expensive as wrapping a car is a process that requires intensive labor, as well as creative and technical skills. It is also time-consuming. 

If you want to go cheaper, you can do it yourself. However, you need to be confident that you will make it look great. 

If not, then just go for the professionals if you really need a car wrap. 

So that was it. 

Our guide on the cost of car wraps. 

If this article was helpful, don’t forget to check out our website for more car tips! 

How To Safely Jump Start Your Car

How To Jump Start Your Car

Inevitably, it will happen to you – and never at a convenient time. You need to go somewhere, you get in your car, hit the ignition, and nothing happens – not even a click. Sadly, you’re the victim of a dead battery. If you’re in luck, either you had the foresight to keep jumper cables in your trunk, or you’ll find someone who has a set. So now you can turn a potential headache into a minor annoyance. Jump start your car and be on your way. Just be sure to do it safely. Here’s how:

Step 1

First, open your hood and check the condition of your battery. Look over the casing to make sure there are no cracks. Protecting your fingers from either grime or battery acid, use a piece of paper to lightly wriggle each battery post to make sure they have not broken loose. If one or both terminals is heavily corroded, use a cloth to wipe the corrosion away. [If you are at home, it would be a good idea to clean corrosion away. You can do this with a wire brush and a solution of baking soda and water. Pour the solution over the terminal and brush away the corrosion. Then use clean towels to wipe the top of the battery and the terminals dry. This will ensure a good connection when you jump start your car.]

Step 2

Next, check your jumper cables. If there is any corrosion on the clamps, clean them in the same way as you did your terminals. Now, check the polarity of your cables. Most cables designate positive (+) with a red handle and negative (-) with a black handle. When you make your connections, you will want to be sure that these match up properly. Note: Some older cars – particularly British cars – are positive ground. So long as you keep the polarities correct, this does not matter.

Step 3

Now it is time to make your connections. Position the boosting car close to the car with the dead battery. Do not let them touch. Turn off the ignition and all accessories for both cars. This is the step where you must take the most caution, because there is potential for sparks to ignite flammable gases. So you do not want any active electrical circuits. It is a good idea, if you have one, to lay a towel over your battery to “absorb” any gases the battery may emit. But make sure no loose ends come near any moving parts.

Step 4

Next, set the parking brake in both cars and place both in either park (P) for an automatic transmission, or neutral (N) for a manual transmission. Now attach the jumper cables. Be careful to not let the ends of the jumper cables come into contact with one another while making your connections. At the very least, you will get a “shocking” surprise; at the worst, you could damage a battery. Follow this sequence:

1. Connect the positive cable clip (red) to the dead battery’s positive terminal.
2. Connect the other positive cable (red) to the boost car’s positive terminal.
3. Connect the negative cable clip (black) to the battery’s negative terminal.
4. Finally – and this is important – do not make your final connection on the negative terminal of the dead battery. Instead, attach this clip to a bare piece of metal – a bolt or a strut – of that car. This is your ground – or earth – connection.

Note: As referenced earlier, some cars are positive ground. In this case, connect negative to negative, attach one cable to the boosting car’s positive terminal, and then ground the other positive cable to bare metal on the receiving car.

Step 5

Start the engine of the boost car and let it run for a couple of minutes to charge the dead battery. [Some car manufacturers advise you to not run the engine of the boosting car because, if a connection is broken, you could damage the electronics in one or both cars. Check your owner’s manual to see if they warn against this.] One way to see if the dead battery is charging is to turn on the dome light in the receiving car. If it lights, then the battery is getting sufficiently charged.

Step 6

Try starting the car with the dead battery. If it does not start, rev the engine of the boost car, let it run for a minute or two, and try again. Once your engine starts, let it idle for a few minutes to charge the battery. Then disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order to which you connected them. Again, be careful to not touch the ends of the jumper cables to anything while you do this.

That’s it! You’ve turned a major headache into a minor inconvenience. Now you can go on with your day.