Favorite Cleaner For Cloth Seats ?

Sep 10, 2010
For light to moderately soiled (no stains) cloth seats what fabric cleaner from WM auto section (or elsewhere) have you had good success with ?
I had the interior of our 85 completely reupholstered including the ceiling around the T-Tops. I learned a trick the shop owner used. A rag with just a bit of charcoal lighter fluid heals a lot of sin.
+1 on Tuff Stuff
Also, I used Simple Green -shake up to foam and apply to dampened cloth method- with incredible results.
I assume the similar products (Purple Power etc.) would work the same.
Meguiar's Citrus APC. Dilute to desired strength. 10:1 gets out some pretty nasty stuff.

Sometimes, if the seats are just lightly soiled, I'll mist Tide 20:1 a on a MF pad and scrub the seats with my DA.
  • Like
Reactions: GON
you can clean car upholstery on the cheap + do a great job, just liquid tide laundry detergent @ 50% in water, scrub both ways with a sponge being sure to saturate material + vac as dry as possible + fan dry the rest as the foam holds moisture. i did this yearly in my very light tan 2001 jetta interior as windows were usually down. a lot of work but its interior looked new after 10 years + 200 thou on the clock, sometimes 200 miles daily for building construction work!!! of course best done in summer but setting in hot sun still wont fully dry as witnessed by water droplets on the windows. i put 2 good fans on it overnight in my shed, worked every time + it smells great ever if a smoker but i am smarter than that!! i started on the headliner down, you can see clean spots from the drips doing the top as noted several hours of my free labor!!
^^^This^^^ Only I use a cheap generic carpet cleaner in a spray bottle from Lowe’s. Swab lightly with a damp cloth. Windows down overnight with a box fan blowing. Works great for only pennies.
Yes, I understand that there are stains that need some serious help from designated products but for most daily stains/spots...

I have used many products that are specific for vehicle interiors and they have all worked well. However, since I don't have anymore interior specific cleaning products in my stash, nor have I had any in many years, I just use a mild(very mild) mix of dish soap & mostly water. Stronger if needed but mostly just more water. If I can't get a stain out with plain water, only then will I move to something a bit stronger.
FLOEX, hands down. I used this religiously when I had a detailing business. It’s not a harsh chemical and it’s fairly cheap for how well it works.
*So , I bought Folex at Lowes : For a normal cloth car seat with moderate dirt stains - how do you use Folex best ?
Spray it on stain. Gently rub the area with your fingers. Blot dry. That’s how I used it anyway.

What do the directions on the bottle say?
*So , I bought Folex at Lowes : For a normal cloth car seat with moderate dirt stains - how do you use Folex best ?
Typically I soak the worst spots first and let it dwell on the area for about 5 minutes. Then I agitate it with my finger with a microfiber towel and blot it up and suck it mostly dry with a shop vac. Quite often though the stained spot is now cleaner than the rest of the seat and I then do an overall cleaning with the same procedure but don't totally soak it like I did for the bad spots.
Best thing is that its water based non-ionic formula does not leave a sticky residue so stains will not reappear. I've seen this time and again where other cleaners residue attracts dirt again giving the appearance that the original stain didn't come out when in fact the original stain is gone but the residue attracts dirt at a greater rate than the rest of the area.
I recently cleaned out my daughter's Civic aka the rolling dumpster 😆. It has the LIGHT GREY seats that show the least little spots. Heck the clean condensation off of a bottle of water will leave the seat bottom looking like a Rorschach test
Last edited:
On light stuff I have been using leftover shampoo like Paul Mitchell The One.
I foam it up an sponge the foam on there with a washcloth. I also have a plastic fingernail brush to work out the hard stuff.

I haven't tried to clean anything serious. I Used to have a lil green clean machine to clean up pet "accidents' on the sofa and chairs, but it think that thing is toast.. I would rent a pro upholstery steam vac if the easy solution doesn't do it,