Can You Wash Factory Seat Covers?

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The seat cover is an integral of a vehicle and it plays a huge role in beautifying the interior of the vehicle and protecting the seats. Nevertheless, seat covers are made in various types; customs or factory seat cover, semi-custom cover, and universal seat cover.

Factory seat covers are made by automotive makers and they fit perfectly with the car seats. However, many users are curious if there is a need for them to wash factory seat covers. 

Can you wash the factory seat cover? The answer to this question is in the affirmative. Seat cover being part of a car interior needs to be maintained regularly to give the car a perfect look.

However, you cannot wash a factory seat cover the way you will wash other seat covers. Read on for more information on how to wash a factory seat cover and other pieces of information about seat cover

How can I wash a factory seat cover? 

Depending on the type of material the factory seat cover is made of. Highlighted below are some of the ways you can wash a factory seat cover.

  1. Wash with warm water: You have likely used the seat cover for a longer duration and they are very dirty. In such a situation, you should wash the seat cover with warm water. Washing with warm water will remove the stains and still preserve the quality of the material. Also, cold water cannot completely remove the dirt from the seat cover.
  2. Avoid bleach: You need to be mindful of the color and quality of a factory seat cover when you want to wash. Therefore, do not use bleach or any soap that contains bleach. This might reduce the quality of the seat cover after wash. 
  3. Avoid scrubbing: Scrubbing with a brush might affect the material of the seat cover. You should avoid using it irrespective of how dirty the seat cover is.
  4. Hand washing: If possible, you should hand wash and dry the seat cover with air. This will preserve the quality of the material. You can put it on a hanger, spread it in an open space, and allow it to air dry. 

How often should I wash a factory seat cover?

The frequency at which you wash your seat cover depends largely on:

  1.  Frequency of driving: You might be the type that will park the car at home and make use of a public vehicle. Nevertheless, if you drive regularly, it is recommended that you wash the seat cover once in two months. 
  2. Your passenger: In a situation where you have little children as a passenger in your car, you should wash the seat cover at least once a month. Children could bring food and liquid substances into the car. This will increase the rate at which the car gets dirty. 

Can I use a machine to wash a seat cover?

It has been stated earlier in this guide that the material of your seat cover will determine what method to use. All seat covers come with a label that states how they are to be maintained, washed, and cleaned. It is recommended that the label which is usually by the side of the seat cover is read, to get how the cover is to be maintained.

Also, if your seat cover is made of leather, all you need to do is to get products made specifically to clean leather-made seat covers. There are products made for that purpose. Neoprene materials are usually suitable for machine washing. For seat covers made out of sheepskin, machine wash is not usually recommended. However, remember you should not wash a seat cover with hot water. 

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Can I wash my seat cover myself?

Washing and cleaning seat covers is a tedious task. It takes time and effort before you remove them from the car seats, wash, dry, and return them. You can do it alone. Nevertheless, you should seek assistance if you are tired or you feel you cannot do it alone. 

Will the machine reduce the durability of a seat cover? 

The longevity of your car seat depends largely on the material and how well you followed the recommendations of the manufacturer.

If you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for your seat cover, there are chances that your seat cover will last long enough and maintain perfect condition. Seat cover like leather can peel off in no time due to regular washing, which will automatically reduce its life span.

However, if the cleaning recommendation is duly followed as stated by the manufacturers, the seat cover tends to last long.

It is however recommended by most automotive repair experts that seat covers should be changed once in two years. It is recommended that you hand wash a seat cover to increase its lifespan. 

Ways you can wash different materials of the seat cover

Seat covers are made with different materials and the mode of washing is different from one another. Highlighted below are some of the processes involved in washing different seat covers

1. Sheepskin seat cover

When you have a seat cover that is made with sheepskin, you can be assured of its durability. However, it takes a great effort to care for a sheepskin seat cover.

If you want to wash the sheepskin seat cover, you should carefully remove the seat cover, you can then shake it thoroughly or you use a vacuum cleaner.

Nevertheless, the sheepskin seat cover doesn’t get dirty easily as it can naturally shed dirt away. Just shake it thoroughly as you can. However, you can do spot cleaning, using non-bleach detergent or soaps that are specially designed for wool.

You can use a wet sponge to clean the dirty spot and rinse with water. Are you worried about water? Well, Water does not harm sheepskin seat cover.

If the sheepskin seat cover gets wet in the process, do not place it under heat or direct sunlight. You can place a dry towel over it, roll it up, and squeeze the water away. Spread it out under a shade so it won’t shrink. Avoid heat sources such as cloth dryers or blow dryers to dry the cover. A fan can be used to circulate air over them to dry faster.

2. Neoprene seat

This type of seat cover is made of synthetic rubber. It is also the material used for scuba diving wet suits. It is waterproof and resistant to stain, however, some stains could be stubborn.

Most of the neoprene seat covers are either hand or machine-washable. In situations where the neoprene seat cover gets stained, you can follow the tips highlighted below.

  • As soon as the stain occurs, get a damp cloth and soak the stained part with it to avoid discolouration of that part. Then get an upholstery cleaner, spray it on that part and leave it to dry.
  • Get warm water and a brush, soak the stained part with warm water, and scrub it with a brush. Doing this will remove any remnant of stain or dirt. You can then use a hand dryer to dry it.

Nevertheless, if you have tried the steps stated above and the stain is still there, you can then take the seat cover to a professional cleaner. Make sure you explain the efforts you have made in cleaning the seat cover. 

Reasons why you should wash a seat cover

The interior of a car is one of the important parts of the car, hence, the need to take care of it. Highlighted below are some of the reasons why you should wash the seat cover. 

  1. Enhances appearance: How do you feel when you newly bought the car? You likely love the look of the interior. When you have a neat seat cover, it will also enhance the beauty of the interior of your car. Leaving the seat cover dirty will make the interior less attractive.
  2. Increase durability: You are potentially increasing the durability of your seat cover when you wash it regularly. Leaving the seat cover dirty will reduce the lifespan of the seat cover. It is recommended that you wash the seat cover once in two months. 
  3. Prevention against germs: A dirty environment is a habitat for germs and other microorganisms. When the seat cover is dirty and you do not wash it, you are potentially harbouring germs in your car. This is a risk to your health and the health of your passengers.   

Can You Wash Factory Seat Covers – Conclusion

Seat covers are to be washed and maintained for the interior of the car to look perfect. However, to get the best out of your seat cover, it is recommended that you follow the cleaning recommendations of manufacturers as usually stated on the label of the seat cover.

This will enable you to know if you can use a machine to wash or other methods that can be used to wash the seat cover. Following the manufacturer’s recommendation increases the life span of the seat cover and saves you money. 

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