How to Get Water Stains out of Leather Car Seats for DIY

How to Get Water Stains out of Leather Car Seats


You should learn how to get water stains out of car seats because a time may come when you will have to deal with it as a car owner. There are DIY steps that you can take to get rid of such a stain without having to hire a car interior detailer.

Our guide has described a process that you can undergo to remove water stains from car upholstery. It also contains sections describing what causes water stains as well as preventive measures.

Save some money with our comprehensive water stain removal article! You won’t have to drive to the car detailer’s workshop and you won’t have to spend much money.

What Causes Water Stains?

It is easy for water to stain your car seats because of the way it dries up. Mineral deposits are left behind as a water spill evaporates causing dark marks to appear. The marks or stains will deface the upholstery until they are removed. Clean the spot without delay once you notice the spill or stain. A fresh spot will be easier to take care of than one that has been left for hours.

How to Get Water Stains out of Leather Car Seats (Step-by-Step Guide)

Don’t get worried about water stains because they are easy to clean. They are easier to eliminate than other types of stains. For example; stains from food, colored fluids, cigarettes, cosmetics, dust, dirt, etc. Let us get right on it starting with the tools you will need.


The cleaning supplies you will need for the procedure include the following:

Two Dry Towels

The towel should be soft and clean apart from being dry. You can also use rags.

A Vacuum Cleaner

Regular vacuum cleaners are OK for this job. A vacuum cleaner should be used to suck up dust, dirt, or debris from the leather before washing commences. This makes water stain removal easier.

A Leather Conditioner

Ensure that the one you buy is a fast-drying product.

Cleaning Process

Cleaning Process of Water Stains out of Leather Car Seats

Leather or faux leather upholstery withstands water spills better than some other types of car seat upholstery like vinyl, nylon, polyester, etc. Few drops of water on your leather car seats may dry up on their own without causing discoloration. But cleaning the leather when there is a discoloration requires special care as seen in the steps below.

Step 1: Use the vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust, dirt, or debris from the leather.

Step 2: Make a solution of water (room-temperature) and vinegar solution.

Step 3: Soak a towel in the mixture.

Step 4: Squeeze the towel out until it stops dripping too much fluid.

Step 5: Utilize the towel to wipe the stain gently. Do so by rubbing outward from the target area to the seams of the upholstery.

Step 6: Wipe down the whole spot with the other dry rag or towel.

Step 7: Leave the spot dry out naturally. You can aid this process by driving around for some minutes with all the windows opened to air the car out.

Step 8: Examine the target area for any sign of the stain.

Step 9: Apply a leather conditioner on the spot provided that you notice any trace of the stain left.

The process described above only takes a few minutes to complete. Airing out your car shouldn’t take long either. Just make sure that you perform each step as explained. Seek the tips of an expert in car care if the stain doesn’t go after undergoing the cleaning process. Some leather car seat types may be more reactive to water stains than others.

Note: Other upholstery types like cloth fabrics can be taken care of with soft brushes and specialized cleaning agents or shampoos.

How to Prevent Water Stains on Car Seats

You may be one of those car owners that have to eat and drink in the car sometimes. It could even be with friends and/or family members. Guarding the appearance of your car seats from the mess that snacking or taking a drink may create is a smart decision.

The durability of your car’s upholstery will be negatively affected if water keeps getting spilled on it. So you will have to be proactive about making sure that water or moisture doesn’t come in contact with the leather.

The best preventive method is to place seat covers on the upholstery. This is a great way to protect the seats from water spills daily. The covers you purchase should be of high quality, of course. Purchase protective covers for all the seats, especially the driver’s side.

Seat covers wrap around car seats so every visible part of the furniture can be protected. You will not be buying these accessories for water stains only. The seats will be shielded from humidity, water, dirt, pieces of food, debris, and so on.

It is easy to get rid of spills on a seat cover. Just remove the cover from the vehicle cautiously and throw it in a washing machine. Wash and dry as instructed by the product manufacturer. It is advisable to shop for machine-washable seat covers. You can also use seat covers that are easy to wash by hand with soap and water if they are cheaper than the machine-washable types.

Car seat covers would be very important for family trips since there is a high possibility that your kids would make a mess in the cabin. You can always show off your leather car seats at any time by taking off the covers because they are easy to remove.

Taking Care of Car Floor Mats

The floor mats of your car are accessories that perform a similar role as the seat covers. Ensure that you clean/wash the former regularly because they can get stained like the latter. Floor mats can get filled up with dust, dirt, and debris which can somehow stain car seats/seat covers. For instance, your feet or footwear may disturb the dust which will rise and settle on the seats/seat covers, especially the sides.

It isn’t only the aforementioned reason you need to clean or wash the floor mats regularly. What about the fact that dirty ones can give rise to cabin odors, mold, an increase in bacterial contamination, and so on? Purchase high-quality floor mats to match your seat covers. Make sure both accessories fit the dimensions of the cabin so dust, dirt, debris, and fluids won’t get into the cracks easily.

Final Thought

You can see that implementing the process of how to get water stains out of car seats isn’t a hassle. Just follow the steps diligently and the upholstery will turn out looking like nothing was off with it in the first place. Try to prevent a reoccurrence of the situation now that you know what causes water stains. Don’t forget to pay equal attention to cabin floor protection.

Read also: Top Reasons Why Your Car Leaking Oil When Parked

How to Get Water Stains out of Leather Car Seats for DIY

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