Can You Wash Car Seat Covers? Here is Your Answer!

can you wash car seat covers

Thanks to car seat covers, your vehicle’s seats can be kept clean and protected from damage. But these protective interior coverings also require upkeep once they’ve gotten filthy over time.

If they already got to that point and got you wondering, “Can you wash car seat covers?”, the answer is yes.

Just make sure to follow the cleaning instructions found on the label attached to the seat cover, like whether it can be machine washed and dried or not, etc.

Can You Wash Car Seat Covers?


You definitely can, which makes use of car seat covers the easiest and best way to keep the seats in your vehicle clean.

Not only do they keep away all sorts of contaminants from the seats’ actual surface, but most of them are machine washable. When they get dirty, you can just take them off the seats and put them in the washer, which takes a lot less effort than doing a deep clean a car seat.

But note that not all seat covers are made the same, and each has specific cleaning procedures. They usually come with a label containing washing instructions to clean them without causing damage.

For example, although most covers are machine washable, some must only be hand washed due to their material, like sheepskin car seat covers.

However, some sheepskin seat covers can also be machine washed, but make sure to follow the instructions.

Common things you must avoid when you clean car seat covers, such as excessive heat, certain chemicals, etc., stated in the instructions to prevent damage.

How to Wash Car Seat Covers?

It’s best to refer to the instructions for washing car seat covers. But to give you an idea, provided below is how the process generally goes including for machine-washable and sheepskin seat covers.

Step 1: Shake off Loose Contaminants


After you remove car seat cover to wash them, shake the loose contaminants off them. This step would prevent dirt and debris from getting left behind in the washing machine.

Step 2: Take Care of Loose Ties and Hooks

Loose ties and hooks may get caught in the washing machine’s agitator and damage the machine. To prevent that, tie up loose ties and remove the hooks on the covers.

Step 3: Spot Clean Stains if There Are Any

  • For Machine-Washable Car Seat Covers

Tough stains on machine washable car seat covers can be pretreated in the washer by soaking with warm water and a stain remover.

You can let the covers pre-soak for 20 minutes or according to the time specified on the product’s instructions. But if certain chemicals on a stain remover are not allowed for your covers, you may use soap for a mild detergent.

  • For Sheepskin Car Seat Covers

Spot cleaning on sheepskin car seat covers can be done by dampening the stained areas and rubbing detergent onto them. Take a sponge, let it absorb some cold water, and dab it on the stains. Do not use hot water to prevent shrinkage and cause damage.

Afterward, take a sponge, put some detergent, and then rub it onto the stains to remove dirt. Then, with the damp sponge, wipe away the detergent and stains lifted from the surface.

Step 4: Wash the Car Seat Covers


  • For Machine-Washable Car Seat Covers

Ideally, you can set warm water with a mild detergent. The washer should be set on a short washing cycle. If you use a fabric softener, go for a basic one.

You must avoid the following when machine washing:

  • Hot water can cause shrinkage.
  • Cold water is not as effective for removing dirt and stains.
  • Long cycles and spin time can harm the covers.
  • Bleach can be damaging.
  • Mixing the covers with other pieces of laundry may cause discoloration.
  • For Sheepskin Car Seat Covers

To not ruin the luxurious aesthetic of your sheepskin car seat covers, you must be cautious with the detergent you will use.

Because some detergent ingredients can discolor and damage them, particularly bleach, peroxide, alkalis, and washing enzymes. So make sure that your product does not include any of them.

You must also not use Woolite, as it can cause the hide to dry out. The ideal cleaning product for sheepskin seat covers is woolskin shampoo. Baby shampoo and Ivory soap make good alternatives too.

Remember to do a spot test with any cleaning solution you’re going to use to see if it would safely clean the covers and not destroy them.

  • Non-Machine-Washable Sheepskin Car Seat Covers

In a basin, mix the appropriate cleaning solution of your choice with cold water. Once the mixture is prepared, wash the seat covers in the basin. Finally, rinse them thoroughly with cold water.

  • Machine-Washable Sheepskin Car Seat Covers

Using the appropriate cleaner and cold water, the machine washes the covers with the cycle set to gentle or delicate.

Related article: Guide to clean your car seats with laundry detergent.

Step 5: Dry the Car Seat Covers

  • For Machine-Washable Car Seat Covers

Just as you should not use high-temperature water when washing the car seat covers, you must also not use a dryer, as the high heat from the machine can also cause them to shrink. You must only let them air dry on a clothesline.

  • For Sheepskin Car Seat Covers

Let them air dry on a clothesline and do not expose them to the sun’s direct heat.

Drying sheepskin seat covers usually takes three days. As the covers dry, stretch out their skin every once in a while to prevent shrinkage.

When the covers are 90% dry, you can put them back onto the car seats to prevent shrinkage. Once they’re finally dry, you can fluff them using a sheepskin brush.

Can You Wash Graco Car Seat Covers?


As children tend to get messy, their Graco car seat covers would likely get soiled with all sorts of contaminants, so the covers would have to be cleaned sooner or later.

Fortunately, Graco makes car seat cleaning easy to do as it allows washing, especially as most of their child restraint models’ covers and fabrics can be machine washed.

But you have to check your seat’s care instructions, as some models require hand washing.

Initially, you’ll have to take apart the restraint and individually clean the different parts.

You should wash only the cover and other fabrics, while the straps should be spot cleaned. Check here to know how to clean it correctly.

Remember to rinse the buckle and use a wet cloth to wipe the plastic parts. See the car seat’s manual for the proper cleaning procedure.

Also, here is the guide on Graco car seat cleaning if you needed.


Since the answer to the question, “Can you wash car seat covers?” is yes, car maintenance is made easier for car owners. But keep in mind that washing them has to be done with caution.

You have to be careful in following the instructions for washing and undergoing the steps, as well as use the right cleaning products required for the process.

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