If you’re a parent or fur parent, there may come the unfortunate event wherein your child or fur baby accidentally pees in your car. In such cases, you may wonder how to clean urine from a car seat.
The cleaning process depends on what your car seat’s material is (cloth or leather), but generally, it involves blotting out the urine first, cleaning with a solution, and drying. Also, you should clean the urine off the car seat as soon as possible to prevent its odor from lingering in your vehicle. Read further for more detailed instructions.
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
1. For cloth seats
- White Vinegar: White vinegar is a strong substance that can effectively get rid of grime, dirt, and stains. It works well in cleaning because it contains a strong acid called acetic acid. Moreover, vinegar also works as a disinfectant. Among different types of vinegar, distilled white vinegar is often the most acidic.
- Dish Soap: Aside from destroying bacteria, dish soap can also help neutralize the unpleasant smell of vinegar. Moreover, it is gentle on fabric.
- Cloths: Cloths are needed for cleaning off the urine.
2. For leather seats
- Deep Cleaner for Leather: If the type of leather that your car seat has is nubuck, suede, or unfinished, you must use a cleaner specifically designed for them. Otherwise, they could get damaged. There are cleaners with gentle formulas that are easy to use. All you have to do is spray and wipe them.
- Sponge or Pad: A sponge or pad would be ideal for cleaning the leather car seat with the cleaner.
- Bacteria-Based Cleaner or Enzyme: Either of these two would work best for cleaning the stuffing.
3. For both
- Rubber Gloves: These would protect your hands from the urine. Wearing gloves also prevents the vinegar from making your hands dry and the smell of the cleaning solution from sticking to your hands as you clean pee out of a car seat.
- Absorbent Paper Towels: They are needed for blotting out the urine.
- Water: It is needed for diluting the vinegar since vinegar is a strong substance that can tend to strip fabrics of color. It also helps to form a lather for cleaning. If you have leather seats, you’ll need water to clean their stuffing.
- Bowl, Bucket, or Spray Bottle: You can use either for mixing and applying the cleaning solution.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Open the Car Windows and Doors
Before cleaning, open the car windows and doors. This will allow fresh air to get in your car and help air out the foul urine odor. It will also prevent the smell of your cleaning solution from lingering in your car.
2. Cleaning Cloth Car Seats
- Step 1: Blot the Urine From the Car Seat With Absorbent Paper Towels
On the area soiled with urine, blot out the urine with some paper towels to remove pee from car seat as much as possible. Do it carefully in a manner that won’t spread out the pee to other areas. You should also pay attention to dips, indents, and seams, where the pee may have pooled.
When blotting, press on the surface fairly hard to make the urine rise up. Continuously do it until no more urine is absorbed.
- Step 2: Create a Cleaning Solution
To make a solution for cleaning urine, in a bowl or bucket, combine a tablespoon each of white vinegar and dish soap with two cups of water. Mix them gently to form a lather. Another option would be to create the solution in a spray bottle if you would rather spray it on the affected area.
- Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Solution Onto the Affected Area and Scrub
If you’re using a bowl or a bucket, dip a cloth in the cleaning solution. But don’t get the cloth too soaked, as it would make the affected area wetter and drying harder. Wring out the cloth after dipping it in the solution. Alternatively, lightly spray the cleaning solution on the affected area if your solution’s in a spray bottle; don’t make the seat too wet.
Avoid wiping and smearing the area to protect the car seat. Instead, gently dab the cloth onto the affected area. Start dabbing from the outside edges of the stain going to the center to prevent the urine stain from spreading. Repeat the spraying and scrubbing of the area until it’s finally clean.
- Step 4: Blot the Area Dry
Take a dry cloth and use it to absorb the moisture left on the area you cleaned. Then take another cloth, dampen it, and use it to dab the affected area. Use both the dry cloth and damp cloth alternatively until there’s no residue.
- Step 5: Let the Area Air Dry
Keep the windows and doors open to let the seat completely dry.
3. Cleaning Leather Car Seats
- Step 1: Blot the Urine From the Car Seat With Absorbent Paper Towels
First, remove urine from car seat by blotting it from the seat’s surface using absorbent paper towels. Avoid wiping; work from the outside edges of the soiled area going toward the center to prevent the urine from spreading.
- Step 2: Remove the Leather Car Seat’s Stuffing
Unzip the car seat and remove the stuffing. See if it smells like urine. If your car seat doesn’t come with a zipper, which won’t allow you to take out the stuffing, just act fast so that the urine won’t settle within the stuffing.
- Step 3: Clean off the Urine Using a Cleaner Specially Designed for Leather
Before cleaning your leather car seat with the cleaner, test the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot to see if it has any adverse effects on the leather. If there is none, proceed to clean large areas with it using a sponge or pad. Only put a little amount of the cleaner on the sponge or pad.
You should clean in circular motions and not just clean the affected area but the entire seat. This prevents your car seat from having a water stain.
- Step 4: Hand-wash the Leather Car Seat’s Stuffing
When washing the stuffing, use a cleaner that’s bacteria or enzyme-based and gently wash it by hand. If you’re trying to remove cat pee, an enzyme cleaner is especially effective, as it will break down the uric acid in your pet’s urine.
- Step 5: Let the Car Seat’s Stuffing Dry Completely
Leave the stuffing out to air dry. If possible, leave it under the heat of the sun. This would help make the drying quicker and get rid of pee smell in car. The drying process should not take more than a few hours.
- Step 6: Dry the Car Seat’s Leather
Leave the leather to dry in a cool area. Do not place it under the heat of the sun, as the sun’s heat can bleach and harden it. UV rays can also crack and dry leather.
Parents and fur parents must properly deal with accidental urination on car seats to prevent the odor from lingering in the car and making rides uncomfortable. Just follow the steps provided for cleaning urine from car seat, and there’ll be no trace of urine left.
Did you enjoy reading this tutorial on how to clean urine from a car seat? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Or you can also share this article to help other parents or fur parents.
About me, I am passionate about cars and automotive projects. I know how frustrating it is to spend multiple hours and days investigating faulty parts and replacing them with suitable components. But once the process is finished, the effort is worth it. That’s why I am happy to be here, providing helpful content after thorough research and testing.