How To Get Grease Out Of Car Seat [Fabric vs. Leather]

back and white look of a front car seat
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Getting grease out of car seats is almost an arduous task. Because grease is a jelly-like solid that when you try to clean it off leaves oil residue behind. But no matter how the grease stains got to the seat surface, the cleaning process remains similar.

    To get grease out of a car seat, first, scrape off the excess off. Then apply a cleaning product and scrub the surface and dab the surface with a damp towel. Clean the surface repeatedly until the grease stain is gone.

    Cleaning grease off a leather seat is quite different so you have to use another efficient method. Furthermore, older greasy smudges are more challenging to get rid of from car seats than fresh stains. Learn useful and practical tips on how to clean grease from any car seat.

    How To Get Grease Out Of Car Seat?

    To get grease out of a car seat, you have to remove the grease debris first before cleaning. Then scrub and wipe the surface of the car seat until it’s clean.

    Cleaning off grease stain is simple, either you; steam, wash, absorb or melt the grease. One or a combination of methods must get rid of the greasy surface.

    Grease is a jelly-like solid so it cannot entirely absorb into the car seat. Once you scrape them, they leave an oily residue. On the other hand, the oils cannot be absorbed by water, making it tasking to clean.

    Dabbing and blotting the stained surface soaks off the oil. You can use a paper towel or a piece of cloth. To tackle your grease issue properly, we have discussed it in detail.

    How To Get Grease Out Of Car Seat [Fabric vs. Leather] 1

    Older Grease Stain

    For older stains, you have to use a store-bought product like WD-40. It assists in removing dry, greasy stains from car seats. We will need;

    1. Spray bottle
    2. Dull knife or scrapper
    3. WD-40
    4. Brush
    5. Pieces of clothes
    6. Mild soap or anti-grease dish soap
    7. Brush


    Step 1

    Gently scrape off the grease from the car seat.  Use the dull knife or scraper; make sure you don’t ruin the seat fabric.

    Step 2

    Put some WD-40 on the stain; enough product to make the grease fresh and moist.

    Step 3

    Using dish soap and a rag, rub the stained surface. Repeat as necessary until most of the grease is out of the car seat.

    Step 4

    If the rag is not efficient, use a brush and scrub the surface. Be gentle, so you do not ruin the seat.

    Step 5

    Dab the stain with a cloth and clean off all residue.

    Step 6

    Use the spray bottle, spray water on the seat to properly clean off any residue—dab with a cloth to soak off excess water. Repeat until the car seat’s surface is grease-free and clean.

    Fresher Grease Stains

    To clean fresh grease stains, you would need;

    1. Corn starch or any talcum powder
    2. Paper towels
    3. Vacuum cleaner


    Step 1

    Using the paper towel, wipe off the grease.

    Step 2

    Evenly cover, and then rub the stained surface with the corn starch or powder.

    Step 3

    Let the powder seat on the soiled surface for at least ten hours. It would soak up the oil residue.

    Step 4

    Vacuum the seat to get off all the powder and any dirt on the car seat. You will observe that the grease stain is no longer there.

    Step 5

    If some residue remains, repeat the procedure. In case it doesn’t seem to go away, employ the process of the first method above.

    Fabric Material Seats

    You can clean fabric car seats in the same way as a stained grease carpet. So if you have carpet stains, this method is effective. For this technique, we need WD-40 and paper towels.

    Step 1

    Clean off the grease from the car seat surface. Use the paper towel to ensure all residue is good.

    Step 2

     Put a minor quantity of the WD-40 on the car seat.

    Step 3

    Let the product sit on the surface for some minutes. It helps breaks down the grease.

    Step 4

    Dab the product and residue off the seat.

    How To Get Grease Out Of Car Seat [Fabric vs. Leather] 2

    How Do I Remove Grease Stains From My Leather Car Seat?


    Manufacturers design some dish soap or detergent to clean grease stains effectively. They break down fresh oil stains from surfaces. An example is Dawn detergent, another grease removing product is Goo Gone.

    Using a degreaser is precise, and steps are less confusing. Like we mentioned earlier, you may need to use two or more methods to tackle some stains. 

    To remove grease using a degreaser, first, scrape off the excess mess. Make a mixture of the degreaser and put it in a spray bottle. You can use Dawn and water and then shake it until it lathers.

    You can buy store-bought degreaser specifically for leather products. Spray or pour it on the surface, then scrub with a soft sponge.

    If the leather seems to be losing color at all, please stop scrubbing immediately. With a damp cloth, clean off the surface. Be sure to clean off thoroughly.


    After trying the degreaser and some residue would not go away, try steaming. The hot air would heat the car seat and lure out the trapped grease. You can use a steamer or a cloth iron.

    Put a paper envelope or bag on the soiled area, then place the iron on it. The heat would cause the fabric to release the oils onto the paper.

    Baking Soda

    You can use a baking soda paste to clean off grease; mostly smelly, greasy stains. Make a paste from water, baking soda, flour, and sea salt. Mix all into a small bowl and make sure it dissolves finely.

    The sea salt has fine granules that make it suitable for scrutiny without a brush. Apply the paste and scrub the leather seat. It is perfect for large, tough stains.

    Use a piece of cloth to massage the mix into the leather. After a while, clean off the paste using a damp towel. Use distilled water for cleaning as it does not leave white residues.

    Check to see if the grease stain is gone and repeat if necessary.

    Cleaning Grease From A Plastic Seat Covering

    Some pet owners use a plastic seat cover to protect their car seats from their pets’ mess. For example, a dog could bring in grease unto the car seats from a station. 

    Cleaning the plastic cover is similar to cleaning a leather seat. It is not ideal to use a product like a thinner; it would ruin your car seat cover. You can use this method to clean your car’s interior as well. 

    Make a mix of degreaser and water. Dip a sponge and wash your surface. Clean to remove all debris and grease stains. 

    Finally, wipe off with clean water. Repeat it until all residue is gone and your surface is clean.

    Final Words

    We have discussed how to clean fresh and old stains from car seats. We further discussed how to clean cloth and leather seats using simple techniques. Grease stains are challenging to get rid of, especially with the wrong products. It is best to use mild soap and scrub gently, so you do not ruin the car seat.

    Besides dealing with grease, make sure to be prepared for other car seat cleaning challenges like removing vomit and getting gum off the car seat. Additionally, it’s helpful to know how to lower your spare tire without a tool for those unexpected roadside emergencies.

    Avatar of Keren Simanova

    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren
    Receive the latest news

    Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

    Get notified about new articles

    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren