Owning a car brings with it the pride of ownership. With that pride comes a desire to protect your car. You install an alarm to guard it from theft and damage. You put sunshades in your front window to protect your dashboard from fading. You have a hood cover to shield it from flying rocks and debris, and a car cover to keep it clean when it’s parked. To add even more protection, you can learn how to buy, install, and clean car seat covers to protect the interior from dirt and stains. It’s a simple addition, if you know what to do.
How to choose car seat covers
Before you order your car seat covers, you need to decide what kind of material you want them made from.
Leather gives a car’s interior an expensive look, but the fabric can get very hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
Suede is less expensive, but it is not waterproof and is susceptible to wear and tear.
Neoprene is great for outdoorsy types that tend to drag in dirt and water, because it is waterproof and stain resistant, but it is not very breathable. Neoprene is also good under child car seats.
How to buy car seat covers
Once you have made a choice of material, you have to decide on things like color, airbag compatibility, and finally budget. When choosing your color scheme, try to stick to something that will complement your car’s existing colors.
After that is done, buying car seat covers is fairly easy. You can either go to an auto parts store or order the covers online, from custom to generic. You supply the make, model and year of your car and the store clerk or website will tell you what is compatible and what will fit. Then all you have to do is order them.
How to install car seat covers
When figuring out how to install your car seat covers, keep in mind there are primarily only two types of seats you need to worry about – bucket seats and bench seats.
Step 1: Remove headrests. Typically, the first thing you have to do in either case is remove any headrests.
Step 2: Slide the cover over the seat. On a bucket seat, you will have to slide a cover over the upper half of the seat and then another cover over the bottom cushion.
Step 3: Tuck in the covers. You will then tuck the covers into the creases of the seats and secure them with attached straps or snaps.
Installing a bench seat cover is about the same except after sliding the cover on the bottom cushion, you usually have to pull tight attach straps to pull the cover tight.
Step 4: Re-insert the headrests. When you are done, there will be precut holes for you to reinsert the headrests. The covers will come with a full set of installation instructions.
How to clean car seat covers
In addition to installation instructions, your car seat covers will also come with cleaning instructions. The method of cleaning will depend on the type of material the covers are made of. You should be able to vacuum all of them. However, some can only be spot cleaned with either a damp cloth or a special cleaning solution.
Most often, car seat covers can be hand washed or even machine washed, but it is important to use cold water and dry on low heat or hang out to dry. You do not want the covers to shrink, making them impossible to use.
- Tip: Consider treating your car seat covers with a stain guard as soon as you install them to make them easier to clean when spills do happen.
Remember, when you own a car, you’ve made an investment. Part of having an investment is taking care of it so it can work for you. When you buy, install, and clean your car seat covers, you are protecting your car from damage, excessive wear and tear, and elements like the cold and heat. You are also providing comfort for you and your passengers.