Always Remove Car Seats When Deep Cleaning a Car! – Here’s Why

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guy removed car seat from the car, illustration

I know that removing seats from a car may be a struggle for some of you and that many car detailers don’t like to remove seats when deep cleaning a car. But in my opinion, removing car seats when detailing a car’s interior is extremely important, and I’m going to explain why.

Key Takeaways:

  • When car seats are removed, you’ll have much more room to detail car carpets but also car seats.
  • Dirt and dust often hide under seats in hard-to-reach areas, and you can’t clean them until you remove car seats.
  • Cleaning seat rails is impossible if you don’t take the seats out.
  • Removing car seats takes just a couple of minutes and is easy to learn.

The Importance of Removing Car Seats When Deep Cleaning a Car

Here are six main reasons why you should remove car seats whenever you’re deep cleaning a car.

You’ll Have More Space For Work

Having enough space to work when detailing the car is very important. If everything is tightened up, you will have many difficulties cleaning some parts of the car.

Yes, I know it takes some time to remove the seats, but it’ll make the whole process much easier, and I think it’s worth it.

Just think about stretching the vacuum hose all over the car because you can’t reach some spots easily. With seats removed, you’ll have more space for all of that.

You’ll Have Access To “Hidden” Areas

dirt and trush under car seats
My Friends BMW

If you don’t remove seats, you’ll never have this much access to the under-seat area. 

Look at the image above; I was deep cleaning my friend’s BMW, and here’s what I saw when I removed the seat out. Look at all that trash – coins, papers, candies, etc.

Usually, that’s where the most dirt and trash will hide – because it’s hard to clean it up. Vacuuming this area with seats removed will only take around 5 minutes.

If you leave seats installed, it’ll take much longer.

Also, everything around the seat, such as an armrest, is hard to reach when the seats are inside. You’ll get 100% access to everything around the dashboard by removing the seats. 

Do you see that gap between the carpets (ventilation and the cable)? There was so much dust and dirt, and there was no other way to clean it than removing the seats.

Seats Are Easier To Clean Outside

When you have the seat outside, it’s 100 times easier to clean it. You have 360-degree access to the seat. I’d say even 3D since you can turn it upside down and everything.

There’s no way you could thoroughly deep clean car seats while they’re sitting in the car.

Car seat rails are almost impossible to clean if you don’t take them out. And trust me, there’s so much dirt stuck to them, and they are often hard to clean just by wiping with the rag from inside the car.

And again, working with the brush and later with the extractor is so much easier outside. You can just walk around the seat and clean everything.

The Back Seat Is Important, Too!

I don’t want you to think that I meant front-seat removal only. The back seat is also very important to remove.

Check the image below:

cleaning under rear car seats

Look at all that trash trapped underneath the seat. Not only trash but spilled beverages as well. Since this is an older car (2001), the sponge from the back seat also started to tear off. 

A little vacuuming and a few sprays of APC got the job done in no time. 

Furthermore, when I had the rear seat outside, it was also easier to clean it, as well as the rear bench. The rear bench stayed in the car; don’t take it out.

Deep Cleaning of The Carpet Is Easier As Well

stains on car carpet edges

The same image again, but I need to show you that dirty carpet. There were plenty of little stones and some mud as well. I marked these spots with arrows because that’s the part that’s impossible to reach with your extractor vacuum with the seats inside your car.

In my opinion, thorough deep cleaning car carpets is impossible with seats in the car. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me as well.

Better Customer Satisfaction

This is the conclusion of everything. When you take the seats out, you’ll do a better deep clean than ever. And together with that comes customer satisfaction.

Just when you tell them that you have removed the seats to access all the trapped dirt underneath the seats, they’ll instantly be happier and more satisfied with the job done. 

In the end, customer satisfaction is what’s most important. Or yours if you’re cleaning your own car.

Why Car Detailers Don’t Like Removing Car Seats?

Many car detailers don’t remove car seats unless the car is extremely filthy, and they can’t clean it without removing seats.

Generally, detailers don’t prefer removing seats because of:

  • They’re afraid that they will screw something up (such as seat bolts and rails).
  • While taking the seats out, it’s easy to scratch car plastics if you’re not careful.
  • They’re afraid of insurance claims in case of an accident.
  • They don’t want to do an extra job because they swear that they can clean the car without removing the seats.
  • They don’t like explaining the importance of removing car seats to customers.
  • Customers aren’t ready to pay extra money for removing car seats.
  • They don’t have OBD2 scanners to remove airbag errors that may occur in cars.

It’s Easy To Remove Car Seats

I know that some of you are probably afraid of removing car seats. And I do understand you – Airbag failure can occur, seat heating may stop working, etc. 

But car seat removal is actually a really simple job. When it comes to tools needed, you’ll only need a mechanic toolset, and I recommend this 192-pieces DeWalt Mechanics Tool Set (check below).

DEWALT Mechanics Tool Set, SAE and Metric, 1/2, 1/4, 3/8 Drive Sizes, 192-Piece (DWMT75049)
Amazon Prime

It’s a bit more expensive than the others, but that’s an all-in-one set with ratchets for every type of car.

Quick steps for removing car seats:

  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Remove seat bolts.
  • Lift the seats and unplug any jacks.
  • Carefully take the seats out of a car without scratching anything.

If you need a thorough guide, check out my step-by-step article on how to remove car seats without causing an airbag fault.

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