How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery in 2022

How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery

One of the biggest problems car owners face nowadays is how to remove food grease stains from car upholstery. Car upholstery is prone to be stained by food and grease stains. If you notice any stain on your car upholstery, it is best to clean it as soon as possible, but in this guide, we assume the stain has been there for a while.

There are different ways grease can get on car upholstery, such as leaving your handprints after handling oily materials, your kids spilling their greasy French fries on the seats, or you are probably eating pizza on the way home from work while setting the greasy pizza box on the seat. No lasting damage will occur as long as you attend to these stains immediately. Please read our guide thoroughly to avoid dealing with cleaning difficulties.

Tools and materials required for cleaning food grease stains from car upholstery

Upholstery cleaners

How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery

It is necessary to use upholstery cleaner to eliminate stains and odors. It is best to purchase upholstery cleaner sprays with bristle heads for easier cleaning. Always use the right cleaner for the surface of your car. You should use vinyl cleaners on vinyl seats and fabric cleaners on fabric seats. There are some great cleaners that I recommend using, such as Chemical Guys or relentless drive cleaner.

Get a vacuum or a steam cleaner

It will be possible to remove the stain from the surface with a cleanser. Still, the smell won’t disappear unless you remove the dirty liquid from the fabric. You should use a steam cleaner since it’s powerful enough to remove liquids from the seats (after you clean them with a cleaner.)

If you are on a tight budget, check out our article on the Best car vacuum cleaners under 100$.

  • Soft towel or microfiber cloth

  • Water

  • Hairdryer: For drying the car upholstery after cleaning.

  • Gloves for safety

  • Cleaning brushes

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How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery

Step 1: Remove all visible food stain particles from the upholstery

When removing food stains from a car seat, it’s important to remove the stain visibly from the surface first. To accomplish this, you will need cleaning brushes, microfiber cloths, and gloves for your safety because you have to deal with chemicals and other germs.

It is extremely important to clean any food stains or particles as soon as possible. As the stain dries, it would be very difficult to remove with time. In the case of grease stains that have settled, please remove them physically.

You shouldn’t scratch the area, as you may push the stain deeper into the seat or tear up the material, neither of which you want. Simply wipe the area and rub away the stain. In this case, I recommend using some baby wipes that I found useful at the time. It is also possible to use a towel with a bit of water and a cleaner, but it did not give such a good result.


You should always keep a package of baby towels in your car so that whenever food spills on your car, you can clean it instantly. In this way, you can save yourself time and effort.

Step 2: Clean with an upholstery cleaner

Now you have a clean but damp spot. But you’re not quite there yet. The fabric still has liquid inside and below it that needs to be removed. Otherwise, the odor of food will not go away. That’s when your upholstery cleaner comes in handy.

I recommend you use Chemical Guys cleaners because their brushes are soft and won’t damage your car’s interior fabric.


Make sure that the cleaner you buy is appropriate for your upholstery. I suggest you purchase a soft bristle brush since hard bristle brushes can tear your fabric.

Step 3: Use a vacuum or a steam cleaner

As soon as the upholstery cleaner solution has been applied, you must remove any remaining liquid. Vacuum cleaners (or steam cleaners) are powerful enough to do this, as most people do not own extractors. It isn’t necessary to use an extractor head either; you can just use the vacuum’s hose by itself. Using some paper towels, blot the wet areas dry.

Step 4: Dry the stain

How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery


Drying the stains is a crucial step when it comes to how to remove food grease stains from car upholstery. If water is used to rinse the grease stain, it could be dried quickly with a hairdryer. In this way, water spots will not form. You can use a microfiber towel to gently pat the stain dry after using an upholstery cleaner.

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Removing food grease stains with baking soda

Material Needed

  • Baking soda
  • Plastic spoon or knife
  • Soft brush
  • Vacuum or steam cleaner

Step 1: Prepare your fabric surface

How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery

With a baby wipe, remove as much grease as possible from the fabric.

Step 2: Apply baking soda to the stain

Apply baking soda to the stain. As baking soda is extremely absorbent, it will trap grease and oil particles, removing them.

Step 3: Brush baking soda off

Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the fabric with baking soda.


When brushing your fabric, use a brush that won’t pull the threads or cause tearing.

Step 4: Do it again until you’re satisfied

If it has become sticky or discolored from grease, add more baking soda.

After the baking soda has been applied, let it sit for several hours is best to leave it overnight.

Step 5: Take out the baking soda

Remove the baking soda from the upholstery by vacuuming.


If you have a vacuum, use it.

How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery in 2022
How to remove food grease stains from car upholstery in 2022

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