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Our Guide to Cleaning Neoprene Seat Covers | ShearComfort

2023 Nov 8th

Our Guide to Cleaning Neoprene Seat Covers | ShearComfort

Posted by David Jones

Our Guide to Cleaning Neoprene Seat Covers

You chose your neoprene seat cover because they are water resistant and easy to clean. These seat covers can withstand kids and their spills and messes while being quite durable. These features give you a set of seat covers that will keep your vehicle looking new inside while holding up under daily wear.

If you’re wondering how to clean neoprene seat covers, this guide will help you keep your seat covers looking good and smelling fresh.

Understanding Neoprene Material

Before you learn how to clean neoprene seat covers, it helps to know what the material is and how it’s made.

You may ask yourself, are neoprene seat covers a good choice for protecting car seats from spills and stains? They are. They are made from tough material created to protect from outside elements like moisture, so spills and stains roll off.

Neoprene is a DuPont product developed in the 1930s and has been used ever since in various applications, including seat covers and wetsuits. The following are some of the popular features of neoprene that make it a good seat cover material:

  • Water-resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Flexible
  • Chemical and oil-resistant

You may also ask yourself, in terms of durability and comfort, are neoprene seat covers good options for long-distance driving? The answer to this question is also a “yes.” Neoprene provides a cushion between you and your car seat, making long drives more comfortable. It also insulates, so you stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

These are all the properties you want from your seat covers. Now, let’s learn how to clean your neoprene seat covers properly.

Preparation Before Cleaning

You don’t have to remove your seat covers every time you clean them. Most spot cleaning and light cleaning can be done while they are still in your vehicle. If you’re leaving the seat covers on, then skip to the section on cleaning supplies needed.

If you are taking them off, continue reading.

Before you start cleaning your neoprene, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Read the seat cover care manual – Your seat cover may not have any special care needs but read the instructions before you start in case there are specific instructions.
  • Test your stain remover – If you have a stain remover for neoprene, test it in an inconspicuous area before you apply it to the entire seat. Let it dry before you proceed.
  • Lay the seat covers out – Place a large cloth like a sheet on the ground in a well-ventilated area and spread out the seat covers to clean them.

Cleaning Supplies Needed

To clean your seat covers, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Mild detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Microfiber towels or cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Stain remover – optional
  • Neoprene cleaner – optional

Tips for Stain Removal and Spot Cleaning

Light Stain Cleaning

The best way to deal with stains is to take care of them by blotting it with a clean towel or cloth. Rubbing it only presses it deeper into the fabric.

  1. Use a mild detergent in warm water and apply it to the stain – gently blotting it.
  2. If you need to use a brush, use a soft bristle brush; again, be gentle when scrubbing.
  3. After treating the area, blot the area with clean water to rinse out the soap.
  4. Pat dry.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Stubborn Stain Cleaning

If you still have stubborn stains that won’t come clean after following the light stain cleaning instructions, here are some tips to help you:

Some stains like oil, grease, or ink may need a stronger cleaning solution. Before you try a neoprene-specific stain remover, always test it somewhere out of sight and follow the directions carefully.

If you have a stain you can’t remove, you may want to consult a local detailer specializing in cleaning car interiors. They will have professional chemicals and cleaners for their customer’s cars, so they may be better equipped to remove stubborn stains.

Deep Cleaning

Sometimes you may have a big mess on your hands and your Neoprene seat covers may require a more thorough cleaning that requires you to remove the covers entirely. Here is how to clean neoprene seat covers after you have removed them from your vehicle:

  1. Clean up loose dirt and debris from the seat cover using a vacuum. Make sure to get down into the crevices and corners for any dust or lint.
  2. Fill the bucket with warm water and add a small amount of your mild detergent.
  3. Dip your soft brush in the soapy water and gently scrub the seat covers with extra attention paid to stained or heavily soiled areas that get high use.
  4. Rinse the seat covers thoroughly with clean water until the rinse water runs clear.
  5. Gently squeeze the water from the seat covers. Never wring them; it may damage the material and shape of the seat covers.

Drying and Reinstallation

Once you have cleaned and rinsed your seat covers, you’ll want to have a place to let them dry naturally. We recommend that you hang them in a dry, shady area over a clothesline where they can air dry. Avoid any sun exposure to reduce fading.

  • Periodically flip your covers to get both sides completely dry.
  • By hanging the seat covers, you’ll help them keep their shape.
  • Check for damp spots before you reinstall them into your vehicle.
  • Don’t be tempted to use heat from a heater or hair dryer to dry them. This can damage the materials. Do not put in dryer.
  • Inspect the front and back before putting them back into your vehicle. Look for residual stains or spots that may need to be re-cleaned.

When you’re ready to reinstall them, follow the original installation instructions from your manufacturer or check ShearComfort’s website for installation instructions.

Regular Maintenance Tips for Neoprene Seat Covers

Keeping your seat covers clean can require regular maintenance depending on your daily usage besides catching stains as soon as possible.

We recommend these additional maintenance steps (as needed) for your Neoprene seat covers: :

  • Clean up spills as they happen, especially if your child has an accident.
  • Regularly vacuum them.
  • Wipe the seats down after you’ve been to the beach where they may get saltwater on them or any time they come into contact with organic materials, like mud, that can damage them.
  • Keep chemicals, such as bleach, alcohol, and citrus oil cleaners, away from them.
  • Protect them from prolonged exposure to the sun by using a sunshade. While they are UV-protected, overexposure to the sun’s rays can cause drying and cracking.
  • If they have an odor, sprinkle a little baking soda on the cover and let sit for a few hours before vacuuming the seats. Tough odors may need a neoprene-specific odor eliminator.


Your seat covers are made for the busy family lifestyle as they protect your car’s interior and help keep your resale value. Periodically cleaning your neoprene will add years of life to your seat covers and protect your factory seats.