How to Clean Car Upholstery and Car Carpet with Pets

Posted on 7/10/2020
Categories: Upholstery, Stairs & Auto Cleaning
Taking your pets along on car trips can be fun for both of you – whether you are going on a hike, to the beach or just to run errands. In fact, it might make running errands better. What might not be better is the amount of dirt and hair builds up in your vehicle if your dog or cat rides around with you regularly. Here are some tips on how to remove pet hair from your car and to clean your car seats and upholstery.

Deep Cleaning Car Upholstery and Car Carpet

1) Remove Pet Hair from Car

First things first. Reclaim your car from the pet fur! Vacuum up as much pet hair out of your car’s seats, carpet, and all the nooks and crannies you can – your hose and vacuum tools will be helpful here. We also recommend cordless hand vacuums as well, due to their ease and convenience. If you can’t find your crevice tool anymore but still have pet hair in the seat cracks, find some rubber gloves. Wetting rubber gloves and running your hands over the car upholstery that still has stray pet hair should grab any last stray hairs that the vacuum can’t grab.

2) Rent a Portable Upholstery Cleaner

Getting stubborn stains and odors out of your car comes down to a thorough deep cleaning. It’s easy to do when you rent a BISSELL® Little Green® Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner. Little Green Pro is a portable car upholstery cleaner designed to easily remove spots, stubborn stains, and embedded dirt. It’s a great car upholstery stain remover because the 6” wide head and long hose and power cord help you get into hard-to-reach places in your vehicle. Find a car upholstery cleaner rental near you at one of BISSELL Rental’s thousands of locations around the US.

3) Clean Pet Stains

Cleaning pet stains and messes in your car is easy by using a car upholstery cleaner like the portable Little Green rental machine, but you can use spray cleaners to deep clean car upholstery too. Make sure that you use an enzyme-based cleaner, like Pet Urine Stain an Odor because products with enzymes break down pet stains by eating the microscopic particles that make up the stain. After spot treating a pet mess in your car, we recommend keeping a damp white cloth over the stain for 12-72 hours to fully remove the stain. If you are trying to clean old or particularly bad stains on your vehicle’s upholstery, you may have to repeat this several times because the stain may have seeped down into the foam.

4) Get Rid of Lingering Smells

After you deep clean your vehicle with a car upholstery cleaner, any lingering smells should be gone. This is especially the case if you use a pre-treat spray on any stains, like Pet Urine Stain & Odor or Oxy Deep Pro. However, if you still notice an odor in your vehicle after a few days, try leaving some baking soda in a bowl on the floor for an additional day or two. That should soak up any remaining odors!

Protect Car Upholstery & Carpet

Now that you have deep cleaned the inside of your car it’s time to go for that drive and enjoy, right? But wait – before you do that, let’s talk about a few ways to protect your vehicle upholstery and carpet so that both you and your pet can enjoy the drive without quite so much cleaning at the end of the trip. One easy way to protect car upholstery from pet messes, scratches, and embedded fur and dirt is to cover it. You can get fitted covers for your car seats and sturdy, rubberized mats for the floor. If you aren’t ready to commit to those an old quilt, towel, or blanket will work too!  

Assemble a Pet Cleaning Kit for Your Car

One of the best things to do when pet messes happen in the car is to clean them up as soon as possible. To make that happen, it’s great to have a cleaning kit in the trunk or backseat on hand no matter where you are. These are a few suggestions to keep handy:
  • Pet stain remover spray, like Pet Urine Stain & Odor or Oxy Deep Pro 
  • Paper towels & pet wipes, for wiping down paws
  • Cloth towels, to clean up pet messes
  • Lint roller, to quickly clean pet hair from seats 
  • Pet brush, for brushing down any stray hairs on your furry friend
  • Plastic bags, to pick up and dispose of pet messes

Consider Keeping Pets in Designated Area

If pet hair and messes in the car bothers you, consider keep your pet in one area of your car. A pet car seat, pet barrier, or even pet seatbelt can help to keep pets in one place during car rides. This can help cut down and isolate the hair, dander, and messes to one region in the car when your furry friend is tagging along. Another suggestion we have for a family with more than one vehicle is to designate one car as the pet-mobile. Drive your pets around in one car and then you won’t have to clean more than one vehicle.

Clean Pet Paws Before Entering Car

A simple way to avoid extra dirt, sand, mud, or grass in the car is to wipe your pets’ paws before they get in. Keep a towel or wet wipes in your cleaning kit for this reason.

Deep cleaning car upholstery may seem like a daunting task, especially with pet messes and fur everywhere. But after you have that good deep clean finished, you and your furry friend can cruise off into the sunset in a sparkling clean ride!

  Find a Rental 
Find A BISSELL Carpet Cleaner Rental

Next time your carpet needs cleaning, look for a store that carries BISSELL Rental. Go to our Location Search Tool and type in your zip code (or postal code if you are in Canada) and choose a 10-, 25-, 50- or 100-mile radius to find stores in your area.
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