Interior Care

How to Clean Seat Belts in Cars? – 4 Simple & Easy Ways

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to clean seat belts in cars

You usually clean the interior and exterior parts of your car, but you often neglect to clean your seat belts.

It is important to remember that car seat belts also get dirty and need cleaning. They are prone to sweat and dust. Drivers and passengers need to use their seatbelts for protection and are held more often than the other car parts.

With this, it is necessary to schedule seat belt cleaning to ensure it stays clean to touch and look at. So, read on the detailed steps on how to clean seat belts in cars.

Ways to Clean Dirty Seat Belts in Cars

What you need

  • Seat belt cleaner – Prepare your purchased seat belt cleaner to wash seat belts. You can choose from popular seatbelt cleaners, including the DP 310 Seat Belt Cleaner, Chemical Guys CWS20316, Foam Cleaner XWEBFHU, and more.

Note: If you prefer using detergent for washing seat belts, choose a mild one.

  • A soft-bristle brush
  • A small spray bottle for applying the cleaner
  • Several microfiber towels
  • Warm water
  • A metal clamp
  • Mild detergent/dish soap
  • A steam machine with upholstery head attachment (optional)
  • Vinegar and baking soda (optional for spot treatment)

Step 1: Retract and clamp the belt


Make sure you choose a spacious place to move freely while cleaning a car seat belt.

Inspect the seat belt straps for any sign of tearing or damage. A thorough inspection for fraying will tell you if it’s time for a replacement. If there’s only built-up dirt, proceed with cleaning.

Fully retract the seatbelt and secure it by locking it with a clamp. Make sure not to coil them back since it may cause mold formation.

Step 2: Prepare the car seat cleaner


Check for stains and stubborn dirt to locate them quickly during cleaning. You can use a commercially purchased car seat belt cleaner; you can make your cleaning solution.

A quick DIY cleaner formula: Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap and ¼ teaspoon of laundry detergent in a small spray bottle. Fill the bottle with warm water and shake well.

Step 3: Spritz and Brush

Spritz the seat belt cleaner onto the seat belt generously. To get stains out of seatbelts, leave the cleaner for 10 seconds before stroking the belt stain with a soft-bristled brush.

With the cleaning brush, scrub the belt gently and along the webbing to avoid fraying and damaging the fabric. Spray more solution and brush it more times if the stain is still visible.

Step 4. Clean Stains and Stubborn Dirt


If the stain is hard to remove even after repeating the process several times, consider using a steam machine. You can buy or rent one, whichever is more convenient for you.

Turn on the steam machine and slowly rundown its upholstery head from top to bottom to steam clean seat belts. Then, do the same process on the other side of the seatbelt.

Step 5: Remove the bad smell

If you have old seatbelts, they are susceptible to unpleasant smells. The smell could be due to sweat and mold. Here are the materials and steps to clean smelly seatbelts.

Mix vinegar, dish soap, and warm water to create your. Spray the solution onto a microfiber towel and wipe it directly onto the seatbelt. Take a dry microfiber towel and wipe extra moisture in the seatbelts before leaving them to dry.

That’s how you effectively clean a car seat belt’s mold and bad smell.

Step 6: Dry the belt


Use a microfiber towel and carefully tap the belt to wipe away excess moisture. Make sure you open car doors to air dry the seatbelts.

Then, take off the metal clamp from the base. This will retract the seat belt and restore its original form.

Optional Steps/Tips

There are times when the smell is too putrid to be taken out with just vinegar, dish soap, and a warm water solution. If this is the case, then you can have these additional steps to ensure that they smell fresh and clean.

  • Purchase a damp rid bag and hang it to a handle to absorb excess moisture and eliminate foul odors.
  • If you do not have damp rid bags, you can use a box of opened baking soda, cat litter, or a container filled with grains of uncooked rice to act as your moisture-absorbing agents.
  • Place them in your car seat to absorb moisture from your seatbelt.

Other Ways to Clean Car Seat Belts

1. How to Remove Gum From Your Car Seatbelt?


What You Need:

  • WD-40
  • Some ince
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Plastic Scraper

What to Do:

  • Dab the ice on the gum until it is hardened.
  • Spray WD-40 to dissolve the gum.
  • Remove the gum by scraping it off the seatbelt fabric.
  • Repeat the process until all gum residue is gone.
  • Wipe it with a microfiber towel to take away any solution residue.
  • Leave the seat belt to dry with your car door open.

2. How to Get Blood Out of a Seatbelt?

Bloodstains, especially on the seat belt beige can ruin the fabric. Here’s what you need to remove them completely:

  • Spray Bottle
  • Warm Water
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • All-Purpose Cleaner or Oxiclean

What To Do:

  • Half-fill the spray bottle with Oxiclean or an all-purpose cleaner. Add warm water and shake well.
  • Spray the solution on the blood stain.
  • Use the soft-bristled brush to swipe off the red stain.
  • Wipe it with a microfiber cloth to dry. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process until it is completely gone.

3. How to Clean Vomit From Car Seat Belt?

What You Need:

  • Dishwashing Soap or Baby Bath Soap
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Water

What To Do:

  • Apply dishwashing soap or baby bath soap to a microfiber towel and add water until the cloth is bubbling.
  • To clean the vomit stains, rub the towel over them, being careful not to saturate the seatbelt in the solution.
  • Take another dry microfiber cloth and pat dry the seatbelts.
  • Repeat the process if needed and once done, leave the seatbelts to dry.

Frequently Asked Questions


What materials are car seatbelts made of?

Seatbelts use nylon filament yarn or polyester filament yarn for webbing. Both are resistant to abrasion, light, and heat, as attested by the experts or the chemical guys.

Thus, they minimize car accident injuries by harnessing passengers from possible fatal blows.

Can you spray WD-40 on a seatbelt buckle?

Yes, you can spray WD-40 on a seatbelt buckle since you can use it with almost anything plastic, rubber, metal, and more.

Can you use a pressure washer to clean seatbelts?

No. Do not clean seat belts with a pressure washer since it tends to weaken the belt webbing, which may result in fraying as the materials lose their strength and solidity.


We have just given you the best way to clean seat belts! May you have gained the knowledge, use it, and share it with others. It is no longer a concern if you have found a stain or if your seatbelts smell awful since you know how to clean them properly.

All you need to do is gather the materials, familiarize and carefully follow the steps. Surely, you are on the right track regarding how to clean seat belts in cars.

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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