Removing Your Seats: Is this needed for detailing your car?

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Taking your seats out of the car when detailing can make a world of a difference! It makes it considerably easier to clean the seats, under the seats and even the remainder of the vehicle. However it isn’t without its downsides, as electronics can be damaged, it requires extra tools to complete, and the seats are just heavy.

Let’s take a look into each of these, and see if taking the seats out of your car for your pending detail might be right for you!

Why you should take out the seats to clean your car

Cleaning your car can be therapeutic, and making the experience easier is important! That is why the following three reasons your should take your seats out fo the car for a detail really come down to making cleaning easier.

1. Easier to deep clean the carpet under the seats

By far, the biggest reason you should take the seats out of your car to detail it is to clean the carpet underneath. It is nearly impossible to access underneath the seat without removing the seat. This means you aren’t able to agitate the carpet with carpet solution and extract it out with a carpet extractor (this is one of my favorites here).

Even though we rarely utilize the carpet under a seat, we do have a habit of spilling drinks, dropping fries, and letting our dog fir find its way underneath of the seats! If we aren’t careful this area that we rarely see will quickly become one of the most disgusting areas of a vehicle.

2. Better access to the rest of your car for cleaning

Seats are big, and take up a ton of space in your vehicle! This space could actually be better used for you to be able to sit, crouch, and wander around the vehicle during a detail.

If you have ever tried to access the underneath of your dash, you likely have noticed how cramped it can get. Compound this with a half hour of cleaning that area with something like this drill brush, and you will quickly come to realize how much easier it is to just remove the seats themselves.

This will also make cleaning the rear seats considerably easier, as rear seat room doesn’t exactly give you much space to work on them without sitting on them.

3. Cleaning the seats is more effective

The final reason you should take the seats out, has to do with the seats themselves! Taking the seats out of the vehicle allows you to flip them over, set them on the back, and be able to have full access to every side of the seat to clean them up.

For example, extracting the fabric on the right side of the drivers seat is completely impossible unless you remove the seat. Meaning if you are really serious about cleaning and detailing your car, it is imperative to remove the seats to complete the detail.

Why you should not take out the seats

Now removing your seats doesn’t only have upsides, but it also has downsides! While it is important to remove your seats for a detail, if you aren’t experienced in doing this, it can cause some issues.

1. Damaging electronics in the seats

Most vehicle seats nowadays have electronics built into the seat, and these require wires! You have to make double sure you disconnect these connectors to the seats before removal, otherwise you risk damaging the electronics of your vehicle.

If you damage these, you might not be able to adjust your seat whatsoever which can be not only uncomfortable, but even dangerous (and expensive to fix).

2. Seats can be heavy to carry

If you are someone that can’t, or shouldn’t carry heavy items, you might want to think twice about removing the seats in your car. I wouldn’t say that seats are crazy heavy, but they can be cumbersome and difficult to get around the B pillar of the vehicle.

If taking the seats out of your car is too difficult, think about asking for help if it is most definitely needed to complete the detail.

3. Requires tools and experience to remove

If you have any basic mechanical skills, you should have no problem removing seats. However if you are not experienced with using a wrench in any way, you might run into an issue here! There are multiple bolts that need removed from underneath of the seat (these attach the seats to the vehicle), and then there are of course the electrical connectors that need disconnected.

Doing a quick search to get a step by step guide on how to remove your specific vehicles seat might be a good thing to do if you are hesitant in doing this during your detail.

4. It takes time to remove the seats

If you are doing just a basic cleaning of your vehicle, and don’t plan on doing a full detail, you might want to reconsider removing your seats! It does take extra time, and effort to remove your seats, so you should weigh out if it is worth it in the time you have allotted for the job.

Taking a quick glance under the seats with a flashlight to see what kind of condition the seats are in will also be very helpful in determining this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean vehicle seats without removing them?

Cleaning seats in a vehicle inside of a car, rather than removing them really has the same steps. You will agitate them with a brush and solution, and then extract them with a carpet extractor! It is the same process, however is just more difficult due to space constraints.

Can you hose off a vehicle seat?

If you remove a vehicle seat from your car, and want to clean them, you should only add large amounts of water (such as from a hose or power washer) if they do not have any electrical components. You should also plan on not using those seats for a week to allow them to dry completely.


Removing the seats from your car can up your detailing game by quite a few levels! The ease of access to not only the seats, but the rest of the vehicle allows you to get things cleaner at a faster pace. Just make sure though, to think through any downsides that this might bring before moving forward.