A wet car seat can be annoying, but fortunately, it’s not the end of the world. Whether you left your window down during a rain storm, spilled a bottle of water or dumped a bunch of snow onto the seat after opening the door, you can relax, because there are more than a few tricks out there to get everything dry again.
Check out these four easy ways to deal with a car seat that’s been soaked through.
Cloth towels are very effective at absorbing water, and they should be your starting point for dealing with a wet car seat. Paper towels will work in a pinch, but they fall apart easily and can leave a film of paper particles behind on the fabric or leather. Pat dry — don’t smear or rub — to maximize absorption and prevent smearing the fabric or leather dye.
2. Harness the Power of the Sun
Heat is a great way to dry things off, and the sun is your natural ally when it comes to dealing with moisture in your car. If the seat in question is a rear seat that can be removed — and most minivan seats, sedan seats and rear SUV seats are fairly easy to take out — then the sun is an excellent option. Place the seat on a dark surface, such as asphalt or a black tarp, in order to maximize the amount of solar energy drawn to the area around it.
A powerful fan can work wonders for drying out your wet car seat if you can’t remove it from the vehicle or if you need to dry the seat overnight. Point the fan at the wettest parts of the seat, and make sure all of the windows in the vehicle are open so that you can maximize air flow. If you can use two fans, that’s better than one, but don’t stuff the interior of your car with every fan you own, because many fans in a small space can generate a significant amount of heat.
4. Blow Dryer
This last method is something you should only consider as a last resort. A blow dryer that blasts a hot current of air at your wet seat can be effective in removing moisture. However, because of the small size of the blower and the potential for heat damage, you’ll have to take your time to get everything dry. A blow dryer is great for accessing any wet nooks or crannies in the seat that you can’t dry by other methods. If your seat was wrapped in leather, you’ll want to use a moisturizing product to prevent the cow hides from cracking after they’re dry.
If your car seats got soaked, don’t panic. Use one of these methods, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
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Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.