How to Clean Car Seatbelts

For most drivers, something that gets used every time we get in our vehicle is the seatbelt. We are constantly buckling them on, then off at the next stop, then on again, and over and over as we travel throughout our day. Over time, these safety devices are subject to things like dirty fingers, sweat, coffee, soda pop, and fast food drippings. How often have you even considered cleaning your car seatbelts?

Tools You Will Need

  1. All-Purpose Cleaner – you can use a fabric cleaner, a neutral pH detergent, vinegar-based cleaners (use sparingly because the acid in vinegar can cause damage over time), or even baby wipes (for surface stains only). Avoid cleaners with a fragrance, they could irritate your eyes or skin later on as you are using the seatbelt.
  2. Clips or Pins – to hold the car seatbelt fully extended ( a chip clip works well).
  3. A Stiff Bristle Bush – you will need to scrub at any deeply set-in stains.
  4. Microfiber Cloths – microfiber works best to remove any cleaner and dry the seatbelt.
  5. Optional Tool – a steam cleaner works well on tough stains. Use a steamer on a low moisture setting only.

4 Steps How to Clean Car Seatbelts

When you go to the car wash, you or an attendant washes and dries the outside of your car. You or an attendant empties any accumulated trash and vacuums the inside of the car. Very few people consider cleaning the seatbelts.

Step #1

Pull the seatbelt out of the reel until it stops. Attach a clip to the belt next to the reel to keep it from retracting. There’s no sense in cleaning half of the seatbelt.

Step #2

Spray the belt with an all-purpose cleaner, fabric cleaner, or a cleaning solution of your choice. Don’t use a cleaning product that contains bleach. Spray both sides of the belt with a light, even coating.

Step #3

Use a stiff-bristled brush (or a microfiber cloth if the belt isn’t heavily stained) to scrub the seat belt. Do both sides (the BluGator brush will do both sides at one time) using up and down strokes. Never scrub side-to-side or in a circular pattern. This could damage the fibers and weaken the belt.

Step #4

Wipe the cleaned seat belt with a microfiber cloth. Again use only up and down strokes. Let the belt dry before removing the clip, preferably overnight, you don’t need mold to grow.

To Remove Set-In Stains

Dip your scrubbing brush into your cleaner of choice and work the solution into the stain (up and down strokes only). Run the steamer gently over the stain.


  • If your car seats are leather, protect them by covering them before cleaning your seatbelts.
  • Consider polishing the seatbelt buckles after cleaning the belts.
  • Use a clip to hold the seatbelt, do not attempt to take the seatbelt assembly apart. Reassembly may cause a malfunction when you really need your seatbelt to do what is supposed to do, KEEP YOU SAFE!

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