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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One minute it was sunny and hot outside, then high winds and rain in buckets and then, in almost the same short time, sun and calm again.

While visiting an ill friend, we watched from his living room window as the rain suddenly started, poured down, and then stopped. It wasn't until later, when I approached the driver door to go back home, that I remembered I had left the driver window open by about 1/4-inch to reduce the interior heat of the sun.

As might be expected, part of the driver seat bottom and lower corner of the back, and the carpet along the rocker panel and on the floor, were wet. I got home in a few minutes, vacuumed the seat and floor to pick up what water I could, then used the vac to blow air under the carpet to dry the remaining moisture.

However, as the seat dried, a stain became apparent on the center part, along the line where the water had reached.



This is the 2007 beige/cream color interior. I feel like a real heel after always being careful to prevent dirt stains, and quickly cleaning up any that did appear.

So, how do I remove the very apparent line? Should I sponge-wash the rest of the seat, hoping that the stain line will no longer define the wet/dry transition; use my carpet cleaner's stair/upholstery attachment on it; or is there some other detailer method to deal with this type of damage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here it is this afternoon:



I used a 1 qt hand sprayer (dollar store) to dampen the seat surface (full center part) with warm water and vacuumed it with the wet/dry vacuum. The first time, after it had dried, there was still the faintest sign of the line. Did it again, and it's gone, at least as far as I can tell.
 

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excellent! i have similar stains, although mine have been around for a while. upholstery cleaner, water & vacuum didn't work for me, but it looks like i should try again.

mine are stained from getting in and out of the car while wearing a rain suit. both seats are stained.
 

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I had a similar situation on by dark seats in my Newport Blue 08. On a whim I tried dampening the area with distilled water then blotting it dry. Seems to have worked.
 

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Stained cloth seats

I had an Audi A4 wagon for almost 10 years. It had cloth seats, my preference. Despite the years of use, the Audi's seats looked almost new when I traded it for the Subaru Outback. After only 18 months, the Outback's cloth seats are already badly stained, just from regular use!! Nothing seems to clean the spots. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Seat Material is Terrible

Many people have complained about these seats staining. I can usually get any fabric clean without staining, but not Subaru’s light color cloth seats. As others have said, even distilled water seems to stain! My guess is there is something in the fabric or padding that leaches when the seat gets wet. I’ve tried to suck all the moisture out with a shop vac after cleaning it, but still get residual stains. I think the answer is for us all to complain to Subaru. If I find anything that works, I’ll let you know.
 

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Many people have complained about these seats staining. I can usually get any fabric clean without staining, but not Subaru’s light color cloth seats. As others have said, even distilled water seems to stain! My guess is there is something in the fabric or padding that leaches when the seat gets wet. I’ve tried to suck all the moisture out with a shop vac after cleaning it, but still get residual stains. I think the answer is for us all to complain to Subaru. If I find anything that works, I’ll let you know.
This is not unique to Subaru vehicles as I have seen it on fabric seats on various makes/models. ….and I’m talking about plain, clear water. Dirt, etc. migrates toward the edges of the area that is saturated which leaves the border seen in the examples in this thread. You can use a method similar to the OP’s or something like an extractor. ….I typically use the latter since I have one. It’s a cheapie but it works. I’m in the market for a higher-end steamer so I will likely be relying on that more.

Anyhow, complaining to Subaru is pointless since it’s really not a quality issue.
 

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One minute it was sunny and hot outside, then high winds and rain in buckets and then, in almost the same short time, sun and calm again.

While visiting an ill friend, we watched from his living room window as the rain suddenly started, poured down, and then stopped. It wasn't until later, when I approached the driver door to go back home, that I remembered I had left the driver window open by about 1/4-inch to reduce the interior heat of the sun.

As might be expected, part of the driver seat bottom and lower corner of the back, and the carpet along the rocker panel and on the floor, were wet. I got home in a few minutes, vacuumed the seat and floor to pick up what water I could, then used the vac to blow air under the carpet to dry the remaining moisture.

However, as the seat dried, a stain became apparent on the center part, along the line where the water had reached.



This is the 2007 beige/cream color interior. I feel like a real heel after always being careful to prevent dirt stains, and quickly cleaning up any that did appear.

So, how do I remove the very apparent line? Should I sponge-wash the rest of the seat, hoping that the stain line will no longer define the wet/dry transition; use my carpet cleaner's stair/upholstery attachment on it; or is there some other detailer method to deal with this type of damage?
Light use of water and the shop vac or upholstery cleaner will work but do not use a scrub brush just try and do a light wet and vacum removal of the water. I've also had luck putting some rubbing alcohol in a hand sprayer bottle and misting the area and doing a wipe with a clean rag. The alcohol evaporates pretty quick leaving no wet marks and the wipe helps lift any dirt that typically causes the edge of the wet spot on the cloth.

Just avoid harsh cleaners and harsh brushing that will actually damage the cloth.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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The easiest is just soak the whole seat with plain water (again) then wipe it off a bit and then let it dry. It will even out and removes the "line" that remained dry...
When I had my Saab convertible, I just hosed and soaked seats with water and then put de-humidifier inside the car running overnight. The car seats were dry and evenly "stained" in the morning....it added even patina to all upholstery.
 

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This is what I ended up doing with our micro fiber couch same issue with the bad looking wet spot ring left behind it works well. I wouldn't be opposed to trying it with a clean rag in the wipe down mode on a car seat. The denatured alcohol evaporates fast and helps avoid creating that wet spot ring. Works very well on our couch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfAcfHTvB0w
 
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