How Does Sweat Affect Your Vehicle’s Seats?

How Does Sweat Affect Your Vehicle’s Seats?

On hot summer days, you can start to sweat from the heat. Simply walking through town or going for a light jog can create beads of sweat on the forehead and lower back.

Sweating is a natural bodily function that occurs when the body gets overheated. It’s a method to regulate the core temperature.

Taking advantage of your vehicle’s incredible AC is a great way to cool off on the extra hot days. But how does sweat affect your vehicle’s seats? Continue reading below to learn more and discover ways to protect your car.

What Is Sweat?

Sweat comes from the eccrine and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands produce sweat to cool the body whenever it overheats due to exerting energy or enduring hot temperatures.

They’re located throughout the body. Each person has a different number of eccrine glands across the body and in varying locations.

The apocrine glands are much larger than the eccrine glands; they open at the hair follicles and release sweat through the pores.

These sweat glands typically don’t begin producing sweat until a person reaches puberty. Once the glands release sweat, they come into contact with bacteria. From there, they’re highly likely to emit odors from the scalp, face, and armpits.

Sweat is primarily composed of water and sodium chloride. However, it can also contain potassium, urea, proteins, ethanol, ammonia, and other toxicants. With all these components, your vehicle’s seats might be in jeopardy of developing undesirable substances.

How Does Sweat Affect the Vehicle’s Seats?

While sweat’s composition is primarily water, that doesn’t mean that your car’s seats are in the clear. Hopping back in the car after working outside or exercising at the gym, you lean back in the driver’s seat. You press your legs and back up against the seats. When you stand up, the seat is damp.

Leaving sweat to accumulate on surfaces risks the development of mold, bacteria, and unpleasant odors. With the addition of incredibly high temperatures, your car will become humid. Before you know it, your vehicle needs a deep cleaning.

The Danger of Mold

Mold is one of the most harmful factors of leaving sweat on car seats. As you sit in a vehicle growing mold and bacteria, your health is in danger. Poor air quality in the vehicle’s cabin risks aggravating allergies – watery eyes, sneezing, and itching – or the respiratory system – coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

Mold can cause complications to your health and potentially impair your awareness when driving. The presence of sweat in the vehicle can harm both your safety and the quality of the vehicle.

Which Seat Materials Are Most at Risk?

Leatherette, nylon, and polyester are synthetic fabrics that have moisture-wicking properties. They’re less likely to have adverse reactions to sweat. The two materials that are most at risk are cloth and leather seats.


If you’ve ever spilled water onto a cloth couch, you know that the material will easily soak up the material. You can use a towel to attempt to dry it up, but the cloth couch has already absorbed most of the liquid.

As you get situated in the car, you lean back onto the comfy cloth seats. You don’t think about the damage the sweat might do to the seats. Regardless, the cloth seats absorb the sweat released from your body as you drive.

Unless you drive with the windows down frequently, there is minimal airflow in the cabin. Bacteria thrive in hot and humid environments. The lack of ventilation enhances bacteria and odor growth.


Leather material behaves differently than cloth seats. It lacks absorbency and breathability. Although liquids are less likely to penetrate the fabric, there are other aspects to worry about.

If you often drive with sweat resting on the skin, you jeopardize the quality of the leather seats. Natural bodily oils like sweat can leave stains on the surface.

It’s due to a chemical reaction that occurs anytime leather encounters sweat. The natural pH of leather ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. In comparison, the human body’s pH is more neutral at 7.4.

As sweat touches leather, the neutral and acidic substances react poorly. Rather than absorbing into the material like cloth, it leaves a stain behind. Once the reaction occurs, removing any stains on the leather is very challenging. Preventing sweat from touching the seats and removing stains as soon as possible is the easiest way to keep leather seats pristine.

With leather material, you must also worry about cracking and tearing. Leather requires a special cleaner and conditioner to hydrate the fabric. It improves the material’s elasticity and prolongs its lifespan.

What Are Your Options?

After learning what sweat can do to the vehicle’s seats and your health, what should you do next? Luckily, there are three options to remember to help you keep your car safe and clean.

Keep a Clean Towel in the Car To Absorb Sweat

Perhaps you have scheduled days when you drive to the gym or conduct yard work. Maybe you begin to sweat unexpectedly and must get home for a quick shower.

Keep a few clean towels stocked in the car, just in case. Place the towel on the base and back of the seat anytime you feel sweaty before driving. It will minimize the amount of sweat that reaches the material.

Clean the Seats Frequently

The towel approach isn’t a foolproof method. Although it’s helpful, you’ll still need to clean the vehicle’s seats frequently. This is an excellent solution to keep the seats in good condition while protecting your health.

Find the proper cleaning product that’s specially designed for the material. Use a handheld vacuum to remove crumbs and dirt first. Next, apply the cleanser as directed. It will remove any lingering sweat, stains, and odors in the material.

Opt for Car Seat Covers

Perhaps using a towel to soak up sweat or cleaning the original seats doesn’t sound right for you. Do you fear sweat will be the downfall of your car’s seats? Try Fia’s seat covers for SUVs!

Safeguard the vehicle’s original seats while embellishing the interior. The easily washable seat covers simplify cleaning away stains and sweat.

You won’t have to worry about sweat affecting Fia’s leatherette or polyester seat covers. The remarkable water-resistant properties ensure your car smells and looks great.

How Does Sweat Affect Your Vehicle’s Seats?

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