How to deal with cigarette burns in your car

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Today very few people still smoke in their car. The smell that it leaves behind is something that will never go away and it is now regarded as pretty rude to smoke in a car that is being shared with nonsmokers. Yet in times gone by smoking in a car was a very normal occurrence and as a result, a cigarette burn in the car seats was a pretty common issue too. If you have purchased an old car that has some burns you want to solve or have caused the burns yourself then we are here to help. Here are the almost forgotten ways to fix cigarette burns in your car.

There are a couple of key considerations before we get started. The two questions we must first know are how bad is the burn and on what material the burn took place. If the burn is not that bad then you can likely use some high-quality upholstery cleaners to remove any stains or markings. However, if the burn is worse than that you will need a more serious approach.

Leather seats

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You will need a scalpel to cut out the burn from your chair (we told you this was serious). If it is not too deep then you can simply cut out the top layer that has been burnt. Start by cutting a cross in the burn and then cut around with your knife. Now take four layers of leather filler. Apply each layer separately and dry with a hairdryer for three minutes before putting the next layer on.

If the burn has gone deeper than the surface there are a couple of additional steps. You essentially must cut out the problem leaving a hole in your chair. You will then need tweezers and canvas cloth. Insert canvas cloth into the hole until it is filled but ensure it is flat at the top and there are no bumps. Now apply your layers of leather filler on top. When complete you can use a leather touch-up kit to alter the color of the new leather to ensure it matches your upholstery. Allow it to dry before reapplying as required. 

Vinyl Seats

Again you must cut out the hole so that you can put in the correct material. This time you will need a vinyl patch and vinyl repair kit. Cut out your patch and position it over the hole. Use sandpaper to smooth the entire area and then iron the patch into the hole. Ensure you use a low heat setting to avoid further burns on your car seats.

Fabric seats

Fabric is a little different from both vinyl and leather. Our first step will show why. You will need mayonnaise for this step. Rub the mayonnaise on top of the burn marks and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help the melted burned parts detach from your chair. Scrape what is left away with a scalpel. 

Take your scalpel and remove some fabric from under the seat. Ensure you choose something that matches in color and is the required size. If there are patterns on your chair this will be more difficult but still possible. Apply some fabric glue and hold it over the burn mark until it dries and holds.

These are the three most common types of car seats and the solutions for each. Of course, the best solution for cigarette burns in the future is to stop smoking. It is not healthy for you, your passengers, or your car. We understand though that some classic cars have this issue and you can make a car that looks beyond recovery appear brand new with just some subtle improvements.