Cigarette burns in your car seat can look tacky. When you turn the vehicle in at the end of a lease, the leasing agent can actually charge a fee for cigarette burn repairs. Fixing cigarette burns in a cloth seat is much easier than doing the repair on leather upholstery. If the seat fabric has a pattern, the job can be a little more difficult than with a standard one-color fabric.
Scrape the area around the burn to remove the "crust" or hardened material at the edges. Use a razor blade to scrape, being careful not to rip the fabric.
Scrape a handful of fibers or tufts of material from the rear bottom of the seat, if you have one-color fabric. If the fabric is patterned, cut a very small sample of the material from the beneath the front of the seat. If the patterned material only extends to the front piping, cut your very small portion of material from the bottom of the headrest, where the patterns usually extend to. Only cut enough material to match the size of the burn hole.
Apply a small amount of thick carpet glue or epoxy onto the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the center of the burn hole. Add more adhesive until the hole is almost completely filled with the glue. Thicker glue will adhere better than Super Glue-style glue, because it does not absorb into the seat padding like thin glue.
Drop the fibers or scrapings directly into the hole if you have one-color upholstery. With a pattern, match the sample pattern piece you cut to the hole, and trim the piece to fit as close to the shape of the hole as possible. Do not press the upholstery fibers or pattern cut-out into the hole. Tamp the material very gently with your finger tip, as this will mesh the fibers or fabric cut-out with the hole.
Allow the glue or epoxy to dry for the time stated on the bottle for "full curing time." Repeat Steps 1 through 4 to repair any other cigarette burns you may have in your cloth seats. The fiber scraping repair method also works for burn holes in the carpet, if you take the scrapings from beneath the seats.
You can use a household hair dryer to help the cure time of the glue. Heat the glue up for one or two minutes with a hair dryer. This will also allow the glue to bond with both the seat and the patch materials better. For greater results, do not attempt this project in temperatures below 60 degrees.
Most carpet glues and epoxies are extremely flammable. Keep this project away from flame, spark, static electrical charge, and cigarette smoking
By Tim Petruccio
By Tim Petruccio