How to Fix Cigarette Burns in Your Car

A cigarette burn is an awful eyesore in your car. But it can be fixed—and you can do it on your own!

Man smoking cigarette drivingANDRANIK HAKOBYAN/Shutterstock

Whether you purchased an old car, you’re the culprit yourself, or you let someone else borrow your ride, a cigarette burn in your car is a scourge. However, when it comes to how to fix cigarette burns in your car, we’ve got you covered along with these other 74 car maintenance tips. Speaking of cigarettes, do you know how much nicotine is in a cigarette?

Cigarette burns can happen in an instant, even simply as a result of fallen ash. The aftermath, however, isn’t so simple to fix. But you can still do it yourself, like these other 100 super-simple car repairs you don’t need to go to the shop for.

For a cigarette burn hole in leather seats, you’ll want to do the following:

1. For a burn that hasn’t totally penetrated the leather, you can remove the unsightly mark by partially cutting out the burn. Begin by cutting a cross in the burn approximately half the depth of the leather, then cut the burn out around the edge using a scalpel. If your burn didn’t go all the way through, you can skip to step five.

2. If the burn has gone all the way through, you’ll want to cut all the way through, leaving a resulting hole.

3. Repair the hole by using tweezers to insert canvas cloth behind the leather, making sure the cloth is perfectly flat and leaving about a 1/2 inch overlap under all edges of the hole.

4. Apply glue using a scalpel, paint stirrer, or other thin object, pushing one side of the hole down to raise the other side up. Next, wipe the glue onto the underside edges of the hole and press them down. This process should be done to all edges. Let everything sit for 20 minutes.

5. Then, apply four thin layers of leather filler. Allow the first layer to dry with a hair dryer for three minutes before gently pressing the filler down with your finger. Repeat this process with the next two layers.

6. Using a leather touch up kit, match the color of the leather, applying the color to the filler with a cotton swab and drying with a hair dryer. Allow it to sit for one minute, then apply additional color until it blends well. These are the 10 car brands that cost the least to repair.

For a cigarette burn hole in vinyl seats, follow these directions:

1. Cut around the burn hole using a scalpel. When cutting, make the hole a little bigger to obtain extra fabric from the vinyl seat that can be used to create an evenly-shaped patch.

2. Place the cut-out material onto new vinyl patch material from a vinyl repair kit. Cut your patch and position it in place over the burn hole to make sure it fits.

3. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the area.

4. Wipe the area clean with rubbing alcohol.

5. Iron the patch into the hole to bind the fibers by using a low heat setting on a clothes iron. Speaking of iron, here’s how to repair rust on a car.

For a cigarette burn hole in fabric seats, try these steps:

1. Begin by taking a bit of mayonnaise and rubbing it on top of the burn hole in the fabric. Let it sit for a few minutes. Use a clean, wet cloth to wash off the residue. This step helps detach the melted burn marks.

2. Scrape remaining burn marks away with a scalpel.

3. Use a small razor to remove a piece of fabric from underneath the seat, ensuring you choose a piece that looks like the fabric where the burn occurred (be sure any patterns match). Cut a patch that matches the spot where the hole is.

4. Apply fabric glue to the patch and place it over the burn.

5. Allow the glue to dry. The patch should now blend in well with the rest of the seat, masking the once ugly cigarette burn hole! Before you hit up the mechanic for any other car fixes you can’t do at home, make sure you know the 30 things your mechanic will never tell you.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: