5 tips for caring for your car's upholstery

July 29, 2015

Here are some tips on how to care for the upholstery in your car interior and make it last a long time.

5 tips for caring for your car's upholstery

1. Restore damaged leather

  • Don't give up on leather car upholstery even if it is stiff and cracking.
  • There are products available to restore damaged leather, including a cleaner that preps the leather for reapplying dye; fillers that cover scratches, tears, and small holes; and dyes for re-colouring the leather.

2. Keep leather from drying out and cracking

  • Leather cars seats are durable and don't require a lot of maintenance.
  • After a few years, however, the seats can become soiled.
  • Use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and stains.
  • Then apply a leather protectant formulated for pigmented or top-coated grain leather (the leather used for most leather car upholstery).
  • Protectants will resist stains and make the upholstery easier to clean in the future.
  • Choose a protectant that includes conditioners to keep your leather supple.

3. Use upholstery cleaners on soiled seats

  • The same upholstery cleaners you use at home can be used on your car's upholstery.
  • Use them sparingly, however, to avoid saturating the fabric.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe away the foam.
  • On velour seats, brush the fibres gently to avoid matting them and to preserve the original texture of the fabric.

4. Protect fabric upholstery

  • Spraying fabric car seats and carpets with a fabric protectant will make them resist dirt and stains, and make them easier to clean.
  • Thoroughly clean the fabrics before using one of these products and then test the product on an inconspicuous place to be sure the treatment will not discolour the fabric.

5. Place a towel under baby seats

  • All manner of food bits and liquids can accumulate under a baby seat, where they can permanently stain the upholstery.
  • Place a sheet of heavy plastic and an absorbent towel under the seat to prevent damage, and re-secure the seat according to the manufacturer's directions.
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