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Cleaning Leather/Cloth Interiors



  • mirde98mirde98 Posts: 95
    Thanks alot for the link. Very good. Yeah Alcantara is used on some luxury vehicles and high performance cars like Mitsubishi Evolution for example. It came on the Special Edition version on the 06 Lancer. I used a damp clean towel and let it dry. I though i had to use some special cleaner.... since Alcantara is suede like, cleaners like Tuff Stuff will damage Alcantara/Suede fabrics.
  • gmar2gmar2 Posts: 3
    I have a 01 Expedtion with cloth seats. I have water stains on them, mostly from rain when the door is open. I have tried all kinds of cleaners but nothing works. I talked to a Ford dealer and they admitted they have a problem with water stains on cloth seats. Has anyone run across this and removed the stains? Thanks for the help.
  • Hi, I just bought a '07 Santa Fe SE AWD with light gray cloth interior. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how "light" the gray on the seats and carpet was until I brought it home. I don't have kids or pets, but I still eat, drink, etc in my car and am bound to drop or spill something several times while I own this car. Thus, I've come up with a few ideas about how to approach this. If anyone has any information, ideas or recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated.

    1) Buying a can of scotch guard and spraying seats, carpets, and all parts of my cloth interior (I've actually already done this, but the question is whether I need to do something more).

    2) Going to the dealer and having them apply a fabric protector It has a 5 yr warranty; if there is a stain that I can't remove, they will either get it out or replace the fabric as necessary. This basically sounds like an insurance policy to me. And, frankly, it would buy me piece of mind to spill and drop as much as I wanted. I've talked to people at 3 different dealers and have gotten quotes between $300 - $500. They each offer a different product: Xzilon, Resistol, and another. So basically, my question is: should I do this, if so, what are the best products and what's a good price?

    3) Re-dye the cloth and carpet a darker (charcoal gray) color. Is this possible? Does anyone know if this works? I would really like the seats to be darker. It seems like it would make things a lot easier.

    4) Getting seat covers - I have side air bags and Hyundai does not recommend that I cover the seats. I have found places that make custom seat covers and claim that they are compatible with airbags, but Hyundai recommended not to do it and it may not be a good idea to play around with something like that.

    Thanks much for any thoughts, ideas or comments :)
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I think the Scotch Guard was a good idea but I haven't used it in years so I can't say. I thought they had to reformulate it a few years ago.

    I've never heard anyone say the dealer fabric protectant is a good investment, except for the dealers, of course. ;)

    I have no idea about dying it a darker shade. You are far braver than me if you choose to go this route.

    I've heard about the danger with seat covers. I guess you would have to see what they cover so that you would know if the air bag was available to deploy.

    I may sound like a broken record to some, but you can search past messages from me here about how great the Interior Cleaner from Griot's Garage is. My son drives my old 95 Accord with the tan/beige interior and I was amazed how well this stuff works. You have to use the brush on tough stains (you can buy a kit that includes one but you can use any brush) and I haven't found too many stains that it can't get out... in fact, none on my Accord but a friend who NEVER cleaned her minivan had a couple that were very tough. :)
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  • I have the very same question -- am about to buy a Rav4 and don't want to spend $1500+ on leather just to avoid stains. Did you ever get a satisfactory answer to your question? Can you offer any recommendations on where to look for seat covers and what kind make sense (safety, comfort, aesthetics, etc.)?
  • Hello all,I might be in the wrong place but i was wondering if anybody could tell me if there is a company that makes exact replicas of original seat covers for cars any help is greatly appreciated thank you
  • Not sure about exact replicas, but CoverKing makes a number of different seat covers. I understand from my dealer that the Rav4 (and perhaps many other cars) have airbags inside the seats and that one has to be very careful about selecting covers that don't interfere with the deployment of the airbags.
  • thanks 4 replying if this helps its a 93 ford thunderbird and i like the original interior very much plus the back seat is perfect so i would really like exact copies if possible thanks again tho
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    You might just have to check out some junk yards.
  • Hi,
    I own a 2000 Altima. Local mechanic says I need a new Oxygen sensor and will cost about $300. How long can I safely drive without getting a new Oxygen sensor?

    -- Brian
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    this thread was as close as i find for my problem. recently had my car detailed (interior only) specifically stated i wanted no armorall like products used. picked it up at the end of the day and the whole interior, leather, vinyl, hard plastic was all wiped down with some armorall like product, was shiny, glossy which i hate. it was late in the day and i was driving home into the western setting sun ,the glare on the dash board was terrible & i didn't have my sunglasses. is anybody aware of vinyl cleaners that leave the vinyl with the showroom matte finish. don't care if its a professional product that i have to buy in gallon jugs, just so it works to my satisfaction. i've since cleaned their mess but am unaware of suitable products. i use separate leather cleaners & conditioners so i'm looking for just vinyl products.
    any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.
    this is irrelavent but the car is an '06 accord, ex-l.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,470
    I believe matte finish vinyl protection products are readily available at most auto parts chains. I'm sure I've seen it on the shelves.

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  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    i'm looking for just vinyl products.

    I also have an 06 Accord EX-L. I love the products from Griot's Garage.

    They have an Interior Cleaner that is the best I've ever used. I was impressed with how well it cleaned rugs and cloth too. They sell it in several sizes. I don't really need it for the vinyl in my car because I keep it pretty clean and the black interior doesn't show dirt like my 95 Accord w/ivory interior does. This stuff (along with a stiff brush) really cleaned up everything (although some tough spots needed a couple of applications.)

    The Vinyl and Rubber Dressing they sell doesn't have any silicone in it and it doesn't leave that shiny, greasy mess. It's a great protectant for tires and vinyl. And if even the matte finish is too shiny for you, just buff it out a bit. The 8 oz. bottle last me a long time but they sell larger sizes. This is all I've ever used on my 06 vinyl.

    Good luck!
  • nellebnelleb Posts: 2
    I'm asking for help please! I am about to lease an Infiniti FX 35. I have the choice of 2 interior leather colours--"wheat" which is beige and /or "graphite" which is a dark, dark near black grey. Each colour , of course, comes with the same colour carpeting.
    I have 2 dogs, active lifestyle and am not compulsive about keeping the inside perfect. ( the exterior colour will be "Blue Slate a dark grey blue colour)
    Would anyone who has experience with this please give me advice? I ususally like a lighter interiors for the feeling of light ,sun ....but that's a feeling not concrete.... :) but also do like the darker one....Which colour shows less dirt, everyday wear etc.......
    Thanks so much in advance!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,470
    I can tell you from personal experience that dogs will completely destroy any leather interior in a matter of days unless their area is completely covered by either a make-shift or specially cut canvas layer. They will scratch the hell out of it in other words.

    Leather is, of course an organic material and is not as durable as cloth or most artificial materials. It looks great, smells great and with proper care can remain attractive for many years. But it's a choice that requires you to both periodically treat, and well as actively protect, the surfaces from damage.

    Presuming the dogs are in back anyway, and you have the basic dog-proofing in place, I'd choose the darker color just in case you spill coffee, or have a water leak, etc. The only drawback is that dark leather might be hotter in summer.

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  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    In addition to what Mr. Shiftright says, the lighter color will show any kind of scuff mark other places besides the seats. So when those dogs hit the door sill, carpet, etc. with their paws, the dirt will show in a light interior.

    Black will show any kind of light-colored debris on the floor from your shoes (or paws).
  • day9day9 Posts: 57
    I left my sunscreen in the trunk. Recently i found lots of sunscreen cream. I wiped it out with paper towel but I would like to know how to clean it completely. Any idea? Thanks.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    What's the trunk surface? Assuming it is some sort of cloth/rug material, a rug cleaner or stain removal product should remove it. I'm partial to the Interior Cleaner from Griot's Garage but I've never tested it on sunscreen.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Find a friend or buy a wet/dry vacumn.

    Then, I would just start with a lot of soap and water. The wet vac will pull the stuff out, then go with more straight water and keep vacumning and adding water until no more suds.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,177
    I need to clean the vinyl in spots on the door panel where a dark area is. I think it's from my coats when I rest my arm on the door sill while driving. It's like the black from the coat has transferred to the light tan vinyl.

    I tried Dawn and leather cleaner and leather cleaner/preservative.

    Are there suggestions for things I can buy locally at auto parts stores that will work?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Are there suggestions for things I can buy locally at auto parts stores that will work?

    I'm not aware of anything they sell at an auto parts store that works as well as this stuff: Interior Cleaner. I spray this stuff on and use a stiff brush. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries but I've managed to get out some tough stains on vinyl, cloth and carpets in my cars.
  • Thanks for the useful tips!
  • jjd345jjd345 Posts: 3
    Looking for STP Son of A Gun Protectant. I think they pulled it off the shelves in CA as no one carrys it anymore. STP says it is still available nationwide (not). I am looking to purchase multipal bottles of 32 oz or 1 gal containers.

    Can anyone advise of an out of CA vendor who carrys the product so I can order from them.

    STP really was no help.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ace Hardware online.

    Google is your friend.
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Posts: 23
    My car has leather seats. Today, I drove about 4 miles with a container of Windex on front seat. I had planned to clean windows of car. Windex tipped over and unscrewed and about 1/2 cup of windex was on front passenger seat. I immediately wiped up with paper towels. As I wiped up gently, I noticed that leather appears to be peeling off, in much the same way a snake looses its skin, or a person's skin peels off after a sunburn. I stopped wiping immediately, and just dabbed up all Windex. I have car windows open to help dry. Car is not in sunlight. Any idea what happened or what I can do to fix front seat? Not sure if this matters, but car is a 2006 Ford 500. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Buy replacement leather covers, do internet search and find companies who sell replacements.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    You may want to check with a detail shop to see if there is anything you can do. Is it still peeling? If you have any leather treatment products, you might try using that right away. I'm guessing that whatever is in the Windex (alcohol or ammonia) really dried up the leather and you would need to replenish it ASAP.

    Not that it has anything to do with your current situation but you may want to switch to a different glass cleaner in the future... something that is a bit gentler and without ammonia.

    Good luck!
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Ammonia is used to remove window tint. With that in mind it sounds like you've removed some type of protectant installed either by the dealer or manufacturer. Does that area seem to absorb moisture easier than the surrounding area? If so, that's what probably happened.
  • I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus with light grey cloth has been back to the dealership 5 times & counting and they have their service clean them & will continue until it's out of warrenty. Eventually they will get tired of paying for it....would be cheaper for them to replace the seats. Currently talking to Customer Care in Detroit to see what can be done....if only more people would complain they may have to recall them. They know there is an issue and refuse to do anything so far. Rain Water, Bottled Water stains should not stain seats. We have had plenty of cars over the years and it has never happened. Please anyone with this issue - Contact Customer Care - Detroit and make your voice heard.
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