All cars need an interior cleaning at some point. Messes build and require a deep clean to remove bacteria, dirt, and stains. Car seats are particularly dirty parts of a vehicle. Some vehicle owners use car seat covers to protect the vehicle’s original seat fabric from long-term damage from filth. However, if you have seat covers, you still need to clean them.
Leatherette seat covers are an incredibly popular choice for many automobile owners looking for a gorgeous and durable cover. But how are you supposed to take care of leatherette car seat covers? Continue reading to learn how to clean leatherette the right way and uphold its stunning appearance and protective qualities.
What Are Leatherette Seat Covers Made Of?
Leatherette is a style of faux leather made from synthetic materials to simulate real leather. Typically, leatherette is a blend of vinyl and plastics that mimics the soft feeling of leather. The affordable and durable material is a desirable choice for many car owners because you can obtain the qualities of real leather without stressing about the high-maintenance care. However, leatherette does still require regular cleaning and maintenance to remain aesthetic and functional.
Remember These Two Things Before Cleaning Leatherette
There are two important things about leatherette to remember. First, it’s a nonporous surface. Liquid stains won’t seep as far into leatherette as they would into cloth materials. Instead, liquids will settle on the surface.
Second, remember that leatherette is vulnerable to excessive water and heat exposure. There’s no need to submerge the seat covers in water or apply heat for drying, and you should avoid doing either. Stay conscious of your actions when cleaning the material to ensure no harm comes to your beloved leatherette seat covers.
How To Clean Leatherette Seat Covers
Unlike your vehicle’s original seat fabric, leatherette seat covers are removable, making washing them so much easier. However, you must follow these cleaning and care steps to ensure you don’t damage the material in the process.
Vacuum the Seat Covers
The first step is to remove any debris on the seat covers with a vacuum. Consider utilizing a brush attachment for a deep initial clean. This attachment will lightly scrub into the leatherette fibers to remove dirt and debris. Once you’ve vacuumed the seat covers, they will become much easier to deep clean.
Remove the Seat Covers From the Vehicle
One of the best features of seat covers, such as the leatherette seat covers from Fia, is they’re easy to remove and simple to reinstall after cleaning. After you extract all the little crumbs and dirt from the surface, you can begin the removal process.
The quick-release buckle allows you to effortlessly unlock the seat covers. From there, carefully lift the material around each curve and pull the cover away from the seat. Next, lay the seat covers on a flat surface so you can easily reach each portion of the material. Now you’re ready to clean them!
Find the Right Cleaning Solution
The primary rule to remember when cleaning leatherette is to always be gentle. Use gentle cleaning tools and a mild cleaning solution.
Harsh cleaning products with numerous chemicals will only linger on the surface. These products won’t thoroughly clean the material. Instead, they will make the faux leather feel stiff and uncomfortable.
Ensure you choose a gentle or mild leatherette cleaning product for the job. An alternative is to use a mixture of gentle dish soap and warm water. Both gentle cleansers and soapy water are incredibly effective for removing dirt and bacteria from seat covers.
Use Microfiber Cloths for Cleaning
Abrasive scrub brushes and towels might scratch leatherette. While this material is wonderfully durable, you never want to risk harming it during cleaning. Instead, use gentle microfiber cloths.
Get your cleaning solution of choice onto the cloth. Then, lightly scrub the covers, paying careful attention to visibly stained areas. There’s no need to apply immense pressure on the material. The gentle cloth will get the job done easily!
Wipe the Seats With a Dry Towel
Once you’ve cleaned your leatherette seat covers, you must dry them. You don’t want any water lingering on the surface that may cause the leatherette to shrink or crack.
Take a clean, dry microfiber towel. Lightly wipe it across the seat covers to absorb any excess moisture. Again, there’s no need to press the material very hard to remove all the water. Let the towel do the work for you!
Let the Seat Covers Air-Dry
Excessive heat can have an unfavorable impact on leatherette. The material can’t withstand incredibly high temperatures well. Therefore, don’t place leatherette seat covers in the dryer or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
Instead, find a safe space the hang the seat covers and allow them to air-dry. This is the safest and most efficient method to ensure the material remains immaculate.
Apply a Conditioner After Cleaning
Conditioning leatherette is still possible and helpful even though the material isn’t true leather. Truthfully, it’s an essential step to conduct after cleaning. Conditioning leatherette guards the material against harsh UV rays, shrinking, and cracking. Plus, when the material looks shiny, it feels great too!
Use a clean microfiber towel to apply a leatherette conditioner. Spray it onto the seat covers, and use the towel to gently press the conditioner into the material in circular motions. Once every tiny area has a layer of conditioner on top, the seat covers are ready for reinstalment.
How Frequently Should You Clean and Condition Leatherette?
Allowing leatherette seats to grow bacteria and sit in the filth is detrimental to the material. If you want your seats to last, you should stick to a cleaning and conditioning schedule.
Clean the seat covers with warm water and a mild cleaning solution every three months. This will remove oils, stains, and dirt from the surface. However, don’t do this process more often, as cleaning too frequently can make the material prone to cracking.
In between cleanings, have a leatherette conditioner on hand. Once every month, apply the leatherette conditioner to the seat covers. Leatherette is a unique material that requires conditioning to retain a polished appearance and prevent cracking. The conditioner will nourish the dry material and make it look new.
Installing seat covers doesn’t create extra work for car owners. Knowing how to take care of leatherette car seat covers further demonstrates that it’s an easy and doable task. If you’re ready to upgrade your car’s interior, contact Fia today! The custom-fit design of our seat covers is sure to provide an excellent look and feel for your truck, minivan, or SUV.
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