Tips to Protect Your Car Upholstery

Vacuuming is an essential part of car interior maintenance.

We give the outside of our cars a nice wash to keep them sparkly clean, but most of us avoid interior upkeep. Although exhausting, it is an absolute must. Cars can quickly succumb to daily wear and tear, particularly those used daily. They are often subjected to muddy shoes, sticky fingers, dust, and food and liquid spills, making it difficult to maintain the look and feel of car interiors.

To ensure the vehicle remains in pristine condition, here are 10 tips for giving the car upholstery some extra TLC:


1. Open the Windows

The temperature inside your car is much higher than the temperature outside. Summer in Perth is typically hot and dry, averaging 17.5 to 30 degrees Celsius. It’s not usually a problem when the car is parked under a shade or in a garage. However, it can get up to 70 degrees if left under the sun after just 10 minutes. That’s dangerous and will not only damage the interiors but can also be lethal to humans and pets.

Some car owners believe cracking windows open before switching the aircon is a good idea. It helps circulate air, reducing benzene levels and heat from the plastic. So, it doesn’t hurt to roll down the windows even for a tiny bit, especially if you have leather seats, which dry out and fade with heat.


2. Block the Sun with Screens

Sunlight can quickly damage your car upholstery. If you have leather seats, they can crack easily. Cloth seats are not safe, either. They can fade and tear when exposed to the sun regularly. Protect your car with sunshades, a necessary addition to blocking the sun. Not only will it be cooler inside the vehicle, but you will also be more confident that the seats will enjoy a much longer life.


3. Cover the Seats

If you want a more effective solution to maintain the car seats, look into seat covers. They will not only protect the upholstery from sun damage but also inevitable spills. You can find good quality covers here, which are helpful, especially if you’re considering going on long family journeys. Use them as a preventative measure to protect car seats from pets, kids, and food spills.

These car seat covers are designed especially for your car’s model. So you don’t have to worry about them looking clunky and out of place.

Seat Mate car seat cover.


4. Use a Towel or Blanket

Kids are known to be messy, especially on long trips. They can quickly spill their food or drink, making it hard to get rid of the stains. So, while your seat covers are still on the way, an alternative is to throw a large towel or blanket on top of the seats.

The same goes for your pups, especially if they are heavy shedders. The temporary cover will protect the seats from the dog’s nails, and you can simply shake the fur out later.


5. Keep Food and Drinks Away

It always helps if you choose to eat outside the car as much as possible. Take stops when it is time to munch on snacks. If you need coffee to stay awake, drink it before driving.

It’s easier to ban food and drinks when dealing with adults. However, if you have kids with you, it’s almost impossible. The easiest solution is to be selective in the foods you allow inside the car. For example, avoid giving them yoghurt and sticky lollies. Drinks should be in spill-proof containers to make clean-ups more manageable.


6. Wipe the Seats

The secret to car seat longevity is to wipe immediately in case of spills. If possible, don’t even let the dust settle. Sure, you cannot always clean after spills, but blotting the liquid can keep them from destroying the seats from the inside.

Regular maintenance includes wiping the seats, mainly if you have leather seats. This simple task protects the seats from cracking, drying, and losing their vibrant colour. You can also use a petroleum-based cleaner when wiping with a paper towel. You can also use a microfibre cloth, which is generally recommended for most materials, including leather, vinyl, and fabric.

The secret to car seat longevity is to wipe immediately in case of spills.


7. Use the Right Cleaning Products

Leather seats require regular conditioning to prevent cracking and peeling, especially in the summertime. The good news is that the material is easy to clean. You can use warm water mixed with a gentle cleaner, liquid dishwashing soap, or castile soap. Make sure you don’t saturate the leather surface too much to prevent water from pooling in the seams.

Other materials like vinyl and cloth have more straightforward upkeep than leather. You can buy an all-purpose cleaner to maintain the look and feel of the car seats. Remember to dress the seats with appropriate covers, which help in making seat cleaning so much easier. Please read this blog for more tips on cleaning different types of car seats.


8. Vacuum the Car Regularly

Vacuuming is an essential part of car interior maintenance. Some car seat materials, especially velour, require consistent vacuuming. Make sure you use the proper attachment, as well. In the case of velour seats, we recommend a brush attachment, which helps clean trapped dirt in the fabric.

Thorough vacuuming every couple of weeks to at least once a month is typically sufficient. But don’t skimp the process. You need to vacuum the interior twice: once to get the surface dirt out and another after you beat the seats to remove embedded dirt.


9. Use Floor Mats

Floor mats are integral to protecting car upholstery. Pick a rubber or plastic floor mat to keep the carpets clean. Stains like mud, dirt, and liquids are usually hard to remove and time-consuming. Using floor mats can help make your life so much easier.

Additionally, these mats are easy-to-clean themselves. Just take them out and wash them when you see debris accumulating.

Floor mats are integral to protecting car upholstery.


10. Keep the Car Rubbish-Free

The last thing you want to do after a long, exhausting trip is to clean the car. But removing rubbish is not a step you can skip. Some items, such as bottles and tins, can damage the interior. Don’t let them sit in your car for a long time, whether you’re dealing with napkins, wrappers, or tumblers.

Preserving the value and beauty of your car is not difficult with the help of the tips mentioned above. Follow them to ensure the upholstery will remain in great shape. Don’t forget to check out our products to keep the car interior clean and well-protected.