The interior of a car states a lot about its quality. Auto upholstery is the material that is used to cover the dashboard, doors, and seats of an automobile. Manufacturers use different types of material based on the market segment for the vehicle. Cheaper vehicles will have lower quality materials while more expensive vehicles will have higher quality material such as leather and suede.
If you find that you need to replace old upholstery, then you need to know about the different types of fabrics available. There is a large difference in construction, color, and materials. Examples of car upholstery materials include:
- Faux Leather
Nylon is the most common fabric used for car upholstery. It is very porous as well as very durable. Nylon upholstery is the least expensive of all of the varieties of upholstery and comes standard in most automobiles. However, tailored Nylon upholstery may feature a hefty price tag.
The best feature of this material is that it is quite easy to clean. You simply need a vacuum to pick up dust and loose dirt from the seat of your car. After that, take some mild detergent and mix it with warm water in a pail. Make sure there are no bubbles formed while mixing. Take a sponge, dip it into the mixture, and scrub the surface of your car’s seat. Once you finish cleaning, take a second sponge and dip it in cold water. Wipe off the detergent from the Nylon surface using this sponge and let the fabric dry.
Polyester is next most popular car upholstery after Nylon. The texture of polyester fabric used in automobiles is almost like that of suede leather. Although the softness of the polyester makes it comfortable, it is a bit difficult to maintain the fabric. The texture of the material not only makes it prone to dirt and stains, but the upholstery is also porous. Still, the cleaning job doesn’t require an expert’s hands. You simply need a damp cloth and a low-PH cleaning agent to clean the microsuede material. Make sure the microsuede doesn’t get too wet. Alternatively, the microsuede polyester can be steam-cleaned thoroughly.
Vinyl car upholstery is waterproof and non-porous. Unlike polyester upholstery, it can be cleaned easily with a damp towel. For stubborn residue, you only need a cleaner that is specific to vinyl. If you want a happy medium between leather and cloth upholstery, then this type of material will prove ideal. Vinyl upholstery is sold at pocket-friendly prices and is more durable in comparison to the leather fabric.
Faux Leather Upholstery
Faux leather upholstery is another popular choice among car owners who want to add a leather look to their automobile’s interior but at a pocket-friendly price. This material is waterproof, and the best part is that it demands a minimal effort to clean.
You need a feather duster to remove loose dirt and dust from the fabric. Take a clean cloth; dip it into the mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Wring out the excess water and wipe down the seat surface. Wipe off the soap using a damp cloth, and then wipe the wet surface using a dry cloth. You may need a faux leather-cleaning agent or a toothbrush to get rid of stubborn residue or stains. Use a vacuum cleaner to ensure better cleaning of the upholstery.
Leather material is a pricey car upholstery. As it is a luxury item, its overall cost is higher in comparison to other car upholsteries. Although it demands extra care and attention, the fact remains that it offers enhanced richness to the car’s interior. You cannot adopt inferior methods as far as its cleaning is concerned.
Clean your leather car upholstery with the right products and extra care. Using an inexpensive cleaning agent could strip natural oils from the fabric, causing it to crack and dry out.
First, you need to remove oils or dust from the surface with a clean cloth. Before applying upholstery conditioner, it is important to ensure that the leather is completely dry. Use liberal amounts of the conditioner and apply it evenly. Make sure you place your vehicle in the shade overnight so that the conditioner stays hidden from UV rays.
Suede material is another pricey car upholstery option. As another luxury item, suede is marketed in a similar price region to leather. The overall price varies depending on the quality, just as leather. Suede adds a nice touch to any vehicle with its great look and feel. Many vehicles sold by European manufacturers offer suede options from factory such as door panels, headliner, seat inserts, and steering wheels.
Always clean suede car upholstery with suede approved cleaning products and extra care. Using an incorrect cleaning detergent could damage the color or feel of the suede. Suede cleaning products are available at many automotive retailers.
Things to Consider for Better Maintenance of Car Upholstery
- Avoid spilling food or beverages on the upholstery. Use a quality fabric cleaner to clean the upholstery surface. It is always wise to vacuum the fabric cloth upholstery in the first place to remove dust and dirt from the surface and then use a detergent solution for removing any odors or stains.
- Always use a mixture of warm water and mild soap to clean the car upholstery, especially in the case of leather material. Remember, leather also needs to be conditioned. This conditioning helps maintain the richness and shine of the fabric. You can also use leather conditioning and cleaning kits for better results. Minimize direct contact with sunlight and heat with leather upholstery to keep its quality intact for a longer period.
- Car upholstery should be cleaned twice a year or every other month.
- Headliners demand low-maintenance. Avoid using a harsh cleaner for wiping the headliners. Since they are sponge-backed, it is not possible to get the cleaners out of the material. It is best to use a damp cloth for cleaning the car’s headliners.
- It is advisable to use a canvas-specific product or mild detergents for cleaning canvas convertible tops. Also, avoid car washes as much as possible. Putting the convertible top through the washes isn’t wise at all.
- It is a good idea to vacuum vinyl in order remove debris from the upholstery before using a damp cloth on the surface to remove the stains. Vinyl car upholstery doesn’t require additional cleaning since the material doesn’t allow stains to penetrate.
Find the Right Upholstery for Your Car!
The design printed or woven into the fabric determines the overall look of the car. It is because of this that customized autos feature designer fabric and may also bear the logo of the clothing designers or the personal insignia of the car owner. If you want nothing less than the best, then look for an experienced and reputable car upholstery seller.
An expert makes sure to create a professional look. Ensure that the material makes a perfect match with the interior of your automobile. Deciding on the material is a major choice as the fabric should be expected to last for a long period of time with proper care.