Auto Interiors - Leather and Vinyl
Auto interiors are constantly under siege from the elements. What to do to keep your car looking its best.
We sometimes think of leather and vinyl interior as tougher than fabrics, but these surfaces, too, can be damaged and soiled easily. Stains caused by automotive fluids like oil and gas, food and beverages, road salt, tar, sand, and mud can make keeping your car clean a real challenge. The longer these stains sit, the tougher they are to remove. Also, the build-up of these stains can leave surfaces sticky or oily, ultimately attracting more dirt, and tend to accelerate the wear and tear of auto upholstery and other interior surfaces. After a while, untreated stains can even lead to hard-to-get-rid-of odors. When it gets right down to it, a car’s interior is a small space where accumulated stains and odors make a huge impact!
Cleaning and care tips: The first step is to prevent the accumulation of these soils by treating surfaces with an appropriate protection product. Automotive fabrics including upholstery and carpeted surfaces, as well as door panels and roof liners, can be treated with Guardsman Fabric Protector. By coating the individual fibers with an invisible chemical shield, dirt and common stains are prevented from permanently attaching themselves—so your car’s fabric surfaces look cleaner, longer and, when necessary, cleaning is easier and more effective.
A few simple suggestions for keeping your auto interior fresh:
We’re always on the go, but it’s safer (and neater) to avoid eating and drinking in the car! When it is necessary, a reusable travel-safe mug is environmentally- friendly, keeps your beverage hot, and helps avoid spills! For cold beverages, always ask for a lid. When eating “drive-thru” foods like French fries, try to keep greasy fingers away from fabric upholstery. It’s a good idea to keep a container of hand wipes in the car to clean up messy hands—especially when travelling with kids! Keep a Guardsman Fabric First Aid Kit handy, too, just in case a mess can’t be avoided.
Accidents happen. Blot stains immediately and, as soon as possible, use a cleaner recommended for auto upholstery to thoroughly clean the area. Quick clean-up makes stains much easier to handle and it’s also the best way to avoid odors.
Always re-treat. After cleaning, always remember to re-treat with fabric protector to maintain an effective anti-stain shield.
Non-fabric surfaces. Dirt and grime can tend to build up on leather, plastic and vinyl surfaces such as door panels, steering wheels, dashboards and consoles. Once every month or so, it’s a good idea to wipe off these surfaces. Guardsman Leather Clean and Renew Wipes are disposable and handy for getting in hard-to-reach places. Keep a package of these re-sealable wipes in the glove compartment or trunk. Avoid using wipes or cleaning products, even those specifically sold for auto care, that contain silicones as they make surfaces greasy and ultimately attract dust.
Vacuum. Weekly vacuuming of carpets and floor mats helps keep dirt and sand from working their way in and breaking down fibers.
Heat and sun exposure. Although there are “anti-UV” products specifically marketed for use on automotive leather and upholstery, the most effective way to block harmful UV rays is to place a collapsible sun shade in the windshield when the car will be sitting outside for an extended period.