Maintaining the interior of your car is just as important as keeping the outside looking shiny and new. You spend most of your automotive time on the inside of your car, so a comfortable interior will definitely improve your driving experience. Keeping your car seats in good condition will also improve your car’s value when you come to sell it.
Car seats take a lot of punishment over the years, but few people really take the time to keep them in good shape. Here are a few tips that will help you to protect your seats from undue wear and tear.
Prevent damage to your car
Seat covers come in a variety of textiles. A seat cover protects seating from spills and dirt. For those with young children, spilled drinks are difficult to avoid. Consider seat covers that are moisture proof to prevent sticky spots that attract dirt and dust. Some people choose to only fit a cover to the driver’s seat since it is the one which takes the most wear, but others prefer a more uniform look so will cover all the seats.
In rainy and snowy climates, floor mats will help you to protect your car from mud and dirt. Make sure you purchase mats that fit your car correctly, to make sure that they don’t slip and obstruct the pedals.
In addition to stopping your passengers from tracking in dirt and mud from the outside, there are other ways to protect your car from the elements. Always keep your windows rolled up if it is raining or snowing, even if it’s not cold, and use your air-conditioning to demist the windows. Water marks can stain your interior permanently. In addition, UV rays from the sun can cause damage to interior plastics and textiles. On sunny days, use sunshields to reduce the amount of UV entering the car, and park in a shady spot where possible.
A car that sees heavy use will be more likely to show wear and tear. If you store sharp objects in the car, they will eventually poke a hole through the upholstery. Store cargo in the boot to avoid damaging the seats, not to mention preventing heavy objects flying dangerously around the cabin in an accident. If you must carry cargo in the cabin for any reason, secure it as best you can with the sat belts and lay down a heavy blanket to protect the car.
Protecting leather and vinyl
Leather conditioners keep the hide supple over time. There are products that also contain agents to combat harmful UV rays which degrade leather. Exposure to sun eventually fades the colour of leathers, and it will also become worn with use. A car with an interior using high quality leather will be able to withstand more wear and tear. Inevitably, leather will take on a worn patina as it ages and wears, but there is a big difference between a pleasingly aged look and an interior which simply looks neglected.
Cleaning your car
If the manufacturer has specific instructions for treating the interior materials in your car, you should follow them carefully. Vacuum away dirt and debris regularly so it can’t be scratched or marked permanently into the seats, not forgetting carpets, underneath the front seats and other places that may be hard to reach while you’re at it. When cleaning plastics on seat mountings, seat belts and other parts of the car’s interior, you should use soft microfibre cloths and brushes with soft bristles. Avoid introducing surface scratches by using quality cleaning supplies and regularly cleaning your cloths.
Whenever possible, you should clean with the fewest sprays and liquids possible. Consider it a type of ‘dry-cleaning.’ Avoid cleaners with harsh chemical agents, and choose products designed specifically for different parts of your car. A solvent for vinyl is not optimal for use on leather seats, and household cleaners are far too harsh for the interior surfaces of your car. Always store your car cleaning products in cupboards or storage cabinets in your garage, rather than in the boot of your car. This keeps them tidy, and prevents spills from having them rolling around in the boot.
Rough use will make your car seats look dull and old, so it is essential to take care in cleaning and vacuuming the car regularly. If we spare a bit of time for regular care, your seats will last longer and you will avoid the cost of repairing damaged upholstery. Moreover, these tips will help you to keep your car seats looking new for a long period of time!