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How to PROPERLY Clean and Maintain Suede and Alcantara

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by First Impression, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

    May 2, 2013
    Serving Tampa, Sarasota & Southwest Florida
    #1 First Impression, Sep 20, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
    Suede - Is a type of leather with a napped finish commonly used on headliners and seats.

    Alcantara - Is a composite material made of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane giving this material increased durability and stain resistance. Its appearance and feel is similar to that of suede. Alcantara can be found covering your steering wheel, seats, dashboard, headliners, etc.

    To preserve the beauty of Suede and or Alcantara is recommended that regular cleaning is performed. Application of a high quality fabric guard or coating is strongly recommended

    DO NOT RUB TOO VIGOROUSLY, this will crush the texture and destroy the finish of both alcantara and suede.
    The use of steam machines is not recommended when cleaning Alcantara. Steam can be used to clean suede (use with caution and at your own risk)

    Regular Cleaning

    Weekly cleaning or after every car wash- Use a soft brush (preferably a boar or horse hair brush), a dry cloth or simply a vacuum to remove the dust off the alcantara. After your suede or alcantara has been dusted, run a slightly damped (not soaked) white cotton cloth over it (a high quality cotton terry towel will do a better job than a microfiber towel). AVOID the use of printed cloths or papers as they can release ink onto the material.

    Stain Removal
    In the case of localised stains and when your specific cleaning product is not available you can clean the material as follows:
    - ACT FAST (preferably within 30 mnts)
    - DO NOT pour any cleaning product directly onto the alcantara or suede.
    - Remove as much of the spilled substance before you try to remove the stain.
    - AVOID rubbing the affected area to prevent the stain from going deeper into the material.
    - Use a well wrung white cloth or sponge to remove the stain (if a sponge is being used, rinse it in clean water and wring it very well between wipes).
    - Begin treating the stain from the outside edge into the center to avoid spreading the stain.

    Different types of stains and alternative products that should be used (if the recommended cleaning product isn't at hand).

    Water Soluble Stains

    Fruit juice, jam, jelly, syrup, ketchup, chocolate, ice cream and mustard - Use a white towel damped in lukewarm water; rinse by dabbing with a damped white towel in clean water.

    Blood, eggs, excrement or urine - wipe with water at room temperature, rinse with clean water. AVOID the use of warm water because it will make this substances coagulate.

    Vinegar, tomato sauce, coffee or hair gel - Pre-treat with lemon juice, then wipe with lukewarm water, rinse by dabbing with clean water.

    Stains Not Soluble in Water

    Makeup (Lipstick, foundation, mascara, eye shadow), perfume, she polish, grease or oil (in general), grass stain - Rub with ethyl alcohol (remember not to rub too hard), wipe with water and rinse by dabbing with clean water.

    Chewing gum - Put a plastic bag full of ice on top of the gum, when the gum has become hard remove the pieces and then treat with ethyl alcohol.

    Resistant Stains
    Repeat treatments as often as necessary. Even the stains that are not soluble in water will often require to be treated with water afterwards.

    Don't Know What Caused the Stain?
    Treat with lukewarm water first, then rinse by dabbing with clean water. If the stain begins to dissolve in the water, repeat the treatment as often as necessary, allow to dry and, if necessary, treat with ethyl alcohol.

    Product Recommendation

    Swissvax cleaning brush

    Swissvax alcantara cleaner

    Chemical Guys Inner Clean (save 28% with Coupon Code CGP28)

    White Cotton Towels

    303 Fabric Guard (save 28% with Coupon Code 303FG)

    GTechniq I1 Smart Fabric

    Hope you find this article helpful. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

    Check out Youtube for How to videos about cleaning alcantara.

    some information was taken fron Alcantara.
    • Informative x 3
    • Helpful x 2
    • Like x 1
  2. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    May 13, 2012
    Great tips. Thanks, FI Pete.
  3. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Jul 31, 2013
    Southern California
    Great tips. A good product we use on alcantara, or suede, is Autoglym Interior Cleaner from England. Been using it for almost 20 years and it's an excellent upholstery cleaner.
  4. Texas

    Texas Member

    May 19, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    There is something amiss about the Swissvax alcantara cleaner. The price listed for a one liter spray bottle is $165.00.(!!)
  5. tstafford

    tstafford Member

    Jul 4, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    HA! And you thought buying a MS was expensive - now the to clean part of the dashboard (not the whole dashboard mind you) is $165. I wonder if they sell pedal polish for $199 a bottle.
    • Funny x 1
  6. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

    Oct 6, 2015
    Minneapolis, MN
    Great info! Thanks!
  7. number12

    number12 Member

    Aug 16, 2016
    Any updated product list?
  8. Phoenixhawk101

    Feb 28, 2015
    Chicago, IL
    Bookmarked! I had been meaning to ask these very questions!

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