TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Vendor How to safely clean leather seats on your Tesla Model S [images included]

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by Jean-Claude, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Jean-Claude

    Jean-Claude Local Vendor - Southeast

    Feb 3, 2015
    Atlanta, GA.
    How to Safely Clean Leather Seats on Your Tesla Model S

    Above all else: Ensure that you follow manufacturer's directions when cleaning and/or conditioning automotive leather.

    Notice in the image that we have Soft Cleaner, Strong Cleaner and finally, Super/Cleaner/Remover. The products have been listed in order of mildest to strongest. We start with Soft Cleaner and if it provides the needed cleaning power, we do not proceed with a stronger product. If it is not enough, we move onto the next stronger product and so on.


    Before moving forward with treating an obvious area of the seats, we test the products on an inconspicuous area. We've not had any issues with LM products in the past. But who's to say a manufacturer does not adjust their coating and it have an adverse affect? Don't risk it! Always test before moving forward with a whole interior.

    Prior to cleaning we can see the need to clean the leather.


    The seat has been split into two sections with tape to show a sharp contrast of before and after.


    Tim applied Soft Cleaner to a sponge and then gently creates a lather against the leather. A lather assists with lifting contaminants away from the surface. One caution you should have when working with a lather is to not allow it to get onto any alcantara surfaces or slip back behind the seat. Ensure you work in manageable areas.



    After creating a lather, use a microfiber towel to remove the slurry of cleaner and contaminants. There's no need to be aggressive with this step. Gently wipe away and reapply a fine amount of cleaner and then wipe away with your microfiber towel if you see residue left over.


    After cleaning this section we removed the tape to show off how safely cleaned leather can look.


    Let's finish cleaning the rest of the leather seat.


    Moving forward, you can apply a conditioner and then protection cream. We applied Leather Vital via polyfoam applicator pad.



    Per the directions, Leather Vital is left to dry on the leather for 1 hour and then it is lightly wiped up with a microfiber towel.


    The leather has been cleaned, conditioned and now we move to another step: protection

    Following the directions from the manufacturer of the product, we applied Leather Protection Cream to the leather and allow it to dry for half a hour.


    Leather Protection Cream can be layered, though I believe that you get greatly diminished returns after 3 layers. We lightly wipe the surface after it has sat for the half hour timeframe.

    Now we are done safely cleaning the leather seats on your Tesla Model S. Alcantara seat inserts can be cleaned as needed as well. We can do a DIY later if there is any demand for a DIY on cleaning alcantara.

    Thanks for taking the time to view this method of safely cleaning leather seats. If you have any questions, feel free to post them and I will do my best to answer them. ​

    SC DETAILER New Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    United States
    Great work, as always.

  3. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

    Aug 11, 2013
    #3 Gwgan, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
    Not likely to do that.

    Model X (unofficial prerelease) manual:
    "Leather is prone to dye-transfer which can
    cause discoloration, particularly on light
    colored leather. White and tan leather is
    coated with an anti-soiling treatment. Wipe
    spills as soon as possible using a soft cloth
    moistened with warm water and non-
    detergent soap. Wipe gently in a circular
    motion. Then wipe dry using a soft, lint-free
    cloth. Using detergents or commercially
    available leather cleaners and conditioners is
    not recommended
    because they can discolor
    or dry out the leather."
  4. Jean-Claude

    Jean-Claude Local Vendor - Southeast

    Feb 3, 2015
    Atlanta, GA.

    Good advice to follow. But, as they indicated by not saying cleaners/conditioners absolutely would discolor, if water on a towel does not work and the stain is a deal breaker, using an appropriate cleaner and conditioner may be the solution.

    Their suggestions are good for most OTC cleaners and conditioners. But I would not write off everything.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.