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Marks on ultra white seats, permanent?

TurboBear

Member
Apr 2, 2016
164
146
Durham, NC
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Have tried baby wipes, rubbing alcohol on paper towels and magic eraser. Service center looked, says it's permanent and will need to have it professionally recolored. I believe (but am not sure) the marks came from a metal button on one of my jackets. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.
 
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pdxgibby

Software Engineer
Oct 30, 2015
600
730
Tualatin, Oregon
I would have suggested Magic Eraser too. Can't believe that didn't work. Have you thought about white out? Okay, J/K.

Please keep us posted. As a new owner of white seats, I am terribly nervous about their color-fastness.
 

razh

Member
Dec 11, 2017
168
227
Ottawa
The vegan seats are covered in a thin but soft PVC layer. If the buttons rubbed through the PVC, they might reveal the synthetic fibre underneath which is usually unpainted.

It should be pretty easy to tell if it rubbed through as the PVC - its at least a few hairs thick. Run your nail and see if it catches an obvious edge.

I would STOP trying to use magic eraser - it is abrasive and permanently removes any protective coating on the seat. It's doing more damage than good which will show up as discoloration in that area over time.

It's not a good idea to use anything acidic on the PVC as acids will perform etching. PVC is not as acidic as real leather. Definitely don't use anything more acidic than rubbing alcohol, like vinegar.

If dish soap and a rag isn't improving the situation after a few wet/dry cycles, its likely permanent.
 
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TurboBear

Member
Apr 2, 2016
164
146
Durham, NC
It should be pretty easy to tell if it rubbed through as the PVC - its at least a few hairs thick. Run your nail and see if it catches an obvious edge.

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. I can't discern any edge around the stain, and can see the grain of the fabric coming through the stain in the lighter areas.

I would STOP trying to use magic eraser - it is abrasive and permanently removes any protective coating on the seat. It's doing more damage than good which will show up as discoloration in that area over time.

Act of desperation, will not use again.

It's not a good idea to use anything acidic on the PVC as acids will perform etching. PVC is not as acidic as real leather. Definitely don't use anything more acidic than rubbing alcohol, like vinegar.

If dish soap and a rag isn't improving the situation after a few wet/dry cycles, its likely permanent.

Just did about 15 minutes of vigorous scrubbing with microfiber cloth and hot water with dish soap. It appears to have blurred the edges of the stain a bit, but not much else. :(
 

hjzs2k

Member
Oct 26, 2017
33
8
New York
Apparently my white seats have been stained as well by jeans according to the detailer. I thought they'd be a bit more resistant to that. It's so very very light however but it is noticeable.
 

jjh1234

Member
Jul 8, 2017
587
355
Pittsburgh, PA
This makes me even less interested in the white interior than before. Personally, I find it way too bright. Hope you end up finding a way to get it clean. Maybe talk to a local professional car detailer. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.
 
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boonedocks

MS LR Blk/Blk 19” OD-1/1/21 RN#1143376 DD 9/4 11am
May 1, 2015
3,146
5,863
Gainesville GA
This makes me even less interested in the white interior than before. Personally, I find it way too bright. Hope you end up finding a way to get it clean. Maybe talk to a local professional car detailer. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.


++100%
 

TurboBear

Member
Apr 2, 2016
164
146
Durham, NC
Apologies for the delay in updating this thread due to the holidays. The marks ended up being permanent. Per the SC's recommendation, I contacted a detailer that works for Interior Magic. He was able to recolor the back of the seat and it looks good as new. There is a very slight texture difference (I'd describe as slightly grainy) between the original and recolored areas of the seat. I am very nit-picky but overall am very happy with the work and in the past few days don't even think about it anymore. He charged me $40.

I had a very interesting conversation with the detailer while he worked on my car. He stated that he does see a lot of white interior Teslas for similar issues, but that the color he uses is plain white base and does not require any mixing or color matching, which makes the coverup easier.

I still like the white seats; they're very unique, modern and "Tesla-looking," but am disappointed that they are nowhere near as stain resistant as my OA lead to me to believe (this was a big deal for me, I debated seat color right up until my order finalized). I also have slight blue jean dye transfer on the door-side of the seat, not sure if this is from sliding in or just how I sit in the seat while driving. I do not wear very dark jeans.

Below are pictures of the recolored seat and the offending button on my jacket that made the mark in the first place.

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gulbranson

Member
Mar 26, 2018
9
14
Bay Area, California
We're just shy of owning our Model S 100D for one year, and it just rolled 18,000 miles today! The white interior has been fantastic, easy to clean even light blue jean transfer, soft...really just wonderful. So much so we placed an order for an X 100D with white interior. However, my wife wore dark black jeans today (about two hours in the driver seat) and this was the result. This picture is after multiple attempts to clean it with...
- Mild soap and warm water. 10 minutes or so of rubbing with a new terry cloth.
- Alcohol. 15 minutes with a new clean terry cloth.
- Leather seat cleaner.
- White shoe cleaner.
- Magic Eraser, gently in a few spots, but no joy.

It appears the dye transfer is permanent!

I still love the white seats, but this sucks! Needless to say the culprit pants will never be able to stain ever again. The X order was confirmed weeks ago but delivery isn't until June. Moral of this story...no black or dark cotton jeans on white seats!!!

driver seat.jpg
 
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SKRGO

Member
Aug 20, 2017
187
234
Planet Earth
I also have the all white seats and asked the Tesla retailer what he used to remove blue jean dye transfer. He recommended a product sold at the Home Depot in the cleaning section made by Zep called "Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser" He said to NOT use it straight out of the sprayer as purchased, but to find another empty spray bottle and make a 1% solution with distilled water. Get a clean microfiber cloth and spray the 1% Citrus onto the cloth and wipe softly, until the blue jean dye is removed, then use a clean damp cloth with water to rinse.
 
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MenloWizard

Member
Sep 1, 2017
15
15
Tucson, AZ
I also have the all white vegan leather seats and wear dark blue jeans just about ever day. I asked the Tesla tech, when he was our performing a minor repair to one of my door handles, what they used at the shop to clean the seats as mine had started to show a bit of dye transfer. He went back to the service car, grabbed a can of "foam glass cleaner" with a very conspicuously covered "3M" label and told me to give it a try (although per company policy, he could not recommend it over any other product as it was not Tesla branded). Sprayed a bit on a rag, then wiped a small spot on the seat ... pretty much good as new.

The 3M website claims the stuff is safe to use on vinyl, plastics, and just about any other surface and I haven't noticed any ill effects since trying it on a small spot. I'm definitely planning on picking some up and giving it a more thorough test. Will post pictures/results when I have some.
 

gulbranson

Member
Mar 26, 2018
9
14
Bay Area, California
Update to my prior post.
So far I have been unsuccesful in remove the black pigment on our white S seats. Here's the complete list of everything I have tried to remove the discoloration. Each attmpt was with a new white terry cloth towel in order to verify if there was any transfer of the pigment to the towel. The list below is in chronological order of products...

1. Warm water with mild soap
2. Hot water with mild soap
3. Alcohol
3. Griot's Interior Leather Cleaner
4. Eagle Leather Cleaner
5. IBIZ Leather Cleaner
6. ZEP Leather Cleaner & Conditioner
7. Plexor Plastic/Glass Cleaner
None of these items produced any noticable results, so on to more drastic solutions...
8. Spot Shot carpet cleaner
9. Rejuvenate Color Restore for vinyl and plastic
10. AS MENTIONED ABOVE - Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Cleaner diluted ~ 10%
11. Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Cleaner straight
12. Black Mark Remover, primarily used for fiberglass.
13. Bleach White for tires
14. Plastic Solvent and Cleaner...at this point the next step is hard solvents and I won't go there unless I know I can get a new white cover for my seat.

I've talked to three detail shops and they all agree the pigment is set and my only action available at this point is to re-dye (which will most likely bleed) OR replace the seat covering.

The good news is the material has held up very well to my repeated attmpts. Nevertheless, my white seats are far from perfect after only a two hour stint with a new black pair of jeans! So, buyer beware, the white isn't as perfect as Tesla makes it out to be.
 

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