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MASTER THREAD: Removing marks from white seats

Chuckie69

Member
Jun 8, 2019
25
28
Tucson, AZ USA
So, I’m a little over a week into a new (to me) Model 3 Performance. I absolutely love it, and I did a lot of reading about how great and stain resistant the white interior is. So, I went with it.

Late this week, I left a black baseball hat on the back seat for a few days. The car was in a parking garage but out of the sun. It’s a very nice hat and I’ve had it for over a year with no problems at all and no ink transfer to other things before.

Well, lo and behold, I picked the hat up and it left behind a nasty surprise. The seat now has a black fabric dye stain that I’ve now exhausted my options to get clean. Before you offer suggestions, I’ve searched on here and read every thread I could. I’ve tried just about all of it. At this point I’ve pretty much given up. Anything above what I’ve already done is likely to do some damage to the fabric. Hell, I may have already done that.

Is this a warranty-able item from Tesla? It’s just so damned disappointing that I’ve just barely gotten the car and it already has a huge noticeable blemish on the back seat.

:(
 

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Kilotango74

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,334
1,128
Palmdale, CA
A hat sitting on the seat alone would not cause dye transfer, the hat had to be wet or had something on top of it forcing into the seat.

There has to be more to the story.
This is what I am wondering. The sun doesn’t push fabric dye out of the material and the stain looks slightly oily.
 

Chuckie69

Member
Jun 8, 2019
25
28
Tucson, AZ USA
A hat sitting on the seat alone would not cause dye transfer, the hat had to be wet or had something on top of it forcing into the seat.

There has to be more to the story.

There's not. The hat was dry as far as I know. I suppose there could have been some sweat from me wearing it? Not sure, but it wouldn't have been that much and it certainly wasn't soaked. This has me perplexed as well.
 

Chuckie69

Member
Jun 8, 2019
25
28
Tucson, AZ USA
How is this a warranty issue? The seats have a stain resistant coating, but are not advertised as stain proof. Sounds like you want someone else to pay for your mistake.

Mistake? I put my hat on the back seat. That's it, nothing else to the story. I wouldn't expect this to have happened in a million years. I suppose in your world that is a mistake?

I'm not looking for a free handout, I'll pay to have it replaced if necessary. It just strikes me as extremely odd that this happened, how easily the hat stained the seat, and how tenacious the stain is.
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,028
2,428
Maryland
This would have happened no matter what brand’s white seats you have. No way would BMW replace the seat cover under warranty. This scenario is exactly why I have black seats in my Tesla.
 

N.Y.R.

Member
Mar 30, 2019
412
235
Calgary
This would have happened no matter what brand’s white seats you have. No way would BMW replace the seat cover under warranty. This scenario is exactly why I have black seats in my Tesla.
The dye would have transferred to the seats on black as well, you just can't see it as much.
 
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N.Y.R.

Member
Mar 30, 2019
412
235
Calgary
Mistake? I put my hat on the back seat. That's it, nothing else to the story. I wouldn't expect this to have happened in a million years. I suppose in your world that is a mistake?

I'm not looking for a free handout, I'll pay to have it replaced if necessary. It just strikes me as extremely odd that this happened, how easily the hat stained the seat, and how tenacious the stain is.
Why don't you try a professional detailer first like this link says:

#2
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,286
6,826
Canyon Lake,CA
You will need to try different cleaning solutions to see what will take out that stain if you choose to DIY. Always start with the weakest cleaner first, then progress to the stronger ones. You can try a Magic Eraser, but be super careful you don't remove the coating on the material.

Better choice would be to take it to a professional or to a Tesla Service center. They deal with stuff like this all the time and should be able to get most of the stain off. Take the offending hat with you, as they may try different solvents on the hat material to see which will cause it to bleed, rather than just using all different stuff on your seats.

The fault is not so much with the upholstery, as with the manufacturer of the hat. Some hats can sit forever and not transfer stains, but the poorly made ones can transfer. Same with Jeans. Some transfer more than others.

Hard to believe that this stain transfered from one dry surface to another dry surface, especially with no pressure being applied.

Hope you get your seats back to their normal great looking condition.
 

cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,033
721
Grapevine, TX
You may have to resort to a leather/vinyl dye. Many of the leather dyes work on vinyl as well. You will have to submit a sample of the seat material for them to color match (you can usually cut a small piece from underneath the seat bottom on most seats. I actually re-dyed the problem areas on my '02 M5's caramel leather seats/doors with good results. SEM makes a vinyl dye in varying shades of white as well. You DEFINITELY want to try it on a hidden area first for color match, gloss match, etc.. I recommend an airbrush to control application very finely...I also recommend a color matched dye (vs. generic).

Of course Tesla's seats are apparently made of ground up Vegans, so who knows if the regular dyes will stick.
 

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