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Seat and door material stains easily

MX1000

Member
Jun 7, 2016
34
13
CA
I am not sure what the exact material that is used on the M3 seats, and for that matter the various door panels as well. But what I have noticed is that any little oily finger or mark will leave a very obvious shiny stain on the seats. It doesn't help that the seats are black and more of a semi-smooth and not textured material. For example, kids eating a burger or some snack, as most foods have some level of grease/oil or dirty hands. I tried to just take a damp cloth or napkin to wipe off, but it still seems to leave a mark and doesn't totally clean to the original look. I am hopeful that this isn't a permanent stain but really a bit of a nuisance since the material used is so susceptible to showing stains. Does anyone know of a good way to clean this or some mild cleaning agent that will not ruin the material? I had used a moist towelette (ones that is used to wipe baby hands and face) and tried to wipe off but it left a residue and didn't actually clean the leather cleanly.

I also noticed that the vinyl type of material on the inside door panels are scuffed very easy. Through normal getting in and out of the car with shoes or other things rubbing against the dark material, scuff marks are starting to look obvious and much more frequent than any other cars that I've owned. This all within the first two weeks that I've owned the car. So I find the materials used on the M3 a bit of maintenance burden. Have others experienced these?
 

Krugerrand

Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
11,562
65,564
Tesla friendly place
You let kids in your 3 AND allow them to eat in it too!!! :eek:

I use a little Armorall to wipe the dash and bottom of doors down. They make a wipe. I’ve not had staining issues on the seats but then my 3 is a no children zone and certainly a no children eating zone.
 
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Reactions: BluestarE3

mblakele

Safety Score: 99
Mar 7, 2016
1,786
5,987
SF Bay Area
The manual dated 2018-03-13 has some advice on p119:

Polyurethane Seats

Wipe spills as soon as possible using a soft cloth moistened with warm water and non-detergent soap. Wipe gently in a circular motion. After cleaning, allow the seats to air dry.

Cloth Seats

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. Vacuum the seats as needed to remove any loose dirt.
I guess the "polyurethane seats" are the ones in the PUP? Doesn't sound very premium though.

Note the "non-detergent soap". I gather that Tesla doesn't want you to use detergent because it might hurt the finish or the waterproofing of the material. And these days practically all household "soap" is really some form of detergent, under another name. That is, they're surfactants that aren't salts of fatty acids. That includes most dishsoap, liquid hand soap, etc. Even many solid bar soaps contain detergents too.

So what should we use? According to Non detergent soap for luggage? Dr Bonner's is a non-detergent soap. That discussion has a few other suggestions too, but check the ingredients first. For example that discussion mentions Murphy Oil Soap, but its ingredients don't look like soap to me.
 

ProtonSF

Member
May 19, 2018
65
60
San Francisco
Seat covers are out on the driver/passenger seats because of internal airbags.

I guess a good question is, is there any scotchgard-type product that can be used on these type of seats to *prevent* stains? I don't know if leather conditioner would work well, but have been looking for a solution to this for a while.
 

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