5 Ways To Protect Or Fix Your Car Upholstery
Stains, sun damage, and normal wear and tear can ruin the upholstery in your car. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep the upholstery looking nice and in good repair. It's also possible to fix issues with your upholstery, which keeps your car looking like new so that it doesn't lose resale value just because of its appearance. This guide is here to help.
#1: Apply a Protectant
A commercial protectant is one of the best things you can do for your auto upholstery. You can have these applied professionally by the dealer, or you can have them applied as an aftermarket treatment. There are even protectants available that you can apply yourself. Choose the product specified for your upholstery type, whether it's cloth, leather or vinyl. Follow the application instructions on the container and allow it to dry completely before sitting on the upholstery.
#2: Keep It Shaded
UV rays fade and weaken the upholstery, which can cause color changes or weak fibers. Avoid parking in direct sunlight for long periods of time when possible. Tinting your windows is also a good idea, since window tint can block out many of the damaging rays. Use a sun screen to block out the sun in the front window when you are parked.
#3: Protect Trouble Spots
Some areas of your upholstery are more likely to become stained, worn, or torn than others. If you have kids or pets, it's a good idea to use a seat cover on the back seat where they sit. Floor rugs are also necessary to protect the carpet from moisture and dirt. You may also want to use seat covers for the driver or passenger seat, or covers on the headrests. Remember to remove covers and rugs and launder them regularly. Vacuum beneath them each time you wash the car, since some soil can work its way beneath the cover.
#4: Spot Treat Stains
Treat spills and stains as soon as you notice them. You can purchase stain treatment solutions made especially for auto upholstery. Directions for use vary, but generally, you blot up as much of the stain as possible with a clean rag. Apply the stain treatment and allow it to soak in. Then, rub lightly to dislodge the stain, rinse, and blot up the remaining moisture.
#5: Repair Damage
When small tears or puncture damage does occur, don't put off the repair. This can just lead to a bigger tear. Patch kits are available at auto parts stores in a range of upholstery types and colors. These are glued in place, so while not invisible they do look better than a tear. Another option is to get a professional repair. A car upholstery tech can stitch up burst seams, make nearly invisible patches on torn upholstery, or reupholster badly damaged areas so they look like new again.
To learn more, contact an upholstery repair shop like Franks Auto Top & Upholstery.