5 Types of Car Upholstery and How to Clean Them

No Comments

If you want the car you drive to maintain its value for the long term, you need to take care of it right. That means scheduling regular oil changes, paying attention to those little noises under the hood and keeping your car under the car of a qualified mechanic.

It also means taking good care of your car’s appearance, from the paint on the outside to the upholstery on the inside. If you want to keep your car’s interior shining like new, you first need to determine what kind of upholstery you are working with. There are five distinct types of automotive upholstery, and each one has different care and cleaning needs.


Nylon is one of the most common types of automotive upholstery, and cleaning it is quite simple. Nylon is known for its durability and its ability to stand up to hard use.

Nylon is also quite porous, and that means it will pick up dirt and debris every time you drive your car. You can clean your nylon upholstery by vacuuming it to remove this debris, then use hot water and a mild detergent to do a deeper cleaning. Just dip a sponge in the hot water and detergent mixture, gently scrub the nylon surface and dry it with a clean cloth.


Polyester is another popular automotive upholstery, and it is designed to look like suede. This soft fabric is quite comfortable, but it is also a bit harder to clean.

Start by wringing out a damp cloth, then use a cleaning solution designed for microsuede to lift out the accumulated dirt and debris. The more often you clean your polyester upholstery, the easier it will be to keep the interior in pristine condition.


Vinyl has long been a favorite automotive upholstery, and it is one of the easiest materials to keep clean. Unlike microsuede, vinyl upholstery can be kept clean with nothing more than a damp cloth or cleaning towel.

Vinyl is non-porous, so it will not trap dirt and debris the way other types of automotive upholstery will. As long as you wipe up spills promptly to prevent staining, you should have little trouble keeping your vinyl upholstery looking its best.

Faux Leather

It may look like leather, but it is actually a clever imposter. Faux leather upholstery is a popular choice for luxury cars, and it is relatively easy to keep clean.

To clean your faux leather upholstery, start by using a feather duster to remove any loose dirt, then use a vacuum cleaner to suck up anything you might have missed. For set in stains, you can use a mild detergent, wiping with a clean cloth until the discoloration is gone.


If you have a high-end luxury car, the upholstery may be genuine leather instead of the faux variety. Leather upholstery requires special care, and a cleaning product specifically designed for this natural material.

Using a cheap cleaning product on leather upholstery will cause it to dry out and crack, destroying the good looks of your interior. To clean your leather automotive upholstery, start by using a clean cloth to remove any surface dirt and debris. Continue the cleaning with a solution specifically designed for leather seats; nothing else will do.

If you want to keep your car’s interior looking its best, you need to tailor your cleaning process to your specific type of upholstery. Once you know what kind of upholstery you have, you can use the right cleaning products, and that is the best way to keep your vehicle looking its best.

Image by Tanapat Pootthanon from Pixabay

Accessibility Toolbar