I have mixed feelings about genuine leather when it comes to car seats. My gas-guzzling Ford SUV has black leather seats. Easy to clean but hotter than Hades during the summer. My little Mercedes coupe that I’ve mentioned a few times before had faux leather seats, more specifically “MB-Tex” seats as the company referred to them. I liked the way they felt and didn’t notice a huge difference from the genuine leather. If you’re lucky enough to own a Tesla, chances are that the interior of your car is equipped at least in part with a material known as alcantara. Today we take a look at how to clean and protect alcantara in your Tesla.

What is it?

Quite simply put, alcantara is just a synthetic microfiber fabric and not some exotic material as the name suggests. This material was invented by a Japanese chemical company in the 1970s and later sold to an Italian company who gave alcantara its name. Composition wise, alcantara is about 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane. It is used in everything from jewelry to handbags to luxury cars, and is often preferred over leather because it is lighter and more durable.

I Spilled!

Who among has not spilled coffee in our car on our way to work? Who hasn’t experienced the thrill of a toddler pouring out the entire contents of a juice box all over the back seat? It happens to everyone! So, what can you do when the inevitable happens to your fancy alcantara surface?

According to the blog on alcantara.com, it is recommended that you begin treating any potential stains within half an hour of spilling. The website also suggest avoiding rubbing the stain to keep it from spreading or going deeper into the material. If you would like to read is excellent and in depth article about stain removal, please click here. The author goes into great detail with regard to specific water temperatures and cleaning solutions to use depending on what kind of stain may be present.

To Clean and Protect

What would I do without the Tesla Motors Club forum? There is literally no question in Tesla world that can’t be answered with a brief visit to this site. I especially love dropping by to observe car geeks arguing with each other, often becoming hostile in the process. I guess I’m just weird like that.

Anywho, a lovely person who claims to be a vendor from Florida was nice enough to post this excellent thread to the forums on how to clean alcantara. He recommends cleaning your car’s interior weekly or after every car wash. Your seats should be coated with a high-quality fabric guard, and you should wipe down your seats regularly with a damp cloth towel. It is also highly recommended that you do not use paper towels and avoid using any kind of printed cloth.  These may transfer ink onto the material.

With regular maintenance, you can ensure that your alcantara interior stays clean and protected for years to come.

Any of our readers have alcantara interiors in their cars? Do you have any tips or tricks on how to clean alcantara? Please leave us a comment below and share your thoughts.

Source | Image: Tesla