Vehicle interior and upholstery

Benjamin Disraeli once said “Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them”

What does your car interior and upholstery look like?

The condition of a car’ sinterior is just as important as maintaining a smooth, glossy paint job on the exterior. If a car’s upholstery is not well taken care of, it would only be a matter of time before it starts falling apart. Some vehicle manufacturers are known for using signature materials while others use several variations for different models.

For instance, Rolls Royce uses natural materials such as leather made from bull skin while Toyota is known for using a mix of polyester, vinyl or faux leather, depending on the model.

Regardless of the type of material, these are some common triggers that can cause damage to your vehicle’s upholstery:

  1. Heat: Considering the warmer climate that we have in this region of the world, the upholstery of a car is more likely to be damaged from excessive levels of heat, powered by the sun. The UV rays can be responsible for materials expanding, shrinking, fading and even, cracking.
  2. Liquids: All forms of upholstery materials share moisture as a common enemy. It could cause stubborn stains or dissolve the adhesive used as a binding agent. Liquids could come in the form of rain seeping through windows, doors or sunroof, drinks and oils, among many others. This will make the interior smell musty and mouldy.
  3. Dust Particles: Dust particles settling within your vehicle can leave surfaces looking dull and unclean.
  4. Cargo: Using your car to transport load which is heavy or has sharp and rough edges could tear the material used for your seats, floor and booth.
  5. Cigarettes: Smoking in your vehicle can result in accidental burns and stains from the ashes. Over time, smoking can cause the interior of your car to have a lingering odour as well.

Here is some practical advice on how you can improve the condition of your car’s upholstery:

  1. Minimise your interior’s exposure to UV rays by parking in a shaded area, as much as possible.
  2. Use appropriate cleaners which are suitable for the type of material your car’s interior is made of.
  3. Always ensure that your windows, doors and sunroof are shut tight, when it is raining or during a car-wash session.
  4. To protect your floors, keep mats or liners stationed within your vehicle
  5. Accidents involving food and drinks should be cleaned up immediately to prevent stains and infestation of insects and rodents. If you are driving with children, it is advisable to invest in vinyl seat covers which serve as a protective barrier.
  6. Refrain from smoking in your car to prevent the possibility of burns
  7. Occasionally, detail the interior of your vehicle, especially if it is made of synthetic or natural leather.
  8. Decontaminate your vehicle at intervals to eliminate foul smells and invisible matter such as bacteria and viruses.

To sum up, it is always a good idea to become more familiar with the array of materials that are used for the upholstery of car interiors, in order to know what can lead to its damage and how best one can maintain it. An unkempt car interior will make a vehicle age much faster than it should.

I shall leave you with the words of Benjamin Thompson:

“So great is the effect of cleanliness upon man that it extends even to his moral character. Virtue never dwelt long with filth; nor do I believe there ever was a person scrupulously attentive to cleanliness who was a consummate villain”.



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