Keeping the car interior in good condition not only improves the appearance of your vehicle, but it also preserves more of its resale value. Unfortunately, we don’t often think about protecting our interior until it’s too late. By then, the coffee or juice or salt stains have set in, and cleaning them out is an undertaking that requires some serious elbow grease at best, and professional detailing at worst.
The best defense, as they say, is a good offense. Instead of trying to painstaking blot ink or food or blood stains out of your upholstery, or having to try to repair your dash because of sun damage, or have your floors professionally steam cleaned because of an influx of black mould, protect the interior of your vehicle from the get-go.
How? Read on.
3 Steps to Protect Your Car’s Interior from Stains & Spots
Step One: Floors, First!
Protect your floors by removing the cloth mats that came with your car and replacing them with heavy duty rubber mats. These will collect the moisture from dripping boots and shoes and prevent it from collecting in your floors, causing black mould. This is important because black mould can cause serious breathing problems, especially for those with respiratory issues.
What’s more, black mould is difficult to see since the flooring of cars is usually dark. This means what you can’t see can hurt you. Use the rubber mats to collect the moisture and prevent it from spreading. They are easy to clean: just dump them out, and hose them off.
Step Two: Seats Second
Next, you’re going to protect your upholstery. Damaged upholstery can severely diminish the potential resale value of your ride. The best way to protect it is to get car seat covers — preferably, custom car seat covers.
Universal seat covers only cover stand bucket seats and headrests, so if your vehicle has any non-standard features, the covers won’t fit. Moreover, universal car seat covers won’t accommodate all safety features, like seat adjustment levers and certain types of airbags. This makes getting customised coverage even more important than mere aesthetics — though the aesthetics on custom seat covers are undeniably better.
Available in a wide range of robust and stylish materials (like leather car seat covers) and colours, custom seat covers were actually designed to fit the seats in the exact make and model of your vehicle. No generalisations. As a result, you get upholstery protection that won’t bunch, bag or leave parts of your seat exposed.
Step Three: Final Vinyl
Protect your vinyl by regularly conditioning it with a vinyl conditioner. Not only will these clean areas like your dash, armrests and side panels, but these conditioners also hydrate your vinyl, protecting it from cracking due to UV exposure.
Another great way to protect your vinyl is to use a dash shade. These easily fold out to cover the entire windshield of your car so that when you’re parked outside, your car’s interior can be spared some sun damage. (BONUS: it also keeps your car cool, so you won’t have to sit down on a scalding hot seat.)
Three steps are all it takes to protect the inside of your car from all types of spots and stains, whether it is caused by you or the elements. Follow them and you will significantly improve the looks and prolong the life of your vehicle’s interior.