Car Care Tips

Leather vs Fabric Seats: Which is Better?

And how to Clean Them

Seats are where you make contact with you car the most (or at least we hope so!), so choosing the right kind of seats for your car is crucial for everyone’s comfort. Your choices are leather vs fabric seating, each with different traits. Which one you choose will depend on your requirements.

Leather vs Fabric Seats

Leather Seats

Velfire seats
Leather seats in a Velfire

Leather seats are considered the more luxury option for cars and usually cost more. The material itself is more expensive, which explains the price. It also gives a very lush and clean look to a vehicle. When you first get your seats, the leather could be stiff, and may need to be broken in.

The sun can be a problem, as sunlight can dull, discolour, and even bleach the leather. Leaving your car out in the sun even for a short while can make them to hot to sit on, so be sure to park in the shade or keep some sun shades in the car as replacing leather seats are also more difficult and would cost more than fabric seats.

How to Clean Leather Seats

When it comes to cleaning, leather is much easier to clean and very resistant to stains and smells.

First vacuum the seats and carefully remove the dirt from the gaps. Once your car is clean from dirt, you can use a cleaning solution to clean the seats. Do not use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners as they can damage the leather. You can use a commercial leather cleaner, or you can make your own. Mix warm water and liquid dish washing soap together in a bucket. Use a ratio of 5 parts water to 1 part soap. For example, use 1 litre of water and 200ml of soap.

Wet a cloth with the solution and squeeze to make sure it is not dripping. If you use too much water, it could stain the leather or go into the seat seams and into the cushions. Mold would then become a problem. Use the wet cloth to wipe down the seat and wipe clean with a second damp cloth. Dry with a towel.

Fabric Seats

car fabric seats leather vs fabric

Fabric has been a more common option for most of history. It’s cheap to make, repair, and replace. Fabric is very easy to customise, so you have a lot more options. There is a much wider range of quality in fabric seats, where most leather is around the same price point and quality. Fabric is much softer than leather and softens with age.

Fabric will also stay cooler in heat and warmer in cold weather than leather, which can be helpful under the Malaysian sun. If you have car seats, fabric is more flexible and resilient, so you won’t have uneven wear or puncturing like you might get with leather.

Fabric seats are not very stain resistant, and intense scrubbing or detailing can be necessary to get milkshakes or melted fruit snacks out of the surface. Fabric seats can also adopt smells, so pets or smokers can have a harder time reselling. Fabric can quickly look dated or damaged, which unfortunately can age or devalue a car quickly.

How to Clean Fabric Seats

Like cleaning leather, the first thing to do when cleaning fabric seats is to vacuum up all the dirt on the seat and in gaps.

Then scrub the car seat with a sponge using household cleaning products such as detergents and stain remover. Then, soak up as much liquid as possible from the car seat with a microfibre cloth and rinse until clean. Repeat this process until your seat is fully cleaned.

Another option is to get an extractor vacuum that will make cleaning easy. Or maybe let the professionals do it for you!

When it comes to leather or fabric seats, its up to you to determine which you prefer for your car and your situation if you have a choice. If you are stuck with one or the other, you can find ways to maximize the seats that you have. If you are looking for a car, myTukar is the place for you! We thoroughly refurbish our cars, so they are in tip top shape!

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