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HOW TO: Clean Alcantara Seats


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#1 Nick@Adams

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:21 PM

FIRST OFF -- WHAT IS ALCANTARA?
Alcantara is the name given to a composite material used to cover surfaces in a variety of situations and applications, but most commonly seating surfaces in automobiles. It looks and feels like suede leather, many people make the mistake of assuming it is leather, and is commonly featured as an upgrade in many car models. Its also featured in higher end exotics, sports, and luxury cars, as well as custom aftermarket interiors.

Vehicles you may have seen with this material are the Trailblazer SS, Nissan 370Z Touring Edition, Cadillac CTS V, Audi, Porsche, BMW, etc.

HOW DO I CLEAN IT?
Its important to understand Alcantara does not respond well to most chemical cleaners, as a matter of fact, many chemical cleaners will actually discolor or change the texture of the material permanently ruining the benefit of having such a nice material on the interior surfaces of a vehicle.



Daily cleaning and regular maintenance - I recommend the use of a medium-soft bristled brush, like the Adam’s Cockpit Brush, to essentially fluff and renew the material. As you sit on the seat the material will become matted or tired looking, a quick brushing will revive the material and bring it back to life. Be sure to vacuum first to remove and debris then brush in both directions. In the event you do not have a brush a clean, dry, lint free, microfiber towel will work.

For a more thorough cleaning - Start with a clean, lint free, microfiber towel and spray a light mist of Adam's Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner onto the towel. Gently wipe at any soiled areas or wipe the entire surface if its been awhile since the previous cleaning. NEVER SPRAY THE CLEANER DIRETLY ONTO THE ALCANTARA!! Flip the towel to a clean side and repeat as needed.

After the surface has been cleaned use a 2nd, dry, lint free, microfiber towel to remove any moisture and follow with a brush to re-fluff the material. Its important not to use too much product, a very light misting of cleaner onto the towel is all thats needed.


BUT WHAT IF I HAVE STAINS?

Prevention of stains is the most important thing to keeping an Alcantara surface clean, but accidents happen. In the event you do spill something or do notice a discolored spot the sooner you act the better. The longer a stain is allowed to sit the less likely you'll be able to remove it.

In the event you do get a stain, act quickly (within 30 minutes) and begin treating the stain from the outside edge into the center in order to avoid
the stain spreading. Never pour a cleaning product directly onto Alcantara!!

Before attempting to remove the stain, remove any of the excess spill or substance that has fallen on the upholstery:



If its a very liquid substance like soda or juice use an absorbent towel, a waffle weave microfiber being ideal. You can also use a sponge or synthetic chamois (water sprite, absorber, etc.)

If its a thicker substance, yogurt, milk shake, smoothie, etc. use a spatula or spoon to scrape as much off of the surface as you can. If you have a wet/dry shop vac use that to remove the excess. Avoid rubbing to prevent the stain from spreading or going deeper into the material.

After the bulk of the spill or contamination is removed use a white cloth or a well wrung sponge for the removal of as much of the stain as you can. If you use a sponge, rinse it in clean water and wring it well between each pass. Try to wipe as little as possible, blot as much as possible, apply pressure to get any liquid up into the sponge.


For the specific treatment of the different types of stains follow the instructions below:



  • Fruit juice, jam, jelly, syrup, ketchup: Use lukewarm water, rinse by dabbing with clean water, rinsing and wringing the towel or sponge often.
  • Blood, egg, excrement, urine: Use cold water; avoid warm water because it makes these substances coagulate, rinse by dabbing with clean water, rinsing and wringing the towel or sponge often.
  • Liquors, alcoholic beverages, wine, beer, coke and tea: Use lukewarm water; if the colour mark remains, treat it with lemon juice and then rinse it well.
  • Pencil, pastry, cream, chocolate, ice-cream, mustard: Use lukewarm water; rinse by dabbing with clean water rinsing and wringing the towel or sponge often.
  • Hair gel, tomato sauce, coffee with sugar: Use lemon juice and then wipe with lukewarm water; rinse by dabbing with clean water, rinsing and wringing the towel or sponge often.

If the stain is no longer water soluble:
Depending on the type of stain start with the specific recommendations above. (water or lemon juice) In the event these do not work pure ethyl alcohol (available at most pharmacies) and follow the instructions below. Keep in mind this is a method of last resort and should only be attempted if none of the previous methods have worked.

Rub with ethyl alcohol, then with water and rinse. Leave the vehicle in a dry environment with the doors or windows open and allow the area to dry. Repeat the alcohol treatment as needed or until there is no longer any improvement in the stains appearance.


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#2 svrds10

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:42 PM

Very cool writeup. Thanks for the tips... The new Challenger SRT8's has it as well. Sucks to maintain but looks great.

#3 Nick@Adams

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 12:49 AM

No problem... that was my thought... with as many new cars now have it inside it was about time I put what I knew about it in writing... typing out the basics each time someone asks gets tiring. Now good old copy paste shall save me!! :D

#4 Chris05GTO

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:25 AM

Interesting!!:2thumbs:Thanks!

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#5 svrds10

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:07 AM

LOL, be nice if i posted in the right thread. :P

#6 Derelict

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 12:00 PM

Awesome! I cringed the other day when my gf JUMPED into my tbss with a slurpee...thinking i'd never get that junk off the seat if it spilled!

#7 the shine shop

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 12:14 AM

very nice write up. another tecnique you can try is bonnet cleaning. wrap your towell around the brush and spray the cleaner on the towell and scrub in one direction then flip the towell to a dry section and repeat. for small spots you do the same with a towell and brush, but lightly spray the spot then tap the brush and towell on the spot to bring out the stain. hope this helps

#8 Foxxer

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:57 AM

Good write up, never had any problems on my cousins alcantara seats while using Adam's products.

#9 heschlie

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:31 AM

Heya Folks,

I own an '06 STi which has this stuff on the seats, and in the door cards, and I was wondering if the carpet and upholstery cleaner was safe to use on this material? Do I need to dilute it? And if it isn't then what do you guys recommend?

The material isn't severely stained or anything, just some grime on a few parts.

Thanks!

#10 C6Bill

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:39 AM

I just did a quick search and found this :2thumbs:

http://www.adamsforu...light=Alcantara
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#11 heschlie

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:45 AM

I just did a quick search and found this :2thumbs:

http://www.adamsforu...light=Alcantara


Doh! how did I miss that! I must have had a typo or something when I did the search. Thanks for the link Bill!

#12 C6Bill

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:48 AM

:hi:


I can't spell so I copied and pasted out of your thread :lol:
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#13 StormChaser

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:54 AM

HAHA and that works perfectly (the write up on Alcantara). :)
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Brandi, I think everyone didn't know what they were looking at because Twilight wasn't on in the background! :D


#14 Chris05GTO

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 01:45 AM

I just did a quick search and found this :2thumbs:

http://www.adamsforu...light=Alcantara

Good hustle Mr. Mayor!:cheers:

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#15 Chewy

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 01:41 PM

I just did a quick search and found this :2thumbs:

http://www.adamsforu...light=Alcantara


I was about to do just that... Thanks for the link.. lol

Merged!

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#16 THE Mook

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 03:41 PM

Hey thank you Dylan, that's really good information.

#17 Gizmo

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 03:52 PM

Interesting... my car claims to have "suede" inserts but it sure looks like the Alcantara on one of my previous vehicles.

Either way, glad I read this first.

#18 Mels SS

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:13 AM

Dylan is this the same as velour and cleaned the same?

#19 Nick@Adams

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:45 AM

No... not the same a velour.... it looks and feels like real suede, but its man made.

To be honest I've never had to deal with velour so I'm not exactly sure how you'd clean it.

#20 Mels SS

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:11 AM

Thanks Dylan




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