How to Clean and Protect Your Car's Vinyl Interior

How to Clean and Protect Your Car's Vinyl Interior

3rd Feb 2016

Vinyl is frequently used in car seats, dash, trim and other interior components. It's strong, durable, long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive to produce. But even vinyl is susceptible to damage, which is why it's important for drivers to take a proactive approach towards cleaning and maintaining their car's interior.


Among the most damaging elements to vinyl is sunlight. When exposed to sunlight for a prolonged length of time, vinyl interior may dry out and even crack, at which point it's difficult (and expensive) to repair. This isn't something that happens overnight, but rather leaving your car's vinyl interior exposed to sunlight for months or even years will eventually cause damage. To prevent this from happening, you should park your car in a covered garage or facility. And if this isn't an option, use a cover to protect your car's interior from sun damage.

Related Reading: Tips to Protect Your Car From Sun Damage


This may sound like common sense, but it's still worth mentioning that you should vacuum your car's vinyl interior on a regular basis. When dust and dirty begin to accumulate, it can increase the risk of permanent damage. Mold and mildew, for instance, can only grow in the presence of organic matter. If your vinyl seats are covered in dust, it will provide a source of "food" for mold, promoting the formation and growth of this not-so-pleasant microorganism.


Drivers should also clean their car's vinyl, wiping it down with a lint-free microfiber cloth. This should eliminate most surface dirt and debris without risking further damage to your car's interior. Of course, using a microfiber cloth without any additional cleaning product will only work for small, topical stains and debris. If there's a set-in stain on your car's vinyl interior, you'll need to perform a deep clean.

Deep Cleaning

If you need to deep clean your car's vinyl interior, you should try using a product made specifically for this purpose. Most auto shops sell a variety of interior cleaning products. Regardless of which one you choose, test the product in a small, discreet area of your car's interior to ensure it works without leaving behind an oily residue. Assuming it works as intended, you can use it throughout your car's interior to clean the vinyl.