Tesla is known for being extremely innovative when it comes to their interiors.
Stripping back to a minimalist look in recent years, their interior is now streamlined with a touch of simple luxury. That luxury can be felt in the seats too.
If you’ve opted for a premium interior, that supple feeling you get when you slide into the driver seat is actually unique vegan leather.
The seats are derived entirely from plastics as Tesla’s way of addressing the environmental concerns of using real leather.
But considering the unique material, it can be a bit tricky to clean them, especially if you’ve opted for the white option where stains are more noticeable.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to keep those seats looking new. Just read on.
Easy Steps for Cleaning Your Tesla Seats for FREE
Though I could start touting product after product (to the detriment of your wallet), the truth is many Tesla owners agree that household supplies can work just as well.
So before you invest your hard-earned money in a bunch of new cleaning tools and products, you probably have a lot of the materials needed at home for an easy, DIY clean.
(And this applies to you EVEN if you have white seats.)
The Tesla Sheep YouTube channel does an incredible job of breaking down the “ultimate” free alternative that can leave your seats shining…
Soap. (Yes, regular dish soap that you probably have at home already.)
This Model 3 owner walks you through the steps he uses to tackle his white seats in minutes. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Get some dish soap into a spray bottle with water. (He recommends Dawn for their reputation and lack of harmful chemicals.)
- Use a clean, soft cloth to avoid scratching or tearing your seats. Avoid hard, plastic, and metal brushes or any cloth that has dirt already.
- Start wiping down the seats in gentle circular motions. A bit more elbow grease may be required depending on the depth and level of dirt accumulated.
- When finished cleaning, wipe off all soap using another clean, damp cloth. Any residue left on the seats can lead to cracking later on.
- Remove any excess water with a clean, dry cloth or towel.
- Let the seats air dry.
This is a surefire method for keeping those seats clean on a budget.
By using natural products, no harsh scrubbing will be required, and your Tesla seats will retain their shine.
If you are looking for a more advanced clean closer to a professional detailing, you might need to invest in a few products that can take your seats’ shine to a sparkle.
Best Products for Cleaning Tesla Seats
With so many products on the market, it can be confusing to know which ones will do the best job on your Tesla’s vegan leather seats.
Here’s our roundup of the 8 Best Tesla Model 3 Interior Cleaners to Keep Your Car (and Vegan Leather Seats) Like New.
There are a couple of products on that list that are especially great for cleaning your seats.
Not just useful for the dashboard and other interior features, but also a killer for cleaning the seats. Its multi-surface compatibility makes it extremely versatile for all sorts of finishes, including vegan leather.
These Meguiar wipes on Amazon are a great choice for those on-the-go accidents in the car. They have a gentle, high-lubricity formula that cleans quickly without altering the appearance of interior surfaces like the vegan leather seats.
But as you may discover, not all wipes are created equal.
Wipe Away Your Seat Cleaning Worries
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a healthy stockpile of Lysol wipes on hand for all those household spills.
Unfortunately though, they’re not recommended for cleaning your Tesla, especially the seats.
In fact, you should avoid all toxic cleaning wipes that have some harmful chemicals lurking in them for that soft vegan leather.
In his video of the top 10 things you should not do to your Tesla, YouTuber Cf Tesla’s #1 on the list is avoiding these wipes.
But if you just gotta get your wipe on, try to stick to baby wipes that contain only mild chemicals.
Heck, if they’re safe enough for your baby’s skin, they should be okay for your Tesla seats.
This thread on Tesla Motors Club goes in depth on which baby wipes are particularly good for the white Tesla seats (looks like Costco’s Kirkland baby wipes are a hit).
Or if you want to play it real safe, invest in those automotive wipes we listed above as those are designed specifically for vehicles’ interiors.
How to Remove Dirt and Stains from Your White Tesla Seats
As you can imagine, the black Tesla seats are a lot easier to maintain than the white.
Anyone who has ever worn a white shirt while eating spaghetti knows this very well.
The steps outlined above will work just as well at keeping your white seats shining, but there’s one more secret weapon in the battle against stained seats.
This product is known as a heavy-hitting cleaning sponge for your dirtiest household chores.
But with the right technique, it can be used to clean your white Tesla seats if you’ve got a stubborn stain.
The key here is to be very, very gentle as this powerful sponge can really pack a punch.
It is abrasive and can damage your seats quickly if you’re pressing too hard.
Make sure you moisten the sponge with water and use only the gentlest pressure on the vegan leather surface to get out a stain.
Effortlessly Keep Your White Tesla Seats Clean Year-Round
There’s also a whole world of interior protection products out there to help you prevent those stains from happening in the first place.
This video from Chicago Auto Pros walks you through how to protect your white leather interior in particular since we know how susceptible to staining they can be.
Check out the 2:40 mark where he starts to treat the seats using a kit from Colourlock, which is actually a leather care kit but works just as well on vegan leather.
This kit adds abrasion resistance to stop the seat from wearing. Plus it acts as a sealant to protect the seats from dye transfer or stains.
It comes with a cleaner and a sponge to make sure the seats are super clean before you apply the shield product.
Once they’re clean, you can apply the shield product with a clean cloth.
Another route is to ceramic coat your white seats.
Eli from My Tesla Adventure (along with hundreds of white-seat Tesla owners) recommend you do this on day 1.
Similar to Colourlock’s Leather Shield, ceramic coating acts as an additional barrier, preventing liquids and dirt from sticking to the surface.
In fact, Eli admits he has only cleaned his white seats twice in 2 years—and they still look like new!
He attributes the anti-staining abilities on his seats to this leather-specific ceramic coating solution.
At the 4:43 mark, Eli goes on to explain in detail how you can ceramic coat your own seats in less than 10 minutes.
Final Thoughts: How to Clean Tesla Seats the Easy Way (Including White Seats)
There you have it—lots of tips and tricks on how to keep your Tesla seats clean and looking like new.
If you’re on a budget, make the most out of your home cleaning supplies by using baby wipes or non-detergent soap to clean your Tesla seats.
With a few dollars to spare, you can take your cleaning supplies up a notch.
Keep some wipes handy on your glovebox, get yourself an all-purpose interior cleaner, or try out the magical sponge if you have white seats with seemingly unremovable stains.
These will help you keep a shining interior at all times. No heavy brushing or real elbow grease required when you’ve got the right products on hand.