Can Tesla's otherworldly white seats really stay clean?
The unusual white upholstery is probably such a popular option among Tesla owners because it seems to match the automaker’s futuristic vibe. Much like the all-white interior of the spaceship in Stanley Kubrick's epic film, 2001, Tesla's stark white interior accentuates an otherworldly aesthetic experience.
Above: A look at Tesla's all-white interior option (Source: Tesla)
As much as they look good (and kinda groovy), Tesla owners typically worry about the stains these seats may attract — especially from dyed denim (e.g. blue jeans).
Since the driver’s seat is the most frequently used in any car, this is the one that is more prone to catching stains from jeans than any other seat in the car. Tesla started switching to vegan leather seats in 2015 to stay focused on its mission of sustainability.
White seats are part of the white interior premium package. For Tesla Model 3 and Y it costs an additional $1,000 above the MSRP and for Model S and X, it is a $2,000 option.
Above: A Tesla Model 3 seat that's got some temporary stains from some jeans (Source: u/streakybcn via Reddit)
A Tesla owner recently asked the Reddit community about how to clean or remove stains from his Tesla Model 3 white seats. u/streakybcn posted the photo above of his denim-stained white driver’s seat to which various other Tesla owners offered their advice.
The most common cleaning solution for the white seats suggested by existing Tesla owners was baby wipes. However, the frequency should not be more than once a week to avoid damaging the vegan leather with too much cleaning. That said, is there a cheaper (and safer) way to clean these seats?
Yes! According to the cleaning section of the owner’s manual, Tesla officially recommends the best way of cleaning a white seat is simply using a soft cloth moistened with water and non-detergent soap only.
"Wipe spills and chemical residues from interior surfaces as soon as possible using a soft cloth moistened with warm water and non-detergent soap. Wipe gently in a circular motion. Then wipe dry using a soft, lint-free cloth," Tesla notes in its owner’s manual.
In addition, Tesla adds, "Although seating surfaces are designed to repel stains, Tesla recommends regular cleaning to maintain performance and an as-new appearance. Promptly treat dye transfer from clothing, such as indigo-dyed denim. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals, including certain cosmetics. Never use cleaners containing alcohol or bleach."
To showcase this in more detail, the YouTube channel “The Tesla Sheep” recently demonstrated how to clean a Tesla white vegan leather seat using just water, soap, and a soft cloth (video below). This is inexpensive, effective, and does not damage the protective coating of the seats.
Video: How to clean your Tesla white seats for $0.00 (YouTube: The Tesla Sheep)