Leather Care in Model S

Leather Care in Model S

Does Tesla have a recommended cleaner/treatment that they use on the leather seats in the Model S? One of my twins had a minor "accident" in the back seat... :/ Looking for something that cleans and returns the nice napa leather scent as well as maybe some future protection.

jerry3 | November 23, 2012

Outgassing of the chemicals used in the tanning process isn't something you should be breathing.

BYT | November 23, 2012

This is what the owners manual says about it: "Leather is prone to dye-transfer which can cause discoloration, particularly on light colored leather. White and tan leather is coated with an anti- soiling treatment. Wipe spills 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. Using detergents or commercially available leather cleaners and conditioners is not recommended because they can discolor or dry out the leather."

Warm water doesn't take care of odors however... :(

Brian H | November 23, 2012

Not sure about this, but it should be harmless if it fails:

Wipe down with pure glycerin, then blot out with damp cloths. (Can rinse, wring, and re-apply; the glycerin will flush completely.)

It is very hygroscopic, and non-toxic -- except to bacteria, which it dehydrates on contact (in sufficient concentration). That gives it many marvelous uses, and this seems like a possible "extension" of those.

Brian H | November 23, 2012

As a demonstration of its powers, sip and swish over the back of the tongue, and swallow. Cuts through the biofilm, and eliminates the sulphur-loving bacteria on contact -- and with it your "death breath". (Tastes sweet, used routinely by diabetics as a sugar substitute, as it has negligible effect on blood sugar, etc.)

David70 | November 23, 2012

Now that you've mentioned glycerin Brian; Should it be any good for protecting weatherstripping, etc.?

Brian H | November 23, 2012

No, it dissolves (aggressively) in water. "Hygroscopic" is water-loving. "Miscible" is another term; any % from 0 to 100.

Used in the food industry as a lubricant in food handling/processing equipment (where not exposed to direct water flows, etc.) Very slippery, non-evaporating, and non-toxic.

It's the secret sauce, btw, in those giant bubbles you see some performers use. It greatly enhances surface tension when mixed with water.

Thumper | November 23, 2012

Once owned a 68 MB250SE Coupe. It had thick Connoly (spelling?) hides everywhere seats, seat backs, full door panels, parcel shelf. The car smelled great! In the olden days, a product called hide food was recommended. It seemed to be ok but leather still showed cracks. 2003 Passat with grey leather, I never do anything to it and it looks like new after 113K miles. I don't know but leather seems to be getting more durable.

GVKent | February 28, 2015

What about Lexol, the old standby, to keep the leather supple and prevent from drying out?

SUSTEKI.TOKYO.JP | February 28, 2015

IMHO This is the best stuff out there! I've used for years on all types of vehicles.....

TaoJones | February 28, 2015

Sparingly, I use Bick 1 to clean leather if/when necessary, and, liberally but still not frequently, Bick 4 to condition it.

No cracking, no muss, no fuss.

srgtfury | February 28, 2015

Always liked Sal's products as well.

Thank you very much


Brian H | March 1, 2015

AFAIK, Tesla recommends using no leather treatment, as it is pre-conditioned. Aftermarket products may actually harm the leather.

TaoJones | March 1, 2015

Fortunately, leather auto upholstery cleaning and conditioning is neither rocket science nor a mystical art. Use optimal solutions and get optimal results. Use ArmorAll, battery acid, or CLR, and yeah, you deserve what you get.

Hence the key word being "may".

swebb | March 1, 2015

This is the best way to go.(just Google the product)

A two step process and it takes some time and effort but yields excellent results.

GVKent | August 23, 2015

The Tesla S manual cautions not to use any commercial leather cleaners or conditioners. Only water or "mild non detergent soap", whatever that is. But when I asked the Tesla delivery dept. they gave me a complimentary sample that they use. The bottle label reads KICK, Earthco Products, LLC., However Amazon does not list it, and they carry everything. So no way to get users' feedback. Very confusing advice by Tesla to only use water or "mild non detergent soap".when all detailers claim leather will dry out and crack eventually without periodic conditioning.

jordanrichard | August 23, 2015

Tesla may have very well requested their leather supplier/seat manufacturer to use specially treated leather. When you got your car, did you notice the absence of the very obnoxious "new car smell"...... That is because Tesla specified materials that had very low if any VOCs. So again, possibly the leather in our cars is tanned/treated different than what other companies use, hence detailers only having experience with those other leathers.

SnowFlake | August 23, 2015

My Car delivered in March 27th and in a month of use the leather on the driver seat has some lines like stretched and when I asked the service people they recommended to use the conditioner. my car has the black leather. Service people took some photo of it and said will sent to the factory for their opinion. but until now \I did not get any response yet.. at my work my car is parked in the sun. Now I tinted with UV/heat rejection film and now I do not see the further deterioration.
Please let me know what else should be taken care of in order to preserve the leather.

Boonedocks | August 23, 2015

@SnowFlake - do you by chance have Next Gen seats? The reason I ask is while waited my on my car to be delivered, there was a CPO P85 in the show room. Barely had 7,000 miles n it and the leather was as you described. I was so happy o hadn't ordered Next Gen seats after seeing them. Looked moe like 100,000 miles of wear

SnowFlake | August 23, 2015

I ordered the Napa black leather but I'm not sure weather it is next generation or not. interior accent lights and yatch floor I haven't ordered in my original order but Tesla throw it as free to me.

tesla | April 29, 2017

I use KIWI Saddle Soap - . This is mild and does a great job removing dirt and color transfer. As for the latter, I notice my newer blue jeans tend to leave a bit of color on the seat over time.

kawdennis | April 30, 2017

I use Mink Oil

petebend02 | April 30, 2017

Also, Chemical Guys has some good products:


You can find their stuff on Amazon

steven | April 30, 2017