The Differences Between Leather and Vinyl and How to Care for Them

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Americans spend nearly 20 hours a week in their cars. Little wonder then that comfortable seats are one of the most important factors in the car buying experience. Cloth seating is a popular car fabric, but many people prefer leather or vinyl seats. And, choosing between the two depends on individual preference and budget. But, caring for the two is a whole different story. Why, once we get the car in our driveway do we cease to care for our car’s interior? As experts in auto interior repair for Bloomington, we thought we would discuss the many benefits to choosing vinyl or leather car seats and how to keep them looking their best for years to come.

Auto Interior Repair Bloomington


Leather is the most coveted of all the car upholstery choices. For those willing to spend a little extra money, leather offers many advantages over vinyl. For one, it is natural product produced from cowhide, making leather the “greener” choice. And, nothing says luxury quite like leather.

No two types of leather age the same, making each leather seat unique. Like a favorite pair of shoes, leather can develop unique crease patterns and tint. And, leather is much tougher than vinyl, being more puncture resistant. However, to keep leather looking its best, it requires conditioning and professional auto interior repair from time to time.
Leather also has a distinctive, pleasant odor; the ultimate in ‘new car smell.’ It is also a porous material making leather seats cooler the summer and far less sticky than their vinyl counterparts.

Leather car interior also needs a little more care in order to avoid auto interior repair. It is important to wipe them clean as soon as a spill occurs as moisture can seep through to the foam cushion.

Remember that most of the wear that leather experiences over the years is a result of the build-up of dirt. That dirt is abrasive, which can lead to scratches and a dulled surface. If you ignore leather care, not only will you see more and more abrasions in the leather but it will also start to crack. And, if leather cracks you will most definitely need to schedule auto interior repair as it will only get worse.


Vinyl won’t offer that luxurious, comfortable feel but it is much easier to clean and comes in a wider variety of colors. Since vinyl is essentially plastic, it is more water and stain resistant but far less puncture, burn and crack resistant. Chances are, you are going to need to schedule auto interior repair for them at some point in their lifetime.

There are also at-home vinyl cleaners out there that you can use to keep them looking good in between professional cleaning and repair.

When selecting the best cleaner, you should keep in mind that vinyl cleaners are different than leather cleaners. If you use a vinyl cleaner on a leather seat, your leather might get damaged and it will look too shiny. You want your leather seats to have a more low-gloss look.

Leather or vinyl, if anything is spilled on your seats, make sure the mess is cleaned up immediately. Remember that most of the time, tears and rips need to be repaired by a professional who specializes in auto interior repair, like The SeatFixerMN.

Do you need expert auto interior repair in the Bloomington area? Call The SeatFixer at 612-590-7870 or contact us to set up a Free Estimate.

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