What are the best ways to clean Alcantara correctly? Our guide takes you through all the different methods, and which ones to avoid!
Alcantara is a very popular material with a micro-suede finish, that is a great alternative to leather or conventional fabric, especially on upholstered furniture. But when it comes to caring for and cleaning Alcantara, many people are faced with the question of how to remove dirt while not harming the refined microfiber. Find out with our tips which home remedies can be used to clean seats, which wipes or brushes you can use for seats in the car and why the categorization of the stains is of great importance if you want to clean Alcantara correctly.
1. What Alcantara is and what properties it has
Many people believe that Alcantara is a special type of leather – but this is completely wrong. In fact, Alcantara is a modern high-tech microfibermade from a mixture of the two synthetic fibres polystyrene and polyester.
After completing the complex manufacturing process, the Alcantara fabric is reminiscent of soft suede and impresses in many areas with its powerful properties:
- feels soft and comfortable
- is durable and very light in weight
- is breathable and allergy-neutral
- in processing it is elastic and uncomplicated
- water-repellent, fireproof and colourful
It is therefore not surprising that Alcantara is very much used as a cover for upholstered furniture, car seats or even clothing. Since Alcantara is not leather, there are many ways to maintain it and clean Alcantara correctly with home remedies, for example.
Alcantara can be found as a material in many areas. In the car, not only seats are covered with it, but also the vehicle sky and cockpit surfaces. Furniture manufacturers use Alcantara to buy seats, armchairs or sofas. The clothing industry uses Alcantara for blouses, coats and jackets, which can often even be cleaned in the washing machine.
2. Best ways to clean Alcantara correctly
Alcantara is a popular material for upholstered furniture, car seats and clothing.
If you want to preserve your products from Alcantara in a long-term beautiful and functional way, you should maintain it regularly and clean it if necessary. For example, you prevent the upholstery cover from acting specky over the years, thus developing a slight shine and a color blackout.
As part of the regular care of Alcantara, you should free it from dust deposits. You can do this with a soft brush or by wiping with a slightly damp and clean cloth, ideally made of microfiber. Upholstered furniture can also be cleared of dust with the vacuum cleaner, choosing the lowest level and a soft brush attachment. If the suction cup is set too high, the fabric can not only throw wrinkles, but in the worst case also tear or the seams could be damaged.
Alcantara upholstery should be cleaned at least once a year, making it easIer for you If you have removable covers. These may be washed together with a mild fine detergent at 30 °C, sometimes even at 40 °C. Use a gentle wash without a slingshot program and close all zippers and Velcro fasteners before washing. Under no circumstances may the products be placed in the tumble dryer, but should be dry in the air and hung smoothly.
3. How to clean non-removable Alcantara seating
Since you hardly clean your car seats and upholstery sets in the washing machine, we would like to introduce you to various alternatives to stain removal. Important: If possible, test each of the measures in a small, invisible location When you start to clean Alcantara correctly.
3.1. Adjust cleaning of Alcantara to the type of marks
A distinction is made between water-soluble stains and water-insoluble stains. Water-soluble stains include, for example:
- Stains from coffee with sugar, cola, tea, liqueur, wine, or hair gel: Prepare a clean microfibre cloth with lukewarm water and lemon juice and gently and well wash the stain from the outside to the inside. Rinse the cloth with fresh water and pat the stain again to absorb the last, dissolved residues.
- Jam, fruit juices, gelatin, chocolate, ketchup, ice cream or mustard: Use a soft, clean cloth and pat the stain from the outside to the inside with lukewarm water. Rinse in cold water and rework with cold water.
- Blood, eggs, urine or faeces: Use only cold water, as warm water would result in a reaction of the molecules in the spot. Carefully remove the mixture with a damp cloth and, piece by piece, first remove the mixture and rework with the cloth that has been cleaned out again and again.
Alcantara is breathable and suitable for washing machines.
We cannot recommend a wet vacuum cleaner for these forms of cleaning, as this, like the vacuum cleaner, could damage the substance with too much suction power.
Water-insoluble stains can be treated as follows, often with ethyl alcohol (spiritus):
- Wax or chewing gum: Here shock freezing helps very well. Use a bag of ice cubes to place on the affected area. After curing, remove wax and chewing gum manually, then gently pat the area with a cloth and ethyl alcohol.
- Makeup, lipstick, mascara, shoe cream,felt pen, oil, grease or grass stains: In the first step, wash out the stain with ethyl alcohol. Then pat off with a clean cloth. The faster you treat the stain, the higher the chances of success of a complete removal.
You may need to repeat the stain treatment a little more often to completely remove the stain. If the home remedies do not help, you can also ask a cleaning company for help. This is a bit more expensive, but can save an expensive upholstery set. To do this, do this by conducting an internet search in advance, where you will search for professional upholstery cleaning in your area. Many companies also offer an on-site service.
3.2. Remove stains from Alcantara with special cleaners
If possible, do not clean Alcantara with a vacuum cleaner, as this may damage the material.
In the specialist shop you will find various special cleaners that are helpful in the removal of stains. You should never apply the products directly to the fabric and also do not soak the fabric. Always try to treat the stain as quickly as possible. Always work from the outside to the inside to prevent it from spreading. Coarse residues should be removed in advance with a scraper, spoon or spatula if possible.
If the stain is still moist, first soak up the liquid components by putting on clean, dry wipes. Also absorbent sponges are helpful. Always work with polka dotting and avoiding rubbing movements that ensure an even deeper penetration of the contamination.
3.3. Gall soap, liquid soap and shaving foam
In some cases, it is advised to clean straight sofas with a lye made of gall soap and boiled water. The lye should also be applied to the contamination with a soft, clean cloth from the outside to the inside. Always be careful not to soak the cover too much. Excess moisture should be spotted and absorbed with a kitchen towel.
Only when the area has completely dried, the fabric should be brushed straight again with a brush. We recommend this method only as a last resort of choice and you should definitely try out in an invisible place in advance how your upholstery reacts to the treatment.
On the Internet you can find numerous videos dealing with the upholstery cleaning with shaving foam. However, in almost all cases, these are simple upholstery covers made of fabric that are not made of Alcantara. For your other upholstery, shaving foam for cleaning is a good tip. But not for Alcantara!
4. FAQ on the topic Of Alcantara Cleaning
Can I clean Alcantara with a steam cleaner?
No, you should not use a steam cleaner to clean Alcantara. Because the hot steam damages the microfibers very much, similar to abrasive milk, bleach or coarse brushes.
Can Alcantara be in the washing machine?
If the covers are removable and the manufacturer provides the appropriate information in the product description, alcantara may be cleaned in the washing machine. The information on temperatures and peculiarities can be found as in garments on small sheets inside the covers.
Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.