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How to Clean and Protect Alcantara


Alcantara Wheel

Alcantara is in many high-end vehicles or high-end trim levels. It is a premium suede-like textile that looks and feels very nice. However, like suede, it can be a bit temperamental and damaged without proper care, but at the same time can be very durable when cared for properly. So what do you do?


You want to use a mild, interior specific cleaner. The chemicals in APCs are a little too harsh and even when diluted it is a safer bet to go with an interior cleaner as they are designed with chemicals for textiles. Such as the Sonax Leather Cleaner Foam or even better yet, an Alcantara specific cleaner like the Sonax Upholstery & Alcantara Cleaner.

It is best to apply to a soft bristle brush rather than spraying the Alcantara directly for a few reasons

  • You won’t have to work about over saturating the fabric
  • The brush helps to bring the fibers up, rather than matting the down like a microfiber would
  • It ensures there isn’t overspray where you would not want it, such as on a steering wheel you don’t want it to get all over the controls

Interior Cleaner on Brush

Interior Cleaner on Brush 2

Then simply lightly agitate.

Cleaning Alcantara

Cleaning Alcantara Crevices

When finished grab a short nap microfiber and “scoop” the contamination and excess product.

Wiping off Cleaner

Then, to bring the fibers back up you can either use a soft brush that is dry (no cleaner) to brush it up in reverse of the weave, and/or use a vacuum cleaner with a chisel tip to pick up the fibers.

Brushing up Fibers

Vacuuming Fibers


I am not a big fan of the protectants on the market for Alcantara, they either do not do much or alter the feel of the fabric. The issue with durability for any fabric protector on something fibrous such as Alcantara is difficult for each fiber to be protected and the constant flexing, twisting they are subject to degrades any protection really fast. Other than dirt and grime, the main concern would be sun damage, which protection products would not help protect against anyways. Investing in some good window tint would though. So keep up with the maintenance cleaning and your Alcantara will stay looking great for years!

Ian Martinez
Gloss Angeles
Irvine, CA
Instagram | YouTube

6 comments on How to Clean and Protect Alcantara

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks very much for taking the time to write this. I’ve been waiting for a professional to write on this topic for a while!

  2. Sean C says:

    Good stuff and a great product! Now, what is that Momo wheel being put on?

  3. Mike says:

    Been using Sonax Alcantara Cleaner for years now on the steering wheel and shifter of my Cadillac CTS-V and now ATS-V.

    Easy to use and makes the Alcantara like brand new. Good Stuff!

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