Tested: 303 Fabric Guard
For many of us, the interior of our car is a second home. We eat, drink, and sometimes even sleep in them. When you use your car to the fullest, the evidence of that lifestyle will eventually show up, usually in the form of stains on the upholstery. Removing stains from fabric upholstery can be costly, so the trick is to prevent them from taking hold in the first place.
303 Fabric Guard is a spray-on upholstery protectant that works by making fabric textile upholstery water repellant, which makes it harder for liquids to penetrate the protective layer. When something spills, you can simply wipe it up and not have to worry about leaving a stain on the upholstery.
Applying the 303 Fabric Guard is a process that involves 6-12 hours of drying time, so if you need to use the vehicle within that time frame, you might want to choose another day to apply the treatment. We used a scrap piece of automotive upholstery to put 303 Fabric Guard to the test. There are two steps you need to take BEFORE applying 303 Fabric Guard. First, clean the upholstery with a vacuum and remove anything that is stuck to the fabric and treat and clean and existing stains. After the 303 Fabric Guard is applied, removing any existing stains will be much more difficult.
The second step is to check if the material is colorfast. Spray a little 303 Fabric Guard on an inconspicuous area and wipe with a towel. If any color comes off on the towel, then the material is not colorfast and cannot be treated. Another note – DO NOT use this product on anything other than fabric. Damage will result if used on plastic, vinyl, leather, fiberglass, rubber, or imitation suede. Protect these materials when applying 303 Fabric Guard and wipe off any overspray immediately.
We laid the material (a piece of tweed automotive fabric) on the test bench and taped one half of the swatch with masking tape. This will make for a good side-by-side comparison of the Fabric Guard.
The exposed half of the material was sprayed with the 303 Fabric Guard and left to dry for a full day. You can use the sun to accelerate to process. The ambient temp should be above 70-degrees and the material must be protected from moisture until it is fully dried.
We removed the tape and you can see the line where the fabric was treated. The material is still wet in this photo.
After the treatment dried, there are no visible signs that it has been treated at all.
Using a spray bottle, we misted some water on the swatch. The results of the test were instantly clear, the untreated side soaked up the water, but the water on the treated side simply beaded up so we could wipe it off with a paper towel.
We flipped the swatch over and you can clearly see that the untreated side is now soaked through, while the untreated side is dry.
Unless you keep your seats covered with plastic sheeting or protective seat covers, spills and stains are going to happen. The 303 Fabric Guard is a great way to help reduce the chances of a stain taking hold. Occasional re-application will be necessary over time with exposure to the elements to maintain the effectiveness of the 303 Fabric Guard.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on 303 Fabric Guard, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Morgue File
Jefferson Bryant View All
A life-long gearhead, Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 4 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced.
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