Best way of cleaning leather car seats — explained
Learn the ultimate method for maintaining the pristine condition of your leather car seats.
Compared to the other synthetic materials commonly used to cover automobile seats, leather is a far more fragile fabric, making it infamously challenging to clean and condition. If not treated with adequate care, leather is easily destroyed.
Leather car seats have a luxurious and aesthetic feel. But its elegance and comfort would deteriorate if ignored. Without regular cleaning and conditioning, accumulated dirt, dryness, and cracking can make your car’s interior look ugly and uncomfortable.
If you believe it’s time to give your car’s leather seats the much-needed upkeep but need help with how to do it, this article will show you how.
What do I need to clean leather car seats?
In most cases, maintaining the exterior of your car takes precedence over cleaning the interior. Your dirty windows and muddy wheels are visible to everyone, but not the interior. That’s why cleaning the leather seats is much like finding the best way to clean the inside windshield, so you need to know exactly how to approach it.
You need a sponge, a hose, and a pail of soapy water to clean the exterior of our cars. Easy enough. But the car interior, though, feels like a bigger job.
But what’s required to make those leather car seats appear spotless?
For cleaning your leather car seats, you don’t need a hose, bucket, and lots of soap like you would for an exterior car wash. Even a short amount of time spent on leather cleaning may make a big difference in maintaining the elegant appearance of your car’s inside.
Leather car seat cleaning doesn’t require a lot of equipment, so you have one less justification for skipping routine maintenance. You should have the following items in your toolbox for cleaning your leather car seats:
- A vacuum cleaner
- A set of soft microfiber cloths; these shouldn’t be ragged or rough in texture
- A brush with soft bristles or a toothbrush for tiny areas (avoid stiff bristles at all costs)
- Spray cans (depending on your cleaning products)
What is the best way to clean leather car seats?
Follow this guide to clean your leather car seats to give them that sparkling look once again.
Step one: Vacuum clean
Vacuum your leather seats first to remove dirt, hair, and other debris before cleaning them. This will stop these materials from penetrating the leather and altering its texture. Keep in mind that if you accidentally grind dirt or debris into the leather of your car’s seats, you won’t be able to clean them effectively.
To thoroughly vacuum your leather seats and upholstery, use a heavy-duty shop vac (or a home vacuum cleaner with a hose). You should also suction any dirt or debris from cracks.
To clean those challenging-to-reach places of your leather seats, insert the vacuum nozzle into the seam between the sitting and back surfaces.
Step two: Apply a cleaning solution
The leather must be cleaned using a cleaning agent to remove any stains and bacteria that have built up over time. You can use household items to produce your cleaning solution or buy one. It’s crucial to pick the quality cleaning solution, and once again, it’s like asking yourself – can you use Windex on car windows?
No matter which option you select, avoid spraying the cleaning agent directly onto your leather seats. Instead, saturate a microfiber cloth with some solution so that it is moist but not drenched.
Commercial leather cleaners are an easy choice and are available at most auto shops (and even some grocery stores). However, be careful not to use a cleaning product that contains bleach or ammonia, as either substance can harm your leather.
Alternatively, if you wish to produce your leather cleaner, combine warm water with either Castile soap (a particular kind of vegetable oil-based soap) or liquid dishwashing soap in a ratio of 5 to 1. (five parts water, one part soap). Apply the leather cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth you’re using to clean the seats after mixing it in a bucket.
Step three: Wash with a soft microfiber cloth
After completing the previous two procedures, take a microfiber cloth dampened with the cleaning solution and scrub your leather seats. Avoid soaking your leather surfaces with too much cleaning solution. Wet leather takes a long time to dry and may eventually become moldy if not dried completely.
Scrub any stains or dirt spots you notice with the cleaning cloth you have in your hand until they disappear. Only a tiny bit of elbow grease should be required to remove stains from leather if they haven’t settled into the material. Additional scrubbing may be necessary to eradicate tough stains and markings.
Step four: Wipe dry
It’s crucial to note that you cannot keep your leather seats damp overnight or let them dry naturally in the air. In many instances, doing so might cause the leather to crack and warp. Instead, use a fresh, second microfiber cloth to dry your leather seats once you’ve scrubbed them. However, it’s normal for your leather seats to still contain some moisture. The goal is to eliminate most of the moisture to reduce the risk of mold growth or material degradation.
Step five: Apply a leather conditioner
Applying leather conditioner after cleaning is a good idea. Although some sites advise washing them every three months, the majority of seats only require a little maintenance. There are recommendations from several conditioner manufacturers on how frequently to use their product on your seats. A leather conditioner can extend the life of your seats by preventing cracks, tears, and stains.
If this is your first time using a conditioner, make sure to try it on an inconspicuous area of your seats before using it over the entire set.
Use gentle circular motions to massage the conditioner into the seat when applying it. Allow the conditioner to settle, and air dry for at least an hour before embarking on your next expedition.
How to keep leather seats clean and last longer
Your car’s seats can be made more resistant to damaging UV rays by using a leather conditioner that contains sunscreen or another type of sun protection. Having microfiber towels close at hand in your car also lets you clean up spills immediately, avoiding the accumulation of filth or stains.
Additionally, this can stop any material from being discolored as a result of spills. Regularly vacuuming your car with a soft brush attachment will also help you keep up with any dirt accumulation on the seats, preventing you from having to conduct a deep clean on them all the time.
Furthermore, installing seat coverings over your leather seats could help prevent further wear and tear if you frequently transport passengers or animals in your car. Seat covers are also brilliant if you frequently transport items in your back seats. With so many options, selecting styles and fabrics that suit you is simple.
Dealing with spills as soon as they occur is essential for cleaning leather car seats. No matter how soon you clean up spilled food or drink, a little stain may still happen. However, the quicker you remove any potentially staining substances from the leather, the simpler it will be to clean out.
To get the most out of your leather cleaning solution, try cleaning your leather seats as soon as stains appear.
Your leather car seats will last longer if you keep them clean regularly and prevent them from suffering from usage-related wear and tear. The procedure is relatively simple as long as you use the proper equipment and solutions. And your leather will continue to provide your vehicle with a comfortable feel and a nice aesthetic.
What household products can you use to clean leather?
You can use simple home materials to clean leather, such as applying a solution of vinegar and water mixed 50/50 in a basin to your furniture using a microfiber cloth to clean out stains.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSaddle soap can also be used to deep-clean leather. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it with water and mild, unscented hand soap or dish soap. The soapy solution can then be used to dampen a washcloth to remove light stains.
How do you make leather car seats look new?
Maintaining cleanliness is the most crucial thing you can do to make your leather seats look brand new. Leather seats typically exhibit more stains and filth than cloth ones, and this is because stains and spills gather on the leather’s surface; they can’t go anywhere else. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThey cannot conceal themselves in the upholstery pattern or fabric weave, and they are seated on the solid color of the leather, gazing back at you. Debris should be removed from your leather car seats and upholstery as soon as possible, and regular cleaning is necessary to remove all stains that accumulate from daily use.
How do you deep-clean leather seats?
Deep cleaning will be required to remove stains from the vehicle seat if they are deeply embedded. Using a soft-bristled brush, carefully scrub the seats after spraying the cleanser directly on them. This would aid in stirring up any ingrained oil or dirt stains that have accumulated on the car seats and make them come to the surface.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eTo deep clean your leather car seats, remove any substantial debris and inspect for holes and perforations. Perform a spot test, apply your cleaner, spot clean any difficult-to-reach materials, complete a final wash down, and add more protectant and conditioner as necessary.