How to Clean Leather Car Seats

March 1, 2012

Cleaning leather car seats is a simple task that normally doesn't require a professional dealer. Learn how to clean leather car seats the right way.

Leather Car Seats

Those of us who are lucky enough to have leather car seats will know how easily they can be stained or become dirty. Removing stain from the leather is a consuming task and requires a lot of time and patience. By following these simple steps, you will soon have your leather car seats soft, supple and looking like new.

You Will Need:

  • Leather Cleaner
  • Bowl of Water
  • Lint Free Cloth
  • Sunscreen Solution

Step 1- Choose a Leather Cleaner

You can buy leather cleaners from most hardware stores and car shops. Although leather cleaners are not expensive, using a homemade version can be a very effective solution to cleaning leather car seats. The solution is made up of one part of vinegar and two parts of linseed oil. Many people who have used this alternative cleaner say it is less abrasive than some commercial leather cleaners and helps the lather wear better.

Step 2 - Perform a Patch Test

As maintaining the quality of your leather car seats is a priority, it is perhaps sensible to carry out a small patch test on an inconspicuous area of the seat before you smear the cleaner over the whole area. This will serve to highlight if you are happy with the brand you have chosen. If you have opted for a homemade solution, you will be able to see if you have achieved the correct blend. Is your solution strong enough to remove dirt without damaging or discoloring the leather? If the latter applies, it will give you a chance of avoiding damaged and discolored leather on the whole seat.

Step 3 - Wipe down the Seats

Prior to applying the leather cleaner, wipe your leather car seats with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust, grease and remove surface dirt without any leather cleaner required.

Step 4 - Spray on the Solution

Spray the cleaner onto the top of the leather car seats. Only 2 to 3 squirts are usually required. Any more than this and the cleaner will be very hard to remove. Consult the instructions provided with the commercial cleaner for the exact application procedure.

Step 5 - Activate the Foam

Place a small section of cloth into a wash bowl and gently rub the cloth in circular motions into the seat where you have sprayed the leather cleaner. The water on the cloth and the friction of the movement will activate foam. Leave the foam for several minutes to penetrate deep into the leather and break up stubborn grime and dirt. Consult the stain remover manufacturer's instructions as some may recommend leaving the foam solution on for a lengthier period.

Step 6 - Wipe off Foam

Taking the dry end of your cloth, carefully wipe off the foam. This first section of your leather seats should now be grime free and gleaming. If there are still some stains visible, repeat the process leaving the foam on the seat for longer. Once you are happy with the result, repeat the steps with the remaining sections of your car leather seats.

Step 7 - Apply Sunscreen

Protect your car leather seats and prolong the necessity of having to clean them again by applying sunscreen solution to the leather seats once they are dry. The sunscreen will also help any discoloration of the leather from occurring.