Leather seats add a touch of luxury to your car. They are a bit pricey and also require periodic maintenance. Most of the wear and tear of your leather seats is from built-up dirt, grime, grease, even body sweat. The longer the seats remain unclean, the more they tend to lose their essential oils and can develop cracks.
Plus, you wouldn’t really feel comfortable sitting in a leather car seat that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. Leather car seats requires regular maintanence – especially since you are bound to spill something on it at one point of time or the other.
So, how do you clean leather car seats? We bring to you some of the easiest methods.
How to Clean Leather Car Seats
It all depends on how dirty your car seat is. However, do not worry if you have never cleaned your car seat since you have bought it. Here are a few tricks to keep your leather seats in pristine condition:
- Check if seats are perforated: The first thing to ensure while cleaning your leather seats is to see if they are perforated; if they are you need to be careful not to get any water, cleanser or conditioner stuck down in the holes. This will damage the foam.
- Vacuum the seats: Clean large particles of dirt and any crumbs using a vacuum cleaner with a hose and attachment or wet-dry vac. Blow off the dirt lodged in the crevices using an air compressor. Vacuuming ensures that you get rid of all the dirt and bacteria.
- Use a good commercial cleaner to wipe down: If you see that your leather seats have accumulated a layer of grime, use a microfiber towel sprayed with a good cleaner to wipe the seats. Use good leather cleaners like Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner and Conditioner or Chamberlain’s Leather Milk conditioner and cleaner, or saddle soap.
- Some people will advise going for the vinegar and linseed oil combo instead of commercial products, but this doesn’t always work, and you wouldn’t want to risk the beauty of your leather seats, so it’s best to use good commercial products.
- Do a spot test: Another important thing to remember before you use any kind of cleaner is to do a spot test. Spray the cleaner onto a small inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t damage or discolor your leather seats.
- Use a brush for deep cleaning: Spray the cleaner on to the seats and always clean using a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the leather. Remember, in the case of perforated seats, do not spray the cleaner directly onto the seats, instead, spray it on the brush and then clean the seats.
- Wipe down the seats: Wipe the seats dry with a microfiber cloth.
- Condition your leather: Just like your hair, your leather seats need conditioning too, because over time leather keeps losing its natural oils and de-moisturizes. Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to gently massage the conditioner onto the leather seats. Let the conditioner sit for at least an hour before you can take your car for a drive.
- Leave the car in a shady spot: Leave the seats to dry naturally under a shade or in your garage away from the UV.
- Buff the seats: Allow the conditioner to soak in for 12 hours at the least and then using a dry microfiber cloth rub the seats gently; this will rid the seats of any extra conditioner that has accumulated.
- Repeat every few months: Your cars’ leather seats need to be cleaned regularly, at least 3-4 times a year.
Things to Take Care Of
If you need to clean any oil or grease stains, you need to follow the good old home remedy and put baking soda to use. Sprinkle it on the stained area and rub it gently with a damp cloth.
Let this sit overnight or at least for a few hours which will allow the soda to soak up the oil. Wipe off the powder using a soft cloth and remove any residue with a damp cloth and dry with a microfiber towel.
Ta-da! Your leather seats are as good as new.
Although this might sound like a task, but once you start doing this on a regular basis, it’s a piece of cake.