How to clean leather car seats
Leather seats are usually seen as the more luxury option for cars and usually cost more. The material itself is more expensive. Leather gives a very lush feel and looks to a vehicle. A car’s leather seats stand out when brand new but will start to look old and worn down if it is unmaintained. To make cleaning seats easy, one-step cleaners and conditioners are typically on the market in familiar forms of lotions, sprays, and wipes. The oils help carefully remove the dirt and keep the leather supple. A quick routine can give the leather a low gloss like its original appearance.
Best car leather cleaner and conditioner
Leather seats are much easier to clean and very stain-resistant. Leather seats are also resistant to smells that can come with stains and the passengers who cause them. Modern cars will have leather seats coated with a water-based, clear protective coating. The car seats are also dyed and coated with color pigments to create a completely uniform color. The cleaning and conditioning process is not for the natural leather, but the enhanced, re-colored, reconfigured, and coated natural leather.
Car owners should look for a cleanser that has UV protection. When a car sits uncovered, the sunlight acts as a natural bleaching agent. The sunlight’s UV rays draw the moisture out of the leather’s fibers, causing it to crack and lose natural oils. Choosing a cleaning product with neutral colors will prevent the product from changing the natural characteristics of the seats.
Understanding the purpose of sprays, interior wipes and wax is essential. Cleaning spray is popular and widely used. However, not all sprays protect against UV rays like car interior wax. Car interior wax is also considered a leather balm. It is specifically designed to condition and protect leather against UV rays. However, if the seats need just a good wipe down, high-end wipes can give a “just detailed” appearance. Interior wipes will help reach all the nooks and crannies, but it is not good against certain stains.
Car enthusiasts consider the 303 Aerospace Protectant as the best leather cleaner. It cleans leather, rubber, vinyl, PVC, finished leather, fiberglass and gel coat surfaces— which covers most surfaces inside a car. This spray does contain UV protection and dust repellent. It is water-based and non-toxic, but it does not hide scuff marks or blemishes. The 303 does not work on fabrics on unfinished leather.
After the seats are cleaned, conditioning the seats with the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is recommended. It is considered the best long-lasting product for a leather conditioning treatment. Honey is known for lasting up to six months after use. Its recommended use is twice a year for best results. It rejuvenates leather and softens any dry areas. It is non-toxic and water repellent. A brush or cloth can be used with this product. For seats with scratches, Chamberlain’s Leather Milk Leather Care Liniment is considered a prominent brand. This conditioner restores leather to its original state. Rubbing it into a deep scratch or cut will fix the wear and tear. This product is made from all-natural ingredients and is free of chemicals. Included with this product is an applicator pad.
How to clean and condition car seats
Common dirt and skin oils combined create damaging effects on the car’s leather. The longer it is allowed to remain, the more damaging it becomes. Before starting any maintenance work on the car, it is best to refer to the car’s owner’s manual. It should be specific instructions on how to properly care for the car’s leather upholstery, as well as products to avoid. Before applying the product, read the product’s label for additional, specified instructions.
- Vacuum the seats. Vacuum the seats to suck up any large particles of dirt before applying a cleaning product
- Remove surface dirt. Apply a preferred spray to cloth and wipe the surface dirt off the seats.
- Deep clean leather. Apply preferred spray directly onto seats and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the leather. This method will bring the dirt to the surface. If the leather seats are perforated, spray the brush before scrubbing.
- Wipe clean. Use a dry cloth to dry the seats. Dirt, oil, and grime will be noticeable on cloth.
- Perform a spot test. Once seats are dried, apply a little conditioner in a hidden area. This is to make sure the cleaner doesn’t damage or discolor the seats.
- Condition seats. Apply conditioner to the seats and use a cloth or sponge to massage product into the leather. Avoid using too much conditioner because it will sit on top of the leather. This will make the seats greasy.
- Dry. Give the conditioner some time to dry out of the sun for at least one hour.
- Buff seats. Once the conditioner has had a chance to dry, take a clean cloth, and polish the seats in a circular motion to wipe up the excess conditioner.
Maintaining leather car seats
Car leather will last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Leather finishings will play a role in maintaining the leather seats. Aniline, semi-aniline, full-grain, and corrected grain or pigmented are the four finishes leather seats have. The different finishes will determine if the seats have a protective coating. Seats without protective coating will stain easily. To keep the newly cleaned seats sharp, park the vehicle in shaded areas when possible and clean regularly for best results.