How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Tips For Cleaning And Taking Care Of Car Leather

There is nothing as satisfying and classy as good leather be it on your furniture, attire, accessories and most of all cars. This is why we are all drawn to goods made of leather, especially leather car interior.

How To Clean Leather

Ensuring that your leather is properly maintained and looked after is key to keeping it in tip top condition. Fortunately, leather is generally robust and durable but from time to time can require cleaning due to grease, stains or a general build up of dirt and germs.

Your Preferred Leather Look

The first task in deciding how to clean and take care of your leather simply revolves around the question: what do you want your leather to look like? And what role does it play in your life?

A classy personal car leather interior that you enjoy driving especially for those business meetings to make a good first impression would require extra care than the old leather sofa in the back room that the dog sleeps on, for example.

It also boils down to your taste. There are people who prefer their car leather to have a clean, polished look, while others do not mind if they are a bit aged look.

So it would be perfectly reasonable that those who prefer the latter, to treat their leather less frequently than the former. So take time to think about your preferred leather look and next go through these tips for cleaning and taking care of leather.

Let us first begin by briefly looking at how you can protect and clean your car leather

Protecting Your Car Leather

There are five key things to remember when it comes to looking after your leather interior.

  • Leather should be shaded from direct sunlight.
  • Leather should be cleaned on a regular basis. You should begin this process by dusting its surface using a soft cloth or microfiber cloth.
  • Apply soap on a damp cloth and lather the leather.While removing stains from leather, remember to first of all always test the cleaning method on an out-of-the-way stain spot.
  • To remove stains from leather, immerse a cotton swab into alcohol and rub the stained spot. This is also good for removing ink spots. Let it do its magic overnight then use a damp cloth to wipe it off.

Below is a quick solution to the most common leather cleaning requirements.

DIY Method for Removing Normal Stains

What you need to remove stains at home:

  1. 1 part lemon juice
  2. 1 part tartar cream

Start by simply working the paste into the stained spot using a soft cloth then let it sit for 2-3 hours. Apply some more paste, work it in then wipe clean.

You can remove water spots from leather by: taking some water and moistening the area once again, then let it dry (you can gently blow dry). Caution: Leather should never be placed in the sun to dry.

DIY Method for Removing Road Salt

What you need

  1. 1 part water
  2. 1 part white vinegar

Dip a cloth into the solution and lightly blot over the leather (dashboard) to remove the salt. You may have to repeat this several times depending on the area of the surface. This will give it a new look. For leather dashboard, be sure to wipe them frequently using a damp cloth frequently, and polish them well with a paste.

DIY methods for Keeping a Supple Leather

What you need

  1. 1 part white vinegar
  2. 2 parts linseed oil
  3. jar with a lid

Mix and pour the solution into the jar shake well then dub on the leather using a soft cloth. Let it soak in for some (10-12) hours and buff. Keep changing the cloth the moment it starts to soil.

Now to narrow down a bit let us look at some tips to Consider for Specific Car Leather Parts.

Cleaning Your Everyday Car Leather Interiors

Dashboard. Keep the dashboard and glove compartment leather coatings well polished as they are usually in clear view. This way you maintain its smell, reduces creases, and you will be able to make it naturally maintain that fine leather smell. Polish and clean your dashboard area more frequently.

For work-style or everyday car use, much more care is needed; wipe them down at least one to two times a week depending on frequency of use. Condition them every 1-6 months depending on the place you live, season of the year, and your preferences, as previously noted.

Car door interior. Avoid leaving the car door open. This is because leaving it open will expose the leather to elements of weather and not only on the insides of the door but also the car seats. Remember that once leather cranks up or gets that smell due to exposure to the sun, it will not automatically regain its original pleasant smell. Wipe them down on a regular basis and condition after every 6-12 months.

Seats:Almost the same way as with the dashboard area, do a wipe down after a number of weeks, and condition every 6-10 months depending on its regular use. Public service vehicles such as taxis depending on your clients need a little more attention.

It depends on how it looks; if the leather feels dry and you see small cracks have started to appear, give it more attention. With most personal cars, the preference is usually a soft and supple feel. For best results clean using lanolin-based products.

This is where saddle soap is recommended. Also for best results, consider giving your car leather especially your seats a professional clean at least once a year. Opt for specialty leather cleaners because car seats have more leather than most other leather fitted parts of a car and with more area of leather to cover, chances are you’ll miss something if you DIY.


To sum up, while caring for your leather, ensure that you have and follow a good. Most often, it will be in these 3 easy steps:

Use a damp cloth to give your leather a wipe down 1-2 times per week depending on frequency of use how dirty it is.

Condition your car leather on average of 3-6 months or more depending on the elements of weather and environment.

Waterproof at least once every year, according to your tastes and preference sometimes dictated by the environment.

Alternate between DIY cleaning and professional cleaners for your car leather. Find our review of the best car leather cleaners here.


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