It’s important to know how to clean leather car seats in order to keep them looking as beautiful as the day you brought your car home. Leather seats will last the lifetime of your car if you care for them the right way. Ignored, they will show signs of wear and are at risk of getting hard and cracking. Here’s how to clean leather seats to keep them looking and feeling great.
Vacuum Surface Dirt
The first step in how to clean leather car seats is a good vacuuming to remove surface dirt and crumbs. Be sure to get into all the little creases and crevices, especially where the seat back and cushion meant. Fully reclining the seats makes this area easier to reach.
Make sure you don’t use a hard hose attachment or too stiff a brush. These could scratch or otherwise damage the leather. Use a softer attachment and be gentle so as not to damage your seats.
There are a variety of cleaning products designed for leather car seats. Check the labels to be sure you purchase one that works with the type of seats in your car. Do not simply grab any old household cleaner as chemicals like bleach and ammonia can cause permanent damage to leather surfaces.
Even with an appropriate leather cleaner, it’s still important to do a spot test in an inconspicuous place to make sure the product doesn’t damage or discolor the leather. If you’re happy with the results, then get to cleaning.
If the spot test is good, then you can clean the seats according to the instructions on the cleaner you purchased. Use a light hand and a soft cloth to remove dirt and grime. If your seats are especially dirty, then try a soft bristle brush. Just remember, be gentle so you don’t overdo things and damage your seats.
Wipe Down the Seats
Once you finish cleaning the seats, then it’s important to wipe them down. Take some time and make sure you wipe down the seats fully so none of the cleaning solution is left sitting on the leather. A microfiber cloth is a great way to remove the solution gently.
Now that your seats are clean, you want to keep them that way and you want to be sure the leather stays soft and supple. Applying a leather conditioner does two things. It creates a barrier against dirt and grime, so your seats stay cleaner longer and it gives them a nice finish, so they look beautiful.
Cleaning and conditioning your leather seats as a regular part of your car maintenance schedule will keep them looking and feeling like new for as long as you own your car.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on leather interior care, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy Flickr.
Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.