While washing the exterior of your car is very important, keeping the surfaces in pristine condition cannot be overemphasized. Most car owners use leather to decorate the seats of their vehicles to give them a luxurious one. Leather seats are expensive and require special care and attention.

Leather might be luxurious, expensive, and comfortable, but it will quickly lose its appeal if not taken care of appropriately. The truth is that you can never be too careful with leather seats. Car owners with leather seats go as far as making rules for their passengers never to have drinks or food in their car to prevent spillage. This is because there is a bit of spillage here and there, and your leather seats are already messy and have cracks.

It even gets worse because you can’t just clean up leather seats with any cleaner. It involves a process to get it done, and one false move can cause irreparable damage to your leather seats. Hence, car owners with leather seats must be intentional about cleaning the leather seats the right way.

If you own a car with leather seats and you’re not sure how to properly clean them, this article is for you. This article explores several ways in which you can clean your leather seats.

Images courtesy of Arteum.ro

Vacuum the leather seats

The leather seats of your requiring vacuuming the same way the floors of your apartment requires vacuuming. Vacuuming is the first step involved in maintaining the appearance and quality of your leather seats.

Vacuuming aims to remove specks of dirt, debris, and other solid substances that might have found their way into your leather seats. It also prevents the dirt from becoming rooted inside the leather, which might compromise its structural integrity in the future. Without vacuuming, you cannot maintain or clean your leather seats as it will just be another exercise in futility.

You don’t even need to buy a new vacuum cleaner as you can use your home vacuum cleaner with a hose. Ensure that the hose is inserted in the crevices and creases between your leather seats to remove all the dirt.

black and decker vacuum cordless
Images courtesy of Black And Decker

Use a cleaning solution

After vacuuming, the next step is to apply a cleaning solution to your leather seats. The cleaning soap will help eliminate any dirt remnants,  microorganisms like bacteria, and greasy stains. Leather cleaning soaps are sold in stores, or you can make them yourself with DIY videos on YouTube.

Whether you are buying the leather soap or making it is not the issue, you must ensure that the cleaning soap is not applied directly to your leather seats. The best way to go is to soak a microfiber cloth in water, squeeze out the water, and use the cleaning solution on the damp cloth before proceeding to clean your leather seats.

The kind of cleaning solutions you should avoid are solutions that contain bleaching ingredients and ammonia because such cleaning solutions will leave your leather seats damaged and cracked.

Images courtesy of Sincerely Media

Wash seats with a microfiber cloth

As mentioned in the previous step, the best cleaning cloth to wash your leather seats with is a microfiber cloth. After dumping the cloth with water, add a reasonable quantity of the cleaning solution to the fabric and start washing. Wash gently and carefully to avoid leaving scratches on the leather.

If you notice that stains are already settled in the leather, take extra time scrubbing and apply a bit of elbow grease to remove persistent stains permanently.

In washing your leather car seats, be careful not to soak your leather seats in a cleaning solution. When there’s too much water in leather, it becomes easy for moulds to grow, and it wouldn’t take time before the seats start smelling and become inhabitable.

Images courtesy of ‎Meguiar’s

Dry your leather seats

The last step involved in cleaning leather seats is drying. Drying is the last but most crucial step. Please do not leave your leather seats to dry by themselves to avoid cracks. Instead, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe off the cleaning solution.

After drying your seats, feel the seats. You will notice that it still feels a little damp and okay. To remove all the moisture, you can leave your car’s car doors open for 30 minutes so that natural air can go in and dry out the remaining moisture.

Images courtesy of ‎Crosby Hinze

Side note: If you have kids or are always carrying passengers, you must be vigilant whenever they eat or drink anything. If there’s a spill, always wipe it off immediately to prevent permanent stains. Also, have a routine for cleaning your leather seats to last long and always have a pleasant smell.

Extra tips for cleaning your leather seats

Here are some extra tips for cleaning your leather seats.

  • Always spot test cleaning solutions to ensure they are suitable for your leather seats.
  • Clean slowly and in small circles to prevent discolouration of the sears.
  • Microfiber cloths are the best for cleaning leather seats, and always use them.
  • Clean your leather seats at least twice every month
  • Use leather conditioners to protect your seats for a more extended period. Leather conditioners act by creating a seal over the top of your leather seats to keep out diets and moisture.
  • If by any chance you clean it wrong and molds starts growing, carry out another intensive cleaning to clean them off the leather seats.
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Pavlo Prannyk
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