How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Clean Leather Car Seats

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

If you have leather car seats, you know how difficult it can be to keep them clean. Here are some tips on how to clean leather car seats and keep them looking new.

Leather car seats are often fitted into luxurious rides to add extra class and comfort. But if your seats are full of dirt and debris, your car probably doesn’t look so classy and lush.

The comfort of leather seats comes with a couple of responsibilities, so you’ll have to regularly maintain the leather if you want it to last for longer. But if you manage to maintain your car seats properly, you’ll get incredible results and have your car looking spotless. Furthermore, if you commit to regular upkeep of your seats, the cleaning procedure will get slightly shorter and easier every time.

So if you’re wondering how to clean leather car seats, keep on reading, as we’ve got a neat guide that will walk you through the process and help you regain the luxurious edge of your car’s interior.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

What You’re Going to Need

To avoid the frustration of barging into your garage or kitchen every time you need a clean towel or some cleaning solution, you should have all your equipment and supplies ready before you get started. That way, the cleaning process will be shorter and more enjoyable.

Cleaning up your leather car seats won’t require too much effort, so you’ll only need to get your vacuum cleaner ready and have a couple of clean microfiber cloths at hand. In terms of cleaning supplies, you’ll need a leather cleaner, leather conditioner, mild soap, white vinegar, and some water.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Clear up the area

To ensure that the cleaning process runs smoothly, make sure you spare some time and clear up your car before getting started. You can take a bucket to set away any items that might get in your way while cleaning. Make sure you remove everything from the seats and try to do the same with the floor, board, and any drawers, as keeping the space tidy will be very useful while you work on the car seats.

Step 2: Vacuum the seats

After getting rid of any bulky items that could clog the vacuum cleaner, you can now safely start vacuuming. Use the vacuum cleaner to clean up dust, food crumbles, and other solid dirt. Remember to be gentle on the leather, as some hefty brushes and extensions may scratch it. To avoid scratches, use a more delicate brush or place a sock or some gentler cloth over the brush you’re using.

For any harder-to-reach areas, get the vacuum crevice attachment in place. If you’re afraid it will make a scratch, you can cover it up with a sock. Using a sock over the vacuum’s attachments will also help you find any lost items before they get inside the sweeper.

Step 3: Apply the cleaning solution

Once your leather car seats are free of any solid dirt, it is time to get rid of the nagging stains and spills that have piled up. Choosing a leather cleaner can be a bit challenging since you have to be very gentle with the material. 

You can choose between a DIY cleaning mixture or a ready-made leather cleaner. If you’re looking to use what you already have, there are a couple of mixtures that can be used to clean leather. Your options vary between mild dishwashing soap, vinegar, toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda mixes that usually require some water to be added.

After you’ve decided on the cleaning solution of your choice, it is time to apply it to the seats. But first, you should run a little test and spray a small amount of the solution onto a smaller area that’s not very notable. That way, you can see whether the solution is gentle enough for your seats or if it may cause some damage. If you don’t encounter any issues, you can start applying the solution to the seats. We suggest you use a spray bottle to dispense the liquid more evenly.

Step 4: Wipe with a clean cloth

Based on the solution you’ve chosen, you may have to let it work for a couple of minutes or should wipe it off quickly. You’ll need to use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to absorb all the dirt and stains. Be careful not to use excess water, as it may penetrate into the leather and stain the car seats. If you’re worried about the amount of moisture, you can repeat the process with a dry and clean microfiber cloth.

Step 5: Apply the leather conditioner

Leather is a delicate material, so treating it with different cleaning solutions may cause it to stiffen and crack. That’s why you have to finish off the cleaning procedure with a layer of leather conditioner. Conditioners are also an excellent way to future-proof your car seats against hefty stains and damage.

Leather conditioners can be your next DIY project, or you could get a store-bought product. The simplest way to make your own is to mix two parts of linseed or flaxseed oil with one part of vinegar. If you don’t want to take on another project, leather conditioners you can find at your local auto detailing store will work just as well.

After applying the conditioner, all that’s left to do is allow the seats to air dry for a couple of hours before using your car.

Read more: How to Clean Car Windows

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Leather Car Seats?

The best way to take care of your leather car seats and extend their lifespan is to clean them regularly. Therefore, giving them a thorough cleanse every one to two weeks is essential. If you don’t use your car very often, you may stick to vacuuming and skip the cleaning solutions every now and then.

However, you should be very careful every time you spill your drink over your leather car seats and make sure you work on the stain as quickly as possible. Keeping leather wipes at hand will help you promptly eliminate any spills before they stain the leather. If you manage to act quickly, you’ll never have to bother with hefty stains on your precious seats again.


Taking care of the car is a task we all must pay attention to since our health may depend on it, especially those who use it many times a day. 

Have a clean car and have a worry-free, happier lifestyle. You should now have all the useful tips about how to clean leather car seats, so don’t make any more excuses and start working on regaining your car’s edge and freshness.

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