How to Clean Leather Car Seats the Right Way

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Buying a car comes close second to buying a house for many in India. Every individual who buys a car does his or her research and invests their hard-earned money on it. After spending lakhs of rupees in buying a car and thousands on accessories, extra fittings, and upholstery, you must ensure that your car remains elegant and well-maintained inside out. 

While it is pretty easier to keep your car spick and span on the outside using a car polish that maintains its shine, it takes a lot of effort to maintain the look and feel of the inside as it is prone to constant contact, spillage, dust, and grime.

If you love the earthy feel of the leather of your car seats, it is important to take care of this natural material with skilled hands. A little careless wash with water can make the seats brittle as water is poison for Leather!

Let’s dive into the basics of how to maintain leather car seats the right way.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Whether your leather car seat turns out shining and clean or an utter disaster depends on how skilled you are and what level of expertise you have. 

Cleaning your leather car seats is not a one-time thing, it includes

  • Preventive Measures for Leather Car Seat Maintenance
  • Pre-cleaning Steps for Leather Car Seats
  • Methods of cleaning the leather car Seats the right way
  • Maintenance methods so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money later

Let’s have a look at a step-by-step guide to cleaning your car leather seat to maintain that fresh and new look for years to come:

1. Preventive Measures for Leather Car Seat Maintenance

Whoever said that “Prevention is better than cure”,  had it right. The best way to ensure that your car doesn’t lose its charm is to avoid practices that can cause damage to the leather of the car seat.

  • Avoid snacking in the car. Oil and food particles can create stains on the seat that can be hard to remove.
  • If you have kids or pets around make it a practice to have a temporary car cover so that you don’t have to spend hours on cleaning those spillages.
  • Accidents do happen and when they do the first thing to keep in mind is immediate action. Wie off the oil stains and spills with a micro-fiber cloth as soon as it happens.
  • Keep 2 clean microfibre cloths handy whenever you head out.

Disaster management is a skill and handling those stains and patches tactfully can be all the difference between a tacky-looking car and a well-maintained beauty.

2. Pre-cleaning Steps for Leather Car Seats

Before you start the actual cleaning there are some pre-requisites that you must follow to ensure that your cleaning efforts don’t go wasted.

1. Vacuum Your Seats

Leather tends to get deposited with dust and minute particles which get deeply engrained giving it a faded look. Vacuum the car seats thoroughly. Ensure that the nooks, corners, and cushions are devoid of any dust particles. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner use a soft bristles brush to clear the car seats.

2. Wipe The Seats

After a thorough vacuuming use a damp microfibre cloth to clean away any remnants that may have been airborne and settled later. This ensures a deep cleaning that can last for months.

3. Let the Seats Dry

Let the Laeter car seat completely dry before you start the cleaning process. Moisture, however, light it maybe can adversely affect the quality of the car’s leather seats.

Once you are done with this easy three-step formula you are good to start your cleaning process.

3. Methods of Cleaning the Leather Car Seats the Right Way

After completing the pre-cleaning, the stage is set for the actual work- Cleaning. 

If you are high on confidence and ready to take a little bit of calculated risk you can try some DIY hacks. But if you are a beginner and low on patience and experience, opt for a car leather polish to give you that instant end-to-end cleaning experience in minutes.

DIY Cleaning Hacks 

A Do-it-yourself (DIY)  leather cleaner or a homemade leather cleaner combines some natural leather cleaning ingredients that are safe to use. A word of caution: Use this leather seat cleaning hack only if you have experience handling the ingredients listed below and know what type of leather seats you have as some of these materials can do more harm than good.It is a good practice to do a patch test on a piece of leather before starting the actual work.

  1.  Dishwash liquid and water
  • Take a cup of lukewarm water and mix some mild liquid dishwashing soap with it.
  • The ratio of water to sopa should be 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water and 2 part of liquid soap.  bucket. 
  • Mix it thoroughly till it forms a uniform solution.
  • Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution, wring it to strain all the water, and wipe the surface of the leather car seat with it. 
  • The key to achieving shine without any damage is to wring the cloth thoroughly and remove all the excess water from it.
  1. Vinegar – Olive Oil – Water
  • Use plain white vinegar and olive oil in the proportional following Olive oil: Vinegar = 2: 1
  • Mix this and add it to a spray bottle
  • Spray only on the affected area and wait for it to get absorbed and wipe it clean
  • Remember to do a patch test on a leather piece before you start working on your car leather seta directly.
  1. Toothpaste or Baking Soda
  • Use a mini coin-sized toothpaste apply on the stain and sprinkle a pinch of baking soda.
  • Wipe off the mix after a few seconds to see a change in the depth of the stain.
  1. Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar
  • Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and cream of tartar.
  • Apply it on the affected area and use it on places that are not directly in sight as it can have a bleaching effect
  • Keep it for 15 minutes and clear it with a damp sponge to see the results.
  1. Use Alcohol
  • Dip a microfiber cloth in mild alcohol or sanitizer and wipe the surface with it. 
  • Let it dry completely and use a mild dishwashing soap and water mix in equal proportion to clear any traces of alcohol. 

Caution and Patch testing for DIY methods

Don’t go overboard and try new DIY hacks as a combination of different stuff can create more harm than good. Stick to this foolproof regime and maintain the luster of your car seats. Let’s dive into some unique problems that may need different cleaning care.

Post-cleaning Tips for Hassle-Free Maintenance

Though DIY hacks can be wonderful they cannot give the same level of shine to your car as a car polish. If you want hassle-free and quick results opt for a car polish that delivers value in low time.

  • After completing the Pre-cleaning ritual use a car polish to give your car a thorough inside-out shine.
  • Use a car polish that takes away all the dullness and gives that elite shine to the interiors.
  • A car polish adds a protective layer that repels dust and doesn’t allow it to settle in the leather.

How To Remove Leather Car Seat Stains

Stains on leather car seats can be tough to remove and hence need special care and unique solutions for individual types of stains.

General steps for stain removal.

  • Start by following the pre-cleaning steps that involve vacuuming and cleaning the particular stained area with a microfiber cloth. 
  • Work in sections and use a clean cloth every time to avoid increasing the damage.
  • Don’t go overboard with cleaning supplies. 
  • Use the DIY combination listed above in proper proportion or use a mild non-abrasive cleaning agent specially designed for car leather.
  • After one cleaning routine give the stain some time to rest and dry and repeat the routine if necessary with caution as you may accidently damage the leather with too much cleaning.

Specific Tips for Water, Grease, and Ink Stains.

  • For Water Stains: Use dry microfiber clothes and absorb the excess water.
  • For Grease stains: First, remove any excess grease using a microfiber cloth, sprinkle some corn starch which will absorb the grease, and clean it using a dry cloth.
  • For Ink stains: Ink stains can be tough to remove but follow the same steps of absorbing out the excess ink, taking care that you don’t let it run to other parts. Use a good quality cleaning agent as per the instructions provided, to clean the particular spot and allow it to dry.

If you are thinking about how often to clean leather car seats then we have the answer for you: 

If you are a light user you can go with cleaning the seats 3 to 6 times a year i.e. every alternate month, which includes a thorough polishing regime to ensure that the leather does not dry out. If your car is on the roads a lot and you have pets and babies it’s better to maintain a monthly cleaning schedule to ensure that your car remains prim and proper.

In conclusion, using these methods ensures that your car maintains its charm and elegance for years to come and gains compliments for having well-maintained care. Ensure that you use the DIY hacks mentioned in moderation or opt for a product that has been designed specifically for car leather seats. 

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