How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Leather interiors offer a look and feel of luxury. However, if left to dry out, your leather car seats may start to look cracked, leather is slightly pricey so it’s important to maintain it to ensure you get your money’s worth. To keep leather supple and smooth you have to clean and hydrate it yourself. It’s important to try to get into the habit of regular cleaning and conditioning. Cleaning leather car seats isn’t as difficult as you may think, and it’s the only way to maintain the look of your most prized possession. Check out this guide for cleaning your leather car seats. 

Equipment Needed:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A set of soft microfiber cloths
  • A soft bristle brush or old toothbrush
  • Spray bottles

Here’s how to clean leather car seats so they look pristine and last for longer.

Firstly, always begin by vacuuming the seats to get rid of dirt and debris; Be sure to get into all the crevices. Then apply your cleaner – make sure it’s not ammonia or bleach-based, these can damage leather seats. You can use a commercial cleaner or simply make your own. Mix 5 parts water with 1 part dish soap in a bucket, dampen a microfiber cloth with the mixture, and wipe down the surface of your car seats. Be sure not to over saturate the car seats as too much water can pool in the seams and seep into the car seat, causing the leather to become stained. After wiping down the seats, wipe them down again with another microfiber cloth, before drying thoroughly with a clean towel.

Another homemade cleaning solution: Combine half a cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of vinegar, pour into a spray bottle, and spray the seats. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before wiping the entire surface.

The simplest way to keep leather car seats clean is to prevent stains. Always wipe up liquid spills as they happen to minimise stains. However, stains are usually part of life and you will find them on your leather seats no matter how much you try to prevent them. Get rid of stains using the items and methods listed below.


Toothpaste also removes scuffs. Dab a non-gel toothpaste to the stained area. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the stain until it’s gone. Then, wipe the toothpaste off with a clean damp microfiber cloth, and finish by drying the area with a clean towel.

Lemon Juice And Cream Of Tartar

This method should only be used for light upholstery; it has a slight bleaching effect on dark colours. Mix equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar into a paste. Apply it to the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes. Use a damp sponge to wipe off the paste. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton bud and dab the stain. Once you’ve removed the stain, clean the area with a solution of dish soap and warm water. Using a damp cloth, wipe the area clean. Remember to use alcohol sparingly as it can dry out leather.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an efficient cleaner for removing oil and grease stains. For stained leather seats, sprinkle baking soda over the stained area and rub it in with a clean cloth dampened with water. Leave the baking soda to sit for a few hours, or even better, overnight. The baking soda will absorb oil or grease. After the baking soda has been left to work on the seats, wipe it clean with a damp microfiber cloth to remove residue and then dry with a towel.

As soon as your leather seats are completely clean and dry, apply a leather conditioner that is made with sunscreen to keep the seats from cracking or fading. Conditioner will make the leather resistant to future stains and will add a shine to your seats. Knowing how to clean leather car seats is the key to extending their life and keeping them looking fresh and luxurious. 

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