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How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Nothing beats a clean car with sparkling leather seats, but they can get soiled very quickly. While you might be focused on washing your car's exterior, it's important to keep the leather interior as sharp as possible. Here are steps for how to clean leather car seats on your own.


What you'll need:

  • Automotive vacuum. Use a vacuum to suck up all the loose dirt off the seats before cleaning them.
  • Leather cleaner. An all-purpose cleaner or specialized leather soap should do the trick.
  • Leather conditioner. Leather conditioner gives your seats a shiny and protective coat.
  • Three microfiber cloths. Use a cloth for the cleaner, one for the conditioner and another for drying.

Step 1: Vacuum the seats.

Loose dirt or crumbs usually find their way into different crevasses on your cushion or between the backrest and cushion. Use the vacuum to suck up the dirt before applying cleaner. Most vacuums have a special upholstery attachment that can make its way into all the parts of each seat.

Vacuum car seats

Step 2: Apply leather cleaner.

Put leather cleaner on a microfiber cloth and scrub it on the seat. Read directions that come with the cleaner to see how much should be applied. These types of cleaning solutions are made with chemicals strong enough to remove dirt, grease and scrapes from the leather. Let the cleaner sit for a while to penetrate into the seat.


Apply leather cleaner


Step 3: Wipe the seat off.

After applying the leather cleaner, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe cleaner from the seat. Repeat this process on the remaining seats.

Wipe off the seat

Step 4: Apply leather conditioner.

Once the excess leather cleaner is wiped off, put leather conditioner on another microfiber cloth and apply it to each seat. The conditioner adds both a shiny finish and a protective layer to your seats.

Apply leather conditioner

Step 5: Store your car in a shaded area.

Park your car in a garage or shaded spot for a few hours so the conditioner isn't exposed to the sun. Too much sunlight can render the conditioner ineffective. Buff the seats out with the microfiber cloth one more time before taking your car out for a spin.

Store car in shaded area