July 1

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Nothing beats sitting in a newly-polished leather car seat. It’s comfortable and sleek – and it makes you look all sorts of cool to your friends and family. 

Unfortunately, leather car seats are prone to cracking and fading without the right care and maintenance. It’s also much more susceptible to everyday wear and tear – not to mention sun damage. 

To prevent this from happening, you must clean and polish your leather seats regularly

And this is why, today, we’re going to show you how to clean leather car seats the proper way. 

Plus, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning leather seats. 

So without further ado, let’s begin!

The 4 Steps to Cleaning Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Leather Car Seats
Source: canva.com

These are the 4 steps to clean your leather car seats:

  1. Remove loose dirt and debris
  2. Apply a leather cleaner or home remedy
  3. Wipe down the seats
  4. Polish the leather car seats

Let’s go through these steps in detail.

Step #1: Remove Loose Dirt and Debris

The first thing you want to do is remove loose dirt and debris from your leather car seats. This includes food crumbs, soil, lint, dust, and any other particle.

A quick way to get this done is to use a vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, a soft brush and a handheld dustpan should do the trick. 

But why is this step important?

This is because rubbing abrasive particles into the leather finish can damage it. Dirt, crumbs, and sand are all grainy particles that can easily dig into your leather cushions — destroying the surface. 

Step #2: Apply a Leather Cleaner or Home Remedy

So you got rid of all the loose dirt. Now it’s time to clean the leather surface of, say, sweat, odor, grease, or whatnot. 

The best way to do this is to use a leather cleaner or your own home remedy. 

It’s important to use a cleaner that’s recommended by your car manufacturer. Some cleaners might have ingredients that are too harsh for your leather seats to handle. 

Once you have the right leather cleaner, apply it liberally to your car seat. If you notice any stains or hardened dirt, use a product with a higher concentration to make it easier to remove. 

You can also make a home remedy. Although keep in mind that this might not be as effective as a leather cleaner/conditioner. 

A good home remedy is 5 parts water and 1 part Castile soap or mild liquid dishwashing soap. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe your leather seats with the solution. Just remember to avoid saturating the leather as too much water is not good.  

Step #3: Wipe Down Your Leather Car Seats

After applying the cleaner (or your home remedy) to your leather car seats, gently wipe it down with a clean, dry microfiber towel. This will remove the dirt, oils, and grime that have accumulated on the chair over time. 

Make sure to use small, smooth circles when wiping your leather car seats. Large, straight strokes might cause damage to the leather finish, leaving small scratches on your seats. 

If you notice any stains or hardened dirt left behind, simply apply more leather seat cleaner to the affected area and gently scrub the dirt out with the microfiber towel. 

Once you’ve gone over all the parts of the leather car seats, take another piece of clean microfiber cloth and use that to remove any excess product.

Step #4: Polish the Leather Car Seats

The last step in the process is to polish your leather seats. Doing this will help restore its glossy, beautiful sheen. 

To polish, you can use a manufacturer-approved leather conditioner. You can also use household supplies. The best mixture is a ratio of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil. 

Leaving this on for an extra 10 to 15 minutes will protect your leather car seats from cracking and fading. 

Not only that, but this will also allow the softening and hydrating agents to penetrate the leather surface, resulting in a shinier and more sleek-looking exterior. 

And just like that, you have clean leather car seats. 


Let’s answer some of the most common questions about how to clean leather car seats. 

Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean leather car seats? 

Using rubbing alcohol or even nail polish remover to clean stains and hardened dirt from leather car seats is OK. Just be sure to control the amount of product you use during cleaning. 

To get started, use a cotton swab and dip it in some alcohol or nail polish remover solution. Wipe your leather car seats with the cotton swab gently using a circular motion. 

You can mix the alcohol with warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap for a deeper clean. Once done, wipe everything down with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Can you use baking soda to clean leather car seats?

Yes, baking soda is one of the best ways to remove stains, oils, and debris from leather seats. 

Mix baking soda with some water until it becomes a smooth paste. Dab a few drops of the paste to the stained area and wait a few moments before wiping it away with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Beware, though, as baking soda can be harsh on leather if left too long. A minute or two should be enough to get that nasty stain out. If you leave it on your car seat any longer, the seat might end up with some nasty discolored patches on your car seat. 

Can you use Windex to clean leather car seats?

No. Windex has ingredients that can be harsh on the leather. It can cause damage and discoloration.

It’s best to get an appropriate leather seat cleaner if you’re cleaning your car seats. Save that bottle of Windex for your car windows. 

Job Well Done!

So that was how to clean leather car seats. 

As you can see, the cleaning process isn’t the quickest. However, if you want to make sure that your leather car seats stay clean, polished, and brand-new, you should clean them regularly.

Not only that, but you should clean it properly, too. And with this guide, you now know how to do that. 

What are you waiting for?

Now is the time to clean your leather car seats!

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