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How to Clean Leather Car Seats

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. 

FAQs 

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!

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

Need to clean your car seats?

Want to do it yourself to save on the cost?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to clean car seats with household supplies. Yes, most of the things you’ll need can be found in your home. 

Plus, we’re going to show you how to clean different car seat materials. And also, we’ll share some cleaning hacks from the pros. 

There’s something for everyone here.

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies
Source: canva.com

Leather seats improve the interior of any car. 

However, leather needs a special kind of care to keep it in great condition.

And it’s so important to use the right materials and cleaning method. If you don’t, then you might see your leather car seats cracking sooner rather than later. 

Here’s what you’ll need to clean leather car seats:

  • Microfiber cloth or towel (best to have 3 on hand)
  • Leather cleaner, mild leather soap, or a homemade solution using one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum

Here are the steps to cleaning your leather car seats:

  1. Secure the cleaning materials listed above. If unsure of the solutions suitable for your car seat, it’s best to ask for assistance in the hardware store.
  1. Grab your vehicle’s manual and see if there’s a list of dos and don’ts for seat cleaning.
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and in between the crevices. Use the smaller attachments and nozzles to suck in dirt from the sides of the seats.
  1. Spray your leather cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth and wipe the seats clean.
  1. If there is caked in dirt, spray the solution onto the seats directly. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping off. If your car uses perforated leather (those with holes), spray the solution on the brush instead. Scrub lightly until you no longer see grime coming off the leather.
  1. To dry, get another clean and unused microfiber towel and wipe the surface.

There! As easy as that!

How to Clean Vinyl Car Seats

If you have vinyl car seats, then you’re in luck. 

Sure, it might not be the most visually appealing, but it’s the easiest to clean and maintain. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth or towels (again, best to have 3)
  • Mild cleaning soap or a homemade solution using warm water and a cap of laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda

Here are the steps to cleaning your vinyl car seats: 

  1. Grab your cleaning supplies. For the homemade solution, we recommend transferring it to a spray bottle.
  1. Create a baking soda paste for darker stains. Mix a small amount of baking soda, a few drops of water, and half a cap of liquid detergent. Make sure it creates a thick and paste-like texture that’s not diluted.
  1. Check your vehicle’s manual for cleaning precautions. 
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and between the crevices. 
  1. Spray your cleaning solution on different sections of the car seats and immediately scrub using your soft-bristled brush.
  1. Once done, get a damp towel to wipe off the residue and grime.
  1. Still seeing stubborn stains and spots? Get your baking soda paste and apply it on top of the surface. Leave it there for 3 minutes to absorb.
  1. Gently scrub off the baking soda paste. Only brush on the stained area so that it won’t spread. 
  1. Reach for your dry and unused microfiber towel to wipe off all the solutions and dirt.

And tada! You now have clean vinyl car seats 

How to Clean Cloth Car Seats

Cloth seats are the easiest materials to get stains. 

So if your car has cloth seats, it’s best to clean them regularly. You don’t want to prolong the stain, too, as it’ll be harder to remove. 

Here’s what you’ll need for cloth car seats:

  1. 3 microfiber cloths or towels 
  2. Mild cleaning soap or upholstery solution
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Soft-bristled interior brush
  5. Oxygen-based bleach
  6. Vacuum

These are the steps to cleaning cloth car seats:

  1. Start by vacuuming the car seats. Since cloth is the most absorbent, push down the vacuum nozzle, so it captures dirt found deeper into the seat.
  1. Unlike other types of car seats, you need to pre-treat the stains you see on cloth, whether it’s ink, food, drink, or mud. Pour the upholstery solution on the stains and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  1. For stains where another bright color is transferred to your seat, it’s time to bring out the bleach, specifically an oxygen-based bleach. Bleach is generally a harsh solution, so grab an oxygen-based one from the grocery. Pour a small amount of bleach into a spray bottle and dilute with water. Spray the bleach solution onto your car seat and let it seep for an hour.
  1. When 15 minutes or the hour is up, brush the area using a soft-bristled brush or scrubber.
  1. Next up is to spray the upholstery solution on the surface of the seats. You don’t have to shower it with the solution. Just keep it damp.
  1. Start scrubbing from top to bottom until you see no more dirty water dripping from the seat. You can also scrub this off with clean water.
  1. Now that is done, you just need to wipe off the excess moisture and dirt with a microfiber cloth.
  1. Keep your doors open for the seats to air-dry.

As we said, it’s best to clean stains right away. This way, it’ll be a lot easier to remove. 

Tips to Clean Car Seats Faster

We know. Who has 2 to 3 hours to spare cleaning their car seats?

To help you cut down the time, we’re going to share these fast car seat cleaning tips from professional cleaners. 

Tip 1: Clean from Top to Bottom

The last thing you want is to keep dirt going back to the already clean areas. So in that case, vacuum and scrub from top to bottom and collect all remaining grime at the bottom of the seat.

Tip 2: Change your brush and micro-fiber towel as needed

Only you can tell how dirty these towels become while cleaning. If you see that it needs replacing or hosing with water, then go ahead! 

Don’t skimp on cleaning your towels. You don’t want dirt to accumulate on the bristles and get transferred back to your seats.

Tip 3: Invest in your upholstery and mild cleaners

Choose the most recommended solutions in the groceries or the hardware stores. This way, you don’t have to keep spraying the liquid on your car and towels as you clean. 

Remember, more sprays don’t necessarily mean better removal of dirt, stains, and grime. It’s the solution that matters most. 

Conclusion

It’s so important to keep your car seats clean. 

Thankfully, you can get the job done with a few household supplies. 

So whether you have a leather, vinyl, or cloth car seat, make sure you clean it the proper way. And don’t forget to use the right materials.

What are you waiting for?

If you see your car seat needs cleaning, get started right away! You already know how to clean car seats with household supplies. 

And, as we said, the materials you need are most likely already with you. 

Happy cleaning!