How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Cleaning Leather Car Seat
Headed home to Chapel Hill in a brand new Cadillac or a vintage used model with leather seats? Learning how to clean leather car seats properly is an important part of maintaining your vehicle’s value — and enjoying its high-quality leather interior for years to come! Read below for leather seat care do’s and don’ts from our technicians at the Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint service center.

Tips for Proper Leather Seat Care

If you’re not certain about how to clean leather car seats, do not attempt to do so before double-checking which leather seat cleaners and other supplies are safe to use on your delicate upholstery. Then, follow these steps:

How to Clean Leather Car Seats Without Damaging Them:

  1. Begin by vacuuming in the seat crevices to remove dirt or debris.
  2. Next, apply a pH-neutral leather car seat cleaner to your upholstery. If your car seat leather is perforated, be careful to avoid getting it into the perforations.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently work the car leather cleaner into the seats.
  4. When the leather is clean, apply an approved leather conditioner to a clean microfiber cloth and work it into the seat leather.
  5. Allow the conditioner to dry, and then buff in with another clean microfiber cloth. This final step is a crucial part of leather seat care because the conditioner will protect your seat leather against dryness and cracking.

What Type of Leather Seat Cleaner Is Safe to Use In My Car?

For proper leather seat care, you’ll need to use products and cleaning supplies that won’t scratch or discolor the leather. Between cleanings, we suggest regularly wiping down your car seats with a damp rag. We also recommend an approved leather seat cleaner for more thorough washes, although a small amount of heavily diluted mild soap can suffice in a pinch. Just keep in mind that the following products should never be used for leather seat care.

Products to Avoid for Leather Seat Care:

  • Stiff-bristle brushes that may scratch
  • Household cleaner
  • Furniture polish
  • Dark cloths
  • Detergents

Additional Leather Seat Care Tips

  • Spills happen, so it’s a good idea to keep some basic leather seat care supplies in the vehicle in case you need to clean up your car seats on the road in Raleigh. Try stashing a small travel bottle of car leather cleaner and a pile of clean microfiber cloths in the glove box.
  • As often as you can, keep your car in a garage or in an area that is shielded from the sun.
  • If you don’t have access to shade, purchase a sunshade to prevent bleaching and cracking.
  • Before using any type of leather car seat cleaner in your vehicle, do a spot test in a non-visible area to make sure it doesn’t discolor or damage your leather interior.
  • Be thorough when vacuuming your seats before you start to cleanse them. If there’s any dirt or debris left behind, it could scratch the leather when you start working on it.
  • Try to work in small sections as you go about cleaning your leather seats, spending the same amount of time on each section. This will help prevent over-saturation of your car leather cleaner in any one area, thereby preventing darkening and discoloration of the leather.

Want to Know More About How to Clean Leather Car Seats?

For more expert tips on how to clean leather car seats, reach out to our service center at Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint! We’re happy to assist with your car-care needs, whether it’s time for your next routine maintenance appointment in Durham, or you’re looking to schedule professional detailing near Cary.


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