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How to Clean Leather Seats

Leather is a luxurious feature that can come at a greater expense, so try protecting it well. Surprisingly, cleaning leather seats is easy and sometimes less tasking than cleaning fabric or cloth. To make sure your seats last a lifetime, you’ll want to clean them properly and care for them on a regular basis, removing damaging dirt and oils when you can. Here’s a brief list of steps on how to clean leather seats.

Materials & Supplies Needed

  • Water
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Microfiber cloth or sponge
  • Vacuum


You can find leather cleaner at any hardware store. Try to avoid vinyl cleaners, petroleum, or any silicone-based products as these will make the seats too shiny.

If you prefer, mix your own leather cleaning solution using one part vinegar and two parts linseed oil. Using a homemade mixture is less abrasive and can help the leather last longer.

Before applying any cleaning materials, make sure to look for any holes or tears in the material. If there is any damage, make note of it and try to avoid it while cleaning. If any liquids get into the interior or the underlying foam, this can add further damage the seats.



Before you start to apply any cleaning solutions, use a vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of any large debris or any small crumbs in the seats.

After vacuuming, follow up with a damp rag and wipe away any grease, dust, or dirt that may have been left behind.

Using a cleaning solution, do a spot test on a small portion of the seat to make sure there isn’t any discoloring from the cleaning solution.


Review the manufacturer’s directions for precise instructions on cleaning.

Spray the cleaner directly on the seats. If it’s a foam solution, spray a moderate amount and let it sit for a moment to break up any stubborn dirt and grime.

For deep cleaning, use a brush to gently scrub the seats after spraying the cleaning solution.

When finished, use a dry cloth to wipe down seats without leaving behind any cleaning solution.

Try to get in the habit of cleaning at least once a month to maintain a regular schedule.


Again, do a spot test to make sure the conditioner doesn’t stain or damage the material.

Apply a bit of conditioner to the cloth or sponge and rub the solution into the seats.

Afterwards, let your car sit in a shady spot for the rest of the day or at least 12 hours. This helps the conditioner soak in without being affected by harmful UV rays.

After 12 hours, go back over the seats with a dry cloth to avoid leaving behind any conditioner and to ensure an extra shine.

Try to do this every few months to keep the leather seats from aging faster.

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