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Do's and Don'ts of Leather Seat Cleaning

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

While leather seats do cost more they are always in demand for car buyers. Vehicles with leather seats often have a higher resale value because of the expensive interior. Many customers also enjoy leather seats because of the silky smooth touch, pleasant smell and level of comfort.

Here are the Do's:

  • Do spot-test any leather cleaner in a hidden area to make sure it is suitable for your seats.

  • Do vacuum thoroughly first. This ensures dirt, sand and loose grime won’t scratch or rub into your seats as you clean.

  • Do go slowly and work in small sections, to minimize any chance of discoloration.

  • Do use microfiber cloth. They are soft and won’t scratch your leather surface.

  • Do look for non-toxic and natural ingredients if you are buying a commercial cleaner or conditioner.

  • Do mix two parts vinegar with one part water if you are making your own solution.

  • Do clean regularly and condition occasionally. Clean your seats once a month and condition two to three times a year.

Here are the Don'ts:

  • Don’t spray anything directly on seats, especially perforated leather. Dampen your microfiber cloth with the solution instead.

  • Don’t use conditioners that contain petroleum or waxes as they can cause product build-up and dull your leather’s finish.

  • Don’t let the wet solution dry on the seats. Make sure you massage it in with your cloth until it has been absorbed.

  • Don’t guess if you’re not the original owner. When in doubt, ask your dealer or the original owner about the type of leather and if it has been re-dyed.

  • Don’t use hard bristles for deep cleaning. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush or a specifically-made car cleaning brush.

  • Don’t skimp when it comes to price. A high-quality, a natural cleaner will bring out the beauty of your leather.

  • Don’t soak your cloth with a cleaning solution. Too much liquid can damage the seat or, if you have perforated leather, soak through and breed mildew or mold.

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