June 16, 2024
person cleaning leather car seats

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

how to clean leather car seats

Follow these 5 easy steps and get your leather seats back to their former glory. We will take a look at the equipment needed. The products you can buy to clean and condition leather car seats and some you can make yourself. But first let’s just dive in.

  1. Apply a suitable leather cleaner to the seats.
  2. Use a detailing brush to scrub the leather until it becomes foamy.
  3. Allow the cleaning solution to cure on the seats for optimal results.
  4. Wipe off any excess cleaner with a clean cloth.
  5. Condition the leather seats using a quality leather conditioner for long-term care and suppleness.

Following these steps will make cleaning easy and simple. We are going to explore not only how to clean leather cars seats but you will learn to how to protect and make it last.

Apply a suitable leather cleaner to the seats:
Begin the leather cleaning process by selecting a suitable leather cleaner, such as Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. Ensure even application across the seats, using a spray or applying the cleaner with a cloth. This initial step is crucial for removing dirt, oils, and other contaminants that may have accumulated on the leather surfaces.

Use a detailing brush to scrub the leather until it becomes foamy:
Employ a soft detailing brush, like the Chemical Guys Detailing Brush, to gently scrub the leather in circular motions. The goal is to create a foamy lather, particularly in areas with stains or heavy soiling. The detailing brush ensures thorough coverage and helps the cleaner penetrate the leather for effective cleaning.

Allow the cleaning solution to cure on the seats for optimal results:
After applying the leather cleaner, allow it to cure on the seats for the recommended time, typically 5-10 minutes. Curing time is crucial as it allows the cleaning solution to penetrate and lift dirt and contaminants effectively. Patience during this step ensures optimal results in terms of cleanliness and restoration of the leather’s natural luster.

Wipe off any excess cleaner with a clean cloth:
Following the curing period, use a clean, lint-free cloth, like the Chemical Guys Microfiber Towel, to wipe off any excess cleaner. Thoroughly wipe the seats to remove residues and reveal a clean, refreshed surface. This step is essential to prevent any sticky or greasy feel on the leather.

Condition the leather seats using a quality leather conditioner for long-term care and suppleness:
Conclude the cleaning process by conditioning the leather seats using a high-quality conditioner, such as Meguiar’s G18616 Gold Class Leather Conditioner. Apply the conditioner evenly using a soft cloth or applicator, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Conditioning not only provides immediate nourishment but also contributes to the long-term care and suppleness of the leather.

Note: Always follow the specific instructions provided by the product manufacturer for the best results.


  • Choose a high-quality leather conditioner such as Leather Honey.
  • Clean the leather seats thoroughly before conditioning to remove any dirt or residues.
  • Apply the conditioner evenly using a soft cloth or applicator.
  • Allow the conditioner to penetrate the leather for the recommended time.
  • Wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Repeat the conditioning process periodically to maintain the leather’s suppleness.

Choose a high-quality leather conditioner:
Select a reputable leather conditioner like Leather Honey to ensure optimal nourishment and protection for your car seats. High-quality conditioners help maintain the natural beauty of the leather while preventing dryness and cracking.

Clean the leather seats thoroughly before conditioning:
Before applying the conditioner, it’s crucial to clean the leather seats thoroughly. Use a suitable leather cleaner to remove any dirt, grime, or residues. Cleaning prepares the surface, allowing the conditioner to penetrate effectively.

Apply the conditioner evenly using a soft cloth or applicator:
Use a soft cloth or applicator pad to apply the chosen leather conditioner. Ensure even coverage across the seats, focusing on any areas that may be more prone to wear or dryness. Gentle application helps in achieving a consistent and polished result.

Allow the conditioner to penetrate the leather for the recommended time:
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the recommended duration for the conditioner to penetrate the leather. Allowing sufficient time ensures that the conditioner nourishes the leather, promoting flexibility and preventing stiffness.

Wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean, dry cloth:
After the recommended penetration time, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off any excess conditioner. This step helps avoid a greasy or sticky feel on the seats while leaving behind a beautifully conditioned and lustrous leather surface.

Repeat the conditioning process periodically to maintain suppleness:
Leather car seats benefit from regular conditioning to maintain their suppleness and resist aging. Establish a periodic routine for conditioning, depending on factors like usage and exposure to environmental elements, to keep your leather seats in top-notch condition over the long term.

Tools needed

Soft Brush or Detailing Brush:

  • A soft-bristled brush or detailing brush helps agitate the cleaning solution, allowing it to penetrate the leather pores and lift dirt and grime.

Lint-Free Microfiber Cloths:

  • Microfiber cloths are gentle on leather surfaces and are effective in wiping away cleaning solutions and excess moisture without leaving lint or scratches.

Leather Cleaner:

  • Choose a high-quality leather cleaner suitable for your car seats. Brands like Chemical Guys and Meguiar’s offer reliable options.

Leather Conditioner:

  • Opt for a reputable leather conditioner, such as Leather Honey, to nourish and protect the leather after cleaning.

Applicator Pad or Soft Cloth:

  • Use an applicator pad or a soft, lint-free cloth to apply the leather conditioner evenly, ensuring thorough coverage.

Spray Bottle:

  • If your leather cleaner or conditioner comes in a concentrate, a spray bottle can help in evenly distributing the solution across the seats.

Vacuum Cleaner with Brush Attachment:

  • Vacuuming the seats with a brush attachment helps remove loose dirt and debris before applying the cleaner.

Protective Gloves:

  • Consider wearing protective gloves, especially when using cleaning solutions, to shield your hands from any potential irritation.

Optional: Soft Bristle Vacuum Attachment:

  • A soft bristle vacuum attachment can be useful for delicately removing dust and debris from leather surfaces without causing scratches.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each tool.

Leather Car Seat Cleaners

Below is a list of cleaners that are readily available either from autos store or online retails. We have give you a brief outline of each product with a link should you wish to explore some more.

  1. Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner:
    This all-in-one kit from Chemical Guys is a favorite among car enthusiasts. The cleaner effectively removes dirt and grime, while the conditioner restores the leather’s natural shine. The pH-balanced formula ensures gentle yet thorough cleaning without stripping away essential oils, leaving your car seats looking and feeling rejuvenated.
  2. Leather Honey Leather Cleaner:
    Known for their high-quality leather care products, Leather Honey’s cleaner is a top-rated choice. It’s pH-balanced and free from harsh chemicals, making it suitable for various leather types. The biodegradable formula cleans without causing any damage, and it’s particularly effective in lifting tough stains, leaving your leather seats pristine.
  3. Carfidant Ultimate Leather Cleaner:
    Carfidant’s Ultimate Leather Cleaner is a customer-favorite for its powerful yet safe cleaning abilities. It removes dirt, oil, and grime without causing any harm to your leather seats. The product also boasts a pleasant leather scent, leaving your car’s interior smelling fresh after each use.
  4. Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner:
    Meguiar’s Gold Class line is renowned for its premium products, and their leather cleaner is no exception. It effectively cleans and conditions, leaving behind a rich, luxurious finish. The spray application is convenient and ensures even coverage on your car seats.
  5. TriNova Leather Cleaner:
    TriNova’s Leather Cleaner is celebrated for its deep cleaning capabilities without causing any harm to the leather’s natural oils. It’s suitable for a variety of leather surfaces, including car seats, providing a thorough and effective clean. The product is also backed by positive customer reviews for its reliability.
  6. 303 Leather Cleaner and Conditioner:
    303’s Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is a popular choice for those seeking a one-step solution. It cleans, conditions, and protects in a single application, saving you time and effort. The product is UV-protectant, guarding your leather against sun damage and premature aging.
  7. Adam’s Polishes Leather & Interior Cleaner:
    Adam’s Polishes is well-regarded in the car care industry, and their Leather & Interior Cleaner lives up to the brand’s reputation. It’s safe for various surfaces, effectively removing contaminants without causing harm. The cleaner is also infused with a subtle leather scent, enhancing the overall cleaning experience.
  8. Pinnacle Leather Cleaner and Conditioner:
    Pinnacle’s Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is a premium choice for those who appreciate luxury. The pH-balanced formula gently cleans and conditions, restoring the leather’s natural softness and sheen. It’s particularly effective in maintaining the integrity of high-end leather interiors.
  9. Armor All Leather Care Gel:
    Armor All is a well-known brand in the car care industry, and their Leather Care Gel is a reliable and affordable option. The gel formula is easy to apply and effectively cleans and conditions leather surfaces. It’s suitable for regular use to keep your car seats looking their best.
  10. Griot’s Garage Leather Care:
    Griot’s Garage offers a comprehensive Leather Care system, including a cleaner and conditioner. The pH-balanced formula ensures gentle yet effective cleaning, and the conditioner provides long-lasting nourishment. Griot’s Garage products are favored by car enthusiasts for their quality and reliability.

When choosing a leather cleaner, consider factors such as your leather type, any specific concerns (stains, aging, etc.), and your preferred application method for the best results.

Natural And Homemade Leather Seat Cleaners

Here is a list of natural and homemade cleaners. If you are looking hot to cleaner leather car seats on a budget then this maybe for you.

Coconut Oil:

An excellent natural conditioner, coconut oil moisturizes and revitalizes leather. Apply a small amount and buff gently for a soft, conditioned finish.

Beeswax Leather Condition:

Beeswax provides a protective layer, preventing moisture loss and enhancing the leather’s natural shine. Apply sparingly and buff for a glossy appearance.

Flaxseed Oil:

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil nourishes leather and helps maintain its flexibility. Apply and allow it to soak in for deep conditioning.

Vinegar Solution:

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a natural cleaning solution. Dab a cloth in the mixture and gently clean the leather surface to remove dirt and stains.

Baking Soda Paste:

Form a paste with baking soda and water, and gently scrub stained areas. Baking soda is effective in lifting stains without being harsh on the leather.

Rubbing Alcohol:

Dilute rubbing alcohol with water and use a soft cloth to clean tough stains. Ensure gentle application to avoid drying out the leather.

Note: When using natural or home conditioning products, always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your specific leather type. Additionally, moderation is key – avoid excessive use of these products to prevent residue buildup.

Conclusion – How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Mastering the art of cleaning and conditioning leather car seats is essential for maintaining the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your vehicle’s interior. Proper maintenance not only enhances the comfort and appearance of the seats but also protects them from wear and tear.

Through understanding the importance of regular maintenance, exploring effective cleaning techniques, choosing suitable cleaning products, and nourishing the leather with quality conditioners, you can ensure that your leather car seats remain in pristine condition for years to come. By following the step-by-step guides provided in this article, you can confidently undertake the task of cleaning and conditioning your leather car seats.

Remember to start by applying a suitable cleaning solution using gentle brushing techniques to create a rich foam that effectively removes dirt and grime. Afterward, wiping off any excess solution ensures a thorough clean while allowing ample time for curing prevents any damage to the leather.

When it comes to conditioning your leather car seats, choosing high-quality store-bought conditioners such as Obenauf’s or Meguiar’s can provide optimal nourishment and protection. Alternatively, DIY solutions like coconut oil or beeswax offer natural options with excellent moisturizing properties.

Ultimately, finding a balance between regular maintenance routines and using appropriate products tailored to your specific needs will help you preserve the beauty of your leather car seats for years to come. In embracing these practices as part of your automotive care routine, you can take pride in maintaining clean leather car seats that radiate elegance and sophistication—a testament to both your discerning taste and commitment to preserving cherished possessions.

With regular attention given to cleaning away dirt while nourishing with quality conditioners, you are giving new life to worn-out seats or protecting new ones from premature aging. So go ahead; pamper your leather car seats with care and enjoy luxurious comfort every time you slip behind the wheel—the ultimate indulgence for any discerning vehicle owner.

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