Car detailing

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

In this guide you will learn how to clean, protect and maintain the leather seats in your car.
Written by
Hilda Bahringer, Feb 24, 2024

Having leather seats is a blessing that can feel like a curse at times.

You have the height of luxury at your fingertips, but there are now stains, crumbs and you’ve forgotten what they felt like when they were new.

At Panda Hub we’re happy to clean your leather seats for you, or teach you how to clean leather seats yourself.

How To Remove Stains & Spot Clean

What you’ll need:

  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Detail Brush or Soft Scrub Pad
  • Microfiber Cloth

Depending on the staining, you can use water or all purpose cleaner for basic interior messes, from coffee to general dirt.

All purpose cleaner can be found at your local supermarket.

Always test cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous patch beforehand.

  1. Spray your all purpose cleaner a few times onto a detail brush or a soft scrub pad.
  2. Gently clean the stain in a circular motion.
  3. Wipe away the residue using a microfiber cloth.
  4. Keep repeating this process until satisfied.

How To Routinely Clean Leather Car Seats

You will need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with adjustable attachments
  • High quality leather cleaner
  • High quality leather conditioner
  • Microfiber cloth

Routine cleaning and maintenance of your leather seats will ensure that your seats are protected, hygienic and look fantastic at all times.

You should deep clean and condition your leather car seats every 3 months.

  1. Start by vacuuming the seats to remove any loose dirt or debris. Be careful to use a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the leather surface.
  2. Apply a high-quality leather cleaner onto a microfiber cloth. Gently clean the seats using a circular motion, ensuring not to soak the leather.
  3. After cleaning, use a new, clean microfiber cloth to wipe off the leather cleaner from the seats.
  4. Once the seats are clean, evenly apply the leather conditioner onto the seats, following the product instructions. This will help replenish the natural oils and keep the leather soft and flexible.
  5. Allow it to absorb and dry completely before using the seats again.

Dos & Don’ts

Prevention

You can prevent staining and damage by following these quick and easy tips.

  • Use seat covers 
  • Avoid eating or drinking in the car
  • Avoid exposing leather to prolonged sunlight.

If you have white or lighter shade leather interior, do not wear blue jeans, especially ones that are damp or wet.

These colors will stain your leather seats and will require professional attention if the staining is serious.

Here's a video on how to clean your car’s leather seats: 

Maintenance 

To accompany routine deep cleaning, you can maintain your leather seats properly in the interim.

  • Regularly wipe your leather seats down with a microfiber cloth.
  • Routinely vacuum your seats with a soft brush attachment.
  • Spot clean any new stains.

Carrying out small maintenance day-to-day will ensure that your seats remain strong & hardy, meaning you’re less likely to have problems with general wear and tear.

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Professional Advice

At Panda Hub, we want to educate and make information accessible to all, and as car detailers ourselves, we’re able to do so.

And while this guide will teach you how to deep clean your car’s leather seats, we can do more for you!

If you find yourself struggling with the initial deep clean, a stubborn stain or want to clean the entirety of your car’s interior, we’re here to help.

We take pride in connecting you with top-rated technicians who provide exceptional service, and by bypassing the middleman, we ensure affordability, convenience, and unmatched quality.

With us, you're not just getting a service; you're investing in guaranteed satisfaction backed by a trusted leader in car care. Book in with our trusted professionals today.

FAQ

Find answers to some common & specific questions that fellow car owners are asking today.

Q) What should I use to clean leather car seats?

- Use a mild, pH-neutral soap diluted in water, mild all purpose cleaner, or a leather cleaner specifically designed for car interiors. Avoid harsh chemicals or detergents.

Q) Can I use baby wipes to clean my leather car seats?

- It's best to avoid baby wipes as they may contain chemicals that can dry out or damage the leather over time. Stick to products meant for leather care.

Q) Do you know how to clean mold off leather car seats?

- When dealing with mold, it is best left to a professional as it can be a major health hazard. A deep and intensive clean will be required and household products will likely not make a dent. Contact us for more information.

Q) How do I clean pee off leather car seats?

- Wear protective rubber gloves, ensure any excess is absorbed using paper towels and disposed of properly, air out the vehicle and proceed to follow our recommendations above.

Q) Can I use a magic eraser on leather car seats?

- Magic erasers can be too abrasive for leather and might cause damage. It's safer to use a microfiber cloth or sponge with suitable leather cleaners.

Q) Is it okay to use vinegar to clean leather seats?

- Vinegar should be used cautiously. If opting for vinegar, dilute it well (one part vinegar to two parts water) and test on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Q) How do I protect my leather seats after cleaning?

- After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple, prevent cracks, and protect against wear and tear.

Q) Can I use olive oil to condition my leather seats?

- While olive oil can temporarily make leather look shiny, it is not recommended as it can oxidize and accelerate the deterioration of the leather.

Q) How do I remove bad odors from my leather car seats?

- Clean the seats thoroughly with a leather cleaner, then let them dry completely. You can also use a leather conditioner that has a mild fragrance to help neutralize odors. For persistent odors, consider using a car interior deodorizer designed for use with leather.

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