Leather seats lend your car a classic look. But however sturdy your leather seats may look, they need some deep cleaning. Unlike some car upholstery materials, however, leather is quite sensitive. Cleaning must remove all tough germs, but be especially gentle on the leather material. Good thing is, toughness and gentleness can be properly balanced. Here’s how to do this.
- Gather your tools. Foremost, you need to prepare all your tools for this cleaning task. You need vacuum cleaner, microfiber cloths, fine steel wool, small pail of water, leather conditioner, and leather cleaner. If you don’t have leather cleaner, you can also use a very mild bar soap.
- Vacuum the loose dirt particles. Begin the cleaning process by vacuuming the leather seats. Make sure to run the vacuum from edges to edges to remove all loose particles. If you prefer, you can also use a paint brush for this. Using a paint brush, however, will take much more time to complete, but it is as effective as, if not more effective than, using a vacuum. This is since you can have close contact with the leather and can better remove the dirt that has stuck into the leather grooves. In any case, though, you can choose to use both tools. Vacuum the leather seats first and then brush whatever dirt the vacuum has missed.
- Wipe the leather seats. Dip one microfiber into the water, and then begin to wipe the leather seats with it. You need to run your damp cloth over any buildups and stains. You don’t necessarily have to remove them at once, because you will get to it later in the next step. Your goal, though, is to at least soften the buildups and stains to make them easier to remove.
- Use your leather cleaner. Grab a new microfiber cloth. Spray onto it a generous amount of leather cleaner. Then, begin to wipe the leather seats. Concentrate on one small area first, removing any stubborn dirt and stain. Then, proceed to another section until you have completed the entire leather seat. If a stubborn dirt or stain remains, use the fine steel wool to scrub it off. The leather dye should not come off as you scrub; if it does, discontinue scrubbing. In place of leather cleaner, you can also use a mild bar soap. Mix it with water and use it in the same way you would leather cleaner.
- Wipe off the cleaner. When you are sure all dirt and stain are gone, get another microfiber cloth and use it to remove the cleaner on the leather seats. Then dry the leather seats by wiping them with another dry microfiber cloth.
- Apply leather conditioner. Your leather seats will be stripped of oil during cleaning, so you need to replace the oil by applying leather conditioner. With enough oil, your leather is protected from cracking and tear. To apply, simply put a small amount of leather conditioner directly on the seats, and with a clean microfiber cloth, spread the conditioner onto the other parts. Rub continuously to allow the conditioner to permeate the leather material. Just remember to use leather conditioner that is specifically made for your type of leather.
And now you are done! All you need to do now is to maintain your leather seats regularly. Of course, you can’t completely avoid the buildup of stain and dirt, but at least try to remove them immediately.