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How to Clean Leather Car Seats

2020 GMC Sierra interior leather seats

If you’re looking to save money on car-cleaning services, you may be wondering how to clean leather car seats. With the right materials, it’s easier — and more affordable — than you might think. Read on for our service team‘s step-by-step guide on how to properly clean and condition your car’s leather upholstery.

Leather Seat Care: Cleaning Materials & Steps to Take

First things first, read your owner’s manual for in-depth information about cleaning your car’s seats, products/items you can use, and what you can’t use. The next step is to gather these items:

  1. Leather cleaner (saddle soap or a mild leather soap will work fine) OR 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts linseed oil solution
  2. Clean and dry microfiber towels
  3. Soft-bristled brush

Once you have what you need, you’re ready to start cleaning:

  1. First, vacuum the seats to pick up any crumbs, dust, and dirt. Use the vacuum cleaner attachments to reach in between the seats and other hard-to-reach areas.
  2. Spray some of the leather cleaner onto a clean and dry microfiber towel. Wipe the seats down with the towel to remove excess oils.
  3. Next, spray some cleaner onto the seats and scrub gently using the soft-bristled brush. If your leather seats are perforated, don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the material — spray onto the brush instead.
  4. When you’re finished scrubbing, use a clean and dry microfiber towel to wipe the leather surfaces.

Leather Seat Care: Leather Conditioning

Conditioning your car’s leather upholstery is as important as vacuuming and cleaning. Putting in this extra bit of work can prevent cracking and dryness. Taking the following steps will keep your leather feeling its best:

  1. Avoid products with petroleum distillates, waxes, and silicones. Instead, opt for a conditioner with natural ingredients only.
  2. Dab a small amount of conditioner onto a clean and dry microfiber cloth.
  3. Using circular motions, work the conditioner into the leather.
  4. After you’ve applied the conditioner, give the leather about an hour to fully absorb it. Be sure to keep the leather out of the sunlight while it’s soaking.
  5. After an hour has passed, buff the seats with a microfiber cloth.

More Tips You Should Know

When caring for your leather seats, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Keep a microfiber cloth in your glove compartment or another handy location, so you can clean your seats quickly if you spill a drink or drop crumbs on the leather.
  2. Keep your car out of direct sunlight if you’re able, as sunlight will fade and weaken the leather over time.
  3. When washing your interior windows, be cautious using ammonia-based products (like Windex) as they can damage leather seats

Learn More from Holiday Automotive!

Holiday Automotive is Wisconsin’s source for Cadillac, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC service. Whether you have questions about how to clean leather car seats, how to check motor oil, how to jumpstart your car, how to choose premium vs. regular gas, our team of experts can help you or learn more about antifreeze! Contact one of our service centers directly to speak with a team member!


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