Nothing says luxury like a leather interior. Leather seats don’t come cheap, though, which is why it makes sense to take care of them every chance you get. Fabric seats may not look as good but they tend to be easier to clean without as much maintenance. But with a little TLC, you can keep your leather seats looking like new. Here are some tips:
Vacuum and Clean the Seats
Using the nozzle attachment on your vacuum, remove all dirt, debris and crumbs from the seats and in all crevices. Then, apply a cleaning solution to the seats, but never use a bleach or ammonia-based cleaner because they can cause damage. Look for a leather seat cleaner or make your own with warm water and liquid dish soap.
Go with a ratio of five parts water to one part soap. Use a cloth, dampen it with the solution and gently wipe down each seat. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe down the seat surfaces. Because excess water can stain your leather, it’s important to never saturate. Wipe with a second cloth to get off any and all moisture that’s left over. Dry thoroughly with yet another towel.
In lieu of liquid dish soap, try mixing a half cup olive oil with quarter cup of vinegar in a spray bottle, suggests DIY Network. Spray on your seat, let it be for about five minutes, then wipe.
Prevention is the key to keeping your leather seats like new. Wipe up any spills as they happen. Better yet, don’t eat or drink in your car at all!
Other DIY Tips
You don’t have to invest in expensive cleaners for your leather seats. Try these suggestions:
Dab some non-gel toothpaste on the affected area, then use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub at the stain. Wipe with a clean cloth when done, following by a good drying with a towel. Tip: toothpaste is also good on scuffs.
Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar
Reserve this treatment for light colored leather only, as it could cause slight bleaching. Create a paste with equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar, then apply to the affected area where it should sit for about a half hour. Remove with a damp sponge.
Nail Polish Remover/Rubbing Alcohol
Put some nail polish remover or even some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and dab at the stain. Follow this up with a cleaning of the area with a blend of liquid dish soap and warmwater. Wipe dry with clean cloth.
Need to remove oil or grease stains? Sprinkle this mild stuff onto the area and dab it on with aslightly damp cloth. Let sit for a couple of hours so it can fully absorb the oil. Wipe off with a soft cloth, followed by a damp cloth to get off any residue.
Whatever you use to clean your seats, follow up the treatment with aleather conditioner that has sunscreen in it. This will prevent cracking and fading from the UV rays of the sun, plus it will cause your leather to become resistant to future stains. Not to mention, it gives your leather a nice sheen!
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