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How to disinfect (and clean) leather car seats

Want to keep your car leather looking pristine? Read on for the best way to clean leather car seats.


hand wiping black leather car seat with green cloth

Leather car seats are a comfortable and luxurious addition to any vehicle, but it can be hard to keep them looking showroom perfect without regular cleaning. Fortunately, this handy guide on how to clean leather car seats provides three different methods with easy-to-follow steps to help you keep dirt at bay!

Looking to clean non-leather car upholstery? Check out this simple guide for cleaning fabric seats.

Before trying out a new cleaning product on your leather seats, first test it on a small, inconspicuous area. If you notice any adverse effects (colour fading, staining etc.), switch to an alternative product. Avoid wax, silicone, or oil-based products as these can damage leather.

Key Steps:

  • Although you can buy specialised leather cleaners, products you would normally have around the home, such as laundry detergent, or vinegar can be used to clean leather car seats. Just follow the instructions in this guide.

  • Avoid using wax, silicone, or oil-based products.

  • Use cleaning products sparingly to avoid oversaturating your seats.

  • Make sure you give your car seats enough time to dry before your next journey!

When cleaning car leather and leather seats in a hurry, try using leather wipes - you can buy these from your local auto parts store. These generally contain both cleaner and conditioner allowing you to get two jobs done at once!

Cleaning Car Leather: Using Specialist Products

When looking for the best way to clean leather car seats, using specialist products is an obvious solution. There are some very effective bespoke products on the market for cleaning car leather seats to help achieve the perfect finish of matte elegance.

Follow these steps to restore your leather car seats to their former factory-fresh glory.

  1. Vacuum.

    Use an upholstery attachment to avoid damaging the leather.

  2. Use a specialist cleaning solution.

    Apply specialist car seat cleaner as per the directions on the product.

  3. Wipe down.

    Wipe down the seats with a damp chamois leather – it’s important to use just enough water to remove all of the cleaning agents without saturating the leather.

  4. Allow drying time.

    Leave to dry naturally before hitting the road.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats with Household Products

If you don’t have specialist products or detergent to hand, or you are looking for a more natural solution when it comes to cleaning car leather seats, you can create a natural cleaning solution with water and vinegar.

  1. Fill.

    Fill a spray bottle three-quarters full with vinegar and then top-up with warm water.

  2. Spray!

    Spray seat from a distance of around 20cm.

  3. Work it.

    Lightly rub the solution into the seat with a damp chamois leather cloth.

  4. Refill!

    Refill the bottle with water, rinse the seat and leave to dry for great results.

Cleaning car seats will inevitably leave bits of dirt around the rest of your car that has fallen from the seats. Read these clever hacks for a clean car interior to keep your ride spic-and-span.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

Now that you know how to disinfect leather car seats, you'll want to keep them that way! Apply leather conditioning and moisturising treatment once every three months or so to protect the material from heat, sunlight, and drive-through spillages. And there you have it! – happy motoring!

Originally published