Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Stewart

Car leather is great to sit on, presuming it is properly maintained. Since you’re reading this page, you’re already on the right track with respect to cleaning it. However, it’s important to note that it should cleaned regularly to ensure that the leather doesn’t degrade prematurely.

Breaking Out The Vacuum Cleaner

Regardless of the level of dirt on the leather, the first step is to vacuum the seats. Using the soft brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner, give the seats a thorough going over to pick up as much loose dirt and debris as possible. This gives you the best possible base for cleaning the leather itself since you won’t be grinding dirt or grit into the seats whilst applying a cleaner of your choice.

An Initial First Pass

As is the case with any car cleaning regime, it’s important to start with the least aggressive cleaning process and work upwards from that if it doesn’t work as well as expected.

With that in mind, my recommendation is to take a car leather cleaner of your choice (my favourite one’s can be found here) and apply a small amount directly to the leather. This can then be worked over with a damp, microfibre towel, lightly agitating the leather to break up the dirt and grime. After this, a second, dry microfibre cloth can be used to mop up the residue and also dry the leather.

At this point, assess how well this has worked. If it still looks shiny, or dark then it’s time for a second pass.

A More Thorough Clean May Be Needed

Presuming that you do need to carry out a more thorough clean, the next step is to re-apply the leather cleaner directly to the surface. However, you should also apply this to a soft bristle detailing brush. With a small amount of pressure, go over the leather work thoroughly, making various passes as you do. The deeper agitation using the brush should help to dislodge any grime that wasn’t removed during the initial pass.

After this, take a warm and damp microfibre cloth and give the cleaned area a wipe over using it. After this, take another dry cloth and dry off the area. This should have been enough to remove the dirt and grime that was on the leather. If there are still patches of the interior that still looks dirty, carry out the same process, with particular focus on the dirtier areas.

Add Protection The Leather

Once you’re happy with how clean the leather is, it’s important to add a layer of protection to it. This will not only help to clean the leather clean (and also nourish it), but it will make subsequent cleans much easier.

It’s also important to keep on top of the cleaning of the car. If you’ve had to carry out the cleaning process several times to get it to a level you’re happy with, you should look to clean it at much more regular intervals. This could be as often as once per month. Doing this will mean you will actually use less product overall and also cut down on the overall time of cleaning the leather.

Autoglym Leather Care Balm, 500ml - Feeds and Protects Car Leather Upholstery and Motorcycle Leather, Beige
  • Made from a mixture of soaps, natural oils and surface proofing agents, this care balm helps preserve the appearance of your car's leather seats

Last update on 2024-07-18 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.