Cleaning Leather Car Seats

Car detailing products for leather car seats is one of the most commonly asked questions as a professional auto detailer. Due to misleading advertising and an over-abundance of bad information, most people are frozen with anxiety when it comes to what proper care and cleaning of your car leather really includes. Some require a bit more maintenance than others, but these general guidelines can help ensure a long life for any type of leather care.

Professional experience has also shown that most people want to skip the basics of proper car leather cleaning, and jump straight into leather conditioning and protecting. Many people also maintain the false opinion that they can magically transform bad leather into good leather, if they simply apply enough of the “right” car leather conditioner.

“Darren, those are dramatic results, how come I find myself constantly frustrated by any leather cleaner I have ever used?”

  • Because you are using the wrong leather cleaners.
  • Your techniques are ineffective.
  • You are operating under outdated and bad information.

Understanding the Nature of the Beast

Life rewards those that can produce results. Good intentions and wishful thinking will get you very little towards the results you seek. Unfortunately much of the information that dominate the world of car leather cleaners and conditioners is outdated at best, and completely wrong at worst!

For this reason it is important to not only start with the basic understanding of what I refer to as the nature of the beast, and the beast in this case is your dirty car leather, but to build upon that beginning foundation of information to become an educated and informed consumer and car owner.

Why Most of You are Frustrated with the Results when cleaning leather car seats

I can bet why most of you are here and it involves either one or both of the following:

  • You have car leather and it is dirty.
  • You have tried other leather cleaners and are disappointed with the results.

Occasionally I get someone here who has just purchased a new car; this could be brand new, or just a used car that is new to them, and it has leather seating or leather car upholstery.

Regardless of your exact situation, we need to lay out the specifics of frustration that you have either experienced first hand, or will soon experience if you follow the advice of mainstream opinion.

Most Dedicated Car Leather Cleaners Are, and Will Be Ineffective

Dedicated cleaners made for cleaning leather car seats as a rule will prove ineffective and frustrating on anything but the “cleanest” of dirt. (How is that for a contradiction: clean dirt?)

While I would like to lay the entire blame of this problem on the industry itself, you as a consumer have a big part of the responsibility; it may not be under this topic of cleaning leather car seats, but you are likely guilty somewhere in your past:

“As people we fail to read simple instructions and product labeling. We think we know what we are doing and immediately start doing it. Unfortunately what we start doing is based on misguided opinion and strategy.”

Because of this simple reality, along with a society that is driven by a bunch of ambulance chasing attorney’s, the industry has to formulate car leather cleaners that have been dumbed-down to the point of being completely ineffective on anything but the cleanest of dirt.

Yes, that sounds like an oxymoron, but unless you car has anything more than the slightest of dirt, virtually any “off-the-shelf” car leather cleaners will FAIL!

You Are Using Ineffective Cleaning Techniques and Tools

Once again, due to the ignorance that dominates the area of proper care and cleaning of car leather upholstery, you are likely also using cleaning methods that are overly mild and prove ineffective at cleaning leather that has actually gotten truly dirty; like the picture from the Lexus at the very beginning of this page.

That leather was filthy, yet underneath all that dirt and filth remains leather in prime condition. Unfortunately, most people would lack the skills or experience on how to remove that heavy layer of dirt to reveal the soft, excellent leather that lies below all that dirt.

“As people, we have been lead to believe that car leather is some exotic material that is ever so delicate and fragile, and unless special cleaners and cleaning methods are used, your leather will be ruined.”

Not so. And for this reason I strongly suggest once again you learn about the nature of the beast we are dealing with at my car leather care page first.

The leather car upholstery of today’s modern cars are made much different than the leather upholstery found in cars of old. The good news is that not only is the leather much more durable and resistant to daily wear and tear, but much more aggressive cleaners and cleaning methods can be used if you find your leather has become excessively dirty. Click here for any car upholstery care.