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how to care for your leather car seats

Looking After Your Leather Car Seats

The condition of the interior of your car is just as important as the condition of what’s under your car’s bonnet. Keeping your car maintained means looking after all aspects of your vehicle, including your upholstery, carpet and leather car seats. There’s no point of having a beautiful car with luxury leather seats if you’re not prepared to look after them. In the same way that scratched paint work can lower the value of your car, shabby, poorly-maintained leather car seats can make your car less desirable too. Keeping your interior looking good is as easy as following some easy leather car seat care tips.

The first thing to do when looking at taking care of your leather car seats is to read your car’s manual, as the manufacturer will have recommendations for care. Other than using damaging chemicals on your leather car seats, you should be able to clean and care for your leather car seats without needing to follow directions.

Sweep Your Car First

Use a soft bristle dustpan and brush to sweep the entire interior of your car, including the seats. Be careful on the leather if you’re using a stiff bristle brush, as you don’t want to scratch the leather by mistake. Be gentle and take your time. Sweeping the leather car seats will dislodge dust from creases as well as get rid of any debris build up, which will make it easier to clean when you add liquid cleaner.

Use Leather Car Seat Cleaner

Using a clean microfibre cloth, use a little bit of leather car seat cleaner and gently rub the surface in circular motions. Using a microfibre cloth will pick up any dust and bits left from sweeping. If you buy a proper leather car seat cleaner there shouldn’t be any discolouration or smears left on the seat, but always test a small area in a non-visible area just to be sure. Once you know the cleaner is working, continue with the rest of your leather, buffing into the surfaces gently. This will get rid of any lingering loose debris or particles and take the first layer of dirt off the seats.

Gently Scrub The Leather

Leather can build up dirt and dust which can form into a layer that penetrates the surface of your leather car seats. This will require more than a wipe down to get rid of, and gently scrubbing is required. Scrubbing leather will need a soft bristled brush, do not attempt this with a stiff bristle brush. Spray the leather car seat cleaner onto the seats and use your soft brush to gently agitate it into the surface in small circular motions. This penetrates the layer build-up and gets rid of more stubborn dirt. Once you’ve worked the cleaner into all of your leather, use a new, clean microfibre cloth to wipe away the cleaner and dirt from the seats. Perforated leather shouldn’t be scrubbed as this can clog perforations.

Condition The Leather

After cleaning your leather car seats, you will need to condition them. Conditioning leather ensures your seats remain soft and supple and prolongs their life. It is important to get a high quality leather conditioner that doesn’t contain wax or silicone, as these can damage or discolour your leather car seats and leave a residue. It’s fine to buy conditioners to fit to a budget, but always go for the best that you can afford to make sure your seats get protected properly.

As before, start in a small area away from main visibility to test the conditioner. Conditioners shouldn’t stain, damage or leave a greasy finish, but it is always best to test before widespread use. If the conditioner is working without issue, continue to buff the leather car seats with a microfibre cloth in circular motions. Don’t use too much conditioner, there shouldn’t be an excess of conditioner on your seats and the leather shouldn’t be saturated. Use enough conditioner to penetrate the leather and let it sit for an hour, or however long the instructions say. Conditioners shouldn’t be left to sit on leather in direct sunlight as this can damage your leather car seats.

Wipe Down Your Seats

Once you’ve washed and conditioned your leather car seats, the final thing to do is to give it one last wipe down. Your leather car seats should now be pristine, shiny and soft. Leather car seats will need re-cleaning and conditioning every 3-6 months, depending on sun exposure level, how many passengers the car has regularly, how often pets are in contact with the seats, and whether children ride in the car.

For more interior maintenance tips, or if you’d like to have your leather car seats cleaned, get in touch with German Specialists Ltd. We offer a variety of services for your car, can give advice on the best leather car seat cleaning products, or book you in for a car servicing. Give us a call on 0161 476 4422 or fill out our online contact form and a member of the team will get in touch.

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