Leather seats are a luxury feature of any car, but they need specific care to keep them looking their best. Without proper maintenance, leather seats are subject to fading and cracking from heat and UV light. While clean and cared for leather boosts the value of your car and makes it a joy to drive, rough, damaged leather will make it look and feel older and reduce the car’s overall value.
Practicing regular interior detailing for your leather seats will increase the life of your seats, and the value of your car. There are two necessary components to interior detailing of leather upholstery: deep cleaning and conditioning the leather.
Step 1: Vacuum
Start by thoroughly vacuuming all of the dirt and debris from the interior of the car. No matter how careful you are about what comes into your car, you’ll always end up with dirt and dust particles that get brought in on people’s clothing. Without vacuuming your interior first, these small dirt particles can get rubbed around and scratch your leather.
Step 2: Use Leather Cleaner
Spray a quality leather cleaner on the surface of the upholstery and use a soft-bristled brush to thoroughly clean the seats. Make sure to pay special attention to the places where skin or hair touch the seats and transfer oils to the leather. No one wants shiny oily patches on their seats.
Step 3: Wipe Everything Dry
Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe away any excess moisture. Since leather absorbs moisture, your upholstery may still feel damp for a while after cleaning. For best results, allow one to twenty-four hours for the seats to dry completely, depending on the amount of humidity in the air.
Conditioning your Leather Seats
Conditioning the leather of your upholstery is a must for interior detailing since it protects the newly cleaned leather from damage. Make sure your seats are dry before beginning the conditioning process. If you live in a humid local, you may want to wait a day after deep cleaning to apply leather conditioner.
Step 1: Apply Leather Conditioner
Liberally and thoroughly apply a quality leather conditioner to your seats. Make sure the coverage is even, without bare patches or pools of leather conditioner trapped in the creases of your seats.
For best results, let the leather conditioner soak into the upholstery for four to six hours. This will make your upholstery soft and supple, which prevents cracking and dry rot. A quality leather conditioner for interior detailing will also provide a layer of UV protection to keep the color of your seats from fading in the hot sunlight.
Step 2: Wipe off Excess Moisture
After allowing time for the conditioner to soak into the seats, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth and wipe off any excess moisture from the leather conditioner. Your seas will now be clean and protected from future damage.
The first time you get into your car after interior detailing will feel like the first time you ever drove it off the lot!
If you follow these easy steps, your leather interior will look good as new and be preserved for longer.