Your leather car seats require as much care as your skin. That is, you have to clean them regularly and care for them properly. This is because leather is also very susceptible to dirt, oil, grease, as well as UV damage.
If not properly cared for, dirt and grime can accumulate. Leather may also develop rips as a result of wear and tear, as well as scratches. Besides scratches, rips, and tears, leather seats are also susceptible to heat damage. Singapore is rather hot, so you can imagine the damage the heat would cause. And as you probably know, repairing leather car seats can be very expensive. Replacement can cost you even more.
It would be best if you learned some useful leather seats maintenance tips to not only prolong the lifespan of the seats, but to also to improve the value of your car. If your car interior and exterior are in a great condition during sale, you’ll certainly fetch a tidy sum.
This article discusses some of the best leather car seats maintenance tips
Cleaning the Leather Car Seats Tips
Since leather car seats tend to get soiled often, it’s important to schedule cleaning regularly. However, cleaning leather car seats isn’t only about using an old rug, some tap water, and detergent. Leather is a very special material and therefore requires special care.
Here are some of the cleaning instructions
• Vacuum the seats and the rest of the interior to remove food crumbs and dirt particles. To blow out the dirt from in between the seats, you can also use an air compressor.
• Wipe the surface dirt:
After vacuuming and blowing out dust, some dirt particles will still be left lying on the seats. Wipe the seats with a damp cotton towel. This will only remove the surface dirt and grime.
• Apply Leather Cleaner on seats:
Wiping the seats isn’t enough. You need to use a leather cleaner to remove accumulated dirt more effectively and give the seats a fresh look. Also, leather cleaners help remove stubborn stains. In this case, you need to use cleaners that are only designed for cleaning leather seats. You can either use dedicated leather cleaners, natural balms or saddle soap. All these products work effectively to remove accumulated dirt. Now, spray or apply your choice of leather cleaner and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the material. Using a rough-bristled brush can damage the leather. Note that if the seats have some perforated areas, do not spray the cleaner on these areas directly. Instead, spray the soft-bristled brush and use it to scrub the seats. Also, take care not to saturate the seats with the cleaning product or water. It might take longer for them to dry, which might be inconveniencing.
• Removing Stubborn Stains:
If there are any tough stains on the leather seats, use an aerosol hairspray and gently wipe it off with a dry, clean cloth. An aerosol hairspray will not damage the leather and is very effective in removing stubborn stains.
• Wipe the seats clean:
Now that the seats are clean, wipe them to remove the cleaning solution. In this case, use a clean and dry microfiber towel. You’ll notice dirt, grime, and oil on the towel after wiping
Condition the Leather Car Seats
A leather conditioner nourishes leather car seats and prevents them from drying and cracking.
• Choose a water-based, PH neutral conditioner. Look for the best quality brand, especially one that does not contain silicone, waxes, and petroleum distillates.
• Using a microfiber cloth or sponge, apply a small amount of conditioner to the surface of the leather, massage gently, and give it time to penetrate. After some time, polish the seats to give them a shiny look.
Protecting the Leather Car Seats
As stated earlier, leather is more prone to damage by heat as well as the UV rays of the sun. Therefore, you need to apply sunscreen right after cleaning and on a regular basis. Then, after applying the conditioner, pack the car under a shade or inside the garage. This will give the conditioner a chance to set in without the bombardment of heat or UV rays
As stated earlier, leather seats need proper care, just like your skin. After cleaning and conditioning, you need to apply a moisturizer. The role of the conditioner is to hydrate the leather. Hydrating will prevent drying and cracking as well as protecting the leather from UV damage.
• Use a designated leather moisturizer and apply a small amount onto a soft microfiber cloth.
• Apply on the seats in a circular motion, one section at a time to allow for maximum penetration. Allow the moisturizer to sit in hours before using the car. Also, park the car under a shade as exposure to heat and UV rays will interfere with the absorption.
Applying a Protectant
After the moisturizer has set in, now apply a protectant by spraying it on the seats and then rubbing lightly with a soft, clean cloth. Allow the protectant to set in for a few more hours.
Repairing Leather Car Seats
Proper care and maintenance of leather car seats will prolong its life. However, as much as you try to care and maintain the leather, there is still a chance that some damages might occur, calling for repairs. For example, your cat or dog may put a number of scratches on the leather seats. Your kids might poke holes into the leather or the studs on your jeans may put some tiny holes. If not repaired immediately, these damages might become bigger and bigger. And repairing them might cost you hundreds of dollars.
Therefore, repairing the damages soon is highly advisable. In this case, you can either do it yourself or call a professional to do it for you. To repair perforated areas, follow these steps.
• Clean the seats thoroughly using a soft-bristled brush and a leather cleaner
• Sand the areas to be repaired- use a 220-grot sand paper
• After sanding, apply paste and fill the damaged areas
• Finally, colour the repaired areas using an exact match of the seats original colour.
For cuts, you can call in a professional to stitch them up for you especially if they are many and extensive.
Even though leather is quite a strong and durable material, it does require special care to keep it in shape and to extend its life. Otherwise, nothing looks as bad as dirty, worn, and torn leather. Giving it proper care and maintenance will surely improve its look, prolong its life, and add great value to your car.