How to Clean Car Upholstery Stains Yourself and What to Use

Over the last several years, leather upholstery has become a mainstream choice in automobiles, and a preferred element in households and many offices. There’s nothing like the feel of fine leather against your body, but it takes a little effort to maintain that luxurious touch.

Let’s start with the most obvious. Due to the adverse conditions leather covered automobile seats exist in-exposure to UV rays, fluctuating temperatures, food and drink spills, perspiration and other bodily excretions-special care should be taken to maintain an automobiles leather interior.

Without proper treatment, the leather-covered seats will lose their suppleness, luster, and durability.

In time, the leather upholstery will become hard and brittle, eventually cracking and tearing, a feature affecting the resale value of the automobile, especially if the car is being inspected for damage inside and outside – the car inspector will catch and see that their is significant damage to the leather seating.

We’ll go over the top leather cleans and how to properly clean your car upholstery stains yourself using the products we recommend below. Remember, the better condition your car or vehicle is in, the more cash you can get for your car when selling it, either privately or to a car dealer!

Keeping your Leather Clean

Like any leather-made product, leather upholstery needs to be cleaned periodically to lift embedded dirt, allowing the leather to breathe-personally, I like the pH balanced cleaners-but leather seats should be reconditioned more often, than say a leather jacket, due to the migration of lubricants caused by the UV rays and erratic temperatures.

Several companies, among them Summit Industries, Inc. (manufacturers of Lexol) and 3M Corporation, have been trying to formulate a sun screen protector made specifically for leather. Thus far, only a vinyl UV screen product is on the market, and don’t try applying this product to leather. It may cause a chemical breakdown of the material’s fibers

Here’s a quick list from of the Best Leather Cleaning products from Auto Essentials for your car:

  • Lexol 0925
  • Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather cleaner
  • Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner
  • Cannolly Hide Care Conditioner
  • Chamberlains Leather Milk Conditioner and Cleaner

Taking care of leather covered furniture at home or in the office should be treated in almost the same manner. As mentioned, the leather will need periodic cleaning, but choosing when to recondition the material will depend solely on the environment the furniture is arranged in. Just remember to place the leather furniture in an area that isn’t close to a source of heat or intense light. These factors affect the material in much the same way as leather seats endure when roasting in the hot sun, except with one difference. An automobile isn’t always stationary.

Whether in the vehicle or situated indoors, all types of leather upholstery require year-around protection from stains and spills. This step in leather care should be administered as soon as you acquire the product, and repeated once a month. And the best choice in protection are water and stain repellents. Offered in pump and aerosol spray only, these protectors are silicone free and are guaranteed not to darken leather. You can buy one of these from a discount auto parts store, including auto-zone, napa auto parts and advance auto parts using any of these coupons for an additional savings on any cleaning supplies you will need.

Leather Fading?

If the color of the leather upholstery begins to fade, it’s better to allow the natural characteristics of age to show. Leather polishes and leather spray dyes have a tendency to nib off-on the wrong outfit at wrong time, no less! if you still wish to upgrade the color of your leather, any qualified upholsterer should be able to offer advice on the subject of color enhancement, as well as repair damaged seams or tears.

Or, you can try utilizing a leather repair kit (, of which contain water-based repair compounds that won’t crack and an assortment of specialty finishes. These kits offer a means of enhancing colors, as well as re pairing small tears, scratches or bums. The repair kits can also be used on other types of leather-made products, and the key to their success is patience.

There are also a variety of books on leather upholstery care for the do-it-yourselfer, available at automotive part stores, some libraries, through mail order catalogues, or at any of the fine book stores. Here’s a great little video about cleaning your leather seats yourself:

Hopefully you’ve learned how to clean your cars leather upholstery yourself and have chosen the correct product on how to do it as well. We hope this has been informative for you and you’ve enjoyed it.

2 thoughts on “How to Clean Car Upholstery Stains Yourself and What to Use

  1. Wow, thanks for the great tips on cleaning your car! We had a used car inspected and it was from a different state and they (the car inspection company) found that the leather seats where cracked severely – which were not shown in the pics! Saved ourselves the headache of having them replaced and fixed, so we ended up buying a different car!

    – Jeff

    • Hey Jeff! We’re happy this article helped you with your car purchase! Many folks have said the same thing to us about cracked leather seats. Its a Must when looking to buy a new car! Good luck on your car hunting!

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