10 Ways to Clean Leather Car Seats

Leather car seats certainly look lovely in cars, but only if they are correctly maintained. If they aren’t cleaned frequently, they can quickly accumulate dirt or cracks from everyday use. Regularly cleaning and treating your seats helps keep dirt and other abrasive elements from damaging them, extending the life of the leather.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Knowing how to clean leather can help you keep your car seats looking new for longer. If you don’t know how to clean leather seats, no worries, we will show you ten ways to clean your leather car seats properly.

Let’s get started!

1. Vacuum

Before you begin cleaning, remove any dirt and debris from the seats for the best results. For that, you’ll need a high-quality vacuum cleaner or a vehicle vacuum. If the grit isn’t removed first, any dirt that sticks to the cloth might scratch the seats when you’re wiping. Take precautions to ensure that the vacuum doesn’t end up scratching your seats too.

Use the suction hose to clean hard-to-reach cracks and crevices when vacuuming your leather car seats; you can also use a pet brush to remove any debris inside the seams. Start cleaning when you’ve finished the work. Your preferences will determine your choice of cleaner.

2. Store-bought Leather Cleaner

A lot of people prefer to buy their cleaning solutions because it’s the easier option. Here are a few tips for picking one. Ensure any cleaners you buy are designed specifically for cleaning leather car seats.

Avoid multi-surface leather cleaners when choosing a car leather cleaner. They could cause your leather upholstery to dry out, making it vulnerable to harm. Also, avoid wax, silicone, and oil-based products because they are greasy.

When choosing a conditioner, look for one that is water-based and has a neutral PH.

3. Laundry Detergent

Cleaning your vehicle seats with laundry detergent is a surprisingly effective method. Dissolve it in warm water, pour the solution into a spray bottle, and spray it over the seats.

If you don’t have the proper bottle, you can dampen the seats with the detergent using a sponge. To avoid over-soaking the material, don’t add too much liquid.

After thoroughly rubbing all unclean areas, rinse off the detergent with cold water and a microfiber cloth. It is vital to squeeze out all of the extra water until all dirt and soap have been removed.

4. Vinegar

Cleaning leather with distilled white vinegar is a great solution. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar until it’s approximately three-quarters full, then top it up with warm water. Apply the mixture to the seat and scrub it clean with a brush.

Use a microfiber cloth and clean water to wipe the solution from your seat. If there are any persistent stains, continue the process until the dirt is completely removed from your seats.

Vinegar has a relatively strong smell, so try not to use it on a hot day.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleaner that removes oil stains, grease stains, and vomit smell from car seats. Sprinkle it on the dirty area and wub it with a moist towel. It will take a few hours for the soda to absorb the oil, so it’s best to let it sit for a while or preferably overnight.

After letting it sit for a while, use a gentle cloth to wipe away the powder. Clean off any residue with a moist cloth and dry with a towel. 

Once your leather car seats are clean, use a leather conditioner with sunscreen to prevent them from breaking and fading. Conditioner also gives the leather an excellent gloss and makes it resistant to future stains.

6. Non-gel Toothpaste

Apply non-gel toothpaste to the stain and softly scrub it away with a soft cloth, an old toothbrush, or a sponge until all the dirt is gone.

Working on a small region at a time is always a good idea. After cleaning away the paste residue with a soft cloth, transfer to a new location. Make sure the toothpaste you’re using doesn’t have any bleach in it.

When completed, wipe the area with a clean cloth and dry with a towel. Note that toothpaste can also remove scuffs.

7. Lemon Juice and Tartar Paste Cream

Tartar paste cream is a great way to clean your leather car seats. Mix the Tartar paste cream with an equal amount of lemon juice, then apply the solution to the stained area.

Gently wipe the solution away with a moist cloth or sponge after sitting for around half an hour.

Please note that lemon has a bleaching effect, so you should avoid this procedure if your chairs are dark.

8. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an effective leather car seat cleaner. Using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, gently wipe the spots in a repeat circular motion. Then make dish soap and warm water solution to clean the remains off the seat. The final step is to wipe the seat with a clean, damp cloth.

9. Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover has a similar effect on leather car seats as rubbing alcohol does. It’s used in the same way as rubbing alcohol.

10. Coconut Oil

Leather has a tendency to become dry and cracked over time as some of its natural oils are lost. Conditioning leather regularly increases moisture, restores its natural oils and brightness, and helps prevent cracks.

Coconut oil (or even olive oil) can be used as a light conditioner for the leather after you’ve washed it properly. Apply in little amounts over time and massage in with a dry towel. Always test on a tiny, inconspicuous area first to guarantee that it won’t harm your leather.


Regularly cleaning your leather car seats can help you enjoy them for a long time and protect them from the wear and tear that comes with regular use. If your seats already have a stain, learn how to get stains out of a car seat.

If you follow our guide and keep using the right equipment and solutions, your leather will continue to bring comfort and look great. 

Leave a Comment