Car Leather Stain Removal And Cleaning Procedures
So, you keep your cars interior clean and never miss a monthly cleaning. But what about those areas you touch often?
You know those spots that start to get a little darker from the oils in your skin, like a steering wheel or an arm rest. Plus, there is grime that tracks in on your clothes. Or that pen you left in your pocket that marks a seat.
And what about the inevitable spills that leave stains? Oh, the horror! But of course, this where leather specific cleaning products, such as Leather Honey Leather Cleaner, become quite useful.
Lets explore the steps:
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 shouldnt 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.
What Are The Dos And Donts With Leather Car Seat Stains
When you spill something on leather seats or recently find one there are some proven dos and donts that you should follow. These tips can make it easier to remove leather stains in car seats and other interior products.
- Always start by blotting the stain with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Microfiber is exceptionally absorbent, which makes it the perfect material for removing wet stuff from leather car seats. Anytime you spill something on leather, start by blotting it with a microfiber towel until its relatively dry.
- Before cleaning, always vacuum the leather car seats. This will remove any abrasives or harsh materials from the leather surface, making it easier to clean and reduce scratching.
- Take it slow. Contrary to movies or TV shows where the home or car owner is frantically rubbing the spilled wine from their leather couch, removing stains from leather should be taken slowly. Work in small sections which not only allows you to focus on the stain but helps to reduce discoloration.
- Use the right products. If you have real, authentic leather seats, you want to use natural, non-toxic cleaning agents. Never use chemical cleaners on leather car seats, unless they are specifically formulated for your type of leather interior components.
How To Use Baking Soda To Remove Poop Smell From Leather Car Seat
- Take 1/2 cup of baking soda and sprinkle it directly on the leather car seat where you want to get rid of the poop smell.
- Spread the baking soda around so that it covers the leather car seat well. Leave it for about an hour or two before vacuuming up the leather car seat.
- This will help get rid of poop smell on leather car seats because baking soda is great for neutralizing smells and odors including those smells.
- Spray leather cleaner on the leather car seat where you scrubbed with baking soda. You can also use leather cleaner for this step if you have some at home.
- This is because leather cleaners are formulated to remove stains and smells from leather car seats, so itll help get rid of poop odor too.
- Apply a leather conditioner on leather car seats to protect leather from getting dried out after cleaning.
Protection Is Extremely Important
Faux Leather might just look like real leather, but has different properties. However, a few cleaning and maintenance tips can be applied to faux leather also. As leather needs a protective layer to keep it safe and sound, faux leather also requires protection. However, real weather absorbs the protective treatment, whereas faux leather keeps it on the surface.
Make sure you use a protective treatment to apply a thin layer, making the seats easier to clean in the future. Since faux leather cannot take harsh cleaners, the protective layer helps with that.
The idea is to use a mild cleanser along with the conditioner that will protect the surface. In case there are crumbs and dirt, you can always vacuum with a soft brush before moving forward.;
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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 youve 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 shouldnt be scrubbed as this can clog perforations.
Is Heat Exposure Harmful To Leather Car Seats
The answer is yes. Excessive heat and sun exposure accelerate the breakdown of your seats. The longer your leather car seats are exposed to the sun, the more discoloration, cracking, and aging they will show.
Excess heat and UV ray exposure cause the natural oils found in leather to evaporate, leaving behind dry and unappealing upholstery.
The first issue youll see is discoloration, which will appear after 4-6 months of consistent exposure. After that, a cracked, aged look will slowly appear completely destroying the nice aesthetic that made you want to buy a car with leather seats in the first place.
Fortunately, most car manufacturers are aware of this fact. The type of leather used to make car seats is usually more highly resistant and likely to hold up quite well, as long as you do your part to prevent the sun from hitting them.
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So How Do We Care For Our Leather Seats
Now that weve established that were never touching the actual leather,;we can adjust how we clean and protect our seats. We cant feed, nourish, soften, or change the leather in any way its under a protective clear coat!
Those oily conditioners are going to do nothing more than sit on top of the clear coat, causing more harm than good. Having a greasy layer on top of your seat is going to attract dirt. Dirt is abrasive. And dirt combined with the friction from you sliding in and out of your seat is EXTREMELY abrasive. THATS how damage and wear occur on our seats.
Here are the most important tips when caring for your leather seats:
Protecting Leather From The Elements
As I briefly mentioned earlier, your leather is very susceptible to heat. A hot car is the number one killer of leather seats.
Regular cleaning and conditioning can help extend the life of your leather but there are other ways you can help extend its life as well.
Getting a quality heat rejecting window tint will do wonders for your leather, especially leather that is directly visible through the windows such as headrests in the rear window.
Putting up sun shades in the front window will help as well since it will block the sun and lower the overall max temperature of the interior.
Parking in the shade helps as well. Opt for the parking garage over the curb at work.
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A Little Care Goes A Long Way
Leather is a lot like your skin. It likes to stay moisturized, it likes to stay out of excessive sunlight, and it likes to be treated gently. If leather gets to dry, it can begin to crack. UV radiation from sunlight can expedite this process, as well as fade your seats. Being gentle on them is also a no brainer. For example, if you keep your keys hanging from your belt, take them off before you slide across the seat. And just like regular washes and waxes are necessary to keep your paint job healthy, a similar process is good for your seats, too. Heres the step-by-step:
- Get your equipment: putting together a leather cleaning kit in a box or bucket may not be a bad idea. That way you can store it in the garage and always have it on hand. You kit should include:
- Microfiber rags, disposable shop cloths, or another lint-free cloth
- A soft-bristled brush
- A leather or vinyl cleaner free of petroleum solvents, silicone oils, or gloss agents
- A leather conditioner
Tips For Cleaning Leather Car Seats
- When using a new leather cleaning solution, spot test it by dabbing a little of the solution onto a hidden or out-of-sight area, such as beneath your leather seats. You can check the spot to make sure it doesn’t bleach the leather before using it on the rest of the seat.
- Work slowly and in small sections to eliminate any chance of discoloration.
- Only use microfiber cloths for scrubbing and wiping. Microfiber cloths are soft and dont scratch leather surfaces, whereas other types of fabrics can create tiny scratches in your leather seat surfaces over time.
- Prioritize soaps or cleaning solutions with non-toxic and natural ingredients. Theyre less likely to damage the leather.
- Try and clean your seats about once a month, even if there are no significant stains to take care of.
- Consider adding a leather conditioner to your cleaning routine. Leather conditioner can protect your leather seats for an extended period of time by creating a seal over the top of the leather, preventing moisture and dirt from becoming ingrained into the material. Think of it as car wax for your leather seats.
Types Of Leather Seats
As with any type of material, you need to know what youll be working on so you can use the right tools and materials. Leather, as beautiful as it may be, is highly sensitive. Use the wrong cleaner, and you might end up discoloring portions of your car leather seats. Use the wrong tool, and your leather seats might tear and crack prematurely. Both instances can lead to costly replacement.
1. Aniline Leather
2. Semi-Aniline Leather
Semi-aniline leather is mostly used for luxury cars today. Its not as soft as aniline, because aside from undergoing the dyeing process, its also coated with a thin finishing layer to make it more resistant to staining and spilling. It has a more even color than full-aniline leather. It slightly retains the marks and scars of the hide. Scratch it a bit, and youll find a mark left behind.
3. Pigmented Leather
This is the most popular leather used for car seats nowadays. It undergoes buffing to remove scars and other marks; coating to give it a uniform look; and embossing, to provide it with a leather-like appearance. Of the three, this is the most economic option. Its very durable too. If you scratch its surface, you wont see any mark left behind.
4. Faux Leather
As it name implies, this is a material thats made to look like leather. Its far cheaper than the three we mentioned above. However, faux leather doesnt have the same luxurious look and feel of its natural counterpart. Its more resistant to stains, scratches, and discoloration.
#step : Vacuum The Seats With Car Vacuum Cleaner
Vacumm the seat
You should vacuum the seats first, even before you touch water and leather cleaner. Doing so will help you remove any dirt and debris on the seats. As a precaution, make sure you use an upholstery attachment to avoid causing damage to your car leather seats.
THISWORX Car Vacuum Cleaner
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Leather Cleaning And Care Tool Kit
The 5-piece Leather Cleaning and Care Tool Kit help make cleaning leather seats and other leather accessories easy and quick to get at hard-to-reach places and remove stubborn stains. The scratch-free tools are made with natural protects to ensure a damage-free cleaning process. The kit includes one each microfiber towel, polishing cloth, microfiber sponge applicator, pig hairbrush, and horsehair brush.
What Options Are Available For Protecting Leather Surfaces
Those of us who are old-school car guys swear by leather conditioners and dressings. But what is different about these two products?
A leather conditioner is intended to maintain hydration in a leather car seat and other interior parts. The conditioner soaks into the top layer of the hyde, which helps to reduce the potential of drying, cracking, and other damage caused by UV rays and excessive heat.
A leather dressing is applied to help protect the surface against exposure to UVA and UVB. Consider a leather dressing similar with sunscreen for your skin. However, its also used to help improve the shine of the leather surface.
These are the two big dogs in leather protection. There are also specific leather cleaner products, but we covered that in a previous episode of Car Detailing 1010. They were initially created to work with traditional leather upholstery materials.
But then something happened in the automotive industry cost cutting. The manufacturers were realizing that genuine leather became cost-prohibitive. This led to the creation of leatherette and synthetic leather used to create an upgraded vehicle seat. It also saw a large addition of perforated leather seats.
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What Do They Do
They have a big range of carefully thought out benefits, which is why they took so long to develop and perfect. In summary here is what we built into them:
- Safe, but very effective cleaning properties that cannot damage the leathers PU top coat. As you can see in the half-half image below, Leather Love cleans all dirt, dust, salt, light stains and body oils off from these old and badly neglected seats with no fuss.
- pH neutral, again to save the top coat and help maintain leathers neutral pH value, so it stays like new, longer. A bonus is it won’t irritate or harm sensitive skin.
- Non toxic. It’s touching your skin, quite a lot, when applying and later sitting in the seats, so this was a big one for us.
- Biodegradable. We don’t like things that can damage the environment, especially our great countries land or ocean.
- Non greasy or slippery so it doesn’t attract dust. It can be used on steering wheels and won’t let you slide in the seats.
- Neutralises harmful bacteria and microbes. These create mildew and mould which distress the top coat and hide fibres and damage the leather if not treated.
- UV protectants to help slow up UV-B rays hurting the top coat and further minimising colour loss.
- Restores the new natural sheen. We buy leather for the beautiful, natural look it gives. Any shine just makes it look cheap and artificial. A nice, clean, natural sheen is what we needed.
- There are no solvents, alcohol, oils or silicones, for reasons all stated quite strongly above.
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner And Conditioner Care Kit
Make the cleaning and conditioning process thorough and easy with Chemical Guys HOL303 Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Care Kit. The items you need are all at hand to clean areas in the car fitted with leather, including the door panels, consoles, seats, shift knobs, and steering wheel. The kit includes nine odorless items that include two scrubbers, a brush, three lint-free cloths, and one bottle each of detailer, cleaner, and conditioner.
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Conditioner For Leather Car Seats
Leather is expensive and Leather Honey keeps it looking and feeling good even after years on the road. Our conditioner guards against sun damage, restores faded coloring, and helps preserve the quality of your leather. It also protects leather by making it water repellent.
Keep your leather car seats looking new and feeling soft with Leather Honey leather car seat conditiooner! A little goes a long way to keep your leather soft while renewing the car seat leather at the same time.
How To Repair Leather Car Seats
To complete a leather repair, youll want to follow these necessary steps: Thoroughly clean the damaged area. Examine the damage and carefully Keep reading to take a closer look at this leather repair process, so you will know precisely how to repair a hole or rip in your cars leather seats.How To Replace Car Seat Upholstery. Purchase replacement seat upholstery . Never glue leather to foam. Leather is meant to stretch; gluing can cause folds and creases.Here you may to know how to repair perforated leather car seats. Watch the video explanation about Repairing Perforated Part 1 Small Repairs in Leather v49 Online, article, story, explanation Repairing Perforated Part 1 Small Repairs in Leather v49.Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and I am using conditioner to help prevent this in the other seats but these cracks already exist.
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