How to rejuvenate leather seats

Written by kaye morris
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Over time leather seats can grow dirty, cracked and hard. Car seats are also exposed to harsh temperatures and sunlight, both of which contribute to the deterioration of the leather. Replacing or recovering the seats is always an option, but not the cheapest route, and if you're restoring a classic automobile, you want to keep everything as original as possible. Rejuvenating leather seats is often possible with some time and high quality commercial cleaners and conditioners.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Leather cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • Suede brush (if applicable)

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the seats to remove dirt, debris, pennies and the occasional stray candy.

  2. 2

    Dampen a sponge with warm water and wipe down the seats. Do not saturate the leather. If the leather is suede, skip this step.

  3. 3

    Apply leather cleaner suitable for the type of leather your seats are constructed from to a soft cloth. Wipe the seats with the leather cleaner. Be careful when cleaning in the seams that you do not leave any cleaner stuck in the cracks. If you have perforated seats, apply a very light layer of cleaner to your rag and make sure you do not leave cleaner stuck in any of the perforations. Use a cotton swab to remove cleaner stuck in the perforations.

  4. 4

    Buff the leather with a microfiber cloth to dry the leather and to remove any residue from the cleaner.

  5. 5

    Apply leather conditioner suitable for your seats to a soft cloth and rub the conditioner on the seats. Buff the seats with a microfiber cloth and clean cracks and perforations the same as you did with the leather cleaner. Brush suede seats with a suede brush to lift the nap of the fabric.

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