How to clean white leather seats

Updated February 21, 2017

Different from earthy, rustic and natural-toned leather, white leather gives a sense of exotic luxury. Unfortunately the colour white makes dirt and grime all the more evident, making it essential to routinely clean white leather. Cleaning your car's seats every three to four months will ensure that the white leather stays bright and healthy.

Use an automotive or shop vacuum to thoroughly remove all loose detritus from the car seats.

Remove any darker stains, such as from coffee or ink, with WD-40. Spray WD-40 on the stains and allow the WD-40 to saturate the stain for four or five seconds. Wipe away the WD-40 with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat this process if any stains remain.

Spray the seats with an even misting of high-quality, spray-on leather cleaner. Do not use a cleaner that is silicone-based as these can damage the white leather's finish. Do not use a cleaner that has oils or waxes as this can leave a residue that attracts dirt. Wipe the seats down with a clean, dry cloth. Work in circular motions, applying light to medium pressure and fold over or replace the cloth as it becomes dirty.

Polish the leather with white leather polish. Apply a coat of leather polish to the seats with a clean cloth. Work in circular motions. Allow the polish to sit for 10 minutes. Buff the residual polish with a clean, dry cloth. Polish will brighten and provide further nourishment to the leather.


Occasionally vacuum and wipe down your seats with a slightly dampened cloth between more thorough cleanings to pick up loose dirt and grime.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • WD-40
  • Clean cloths
  • Leather cleaner
  • White leather polish
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.