How To Clean Leather Car Seats Naturally

You are a lucky person if you can enjoy luxury leather car seats. You do not want any dirt, stains, or damage appearing on your car seats. At the same time, having a local detailing shop to take care of your leather car seats might cost a pretty much. You can completely do it yourself. And, you must be aware of which products to use because some products are claimed to contain chemicals.

Let’s go on with this blog to find some DIY methods to clean your car seats naturally. These methods will clean and condition your car seats with minimal effort.

Products To Naturally Clean Leather Seats

Water will not harm your leather seats. Take a trip around your pantry, and you can easily find some products that would help get your car seats to shine. If you want to eliminate stubborn stains on your car seat, a local detailer will be the better choice. If all you need is to get rid of superficial debris, you can follow the following methods!

  • Olive oil – can be used to seal and moisturize leather car seats. It acts incredibly as an alternative together with other substances, such as vinegar, to form the combination to deal with more resistant stains.
  • Talcum powder – is an absorbent used for drawing all the moisture away from the leather. Let it be on a stain for a few minutes; greasy or damp spots in your leather seats will be taken away.
  • Vinegar – white vinegar is an acid with a pH of 2.4 (on average). That is why it works effectively yet gently and naturally and is a great assistant for you in cleaning stuff in your house. It also helps with leather, but you should pay more care to use it properly.
  • Cornstarch – is another oil absorbent that works best on new or still-wet stains. Although you can clean such stains easier, you still had better allow the cornstarch to rest before wiping it off.

All the practical substances to clean and tidy your leather seats are available in your magical pantry. However, these substances might not work in all cases. If the result is under your expectation, you might think of some other stronger chemicals. Remember to avoid some listed below if you do not want to ruin your car seats.

  • Silicone
  • Waxes
  • Petroleum-based agents
  • A brush with stiff bristles

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How To Naturally Clean Leather Seats

Things you need:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • A spray bottle
  • A clean cloth

How to do:

  •   Vacuum the seats – this is a must-do step, so do not skip it. You should vacuum your seats even if they look entirely clean with no visible debris. Do not worry about some smaller grains that can scratch your leather. Please make sure the working area is clean before applying anything to it.
  •   Scan for holes – you might notice some holes in the cover or your seats during your driving. However, there might be some more tears or holes. You should check your car carefully not to damage its interior while cleaning the seats as moisture might penetrate the leather.
  •   Make the solution – add vinegar and distilled water with a ratio of 3-1, respectively. This step aims to dilute the vinegar to make it less acidic. Pour some solution onto a new, clean microfiber cloth. Do not spray it directly onto the leather!
  •   Massage the solution on the seats – first rub the microfiber cloth on the upholstery and then distribute the solution into the surfaces. Do not forget to remove any excess moisture right after that not to make the leather stained.
  •   Remove the excess solution – use another microfiber cloth to absorb the moisture and solution in excess from the leather seats. 
  •   Let the seats dry – be patient as the seats need time to dry. Ensure your car is in a cool and secure place, maybe under the shade, open all the doors, and give the leather enough time to get rid of moisture.

When your leather seats are dry and clean, let’s condition the leather. There are many common threats to your leather cracking. They might be dirt, lack of moisture, body oils, and UV rays. You might find it difficult to renew your seats. The solution is to condition your upholstery on a regular basis.

How To Naturally Condition Leather Seats

You can use some different natural products to help condition at home:

  • Beeswax – Beeswax is an ideal material for people who love using natural products in car care. You will create a solution from beeswax. Prepare a mixture of cocoa butter, almond oil, and soap. Use a pan and medium heat to stir this mixture. Once the three ingredients have melted and blended, put the pan aside and wait until they cool down for about 30 minutes.
  • Baby soap – prepare some lukewarm water, and then respectively add a tablespoon of natural baby soap and a few drops of oil into the water.
  • Lemon essential oil – is considered the easiest. You need pure lemon essential oil to make miracles!
  • Diluted olive oil –– there is an ongoing debate on whether to use oil-based conditioners on leather. However, a blend made from linseed oil and vinegar can help in leather condition and cleaning.

Regardless of what natural product you use to condition your car seats, you follow a similar process:

  •   Make sure the seats are no longer wet – once your cleaning is finished, you should be patient to allow the leather to dry before moving to the next steps. If you apply a conditioner on a wet upholstery, moisture can be trapped in them. Please proceed with conditioning only when the seats are dry!
  •   Apply the conditioner to a microfiber cloth – take one of the solutions you have just created in the previous step and pour it into the cloth. Cover the served leather with the conditioner and evenly distribute the solution. Lumps can appear and settle, so you should get rid of them instantly.
  •   Allow conditioner to penetrate the leather – in this step, sit still and wait for the conditioner to lie on the surface. It takes at least one hour to ensure that the product can condition the inner layers of the seat leather.
  •   Clean the seats again– use a new, clean microfiber cloth to wipe the leather surface until you make sure all the conditioner in excess has gone. Do not skip this step if you do not want to see stains and marks on the upholstery. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Leather Seats

Keep in mind the do’s and don’ts when you clean your car seats.


  • Always do a spot-test with every product you tend to use. Hidden areas of the car are recommended to be tested. 
  • Make sure you vacuum the seats carefully before wiping them with a cloth.
  • Regular car seat cleaning is advised, but conditioning should be done only once every six months. 


  • Never use waxes, petroleum, and silicone products.
  • Avoid spraying your product directly onto the leather area. Pour a little bit of it onto the cloth.
  • Make sure not to leave the leather wet with any damp solution. Once it dries, it will form marks and stains. 
  • Never use brushes when applying the product onto the leather.
  • If you are not sure about the effectiveness of a product, seek professional help.

Tips For Cleaner Leather Seats

Below are some helpful maintenance tips to avoid damaging your car seat during DIY cleaning and conditioning.

  • Clean your seats regularly. A good schedule would be wiping your seat twice a week, cleaning them with the above methods once a month, and conditioning them every six months.
  • As soon as you are aware of a stain, get rid of it once! Moisture is a threat to your leather, and a new stain is always much easier to clean.
  • Enough ventilation is a need of your leather, especially in older cars. You had better let air flow often through your vehicle.
  • Park your car under the shade as much as possible to avoid UV rays.

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Leather Seats And Maintenance

Many car owners love leather seats because they are luxurious. However, they are more challenging to clean than other fabric seats. 

Lack of maintenance and everyday wear and tear lead to the most severe problems with your car leather. A detailer can help you fix it, but will expensive bills so that not many like this. DIY cleaning and conditioning your seats are much cheaper and also quite simple.

There are many types of leather seats on the market. Different materials require different products used to clean and maintain your car seats. Common materials are:

  • Aniline Leather – this is one of the most high-quality leather and the most superior materials for making car upholstery. Aniline leather has no protective coating, and its natural texture can be seen on the surface. Once get exposed to water, it will draw the water.
  • Semi-Aniline leather – this type of material has a protective coating that maintains its beauty. Thanks to the layer, the leather becomes more resistant to scratches than Aniline leather.
  • Full-Grain Leather – luxurious, this leather is not processed, and you can still see the marks of the hide on the surface. Its protective layer makes it more durable.
  • Corrected Grain Leather – being processed but still beautiful, this type of leather shows more uniform. With a protective coating, the marks of the hide are processed. It is on top of the most resistant types of leather.


Leather seats make your car look luxurious and elegant. However, they do need special care and maintenance. Following a regular maintenance schedule is required if you want your car seat leather always looks new and beautiful. I hope this guide can help you succeed in cleaning and conditioning your seat leather with the available ingredients in your pantry.