How To Clean Leather Car Seats With Cheap Household Products

There is no disputing the fact that leather seats in cars are simply marvellous; they look great, are comfortable and age well with time. But the seats – and leather in general – have a major flaw: it’s not very easy to clean. It either requires an expensive leather cleaner or, in extreme cases, one might have to redo the upholstery. If like me, you are a car enthusiast and like to keep not only your car exterior but also the interior in top notch condition then you need to find a way to clean leather seats without damaging them and without spending a lot of cash.

How to clean leather seats with household products was the question on my mind when I, somehow, got a nasty looking stain on one of my car seats. To this day, the origins of that stain are unclear. It was an eyesore and marred the look of the interior. It was a great deal for me because, as mentioned above, I am a car enthusiast. Not only that, my car is like my own personal space on wheels. It is where I am most relaxed. Going on a long drive after a busy day is how I like to clear to mind and relax. So, I just had to find a way to get rid of the stain. And find a way I did.

These are the things you will need:

On my quest to find an easy an inexpensive way to remove the aforementioned stain (and the stains that were bound to come) I found that there is not much that is needed. In fact, you could look in your kitchen and find the things that are needed. Here’s the list of what you are going to need:

  • Olive Oil
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon drops

See, how simple it is? You will find all these items in your house. If you don’t want to use lemon drops or can’t find them for some reason, you can also use eucalyptus essential oil. As long as you have olive oil and white vinegar, you are all set.

What you need to do:

Step 1: Before you begin

Before you start mixing olive oil and vinegar together and start spreading it on the leather of the seat, you need to do some preparation. Start by vacuuming off the entire seat or at least the affected area. This will ensure that there is no other material that can react with the mixture and cause even more damage to the seat. It might even reduce the stain to some extent.

Once you have vacuumed the seat wipe it with a clean, dry piece of cloth. This is intended to have the same effect as vacuuming the seat. The goal is to make the seat as clean as possible before you use the mixture.

Step 2: Preparing the mixture:

You now need to prepare the mixture comprising of olive oil and white vinegar. The ratio of olive oil to white vinegar is 1:2 i.e. for every cup of olive oil, you will need 2 cups of vinegar. Before you empty the vinegar bottle into a container and add another bottle of olive oil to it, there is something you need to consider: the exact quantity of the mixture that you are going to need depends on the size of the stain. So you should start small with something like ¼ cups of olive oil and half a cup of white vinegar. Chances are that this quantity will more than enough but you can always make more if need be.

One of the best things about this mixture is that it can also be used to thoroughly clean the leather that has seen the typical wear and tear over time. So you can mix a large quantity of vinegar and olive oil and once you are done removing the stain, you can actually clean the entire upholstery of the car with it.

All you have to do is to mix the two ingredients in a jar or a bottle and shake well. About 5 minutes of shaking will do the trick and you should have your own homemade leather cleaner and conditioner that actually works.

If you want your car to smell fresh then you should add at least 10 drops of lemon oil to the mixture. You can also use essential eucalyptus oil to the same effect. You should definitely add either of these two things as they make the car smell really nice.

Step 3: Cleaning the seat:

The next step is to wipe the stain with the mixture which you have made in the above step. Take a clean piece of cloth and dampen it with the mixture. Carefully wipe the stain with it.

Before you start with the stain, you should test the mixture on a small portion of the leather seat. Make sure that it’s unnoticeable. Why do you need to do this? If the mixture has any adverse effect on the leather like causing discoloration then you need to know that. Once you have checked it, you are good to go.

Apply firm pressure while cleaning the stain. Once the stain is gone, use another clean cloth to remove the excess mixture. Your car seat should not be stain free.

Step 4: Clean all the seats:

This humble mixture also has the ability to remove the dust that sticks to the seats with everyday use. So it’s a good idea to clean all the seats with it. That will make your car look good as new within no time. In addition, it will also recondition the leather on your seats which will prolong the life of the leather and by extension the seats.

You should use this mixture every four weeks or so to keep your car interior in top shape. Alternating between lemon drops and eucalyptus can give a great smell to your car’s interior.

Although this is a great way to clean the car seats in no time, you should keep in mind that it will not work for all stains. Some stains (like ink from a ball point pen) require rubbing alcohol while others (like mould and mildew) require a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. So, while it will work in most cases, it might not always work.

So, there it is. My secret of keeping the leather seats of my car clean and keeping the interior smelling fresh. Is there anything that you would do differently? Or is there something that I have missed? Do you have a better way of cleaning a stain with little to no hassle? Then share it with me and our readers in the comments below.

If you are unclear about something then don’t hesitate to ask. I am sure we will be able to help you with it. If you liked the method detailed here and if it worked for you then be sure to share it with your friends and family so that they can have a car with as nice an interior as yours.

  • September 29, 2016
  • TIPS
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