7 Effective Ways on How to Clean Dirty Leather Car Seats

When was the last time you cleaned your leather car seats? Mmm….that long? I know leather is pricey and you might feel that you only need to visit the car wash to have your car interior taken care of. But wait, that should not be the case except if you are one of those people who don’t know how to clean dirty leather car seats. If you are one of them, then don’t worry too much since there are effective ways to do it.

Just like most people, you might have second thoughts about cleaning your dirty leather seats due to fear of making it worse. However, it’s quite easy to get rid of the dirt as well as any stain on the leather car seats. With the different cleaning leather products on the market, all you need is to set aside one afternoon, put on your work clothes and get ready for the ultimate car seat transformation.

How to Clean Dirty Leather Car seats Step by Step Guides

how to condition leather car seats

What you need:

  • Vacuum
  • Leather cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Brush
  • Leather conditioner

1. Read Your Car Manual 

The first step to take before you learn how to clean dirty leather seats is to read the car manual.  This is to ensure you know which products to use when cleaning the leather seats.  If you happen to have misplaced the manual, then you can check the internet for information depending on the type of leather seats in your car.

2. Check If the Seats Have Any Perforated Areas

After reading the manual, you should check if the seats have any perforated areas to avoid getting water, cleanser or conditioner into the holes. Note that, it’s important you check for any tears too to prevent getting any liquid inside which might damage the inner foam.

3. Vacuum the Seats

For an efficient job of cleaning any dirt and debris, use a vacuum hose with a soft brush. Remember to pay extra attention to the seams as this is where most dirt usually gathers. If you want to reach the dirt between the seats, then use an air compressor. Keep in mind; you should take care when vacuuming so you don’t scratch the leather.

4. Remove the Surface Dirt

Another step to take when cleaning leather seats is removing the surface dirt by using spray leather cleaner.  This is one of the best products to clean leather car seats since you only need to spray the cleaner on a microfiber towel and wipe the seats to remove dirt or dust. Note that, if you don’t have any leather cleaner, you can use one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil. After mixing it, dip your towel into the solution then wipe the seats. Additionally, if you have been eager to learn how to deep clean leather car seats, this is how you do it:

  • You can start by spraying the leather cleaner onto the car seats
  • Use a brush to gently scrub the leather seats. Note that; just don’t forget if your car has perforated leather seats, it’s not wise to spray the leather cleaner directly on them.
  • Therefore, simply spray the leather cleaner on the brush and keenly scrub the leather seats. Afterward, wipe the seats with a dry microfiber towel.

5. Condition the Leather Seats

After you are done removing the surface dirt, dust, or debris, it’s time to condition the leather car seats. For the perfect leather conditioner, make sure you buy the best conditioner which mostly doesn’t contain silicone, wax, or petroleum. This is to ensure the conditioner replenishes the natural oils on the leather so it’s essential you choose one with top quality ingredients. Note that, to be assured the conditioner does not cause any discoloration, first test it by applying a little on an inconspicuous area.

If the seat does not discolor or get damaged in any way, then you can use the leather conditioner by using a sponge. All that is required is to put the conditioner into the sponge and gently rub the leather seats. Just don’t apply too much of it to prevent the seats from becoming greasy or slick. Nonetheless, if it happens, just use a dry microfiber towel to remove the excess conditioner of the seats.

6. Leave the car in the Garage or Shaded Place

For a chance to let the conditioner dry properly, leave the car in the garage or a shaded place for at least one hour. Sunshine can really damage leather seats and that’s why it’s crucial you don’t leave the car exposed to UV light.

7. Buff the Car Seats

Finally, once the seats have dried off, it’s time to buff them up. Simply use a clean, dry microfiber towel to polish the seats. This ensures no conditioner is left on the surface of the seats.

Keep this in mind; if you don’t have leather cleaner, there are other ways you can clean dirty leather car seats. These include baking powder as well as toothpaste. So, how do you clean the car seats with these two easy-to-find products?  

  • First and foremost, spread some baking powder or toothpaste onto the stain.
  • Use a damp microfiber cloth to rub in solution (toothpaste or baking powder) to the leather seats and leave it for a few hours.
  • Once it’s dry, remove the solution using a soft cloth or just vacuum directly up.
  • Finally, use a leather conditioner that not only softens leather but also makes sure no stain is left by the toothpaste or baking powder.

How to Clean Grease off Leather car seats

It’s possible your leather car seats can also have pretty stubborn grease on them. Therefore, here are some simple steps to take care of the grease.

a) Talcum Powder

  • Remove the visible grease from the leather seats with a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • Cover the greasy spot with talcum powder and leave it overnight to allow it to pull the grease or any other excess oil from the leather.  Note that, if you don’t have talcum powder, you can use corn starch instead.
  • In the morning remove the talcum powder or corn starch from the leather seats with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Next, wet a clean cloth then wring out the excess water. Afterward, gently apply a small dab on a leather cleaning soap which is the best product to clean leather car seats onto the wet cloth.
  • Rub the cloth over the spot by starting from the outside edges of the stain towards its center.
  • Continue cleaning until the grease stain is fully gone. Take a clean rag and wipe off the excess leather cleaner.

b) Degreasing Detergent

Another way to remove grease stains is by using degreaser detergent. Here are the ways to achieve this:

  • Start by pouring ¼ to ½ of degreaser detergent into a small bowl
  • Take a microfiber cloth and wrap it around two of your fingers. Dip the cloth-covered fingers into the undiluted degreaser and rub it onto the leather.
  • Add distilled water to a spray bottle and spray the area covered with the degreaser. Keep in mind; you should continue spraying until the grease is gone.
  • If you are satisfied that all the grease is fully gone, blot the cleaned area with a clean dry cloth. That’s not all though, spray the distilled water over the blotted area too and finish up with cleaning that spot with a microfiber cloth until dry.

How To Clean ACTUAL Dirty Leather Car Seats YouTube Video:


As you can see, it is quite easy to clean leather car seats and the above effective ways will surely help out. All that is required of you is to have the correct equipment and also the right leather products which mostly include a leather cleaner and leather conditioner.

Remember that once your leather car seats are clean, your car will not only look great but it will also smell nice too. Therefore, if you haven’t had your leather car seats cleaned for a while, you can save some money by doing it yourself. So, tell me, are you ready to extend the life of your leather car seats?


I am an Architect Engineer by profession with great interest in web and content creation. I have used leather products for a long time, which has increased my enthusiasm, knowledge, and understanding of leather. I am here to shed light on the leather and guide you on choosing the best leather products.

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