Have you ever used a detergent to wash your hands ? No ? Then why would you let someone clean your car leather with a detergent ?
Do you apply moisturiser after a bath because the soap made your skin dry ? Yes ? Then why would you leave your car leather dry after cleaning ?
Leather is made from skin after certain chemical processes. A lot of places that I have seen will use the carpet cleaning detergent on the leather seats. Since this detergent has very strong chemicals for cleaning, the leather will be cleaned, but will harm the life of leather.
More often people will just clean the leather and not apply leather conditioner which makes the matters even worse for your car seat! Leather cleaning is no rocket science and below are the 5 tips for maintaining your leather immaculately like your skin.
Remember, whenever you are trying a new product, use it on an inconspicuous area!!
- Steam cleaning: is the best way to clean your precious leather seats. It helps by opening the pores on leather so that any dirt etc will come onto the surface and can be wiped away with a micro-fibre cloth. Regular spa keeps our wives / GFs glowing, wouldn’t you like your car leather the same way ?
- Leather cleaners: are products made specially for cleaning leather, keeping in mind their sensitivity. Only spraying these and wiping will usually do the trick for most leather seats, however for more dirty seats you need to use a soft brush to agitate the dirt so that it can be easily picked up by the micro-fibre towel.
- White Vinegar: this is a DIY cleaning tip! Mix equal parts of vinegar with lukewarm water. Using a microfibre cloth, clean your seats from top to bottom. This should get most of the dirt etc out from the leather. For tougher stains, agitating with a soft brush is needed.
- Leather conditioner: should be used post cleaning without fail to provide plushness to the leather. Conditioners will create a protective layer so that it is easier to clean them next time. You can make one at home by mixing one part of Vinegar with two parts of linseed / flaxseed oil. Rub this in circular motion onto the seat and leave for a couple of hours before driving. Keep your car in shade for this time to allow the conditioner to bond with the leather.
- Nano Coating: the latest technology in protection for all surfaces is the Nano coating. These create an impermeable layer of protection on your leather that will repel water, dust, grease etc so that your leather remains in new like condition. It won’t even let super glue stick to your leather seat!! These last for upto 1 year and are the best bang for the buck products.
A clean and conditioned leather is like skin, it will not be shiny but matt finish. This is the easiest way to tell if your leather was cleaned or not.
Don’t let novice cleaners near your precious leather seats (or your car for that matter). Continuous usage of harsh chemicals on leather seats will render them lifeless and cracked, giving the overall appearance of oldness to your car interior. So my advice is to look for a detailer near you rather than a cleaner to do the job for you.