Updated 10/24/2012 05:00 AM
The Car Coach: Leather Cleaning
Your car tends to get dirty fast. You eat in there, transport your pet in there, and basically live in there, so it’s no surprise that all kinds of grime - mud, food, and grease - gets stuck to the seats. Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, has some tips to keep your leather clean.
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Car leather also tends to take a hit from the sun, which dries it out, so it needs to be conditioned regularly. Cleaning and caring for leather car seats is a workout but definitely worth it. Once you decide to roll up your sleeves, make sure to use a quality product.
Leather interiors should be cleaned and conditioned at least once a year. A leather conditioner is a liquid solution that is designed to make leather last longer. Premium leather conditioners will rejuvenate and recondition old leather and soften and protect new leather.
Make sure that the product you use is non-toxic, water repellent, penetrates deep into the leather's pores, and prolongs the life of your automobile. Remember, it’s also great for the lifespan of your leather motorcycle seats and accessories.
Here are the steps:
1. Park the car in a shady area.
2. Vacuum the seats thoroughly, making sure to remove all debris from the crevices.
3. Apply leather cleaner to a dry sponge and wipe one seat with circular motions until it’s covered with cleaner.
TIP: For stubborn stains, try mixing equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar and rub the paste into the spot - just make sure to test it on an inconspicuous place first.
4. Dry the seat with a cloth.
5. When all the seats are clean and dry, apply leather conditioner to a clean cotton cloth. To protect leather from the sun, try using a conditioner that contains sunscreen.
6. Wipe down the seats with the conditioner.
7. Let the seats dry for at least an hour.
Once conditioned, your leather interior will be softer, more flexible, and protected, leaving your leather feeling and looking beautiful.
If you are interested in protecting your new leather products, or saving older damaged leather items, using a leather conditioner is crucial. But not all leather conditioners are created equal. The best formulas are capable of not only protecting leather, but also revitalizing old and damaged leather products. With the right product and a little bit of elbow grease, my seats looks better than new.
For quick clean-ups, use leather wipes, sold in auto parts stores, which contain both cleaner and conditioner.
Visit www.leatherhoney.com for more information.