There is nothing as sophisticated and classy looking as leather car seats. The problem with leather car seats though is it is susceptible to fading, cracking and chipping. The sun is always the top offender. Too much exposure to the UV rays of the sunand heat causes severe damage to leather car seats. It is therefore important that you know how to protect leather car seats from wear.
High end cars often have leather car seats. While leather car seats are of course classy and befitting of the interiors of luxury cars, leather car seats can be a huge problem, too especially when you are trying to sell your car.
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The pathetic state of your leather car seats can bring down your car’s resale value. Leather car seats though that look as good as new complete with the leathery feel and smell can sell fast and at a very good price.
Sun, Heat and Leather
Sun and heat negatively affect leather. Too much exposure to the sun can cause gradual fading in leather. Heat I and the air conditioning in your car can cause moisture to leak out of leather making it dry and eventually can cause warping and cracking.
All these mean that even when your car is merely parked, it suffers continuous damage from the sun and rising temperatures inside the car. While one hot day will not damage your leather car seats, continuous exposure to the sun and heat will make them quickly wear due to the breakdown of natural oils which make them look and feel supple and soft.
How to Protect Leather Car Seats
Leather car seats, as you already know by now, needs the right care so it will not quickly deteriorate. How to protect leather car seats from wear is not such a tedious task. Actually, protecting leather car seats is only a simple 6-step process which should be done quarterly or eve twice a year.
Step 1: Vacuuming
- Vacuuming leather car seats to get rid of loss dirt, debris and dust should always be the first step in cleaning and protecting the leather.
- To make sure you do not scratch the leather car seats, use the soft bristle attachment of you vacuum cleaner.
Step 2: Cleaning
- Use commercial leather cleaner or a damp cloth to clean the leather car seats.
- Never use cleaners with harsh chemicals, such as silicone oils, petroleum solvents or any glossing agents. Continuous use of cleaners with these ingredients will harm your leather car seats.
- Before using leather cleaners, do a test on a hidden part of the leather car seat to check if the leather will have any reaction to the cleaner.
- Spray the leather cleaner on the surface of the car seat.
- Use a brush with soft bristles or a micro-fiber cloth to gently scrub the leather. Concentrate on the creases and areas where hair and skin frequently get into contact with the seats.
- As you gently scrub the micro fiber cloth or soft brush on the leather car seats, you will notice more dirt and contaminants sticking to the cloth or brush.
- Continue scrubbing until all the loose dust and dirt are gone.
- Leather cleaners usually create some foam as you scrub.
- Allow the foam to remain on the leather car seat for a few minutes.
Step 3: Wiping Off
- Wipe off excess foam and moisture with a fresh and clean microfiber cloth.
- Allow the leather car seats to dry. It would take anywhere between an hour and twenty-four hours depending on the climate.
How to Protect Leather Car Seats
Step 4: Conditioning
- When the leather car seat is all clean and dry, evenly and generously apply leather conditioner. Avoid allowing the conditioner to gather in one spot so you can spread it evenly.
- Allow conditioner to remain in the car seats for about 4 to 6 hours to allow full absorption.
Make sure to use a water-based leather conditioner with ph balance. Conditioners replace lost natural oils in leather which may cause it to dry and crack. Conditioners also bring back the brand new smell of leather.
Leather conditioners keep your leather car seats moist for protection against the harsh elements in the environment to prevent fading and cracking while allowing leather to maintain its original feel and look.
Apply conditioner to leather car seats more frequently during the summer or whenever you notice that leather feels somewhat stiff.
Step 5: Wiping Off
- Wipe off excess conditioner with a new, dry and clean microfiber cloth.
- Wipe dry the leather car seats.
Step 6: Protecting
Apply a leather protection product on your leather car seats. This product will provide the leather with added protection against elements in the environment which may cause leather to fade, chip and crack.
Do this routine every 4 to 6 months and you will be assured that your leather car seats will remain looking, smelling and feeling good as new all the time.
Simple Tips to Protect Leather Car Seats
With the potential threats the sun poses on your leather car seats, you may think that you need to need to keep your car from being exposed to the sun. Of course you know that is not exactly possible. Luckily, other than periodic cleaning, conditioning and application of leather protection, there are proactive ways you can protect your leather car seats.
- When you need to park outdoors, choose a shaded area.
- Parked in a covered garaged whenever possible.
- If you have a convertible, always drive with the top on.
- Invest in good quality seat or car covers.
- Apply car window tints.
Leather car seats provide the class, sophistication and elegance to every luxury car. The costs of these leather car seats constitute a big portion of the luxury car’s total cost. To fully enjoy your investment, take good care of your car leather seats.
The natural state of leather makes it prone to cracking and fading due to excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun and heat. Regular cleaning, routine maintenance and protecting leather from the environment will keep your car leather seats look new for a long time.