Monday, March 5, 2012

How to clean car leather

This is probably an odd post for a my blog, but that's okay.  You'll thank me later.  
We recently bought a new-to-us van.  Seeing as I'm now 26 weeks pregnant and our current car already had three car seats sandwiched in the back seat, we were in need of a van.  We found an '05 Odyssey that was great and what we could afford.  The only thing I wasn't in love with was that the seats were pretty dirty.  But we bought it cause it was very well maintained mechanically and the people we got it from were super nice.
So what to do about the dirty leather.  I started by doing some research.  Aside from specifically made car-care products, the suggestion that popped up over and over again on car/van forums was Woolite.  Plain old Woolite.  Huh?  Figured it was worth a try.  And it worked.  Pretty darn well, I'd say.
Here's what I used:  Woolite, I picked up a bottle at Target for $8.  Mix that with some water at a 1-10 ratio, ie. 1 C. Woolite to 10 C. water.   Old toothbrush, old baby brush, and some microfiber towels.
Vacuum out as much of the gunk in the seams as you can.  Spray some Woolite mix on the seats let it sit for a few minutes.  Then get to scrubbing with the baby brush or the toothbrush depending on what area you're cleaning.  Wipe off with a dry microfiber towel.  If more work needs to be down, repeat the process.  After I was finished I wiped the whole seat down with a wet microfiber towel.
Here are the results!! All these pictures are straight out of camera (no editing done).
Pretty good, right?!!  To do this bucket seat, it probably took between 30-45 minutes.  But they look a million times better.  Obviously not showroom floor quality, I mean the van is 7 years old, but compared to what they did look like, I am VERY pleased.
So go get yourself some Woolite and get to cleaning.

Linking to:
Make it Monday
Tip Me Tuesday
Show and Tell
Weekend Wrap up

Oh, and just because this is 2012 and people are ridiculous, I assume no responsibility if you use this method and it damages your leather for some reason.  Use your brain.  


  1. This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme aboutCar Leather Care. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I have leather couches that could use a good cleaning and I will break out the Woolite!

  3. Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

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    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  4. Thank you! Spent tons of money and hours trying to clean my leather car seats!

  5. Thank you! Spent tons of money and hours trying to clean my leather car seats!

  6. Even if this post is old, still it’s very helpful! When it comes to cleaning leather car seats, others usually hire someone to clean it for them. But through this post, I’m sure they will think otherwise. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Thanks for letting us know about car leather seat cleaning as my kids always makes those dirty with chocolate and pee. I always wash with Leather-Clean in water at home.

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  12. Very nice post. Leather furniture is not a big problem and prevention can really extend the life of leather goods.

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  13. Read your full post and found it really helpful for me because my car seat covers are fully leather so now its easy for me to clean it.

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  18. Neat and clean seats of the car can give your car a shinning and flattering look. Clean and shinning seats are very good from a hygiene point of view or increases the value of the vehicle. So I think it is very necessary to find a good cleaner to keep your car clean. Car cleaning service


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