Keeping the interior of your car clean is often the difference between a looked-after vehicle and one that is well-maintained and cared for. Luckily, interior detailing and cleaning your leather car seat covers is easy and doesn't take very long. There are many different cleaners available at your local automotive parts and accessories store. The kind of cleaner you choose depends on what kind of detail you are looking for.
1 Clean your car seat covers. Before you can recondition your leather upholstery, you must clean off all the dirt and oils that have accumulated since the last clean. You may use a microfiber towel, a very soft bristled brush or a regular cloth (cotton) - the less lint the better. Some leathers are more sensitive to scrubbing than others. Do not use store bought household cleaners even if its diluted. Most household cleaners have a warning about letting it get on your hands and skin. Leather is dried cow skin, which will cause it to dryout and prematurely start to crack and tear. The manufacturer of the leather seat has put a clear coating to help the leather repel most spills, and to seal the leather dye, and prolong its life. It can strip the leather of this and of its pigment. The stitching can also be harmed, stain, dry and snap, and/or start to rip, shrink and tear through the leather. (i.e. Pine Sol or Mr. Clean can be very very bad). If like me, you are too broke to spare 5 to 10 bucks, 2 parts water to 1part vinegar, or dawn dish soap. Last chemical resort I will use, is a an all-natural household cleaner. If my son can put his hand in it without irritation or washing immediately or having to use it with gloves, then I will use it for stuborn stains. Soak the microfiber, terrycloth or cotton towel and wring it out and scrub the leather. Don't scrub the the whole seat then wipe it down, do it in parts. Headrest, scrub, then wipe it down with a clean dry towel. Then right side back, then dry. Middle back, then dry etc. etc.. The point is to clean it without soaking it to get your oils from your skin, dirt, french fry grease out, so the leather conditioner can obsorb into it. Give the washed car seat covers a last wipe down with a clean unused cloth. Make sure the car seat covers are dry before applying any upholstery conditioner. If the car seat covers are wet at all, it will be very difficult for the leather to absorb the conditioner in, and they will likely not maintain the oils it needs to remain supple for very long.
2 Choose your conditioner. There are a wide variety of conditioners available, and the price you pay for a bottle of conditioner usually corresponds to the quality of that conditioner. (Try to choose one that contains at the minimum, mink oil.) You want to replace the natural oils the cow didto keep its skin supple). No brand is necessarily better than another, but there can be a quality disparity between standard and premium conditioners. No matter which conditioner you choose, the method is the same. No peteolium, silicone)
3 Condition your car seat covers. The process is similar to applying sunscreen. Use a regular kitchen sponge and apply liberally to the entire leather upholstery. Try to make it as even as possible, and be sure to rub/massage the conditioner all the way in. Though you may use a lot of conditioner, do not leave it exposed by not rubbing it into the surface of the leather. The more you rub the conditioner in, the longer it will last and keep your leather car seat covers protected.
4 Park your car in the shade or in your garage overnight. Give the conditioner some time out of the sun so it has a chance to set in without the bombardment of UV light. The next day use a cloth to gently give the car seat covers one last buffer before you hit the road.