Your leather seats say more about your car than the year it was released. It’s the hallmark of luxury that your car embodies, so it’s up to you to maintain it. Without proper conditioning, it can appear dry, crusty, and this is a look no one finds desirable. Before you pick your credit card to order expensive leather seat conditioners, go ahead and explore more affordable and natural ways to preserve your leather seats.
Naturally conditioning your car seats is a simple task that requires materials you can easily find around the house. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can condition your car seats naturally;
- Get and prepare your natural homemade conditioner
- Ensure your seats are completely dry
- Apply your conditioner to a microfiber cloth
- Gently massage conditioner into leather car seats
- Allow it to sit for about an hour
- Wipe off the remaining conditioner from the seats.
Keeping your car’s leather seats sparkling and glossy with minimal wear and tear doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. The techniques and tools involved in conditioning your car seats are as important as the natural products you will use.
All You Need to Know to Condition Your Car Seats
Conditioning your car seats can be straightforward and effective if you use the right materials and techniques. Without these, you may end up doing damage to your leather car seats. Getting great results doesn’t only involve knowing what to do, but you must also know what to avoid.
What Are the Best Natural Products For Conditioning My Car Seats?
Every good conditioner is supposed to rehydrate, nurture, and sustain the individual fibers of your leather car seats. Listed below are natural conditioners that you can easily make from everyday household products like vinegar and olive oil. This way, you get an effective car seat conditioner that is also cost-effective and sustainable.
Lemon Essential Oil
This lubricant helps prevent unwanted cracks from destroying your leather car seats over time. Apart from its preserving quality, lemon oil has the added advantage of antibacterial qualities that sanitizes your leather seats.
This homemade combination is one of the most popular natural car seat conditioners out there. It is a perfect substitute if you don’t want to use a water-based conditioner. You get this mixture by combining an equal amount of the following;
- Melted beeswax
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
You should carry out this combination in a microwave-safe container. You should then heat this mixture at a 30-second interval in the microwave. You can use a wooden stick to turn the mixture in between breaks. When the mixture is liquid, put the container down and allow it to cool and harden. Voila! Your beeswax conditioner is ready to regain the vitality of your leather car seats.
Olive Oil Mixture
Here you add one-part olive oil and linseed oil with a few drops of vinegar. The linseed oil adds radiance to your leather car seats. The vinegar helps with degreasing, which perfectly balances out the effects of the olive oil. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, the essential oils in this mixture cancels out its unpleasant odor.
The tenderness and soft nature of baby soap make it perfect for adding sheen to your leather car seats. Here you should add one teaspoon of baby soap to one cup of water, and your conditioner is ready for use. When selecting baby soap, stay clear of those containing excessive chemicals and opt for more natural components like essential oils.
What Products Should I Avoid?
Conditioning your leather car seats with the wrong products can lead to fast wear and tear. Some products contain harmful chemicals that may add to their aroma or shine but may be corrosive to your car seat leather over time. Here are a few products to keep far away from your leather car seats;
Silicone-based conditioners are usually more challenging to clean off completely after use. This main disadvantage defeats every good conditioner’s purpose, which is to leave your leather looking extra soft and shiny.
Petroleum Containing Products
Have you ever heard the saying ‘it doesn’t matter the question; Vaseline is the answer’? This statement is not the case with conditioning your leather car seats. Vaseline contains petroleum products. Although it may leave your leather car seats glossy and shiny after use, it’s long-term effects are less than desirable to specific leather types like rawhide leather.
Any wax that does not contain natural products should not come close to your leather car seats. Synthetic wax contains chemical additives that may lead to long-term damage and cracking of your car seats.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Conditioning Your Car Seats
Your leather car seat conditioning should come after cleaning has taken place. Now that you know what natural products are great for your leather car seats, you are now ready to go on to conditioning your leather car seats. Here is a list of 6 essential steps to follow when conditioning your leather car seats;
1. Choose the right conditioner (Spot testing)
Not all products go well with all types of car seat leather. Applying a conditioner all over the seat without first testing may lead to massive damage that will cost you a fortune. Therefore, you must not skip this step. Here you will;
- Take a conditioner you intend to use
- Apply to a hidden part of your car seat’s leather
- Wait until it’s fully dried
- Check for the difference between the area applied and the rest of the car seat leather
If there’s no visible difference, then your natural leather car seat conditioner has passed the test ad can finally move to the next step
1. Grab all necessary tools
Using the right tools to condition your car seats is vital in avoiding breakages. Here is a list of the essential tools you need when conditioning your leather car seats;
- A neat Microfiber clot (ideally two)
- A spray bottle or container
- Natural conditioner
When you have your three vital tools, you can proceed to condition.
2. Ensure your seats are liquid/moisture-free
Since car seat conditioning typically comes after cleaning, you must wait for the leather to be completely dry. Applying a conditioner to your leather car seats can trap moisture that will inevitably lead to premature leather damage.
3. Apply your conditioner
Apply conditioner to a fresh microfiber cloth and gently rub the product evenly to achieve a uniform and smooth consistency across the leather seat surface. Go over any lumps with the same clot to even out the conditioner application.
4. Allow your product sink into the leather
If your natural conditioner doesn’t penetrate your leather seat, then it won’t be effective. So, allow the conditioner to sit for enough time to enable proper sinking into the leather. A period of one hour is enough for your product to get into the leather’s deepest layer.
5. Gently wipe your leather seats clean
Use a different fresh and clean microfiber cloth to wipe the product off. Ensure you clean the conditioner completely from the surface of your leather car seat. If some product is left on, it doesn’t make your leather car seats any softer. Instead, it can lead to unwanted spots.
Leather Seat Conditioning Do’s And Don’ts
Here are a few essential things to take note of when conditioning your leather car seats;
- Do your spot testing on concealed parts of your leather car seat
- Do make sure to handle your leather car seats gently. Vigorously applying a product can cause the leather to break and tear over time
- Don’t use a brush or a random towel to apply the product. Stick to microfiber clot
- Don’t pour product directly on the leather car seat. Use the microfiber cloth to apply the product
- Don’t add too much product to the microfiber clot at once. Work in small quantities
- Don’t condition your seats as often as you clean them.
Frequently Asked Question
Do I need to condition leather car seats?
Absolutely! Conditioning keeps your leather seats in perfect condition for a more extended period. The soft and shiny texture gives leather seats their luxurious allure thanks to proper conditioning and regular cleaning.
How often should I condition my car seats?
You should condition your leather car seats 2 to 3 times a year. You can clean your seats monthly but condition less frequently depending on how regularly you use the car. The more often it’s used, the more frequent you should condition.
The least amount of time between conditioning intervals should be three months for vehicles that you use regularly. The effects of a natural conditioner last longer than cleaning products.
Can I condition perforated car seats?
Yes, you can, but with lesser liquid than you would a regular leather car seats. If you suspect you may have been too generous with water, don’t hesitate to use a car vacuum to speed up the drying process.
What is the best natural conditioner for leather car seats?
The olive oil mixture is our top pick of all the leather car seat conditioners listed above. It not only conditions but also cleans the seats by removing marks and smudges.
Should I use baby wipes to clean my leather car seats?
Yes, if you are looking for a quick and temporary way to remove dust. Its softness and moisture are perfect for wiping off the debris and other impurities. Although if you are dealing with stubborn stains, baby wipes will not do the trick.
Conditioning your car seats is an essential step in maintaining its leather material’s aesthetic and quality over time. With the right natural products, you will get a conditioner with a balanced pH, no harmful chemicals, and lubricants that will add sheen and repel dust and water from your leather. How neat your leather seats look and how long they last greatly rests on your cleaning and conditioning practices.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.