How To Clean Leather Car Seats & DIY Methods To Remove 7 Types Of Stains

How To Clean Leather Car Seats: DIY Methods To Remove 7 Types Of Stains

Last Updated: May 30, 2021

Do you know your car seats can make an impression about you? 

And if your quest of how to clean leather car seats has landed you here, then read on as we unfold more.

If your car has leather seats then you have surely spent a bomb for the treat. 

Seats made of leather lend a classy touch to the car interior, if well maintained. 

But if deprived of proper care, can land you in embarrassment with stained and foul-smelling seats. 

Instead of professional car wash services, you can keep the leather seats shining and lasting with simple DIY hacks.

But before we jump on to the steps and reveal the DYI methods of cleaning leather car seats, there are certain precautions you need to take with leather or you will end up ruining your car seat.

Let’s look at what you should and should not do while cleaning.

Do’s & Don’ts of Cleaning Leather Car Seat


  • Vacuum clean the leather seats often to shrug off the dirt and debris.
  • Before opting for commercial car seat cleansers, know about your car’s leather type so that you don’t end up with a harsh solution.
  • Choose a gentle car cleanser with a conditioning effect that not only keeps the leather seats sparkling clean but also helps to restore the shine and softness.
  • You can also make your own DIY car seat cleanser with a mixture of very dependable vinegar and water but always try a patch test before overall application.
  • Foam is always a better option than liquid ones for its amazing deep cleansing properties.
  • When scrub brushing, make sure you are using a brush with soft bristles and go gentle by applying minimal pressure as needed.
  • For instant cleaning anywhere, always keep a spray cleanser in your car. They are the most affordable car care products you will find online. Spray on the leather seats and wipe off with a soft cloth in case you spill coffee or any drink while traveling.
  • Always use microfiber cloth as they are the best option to clean wipe the tiniest dirt particles off the car leather seats.


  • While cleaning leather car seats with soap and water, do not apply extra pressure to prevent accidental tearing.
  • Do not use harsh seat cleansers as their extensive application will rip off the shine and you may be deprived of a good car reselling price.
  • Avoid parking your car under direct sunlight as exposure to UV rays will harden and dry crack the leather seats.
  • Stay away from conditioners with petroleum and wax as such contents can form build-ups.
  • Don’t let the liquid stay. Wipe dry any liquid spills quickly before it dries and leaves an ugly stain on the leather seats. This is the best way to keep leather car seats clean.
  • Skip too much liquid cleaning as it can damage the leather, use foam instead for better results.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to abide by the company’s car cleansing instructions to retain its shine and texture.

We have seen the do’s and don’ts of cleaning a car seat. Now let’s look at how you can keep it clean and maintain your leather car interior.

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

How To Clean Leather Car Seats

Cleaning car leather seats require more basic knowledge than skills. 

Firstly identify the type of leather used to design your car seats to buy the ideal cleanser or leather soap from the options available online. 

If your car is brand new, read the maintenance instructions carefully. 

In case of a used car or an old car don’t hesitate to contact the dealer before trying DYI leather car seat cleaning hacks, to keep your interior in good condition.

The best way to clean leather car seats depends on the abuses it bears regularly. 

To retain the shine and texture of the leather seats, you can use a portable car vacuum cleaner to remove the dust particles than extensive liquid-based cleaning. 

However, you must ensure deep cleansing of the leather car seats once every three months for a desirable result. 

You can also make a home-based DIY leather car seat cleaner by mixing water and vinegar to wipe off the dirt and to prevent mold formation on the leather seats

In case you lack time for professional services, keep a spray-based solution and one soft bristle brush in the glove compartment for instant cleaning. 

These are the best car gears to keep your car interior sparkling clean.

Now let’s look at the steps you need to take for proper care of your leather seat.

  • Before initiating the deep cleansing, vacuum clean the entire car properly as any remaining particles can leave ugly scratches while you scrub the seats.
  • In the case of a used car take a dotting note of any holes or tearing and cover them skilfully to prevent water from damaging the inner foam.
  • Never apply any cleaning solution or car leather conditioner directly on the seats, always apply them on the cloth or brush first and then start cleaning.
  • Once you start, take your time than going mad at cleaning every seat which may not be so satisfying.
  • Spot cleaning often can save you an entire day of whole car cleaning which may otherwise end in a disaster.
  • If your stained car seats are of natural leather, avoid commercial stain remover and apply domestic products like toothpaste, baking soda, nail polish remover to see the magic.
  • Always dry wipe the dirt instantly after every scrub, to prevent it from drying and leaving ugly water stain on the car seat.
  • Never forget deep conditioning the car leather seats with a conditioner after every wash to retain their suppleness otherwise your seat can turn dry and hard.
  • Always pick conditioners that are gentle with high SPF to protect the leather seats from UV damage.
  • Be generous while pouring conditioner and spread it all over using your hands, towel, or cloth, and follow this once in a month to prevent crack formation.
  • As you clean, make sure that the seat and the cleaning clothes or brush stay wet so that they won’t leave any scratches.
  • Whether you are using a microfiber cloth or soft bristle brush for cleaning leather car seats, never apply excess pressure as it can mar the texture and suppleness of the seat.
  • To keep the texture of the leather intact, you can layer them up with car seat covers which will also protect them from direct sunlight, liquid spills, or any other abuses.
  • Once you are done cleaning park your car under a shade and grab your car vacuum cleaner one last time to remove any debris released during the cleaning.

You now know how to clean leather car seats, let’s look at some DYI methods that you can use to remove stains from your car seat.

How To Get Stains Out Of Leather Car Seats – DIY Method To Remove 7 Types Of Stains

How To Get Stains Out Of Leather Car Seats - DIY Method

We know that there are some stubborn coffee stains, grease stains, blood stains, or maybe crayon stains on your car seat that has been bugging your mind for a long time, and even after trying various tips and tricks, you have been unable to completely remove it from your leather seat.

It is embarrassing to invite someone to travel with you or maybe offer a ride because your seat is stained and it does raise a question of your cleanliness in the mind of your companion. 

You might have noticed people hesitating to accompany you in your car because your leather seat is all stained. 

It is obvious that no one wants to sit in a car that is stained and looks dirty. It not only affects your car’s interior but also the overall atmosphere of your car.

If you relate to the above situation and awkwardness, we have some awesome DYI methods that will help you remove 7 types of stains from your leather car seat and keep it clean.

Let’s get started.

Clean Coffee Stains From Leather Car Seats

Clean Coffee Stains From Leather Car Seats

Are you guilty of staining your car with spilled coffee?

Well, we understand how hard it stings when your brewed cup spills all over the seat, sometimes even the carpet, and leaves a mocking stain on them. 

But now, getting rid of those stains is just as easy as spilling coffee (but don’t do it deliberately). 

Here are the easy steps to clean your leather seats:

  • If it’s a fresh stain, you must not delay and quickly blot the coffee with a paper towel, cloth, baby wipe, or whatever you have handy, and try to soak as much as you can. 
  • Gently rub the seat with a mixture of dishwashing soap, vinegar, and water. Use approximately one-third vinegar, two-thirds water, and spray some dish wash into this mixture. If you are wondering what to use to clean leather car seats in case of stubborn and old coffee stains, check out this article.
  • Now, rinse the stain with clean water and keep blotting. Don’t skip this step, that stain on your seat is stubborn. 
  • Lastly, blow dry the wet area, set on low, and voila, you got your sparkling leather seats squeaky clean.

Get Grease Stains Out Of Your Leather Car Seats

Get Grease Stains Out Of Your Leather Car Seats

Is your car your favorite place to enjoy takeaway food? 

If yes, then remember the last time you relished pizzas, burgers, tacos or fries sitting on your posh leather seats and left them with a greasy stain. 

Flinched? We know. 

But wait, don’t dive deep in the regret because it’s just grease and when there is DIY for everything, why not for this?

Here’s the step to remove grease stains from car seats: 

  • Blot the stain using a dry cloth. If you have a microfiber cloth at home, don’t forget to use that. Use a few drops of water to ease away the grease and let the cloth soak it. Avoid using rubbing alcohol on leather seats. 
  • Now, rush to your kitchen and grab the packet of cornstarch. Be surprised later and act first! Sprinkle a thin layer of cornstarch onto the impacted area and let it soak for 10 minutes. This will act as the perfect drying agent. 
  • Finally, use a car vacuum cleaner to clean the cornstarch carefully and avoid getting it all over the place.
Also, read 5 Best Car Vacuum Cleaner That Will Give Your Car A Brand New Look

Clean Water Stains From Car Seats

Clean Water Stains From Car Seats

It is both amusing and annoying that water can leave stains too.

Water stains on car leather seats suck and are pretty common. 

Water stains may be in the form of sweat that leaves a mark due to the salt present in it. 

Drinking water also leaves stains on the car seat due to certain elements like iron or manganese.

To avoid any potential damage to the interiors of your car, we recommend you follow these steps to safely get rid of those patchy water stains disrupting the glory of your 4-wheeler.

  • Firstly, clean the leather seat surface to remove dirt, grease, or any oily substances. 
  • Then grab onto a toothpaste or baking soda and hop into your car. It might seem painful to apply these two substances on your seat but wait for the magic to unfold. 
  • Apply a good amount of toothpaste on the areas or sprinkle baking soda. Make sure that the stains are perfectly covered with these two substances.
  • After 10-20 minutes (enjoy a cup of coffee meanwhile), use a damp rag to remove the toothpaste or baking soda powder. If you accidentally sprinkled some baking soda on the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner to wipe it clean.
  • To give a final, magical touch, you can clean your leather seat with mild saddle leather soap and leave it to dry. 

Remove Blood Stains From Leather Car Seats

Remove Blood Stains From Leather Car Seats

Blood stains are one of the most stubborn stains to get rid of. 

Blood clots faster than other fluids and before clotting, it seeps through and sticks onto the threads of fabric. 

This can leave ugly marks which can incredibly mess with your car interior. 

Also, blood attracts germs and bacteria which can make you and your loved ones prone to various infections. 

Follow these simple DIY steps to get rid of blood stains and get clean leather seats. 

  • Dilute two teaspoons of salt in a cup of cold water. Get a rag or a microfibre cloth and dip it into this saltwater solution. 
  • Then use this rag to blot the stain from the leather seat or carpet. 
  • If there is a large stain, start from the edges and then gradually blot the center. 
  • Once done, rinse the affected areas with cold water and dry thoroughly.
  • If you still see a hint of the stain, proceed to the next step. Mix one teaspoon baking soda in two teaspoon water. 
  • Dab this solution on the stain with a microfiber cloth and wait for about 30 minutes (do your other household chores meanwhile). Come back after 30 minutes and rinse with the applied solution with cold water. 
  • Dry the area with a soft towel and park your car under the shade and leave the wet area to dry out completely.

Remove Oil Stains From Car Seats

Remove Oil Stains From Car Seats

If you have an oil stain on your car, it is important to act as soon as possible as these stains get worse with time. 

No doubt these stains are some of the most common ones but they do mess up with your car’s ambiance. 

Here are some easy steps to get rid of oil stains in no time. 

  • Make a baking soda paste with ⅜ cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of flour, and ⅛ cup of sea salt. This is a perfect DIY leather car seat cleaner paste you can make at home.
  • Apply the paste on the soft bristle brush and gently scrub the affected area. Scrub for about 5 to 7 minutes. You can also use a toothbrush or towel if you do not have a soft bristle brush.
  • Now remove the paste with a clean wet towel and let it dry to get stain-free leather seats. 
  • You can repeat the process if the results are not satisfactory. 

Remove Chocolate Stains From Leather Car Seats

Remove Chocolate Stains From Leather Car Seats

Isn’t chocolate our guilty pleasure.

Well, frankly, it doesn’t even have to be guilty until you have smashed it into the leather car seat and left an ugly, distorting stain. 

Worry not because we have got you covered on how to clean chocolate stains from leather car seats with these easy steps.

  • Remove as much of the chocolate as you can with a plastic spoon. If the stain is dried or old, this step will not be of much help. But don’t worry the next step will help you get rid of the old stains as well.
  • Create a cleaning mixture with two cups of cold water and one tablespoon of dish soap. Cleaning a leather car seat with soap and water is the old DIY method that does wonders. Dip a cloth into this mixture and wipe the stain away. In case of old stain gently scrub for some time.
  • Rinse once again using a second clean cloth until the stain is gone for good. 

Remove Crayon Stains From Car Seats

Remove Crayon Stains From Car Seats

If you have children or do babysitting, littering crayons must not be a rare sight for you.

But abandoned crayons on the car seat can call for some trouble. 

Don’t worry, you can easily get rid of crayon residue and the stains left behind by following the below mentioned steps. 

  • Take a clean microfiber cloth and apply rubbing alcohol to it. Rub at the stained area with the cloth and apply gentle pressure while doing so.
  • Take another fresh cloth and dip it in warm soapy water.
  • Wipe the area with the cloth and leave it to dry. 
  • If rubbing alcohol isn’t available, use half a cup of olive oil, one-fourth vinegar, and mix both inside a spray bottle.
  • Spray it on the impacted area on the seat, let it soak for five minutes, and then wipe it clean. 
  • These are some of the best ways to clean crayon stains from leather car seats.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have learned how easily you can maintain your car leather seat with the right materials and skills. 

Leather seats of the car have a charismatic charm that only escalates when you take care the right way.

Once you detect the leather type of your car seat, why seek professional help when you can do it following our detailed guide. 

When your leather seats dazzle, it adds value not only to your persona but also helps you get a decent reselling value. 

To take care of your leather seat, you can also buy car seat covers to protect them from direct stains and other tough impacts.

We hope that with this detailed guide you now know how to clean leather car seats and take proper care in maintaining your car interior and avoid it from getting stained with some of our DYI methods. 

Do you know any other tricks that can keep leather car seats clean? Do let us know in the comment box.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.