Leather car seat cleaning and repair product guide

There are a plethora of leather products available to clean and repair auto leather.  Some of these can be great tools for car owners, but others contain harmful chemicals that will do more harm than good for your car.

Here are some good tips on what to look for when shopping around for leather products:

1. Make sure the product you are using is designed specifically for the type of leather you are using it on.  Products are usually made for aniline, semi-aniline or fully-finished leather.  The vast majority of auto leather is fully finished – it has dye and a protective layer that make it more durable than other types of leather.   Different types of leather soak up products in different ways, so not all leather cleaners will work for all kinds of leather.

2. The finish on auto leather is completely different from that found on jackets, shoes and purses. Be sure that you get products designed for upholstery.

3. Don’t use products on your leather if the container says they are designed to be used on both leather and plastic products.  These likely contain elements that will cause long-term damage to leather.

4. Do not use any products that contain any alcohol or acetone.  Alcohol will damage the protective top coat on leather, and acetone will break down the leather dye, removing the color.

5. Be wary of do-it-yourself dying products.  Finding an exact color match is sometimes difficult for professionals, and most DIY dye kits lack what you need to make your repair look good.

There are also a lot of wives’ tales about household products that people use to repair leather.  Some of these have merit, but others will really harm your leather.  Before you try out a household product on your auto interior, check out our post on frequently recommended leather remedies that ruin leather.

Any thoughts on good/ bad car leather products?  Share them in the comments!


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