Leather Car Seats – How To Remove Stains

Although leather car seats generally withstand dirt and stains much better than cloth car seats, leather car seats can still face some wear and tear over time. Stains that remain untreated for a long time can eventually damage the seats and be impossible to remove. It’s important to remove any stains as soon as you see them. But you don’t have to wait until you see stains to start cleaning them. Keep your seats clean and prevent permanent stains and fading by cleaning them regularly. Below are simple instructions on how to remove stains on your leather car seats.

  • Oil Stains: Corn starch is a great product not just for cooking but also for removing oil-based stains. You’ll be surprised at how this little inexpensive product that you have in your kitchen cabinet will take away oil stains. Stains from food, sweat or hair are all oil-based stains and can be removed with cornstarch. Simply rub the cornstarch into the stain with your fingertips. Rub clockwise for about 30 seconds, then counterclockwise for another 30 seconds. Then take a paper towel and keep it firmly pressed on the stain for about a minute or so. If you don’t have corn starch available, you can also try potato starch or talcum powder, although corn starch has proved to be the best remover for oil-based stains.
  • Water Stains: You would think that water cleans things, not stains them. But drops of water can cause irritating stain marks. But water stains are not difficult to remove. When you look at the stain, it is not the whole spot that needs to be removed. It is only the dark line on the outside of the spot that is the actual stain. Once you remove that, the inside is not actually visible. To remove the outside line, take a damp lint-free microfiber cloth or moist sponge and use the same technique as with the paper towel on the oil stain. Keep the sponge or cloth firmly pressed against the stain for about a minute or two. Absorb the excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Mold or Mildew Stains: These stains not only look unpleasant, but if left untreated they will make your car smell unpleasant as well. To remove mold or mildew stains, make a solution of half water and half rubbing alcohol. Take a cloth or thick paper towel, and use the same method as above.
  • Dirt Stains: Dirt is perhaps the easiest type of stain to remove. You can use a dry toothbrush to scrub off dirt or other debris. If the dirt is especially stubborn and won’t come off, put a little dish liquid onto the toothbrush and try scrubbing it off again.

Remember, to keep your leather seats looking new for as long as possible, treat the stain as soon as you see it. Don’t let the stain become so thick and caked on that you won’t be able to remove it. Getting car seat covers is also a wise investment in keeping the seats of your car cleaner longer. Car seat covers can protect your seats by keeping spills, food and dirt from falling on them.

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