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Maintaining Your Car's Leather

leather cleaning conditioning

To maintain your car’s leather interior, there are two things that require attention: conditioning and cleaning.

New and used cars need to have their leather interiors preserved. A car’s leather interior is the most fragile surface of any car. This leather needs to be conditioned and cleaned on a regular basis. This will maintain it, and provide protection, as well as retain that new leather smell.

Cleaning a Car’s Leather

Put the chosen leather cleaner on each section, and rub it until a good lather appears. When cleaning leather that is very dirty, using an upholstery bush will help. When done, it’s important to use a damp towel to clean the surface, and be certain to get rid of all the soap. Rinsing and wiping the leather must be done several times. The leather should then be dried by wiping it with a clean dry towel. Don’t worry about using water. It will not damage it because leather is essentially made, or tanned in water.

How frequently should leather be cleaned?

A car with a leather interior that’s a dark color, should be cleaned two to three times annually. If a car has leather that is light colored, it will need to be cleaned much more often. If the dirt on light colored leather is obvious, it may need to be cleaned as often as every other month. Between cleanings, a fresh damp towel can be used to thoroughly wipe the surface. Doing this will remove the light dirt, as well as dust, and prevent such things from being worked into the leather.

There are two things that can cause leather to become worn. One is dirt, and the other is the oil from a person’s skin. Oil from skin probably does the most harm to a leather surface. This can be a concern if a person regularly wears clothing that exposes a lot of skin, and regularly applies sun screen, or any type of lotion. It is important to create a cleaning schedule and follow it.

How should leather be conditioned?

In order to condition leather, a leather conditioner should be applied to one area at a time, with a foam wax applicator. The conditioner should be rubbed in completely. The leather conditioner should be permitted to soak in for a couple of minutes. The excess should be removed with a dry terry cloth towel. It is important to remove all the excess. If it is permitted to remain on the leather, the car’s interior will become slippery. After the conditioner has been on the leather for a couple of minutes, the leather has absorbed all the moisture possible. The rest of it will evaporate and leave a white cloud on the inside of a car’s windows.

Why is it so crucial to condition leather?

Leather needs to have its natural oils regularly replenished or it will become dry and crack. Conditioning the leather helps replenish the natural oils, which will help the leather maintain its soft and supple condition. People who use Pinnacle and Zymol leather conditioners know the smell of their leather will also be enriched. People remember the smell their car had when it was new.

How frequently does leather need to be conditioned?

It is advised that leather be conditioned every 30 to 45 days. The climate conditions where the car is located will also be a factor. If a car is in a humid climate, its leather won’t require conditioning as often as one that is used in a dryer climate. If a car is in the East, a cold, dry winter will remove the moisture from the leather, which will make it dry and susceptible to cracking. This will also happen if a car is used during the hot dry summers in the West.

Recommended leather cleaning products

It is suggested that a car’s leather be treated with Pinnacle Leather & Vinyl Cleaner, as well as Lexol Spray Leather. Each of them is effective, as well as easy to use and rinse.

Recommended leather conditioning products

It is suggested Eagle One, Lexol Spray Leather Conditioner, Hyde Food and Pinnacle Leather Conditioner are the most effective.


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The Car Wash Genie  blog is designed to educate all customers with information that will promote proper understanding of car detailing procedures & techniques in hopes that they will have a greater awareness of how to maintain and protect their vehicles.

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