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How to Make Leather Car Seats Look New

by Jen Davis

Leather car seats that have not been cared for properly are quick to show their wear and tear and can cost you money when it is time to sell the vehicle. Short of replacing the seats, there is no real way to make severely damaged leather seats look new. However, if you take care of your leather seats and maintain them properly, you can maintain that new car appearance for years to come.

1

Clean and condition your leather car seats regularly using leather care products that are designed for use in automobiles. The best of these products offer conditioning plus ultraviolet (UV)-protection that will help prevent your seats from fading in the Sun's harsh rays. Pay special attention to areas that receive a lot of stress (the seat itself) or are beginning to crack or fade. Brush all dirt away with a soft-bristle brush before you begin rubbing products into the leather. Trapped dirt can scratch your seats.

2

Keep your leather out of the sunlight. The Sun is not good for leather, it causes the leather to dry out and fade. Protect your seats by keeping the sunlight away whenever possible. This means parking in garages and using a car cover or a windshield sunshade to block harmful rays from reaching your seats.

3

Put car seat covers over all of your seats. Car seat covers can take the abuse of daily use and then be easily replaced, unlike your leather seats. Seat covers will prevent against sunlight, snags, scratches and stains from spilled food or drinks. Cover the back seat of your car in a seat cover as well, especially the top of the seats near the back windshield. This is an area especially prone to fading.

4

Make repairs as needed. Small tears or faded areas of leather will not improve with age or time. To minimize damage, have professional repairs made as needed. You can re-dye your car seats yourself, but if the results are bad, you may discover you made the problem worse.

Tip

  • To fix minor fading or stains, you can use a leather dye product to put the color back in discolored areas on your seats. Just make sure you get the color that exactly matches your car's interior. If your seats have been severely damaged and are beyond repair, you can order a new set from the manufacturer or an after-market retailer. Once the new seats have arrived and been installed, care for them properly to keep them looking new.

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About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.

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