How to Soften Hard, Weathered Leather Car Seats

by Cesar Castro
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leather image by Zbigniew Nowak from

Leather car seats are a popular option for car owners and buyers. Many people like the natural feel and texture of leather. Leather is also more comfortable than other forms of upholstery such as vinyl or cloth. However, leather requires proper care and maintenance. Negligence will result in cracked leather, which can be costly to repair. Ensure the health of leather seats with proper maintenance.

Step 1

Clean the surface of the leather seat with a cleaner that is designed for leather. Leather cleaners are available at your local auto supply store. Dampen a rag with the cleanser and get to work. Make sure to get into the nooks and crannies of the car seat. Allow the cleaner to soak into the leather for a few minutes and then wipe it dry with a clean rag.

Step 2

Dampen a clean rag with saddle soap. Saddle soap is a cleaning compound that contains softening ingredients like glycerin and lanolin that is safe to use around leather. Work the cloth until a rich foam forms. Work the cloth into the surface of the leather. Again, make sure to get into the nooks and crannies. Focus on areas that are particularly dry or cracked. Wipe dry with a clean rag. A light film of the saddle soap will be left, ensuring the health of the leather.

Step 3

Apply a generous amount of color restorer to the seat and rub it in with a rag, using a circular motion. Use enough color restorer to form a light film. The original color of the leather will show through as you rub the solution in. Wipe off excess moisture with a clean rag.

Step 4

Mink oil will keep the leather supple and healthy. Apply a small amount of mink oil on dark leather with a rag. Rub it in using a circular motion. Mink oil will stain pale colors and should not be used.

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