If your car's interior has leather components, it's important that you're caring for them properly. If you're using the same cleaning products on both leather and vinyl, there's a good chance that you're destroying the leather. This will leave you needing re-upholstery much sooner than you might have planned. Here are some tips to help you care for your leather properly.
Clean It Properly and Frequently
Leather absorbs sweat and moisture, retaining things like salt and debris from the moisture. You'll have to clean it frequently to avoid long-term damage. Choose a cleaner that is specifically made for leather, because all-purpose cleaners are likely to be too harsh.
Put the cleaner on a damp rag or sponge, not on the upholstery itself. Apply a light amount of pressure and work in small circles to create a lather. You can use this process to clean the dash, the seats and the door panels, but work in small sections. If there are any areas that are particularly soiled, you'll probably need a soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt.
Then, wipe everything down with a damp sponge dipped in a bucket of clean water. Make sure you squeeze out excess water first, though, so you don't saturate the seats. Just keep rinsing, wiping and rinsing again until you remove all of the cleaner from that section of the upholstery. Wipe everything down with a soft towel to dry it.
Condition It After Cleaning
After you've cleaned the leather, you'll need to condition it. The conditioning process is important, because it restores the lost oils and keeps the leather from drying out. Over time, ultraviolet rays and environmental hazards can cause the leather to become brittle and crack if it isn't properly conditioned regularly.
Invest in a leather conditioner, and apply it every time you clean the upholstery. Apply the conditioner to a soft cloth and work the product into the leather. It should absorb completely, leaving no residue. Buff the whole surface with a clean, soft cloth after you've applied the conditioner.
Your upholstery will tell you when it's been properly conditioned. It will not absorb any more conditioner than the leather can take. If it stops absorbing and you're wiping conditioner off the surface of the leather even after several minutes of sitting to absorb, it's conditioned enough.
For more information about caring for your leather or to have heavily damaged leather replaced, talk with an upholstery professional like Franks Auto Top & Upholstery.Share
28 September 2015