Cleaning Leather Car Seats with Soap and Water

Leather car seats have many advantages. They can last long if you keep them well. One way to retain their glossy look is to clean them regularly. Yes, clean them using the best method. Wondering which method is that? It’s pretty simple.

Soap and water is a quick and effective cleaning solution. You, however, must know how to do it so that you don’t cause damage to your car leather seats.

In this article, we give you a great guide that will help you understand the process. Take the time to read it. Here we go:

All You Need to Know About Cleaning Leather Car Seats with Soap and Water

Cleaning Leather Car Seats is the important thing to keep the car's inside becoming newly
Users need to be careful when cleaning their car’s leather seats because of their delicate.

If you’ve used leather seats for quite a while, you know that they are a bit delicate. That means you need to be a little bit careful when cleaning them. A small mistake can damage your seats. You, of course, wouldn’t want to cause such destruction.

Just before you start cleaning, you need to make sure that you have all the requirements first. You will need to have soap, water, vacuum cleaner, soft rags, and olive oil as well. Once you have all these, you are ready to start the cleaning process.

Stepwise Cleaning Procedure

Step#1: Vacuum the Seats

Cleaning leather car seats procedure start with vacuuming
Vacuum is the first step in cleaning the leather seat procedure.

You should vacuum the seats first, even before you touch water and soap. Doing so will help you remove any dirt and debris on the seats. As a precaution, make sure you use an upholstery attachment to avoid causing damage to your car leather seats.

Step#2: Soak Your Rags

Put the rags in the mixture of soap and water for a few minutes. Once it’s submerged for some time and has absorbed water, remove it and drain any excess water.

Step#3: Rub the Seats

Carefully but thoroughly rub your car seats with the rags. If you want to get the best cleaning results, you should start with those parts that have severe stains. As you do it, make sure you leave no place untouched.

Once you are through with the rubbing, you should soak another rag in water, preferably without soap this time around. Use it to wipe the seats until there are no traces of soap left on them.

If you note that there are parts that still have little stains, repeat the process, but only on those parts alone. Ensure all parts are clean, and there are no soap residues. With clean water, it is possible to achieve that pretty easily.

Step#4: Wipe with a Dry Rag

Using a dry rag, wipe all the seats, ensuring that there are no damp areas, especially on joints and other hidden parts. After wiping, open the car for some time to allow in the fresh air. It helps in drying the seats within just a few minutes.

Step#5: Use Olive Oil to Condition the Seats

You were probably wondering where you’d use olive oil. Well, for your information, it is a great conditioner. If you use it on leather seats, they will retain their glossy look for a long. So when the seats are dry, use the oil as a conditioner, and you will be happy with the shiny look.

Useful Tips for Long-lasting Results

As one of the best ways to keep your leather car seats looking great, you should try your best to prevent dirt and stains. However, since you might sometimes not avoid them, cleaning your car regularly with soap and water will solve the problem. 

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Clean Your Car with Soap and Water

Handling your leather car seats rightly is one way to keep them looking stunning always. Most importantly, you ought to be extra careful when cleaning. If you can constantly do that, you will do away with the expenses of replacing seats often.

Please, note that when you clean the seats, there are certain things that you must always do. They are the activities that help you minimize the chances of damage. To help you perfect the art of handling your car while cleaning, here are do’s and don’ts you should know:


  • Do the cleaning regularly. While it should depend on the condition of the seats, the best approach is to clean them, at least, once a month. Similarly, do the conditioning a minimum of two times a year.
  • Do the cleaning gently and section by section at a time. It helps reduce the chances of discoloration as well as damage during the cleaning process.
  • Do the vacuuming thoroughly but carefully to remove all dirt without causing any unnecessary damage.
  • Do use a soft rag or piece of cloth when rubbing the seats. It helps remove the unwanted dirt while avoiding any scratches.
  • Do mix soap and water well without using an excess of either. Excess soap might leave residues, while excess water might take too long to dry.
  • Do a test first with your cleaning agents or solution with just a few steps before you clean all the seats.
  • Do use soaps whose ingredients are safe both for your leather car seats and you as well. In some instances, the ingredients can cause serious damage and allergic reactions as well.


  • Don’t use conditioners that have waxes and even petroleum as part of their ingredients. With time, they will build up and make your leather car seats look dull.
  • Don’t leave the soap and water for too long before removing and drying the seats. It might become hard for you to completely get rid of them, especially if the seats absorb them.
  • Don’t apply the cleaning solution without checking if there are any perforations on the seats first. If you find any, seal them before you start the cleaning process.
  • Don’t use a sprayer when cleaning. Instead, use a soft cloth and be as gentle as possible as you rub to avoid any unnecessary damage.
  • Don’t use any soap or agent. Instead, seek the advice of car cleaning experts when you are in doubt, especially about the ingredients.  


Without any doubt, everyone wants to keep their car seats clean. However, many people tend to get it wrong when it comes to cleaning. If you desire to keep your seats looking great, you have to clean them the right way.

You don’t need to get special cleaning agents of equipment to keep your leather car seats clean. With soap, water, and the knowledge of the right cleaning procedure, you are good to do the work. 

So, master the procedure and see your seats not only last longer but also look glossy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Household Items Can I Use to Clean the Leather in My Car?

You can make a cleaning solution using household items. For instance, you can mix dishwashing soap with warm water. The ratio of water to soap should be 5:1. Shake or stir to make sure that the solution is mixed well. You can then dampen a rag in it and use it to clean leather in your car.

2.Is Dish Soap Safe On Leather?

Yes, dish soap is safe on leather, and you can use it as a cleaner. It will help your remove dirt, dust, and stains. It should be your home cleaning agent if you want to keep your car looking great always. Even when some parts of the leather are soiled heavily, applying dish soap using a rag or cloth and cleaning it will remove it effectively.

3.What Is Bad for Leather?

Extreme temperatures, harsh cleaning agents/chemicals, exposure to sunlight, and failing to clean the dirt/stains immediately, are some bad things for leather. Among these, the worst one is chemicals. Avoid using cleaning solutions that you don’t know what they contain.

You should try your best to stay away from all these things anyway. The cost of acquiring new leather car seats won’t excite you. Even if someone tries to convince you that certain chemicals are safe, please avoid using them at all costs.

4.Can You Clean Leather with Vinegar?

Yes, you can use leather both for cleaning and even conditioning your leather car seats. It is a good cleaning agent. If you want to get the best results from it, mix it with linseed oil at a ratio of two parts for the oil and one part for vinegar. You will get a reliable solution that cleans well and will keep the leather soft as well.

5.Can You Wipe or Spray on Leather Car Seats?

Spraying directly on leather car seats is not good. If there are any perforations, the water and soap you spray directly on it will dampen the whole seat. You, of course, know the effect of that. It will not only be hard to dry the seat, but it will also cause damage and even some odor after some time.

Wiping is, therefore, the best way to clean your leather car seats. A microfiber fiber cloth or rag will do a good job. Dampen and use it to wipe the seats. It does the job flawlessly, and your seats will look amazing.


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