Numerous car owners periodically maintain and repair their beloved cars. However, some only focus on the car exterior, but neglect the seats that they sit on day in, day out. Whether they’re made of leather or velvet, if these seats keep coming into contact with sunlight, dust, sweat, and body oil, then they’ll harden and deteriorate. Also, the original color may fade. Want your seats to last longer, while preventing the interiors from getting moldy? You’ll need to do the occasional housekeeping.
Today at Kwiksure, our car experts will share with you how to maintain and clean the two types of car seats: leather and velvet.
You should check whether there are tears on the car seats. If there are, you should be especially careful when cleaning to prevent water, cleaner, or leather oil from going in. With that said, drivers should refer to their car instruction manual. It’s where manufacturers will list out in detail how to correctly clean and maintain real leather seats. There, you’ll get a sense of which cleaning products to avoid when caring for your car seats.
Leather car seats maintenance
Here are a few products to get your hands on for cleaning and maintaining your leather seats.
Car leather cleaner
Every 1 to 3 months, use a leather conditioner and cleaner or foam to wipe the leather. This cleans and preserves it. Since they are gentle cleaners, they won’t harm the leather seats. You can find these products in most car accessories shops. After cleaning, don’t dry the leather with an air mover or dryer. Instead, you should use a soft cloth to gently wipe it clean or let it air dry.
Avoid wiping your seats with a regular household cleaner or an alkaline cleaner. This dries the leather and creates creases. Meanwhile, the protective surface of the leather will be destroyed. Then, its original color will either fade or be colored by dirt.
Finish off with a layer of leather oil after your cleaning session for maintenance. Choosing the right kind of oil can be a science. Leather car seats are designed to be long-lasting and able to withstand wear, so the surface layer must undergo additional processing as well. However, this makes it difficult for just any leather oil to seep through.
We suggest you use a water-based leather oil since it softens the leather. At the same time, it preserves the leather’s elasticity. On the flip side, oil-based leather oil has an unpleasant texture. Also, it clings easily to dirt or bacteria, so it’s usually cheaper as well.
Additional things to take note of
Keep your car far away from all sources of heat, such as cigarette butts. You should also park it in the shade when possible to avoid exposing your car to direct sunlight for a long period of time. Moreover, avoid putting sharp objects in your car so they won’t scratch the leather.
Velvet car seats maintenance
Velvet car seats require a different set of cleaning supplies and process.
Velvet seats are comparatively easier to clean. If your seats aren’t terribly dirty, use a combination of a long bristle cleaning brush, and a vacuum cleaner with strong suction. Brush off the surface of your seats, while simultaneously use the vacuum cleaner to suck out debris.
If your car is on the dirtier side, then you can first use your bristle brush to clean the dirty areas. Afterwards, spray velvet seat cleaner onto your cleaning cloth. Either use the cloth in its semi-dry state, or a special rubber brush to brush and clean your seats. Next, suck out the extra moisture from the spray with your vacuum cleaner. After cleaning, wipe the velvet seats with a wrung-out towel and leave it to air-dry to get rid of the smell.
Contact our team at Kwiksure
Besides car maintenance, Kwiksure writes about a spectrum of topics. For parents, you might be interested in checking out our article on child car seat. Pet owners can also benefit from our safety tips on traveling with your pets by car.
With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Kwiksure is one of the top car insurance brokers in Hong Kong. Though we specialize in car insurance (third-party and comprehensive), we also provide motorcycle insurance, home insurance, and Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS). Contact our team of expert advisors today! Alternatively, use our online quotation tool for a free quote!