Leather interiors are cool and expensive. But they’re also fragile. Anyone who’s ever owned a leather jacket or driven a car with a leather interior knows this to be true. If you don’t take measures to protect your leather from the elements and from natural wear and tear, things could get ugly in a hurry. And “ugly” makes your trade in value plummet. To give you a hand in keeping your vehicle’s interior looking as sweet as the day you drove it off the lot, we offer you the following primer on how to take care of your car’s delicate leather interior.
- Keep your interior clean by frequently vacuuming out any food crumbs or dirt that can result in your leather wearing out before its time.
- Buy leather upholstery cleaner. If you forgo this and try to come up with your own concoction, you could end up doing more harm than good. The few extra dollars you’ll spend today on the right kind of leather upholstery cleaner will save you hundreds of dollars down the line, so don’t skimp on this.
- Use the right kind of material when you clean. Usually, upholstery cleaner will come with its own included applicator, but if you don’t have this, you can use old shredded t-shirts. The point here is to use soft, cotton based fabric. Stay away from using paper towels, as even the most expensive kinds can be abrasive enough to scuff your leather.
- Do what you can to block direct sunlight from coming into contact with your car’s interior upholstery when you’re not driving it. You can do this by buying a cardboard or plastic sun blocker and placing it in front of your windshield, or by ensuring that when your car is parked for extended periods of time it’s in a garage or other covered area.
- Limit the inside temperature of your car when you park it. Aside from the fact that leather can be a real pain in the you-know-what if it’s been exposed to the heat for too long, it can also severely limit its lifespan and cause it to fade prematurely. You can greatly improve the life of your leather interior by keeping your windows cracked slightly during warm weather. Colder weather isn’t nearly as bad for leather as hot weather is, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your car parked in the cold.
You can find leather upholstery cleaning equipment at most auto parts stores. When in doubt about what you need, be sure to ask. It’s far better than accidentally applying the wrong kind of cleaner to your lovely leather seats.