How to Clean Leatherette Car Seats in Only 5 Steps

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean leatherette car seats

Created as a substitute for authentic leather, leatherette is closely identical to actual leather but with the added perks of a lower cost. Although leatherette is low-maintenance, it must also be cared for often and properly. That way, your car’s interior will look clean and classy without any damage.

The proper way of how to clean leatherette car seats involves only five steps, which are vacuum cleaning; wiping with a cloth damp with a warm, soapy, leatherette-safe solution; rinsing with a cloth damp with warm water; wiping dry; and applying leather conditioner.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial


When you clean fake leather car seats, it’s important to use cleaning materials and products that allow you to get the best results with no damage to your car seats. Below, you can find the right tools that you will need for the cleaning process.

1. Vacuum Cleaner With a Soft Brush Attachment

In order to quickly, easily, and efficiently get rid of dust, dirt, and debris from the leatherette car seats, the use of a vacuum cleaner would be necessary. It would be best to use a brush attachment with it to better clean the seats.

2. Warm Water

Warm water would work best in cleaning leatherette car seats. This would also be used for creating the cleaning solution if you opt for a DIY one, as well as for rinsing.

3. Cleaning Solution

You can use any of the following.

  • Mild Dishwashing Soap, Mild Hand Soap, or Baby Hair Shampoo

You must find a mild cleaning product to prevent ruining the leatherette car seats. I recommend using a mild dishwashing soap, mild hand soap, or baby shampoo. Harsh cleaners and detergents must be avoided, as they can dry, break, and tear leatherette.

Bleach is another cleaning product that should not be used, as it’s one of the most drying cleaning products, can adversely affect the material’s structure, and make the material more prone to cracking.

  • Commercial Leatherette Cleaner

Another cleaning solution option for cleaning leatherette car seats is a commercial cleaner specially formulated for cleaning leatherette material.

4. Buckets

Some buckets would be used to hold the cleaning solution and the water for rinsing.

5. Soft, Non-Abrasive Cloths

Just like the cleaning solution, the cloth should also be gentle on the leatherette car seats, so soft, non-abrasive cloths would be best.

6. Leather Conditioner

This would help keep your leatherette car seats looking shiny and in good condition, protecting them from damages.

Step by Step Instructions


Although leatherette is relatively easier to clean than real leather, leatherette seats cleaning should still be done with caution. See the steps for cleaning leatherette car seats below and follow them carefully.

Step 1: Vacuum Clean the Loose Debris

The first step in cleaning leatherette car seats is to clean the dust, dirt, and debris out of the car seats’ surface using a vacuum cleaner, especially paying attention to the seams and hard-to-reach areas.

When vacuum cleaning, attach a soft brush attachment to the vacuum hose for more efficient cleaning. If you don’t do this step before wiping the seats, the dust, dirt, and debris could scratch the leatherette and a mud-like substance could also form on the surface, which would make cleaning harder.

Step 2: Wipe the Car Seats With a Cleaner and Cloth

If You Prefer to Use a Household Item for Cleaning

In a bucket, you can mix warm water with either a mild dishwashing soap, mild hand soap, or baby hair shampoo. Then, apply the solution to your cloth and wipe the car seats with it.

If You Prefer to Use a Commercial Cleaner for Leatherette Car Seats

To ensure your leatherette car seats won’t get damaged, you must find the best cleaner for them and carefully follow the product instructions. Some cleaners come with special features like UV protection and rinse-free formulations.

For extra caution, if you’re going to use a product you’ve never tried before, test the product on an inconspicuous area first to see if it adversely affects your car’s seats before cleaning with it.

Step 3: Rinse the Car Seats

Dip a new cloth in warm water. Again, wring out the excess moisture so it won’t be too soaked but only damp. Then, with it, wipe your car’s leatherette seats to rinse off the cleaning solution.

Step 4: Wipe the Seats Dry

Using another cloth, wipe dry the leatherette car seats. Make sure to wipe the entire surface of the seats and ensure there’s no moisture left.

Step 5: Apply a Leather Conditioner

This step is not mandatory but would be a great finishing step for practicing care for leatherette car seats. The application will depend on what kind of leather conditioner you will be using, so just see the back of the product for the instructions for use.


Leatherette is a great product that gives the advantages of a classy, leather-like appearance without leather’s high cost and high maintenance. But to fully enjoy its perks in your car, you have to carefully observe how to clean leatherette car seats and remember to clean your car seats often.

What do you think about this tutorial? Did you like it, and did it help you? Why not share your opinion or write a comment below?

Furthermore, Each type of car seat material has a different cleaning method, here are some typical types and the most appropriate cleaning method:

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