Aside from nylon and polyester, nowadays, most car seats are covered by perforated leather. This material assists seat heating and cooling systems well. Plus, it offers adequate ventilation to guarantee better breathability for users’ optimal comfort.
However, in addition to these two perks. Perforated leather can easily collect dust, dirt, grease, and grime, all of which accumulate into nasty gunks. Since the car seats are where we sit and contact the most, an important part of car care and maintenance is knowing how to clean perforated leather car seats.
In short, the steps you need to take are as follows:
- Get rid of all the loose dirt, dust, and debris with a vacuum
- Wipe the seats to make sure that all the surface filth is gone
- Take out your chosen leather cleaner and do a patch test
- Apply the cleaner onto a fresh microfiber towel and scrub
- Continue to scrub carefully with enough moderate force
- Wipe the seats down with another microfiber towel
- Condition the leather to protect and rehydrate it
- Wipe and dry the just cleaned leather seats
- Buff and polish with a new microfiber towel
You will learn more about the details, as well as handy tips and tricks as you read. So, do not miss out; continue to read!
Table of Contents
- What You Will Need to Prepare
- Guide on Cleaning Perforated Leather Car Seats
- Step 1: Get rid of all the loose dirt, dust, and debris with a vacuum
- Step 2: Wipe the seats to make sure that all the surface filth is gone
- Step 3: Take out your chosen leather cleaner and do a patch test
- Step 4: Apply the cleaner onto a fresh microfiber towel and scrub
- Step 5: Continue to scrub carefully with enough moderate force
- Step 6: Wipe the seats down with another microfiber towel
- Step 7: Condition the leather to protect and rehydrate it
- Step 8: Wipe and dry the just cleaned leather seats
- Step 9: Buff and polish with a new microfiber towel
- Additional Steps – If There are Still Gunk in the Tiny Holes
What You Will Need to Prepare
- Gather the following materials:
- A vacuum with a soft brush head
- Microfiber towels (At least five)
- A leather cleaner
- A leather conditioner
- Additional Optional Materials
- An air compressor or cans of compressed air
- A steamer cleaner
- A toothpick
Guide on Cleaning Perforated Leather Car Seats
Step 1: Get rid of all the loose dirt, dust, and debris with a vacuum
Start by vacuuming the seats. This gets rid of all the loose dirt, dust, and debris on the leather. You can use a dry or wet vac as long as it has a soft brush head. Simply run it thoroughly on a moderate setting, starting with the driver’s seat, then the passenger’s, and lastly, the back seats. Do not forget about the armrests and headrests.
Top Tip: You can use an additional thin attachment if needed to reach into all the nooks and crannies.
Step 2: Wipe the seats to make sure that all the surface filth is gone
After you are sure that you have vacuumed every part, use a fresh microfiber towel to wipe down the seats. This gives the leather another round of cleaning and ensures that no surface filth is left.
Step 3: Take out your chosen leather cleaner and do a patch test
Now, whip out the leather cleaner that you have prepared. Read the instructions printed on its packaging first. Then, carefully follow along. Choose a trivial spot on the seats and do a patch test. Give it at least one to two minutes before checking to see if there are any adverse reactions.
Step 4: Apply the cleaner onto a fresh microfiber towel and scrub
If all is well, apply just a bit of the cleaner directly onto a microfiber towel. Make sure you are not oversaturating the towel. Bring the towel up against your seat and dab. Next, use a soft-bristle brush to scrub. The agitation will activate the foams in your cleaner, which will then be able to work its magic.
Note: If you do not use the cleaning solution sparingly, you may have to deal with unfavorably greasy seats later on. Therefore, be mindful of your applications.
Step 5: Continue to scrub carefully with enough moderate force
Continue to scrub gently in circular or side-to-side motions. If you prefer up-and-down motions, that is fine as well. Apply moderate force. Otherwise, you will risk scratching or cutting the leather on your seats. Take time to do this step carefully. The more attentive and careful you are here, the less work you will have in the later steps.
Top Tip: Work in one area at a time. Once you are done with one part of the seat, you can proceed to the next. Also, work from the top to the bottom of the seat. This way, you will not accidentally miss any portion or contact the foams and make a mess.
Step 6: Wipe the seats down with another microfiber towel
After a while of thorough scrubbing, wipe the seats down with a fresh microfiber towel. If the towel collects a lot of lather or filth, rinse it in a bucket of clear water in between the rinsing. Make sure that you absorb all the excess cleaning solution.
Note: If you are not yet satisfied with the condition of your leather car seats, repeat the steps above as many times as needed.
Step 7: Condition the leather to protect and rehydrate it
At this point, you can apply a thin coat of the leather conditioner you have prepared on the seats. Make sure that you follow the directions on the product’s packaging word by word. As with the leather cleaner, you should use it sparingly. Using too much can do more harm than good. You want just enough to keep your leather hydrated and less vulnerable to cracks.
Step 8: Wipe and dry the just cleaned leather seats
Now, it is time to dry the clean perforated leather seats. Use another fresh microfiber to give them a dry wipe-down. Then, let them sit and continue with air-drying.
Top Tip: During this step, make sure that your car is parked in a shady space and not directly exposed to the harsh UV rays and sunshine.
Step 9: Buff and polish with a new microfiber towel
After the seats are completely dried, use a fresh and dry microfiber towel to buff and polish with consistent, circular motions. Then, wipe away any excess conditioner.
That’s it! You have gone through the steps needed to clean leather seats with holes. Gone are the days where you have to struggle with cleaning perforated leather seats!
Additional Steps – If There are Still Gunk in the Tiny Holes
This section is dedicated to answering “How to clean leather car seats with holes?” with emphasis on the HOLES.
Yes, they are a pain in the neck and not easy to clear out at all. To help you get rid of them quickly and effectively, here are few methods you can try:
- Use an air compressor or cans of compressed air. It will blow the solid specks out, and you just have to clean them up. A good idea is to lay out a plastic cover right beneath where you are about to use the compressed air so that any gunk flying out will land on the plastic, which you then pick up as a whole to dump in the trash.
- Use a steam cleaner. This is ideal for hardened or solidified gunk that persists inside the tiny holes. The steam will soften and eventually work them out of their home. But you may have to pair this with a towel or brush to get the best results. For more detailed steps to steam clean car seats, please click here!
- Use a toothpick. This is an excellent tool for picking out particles for very dirty holes. Identify the ones with extra stubborn gunks and use a toothpick as your weapon. But we do not recommend manually working out every single hole in your car seats with a toothpick.
Now, you can clean perforated leather seats with ease. To recap, there are eight steps that you must take, from brushing off loose dirt to buffing and polishing the leather with a conditioner.
If you happen to have any additional tips and tricks regarding how to clean perforated leather car seats, please share them with us in the comments. We cannot wait to hear from you!