Leather seats are a luxury if taken care of properly, however neglect and the sun’s rays can change their appearance and structure if not addressed imminently. Because leather is tightly manufactured onto frames and has a surface not as accepting to cleaners as fabric, getting them restored efficiently can be a grind. Auto detailers are equipped with the tools and tricks of the trade to have them sparkle, and there are a few steps they go through to guarantee this result.
“A clean slate is essential to restore its original positive properties… It should be noted that no matter which step of application you are on, to always address the grooves and cracks with detail”
Vacuum (Within Reason)
Chances are if you need to fix the leather on your seats they have incurred some damage along the way, even if it is simply age of the material. You should always vacuum the leather first just in case particles are embedded. The reason this step is important is because in applying cleaners you are going to want the cleanest surface possible. That being said, vacuuming should only be done within reason. What this means is that a low powered device is ideal, as leather doesn’t ‘take’ as well as fibers. If you are worried that vacuuming will cause your leather too much damage, then replace this step with a thorough wipe down using a microfiber cloth.
Use Leather Prep On A Pad
Automotive outlets offer ‘prepping solution’, which works by placing chemicals on the leather that get rid of leftover ‘films’ and sealants. You will know the cleaner is working if the leather starts to appear shiny and some of its color has returned. A clean slate is essential to restore its original positive properties. It should be noted that no matter which step of application you are on, to always address the grooves and cracks with detail.
Incorporate Alcohol Cleaner And Leather Binder
With a cotton towel, alcohol cleaner should be applied just as the leather prep solution was. Alcohol based detergents break down the impurities of the leather making it more susceptible to bond with the chemicals that will be used to bring it back to new. Leather binder is then used in numerous layers to have the surface strengthened. At least three coats of binder should be delivered.
Apply Leather Colorant Or Conditioner
Leather colorant, sometimes referred to as conditioner, is the final step to making the aesthetic of seats appear perfect. It is placed on the material using a sponge that is light and easy to fit into stitching when necessary. This conditioner often times has reflective properties, so it is easy to tell if the entire seat has been fixed in most cases. The colorants not only bring back the new car smell, they also enrich the bond of the leather and make it stand out like new.
Car leather seat restoration is a task that is only accomplished at the highest level through the use of professional auto detailers. Admirable as it may be to attempt it on your own, sometimes extensive techniques like airbrushing and stitching replacement is required. Leather interiors are stubborn about what cleaners and chemicals they react to, so it is prudent to always consult with a professional before potentially ruining the material.