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leather car seats
By AMANDA MILLS 365 views

How Do You Bring Leather Car Seats Back to Life?

Like any other part of your car, its leather seats are bound to wear and tear over time. So, if they’re not looking too good, it’s definitely a sign that you should conduct a thorough car leather restoration on them. Fortunately, this process is very easy to do on your own as long as you have the proper materials with you.

With that said, if you’re wondering how to bring your leather car seats back to life, here is a helpful guide you can follow to do so below.

Products and Materials You Need to Restore Your Leather Car Seats

Depending on the damages sustained by your seats, here are the following products you’ll typically need to restore them successfully:

  • A leather colorant/dye set – for fixing the discoloration issues in your car seats
  • Commercial leather cleaner – for cleaning your leather seats
  • Leather filler – for filling in the cracks present in the leather
  • Leather binder – for strengthening your leather car seats
  • Leather conditioner – for protecting and extending the life of your leather car seats

Meanwhile, here are other materials you’ll need:

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber towels (preferably two; one for wiping dirt and another one for drying your seats)
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional, for easily removing dirt on your car seats)
  • Spatula or palette knife (for applying the filler)


Make sure the brush, sponge, and towels you’ll use are safe to use on leather surfaces. They should be made of soft, non-abrasive materials that won’t scratch the surface of the leather.

Clean and Prepare the Seats Before the Car Leather Restoration

Before anything else, make sure to clean and prepare your car’s seats before beginning the car leather restoration. This ensures that you can remove any dirt and other substances stuck on the seats. To make things easier, you can use a vacuum first to remove these substances on your seats quickly.

Once you’re done removing dirt on your seats, you can now clean them using a commercial leather cleaner that’s safe to use on car seats. Just make sure that your cleaning products don’t contain ammonia or bleach, which are both known for ruining leather seats.

If you intend to purchase a dye set for your seats, the kit should come with its own cleaning materials. The cleaning materials from your dye set should include an alcohol cleaner, which will thoroughly remove the manufacturer’s finish on your leather seats.

To apply the alcohol cleaner on the seats, just pour the product on your microfiber towel and wipe the towel onto your leather car seats. Wait for the alcohol cleaner to evaporate as instructed on the product label’s instructions. The same process would be used for any leather products, leather wallets, leather motorcycle jackets, leather sofas, etc.

Strengthen the Leather Car Seats with Leather Binder

When you’re finished cleaning and preparing your leather car seats for restoration, it’s time to start the car leather restoration process. If the leather seats are heavily worn out, you can make them stronger again with the help of a leather binder.

If your cleaned car seats are finally dry, you can start applying the product using a clean sponge. Add a small amount to your sponge and spread it on the seats. Don’t forget to remove the excess amount of product found on any of the leather’s narrow openings or stitching before leaving it to dry.

Once the first layer of the leather binder has dried up, add eight to ten more layers of leather binder on the seats. Again, ensure that each layer has dried up completely before adding a new one.

Even Out Cracked Areas with a Leather Filler for Car Seats

One of the primary problems with old car seats is their brittle and cracked leather. After all, oil and dirt are bound to pile up in your seats and destroy their protective layer, leading to the formation of cracks. If this protective layer is completely destroyed, more oil and dirt will collect on your leather seats. This results in more cracks on the leather of your car seat.

Fortunately, you can even out the cracked areas with a filler made for leather car seats. Just apply a thin coat of leather filler over the cracks with a spatula. Doing this ensures that the filler only gets applied to the cracks and abrasions in your seats.

Leave the product to dry as stated in the instructions. Finally, once the filler has dried up, you can sand the areas with filler using sandpaper to smoothen out the seat’s exterior. You can go ahead and do this process again to other parts of your seat with fissures.

Apply the Dyes to Fix Discoloration Issues

Your car’s leather seats consist of natural oils, which are highly sensitive to heat. So, if your car is exposed to the sun a lot, it will be prone to discoloration. But then again, you could always solve the problem by dyeing your seats with a leather dye or colorant.

Make sure to follow the instructions of the dye set as stated on the product’s label. If possible, use protective gloves and an old long-sleeved top and bottom when applying the dye on your leather seats.

Don’t Forget to Put Leather Conditioner on Your Car Seats

Leather conditioner is an essential component you should regularly apply to your car. Besides, this product is known for adding a protective coating to your seat to prevent water from seeping into it. Moreover, leather conditioner prevents your seats from staining, drying, and cracking.

Ideally, you should apply a leather conditioner to your car seats every three months. However, if you often use your car and constantly expose it to the sun, you should apply a leather conditioner to the seats every two months. Meanwhile, if you rarely take out your car for a drive under the sun, applying conditioner to its seats every six months will be enough.

BONUS: Invest in Excellent Car Leather Repair Kits for any Minor Repairs

If you want to keep your leather car seats in tip-top shape, you can invest in an excellent leather repair kit. Keeping this kit around you will help you do minor seat repairs quickly if they get damaged.

These kits are affordable and should contain the primary items you need to repair any minor damages on your leather seats. Most of the time, these basic kits will include the following:

  • Leather prep spray
  • Leather glue
  • Leather filler (with applicator)
  • Sandpaper
  • Backing fabric


Conducting car leather restoration on your own is easy as long as you have the proper materials to get it done. This also works for leather jackets being that the process is for the leather itself, not the item. Of course, doing this takes a lot of effort, but your hard work will surely pay off once you see the stellar results. And by following the steps and advice listed in this article, you should be able to bring your leather seats back to life easily. Best of luck!

Amanda Mills