Leather Interior Cleaning and Conditioning - Interior Detailing


Follow along as we walk through the proper steps of cleaning and conditioning your leather interior. Whether you have a new leather you want to preserve or old leather that needs some TLC, we have you covered. The steps are simple. First, clear any debris from the leather and give it a gentle vacuum to pick up any surface dirt. Then follow the instructions on the leather cleaner, being sure to test the product in an inconspicuous spot first. If your leather has some grime on it, use a leather and vinyl cleaner before applying conditioner. And don’t forget to give it a final wipe-down with a clean towel or microfiber.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/08/30/shiny-leather


I own and operate a high end auto and marine upholstery shop in Rancho Cordova CA and have been in the business for over 40 years.
I have found that if you use a leather conditioner that comes in a spray bottle you will have to use it at least every other week to keep your leather nice and soft. I use leather treatments that are in a paste form like Dr Jackson’s Hide Rejuvenator from Tandy Leather. Using a paste type leather treatment helps get more oils and emollients back into the leather. By using this type product you only need to do it once a year, usually when the weather first gets warm, as the warmth helps the product soak into the leather. Of course you want to do the cleaning first as per the recommendation.
I like to park the car in the sun or a very warm garage for an hour or so to help soften up the leather and open the pores. I then pull the car into the shop and apply a very liberal coating of the paste type conditioner using a vinyl glove. You will notice dull spots appear where the leather is dry and soaks it up, just smear some more on those places. I usually leave it on for most of the day or even overnight, the longer it is on the leather the more it soaks up. I then wipe the excess off with clean terry towels, keep wiping till there is no residue on the towel. This also makes the leather have a nice soft luster like it did when new. I have saved many leather interiors by using this method.