If you see your car as a collection of synthetic materials and manufactured devices, does all that leather belong inside? Sure it does. Auto manufacturers have long used leather to make the interior feel more comfortable and natural—not to mention, it smells great, too. To keep that earthy yet luxurious look at its best, spend some time caring for it with the right methods and materials. Leather is a natural skin and should be cleaned and conditioned much as you would your own. Regular cleaning is the best way to maintain the long-term health of your interior. Leather cleaners like Mothers® Leather Cleaner can be applied to a cotton towel, sponge or directly to the seat and rubbed into the leather, then wipe clean.
Leather often gives up much more dirt than you expect so be sure to clean section by section. If staining and discoloration are heavy, don’t try to clean everything all at once: hit it several times lightly over a period of days, allowing complete drying in between treatments. (You wouldn’t rub your own skin raw, so don’t do it to leather either.) Most leather cleaners are specific to “smooth” leather or “rough” leather and suede. Don’t confuse the two. As with all other car-care chemicals you get what you pay for—cheap leather “cleaners” may lack proper pH balance or could be no more than repackaged low-grade soaps. Mothers® Leather Cleaner is pH balanced and designed to clean leather safely and effectively. One note: be sure to keep leather cleaners from coming in contact with all clear or transparent plastics—they may dull the finish.
Subsequent to cleaning your leather be sure to replenish its natural oils and preservatives with a proper leather conditioner. Once cleaned, leather is bare and unprotected. Protect the leather from UV and environmental abuse (and passenger abuse) by rubbing in the conditioner after each cleaning. Mothers® Leather Conditioner and the new generation LeatherCream® Moisture Rich Conditioner are designed to augment leather’s natural protective oils with neat’s-foot oil and lanolin. You can use a similar applicator for cleaner as well as the conditioner, though you’ll use a heavier dose of conditioner. While not essential some folks prefer using their hands to knead leather conditioner into the surface.
Another option for restoring and maintaining your leather interior is with an all-in-one product. Mothers® Reflections® Leather Care is a multitasking solution that cleans as it conditions. Mothers® VLR cares for 3 interior elements and cleans and conditions vinyl, leather and rubber surfaces. Just spray it on and rub it in. While not always as effective, all-in-one treatments are especially good for covering large areas, such as in SUVs, minivans or wagons, they get the job done in less time because they eliminate the need for additional steps.