How to clean, condition and protect leather car seats
99.9 percent of all modern car leathers have a matt finish. Today’s leather is chrome-tanned or synthetically tanned. In the past, vegetable tanning had been the more common method. However, when it comes to cleaning, conditioning and protecting your car seats - age and condition of the leather are very important factors rather than the tanning method.
General dirt on leather seats can be cleaned using either Geist. Rapid Leather & Vinyl Cleaner for regular cleaning or for heavily soiled seats using Geist. Rapid Cleaner PRO. The Rapid Cleaner PRO is ideal for heavy dirt . Use Geist. Leather Cleaning Brush to remove dirt from the depths of the grain.
New leather (within the first three years) should be protected with Geist. Dye & Friction Blocker. New leather doesn’t need oils or any other kind of conditioning treatment, as it’s still fully protected by the tanning process. Common problems with new leathers arise due to general wear and dye transfer from clothing which penetrates into the coloured protective finish. Side bolsters on driver’s seat is the most common area affected by signs of wear after a few years and develops scuff marks . Light coloured leathers are more often discoloured by denim stains or dye transfer from other clothing. Dye & Friction Blocker prevents these happening. We recommend protecting the contact areas on the driver's seat every three months and other contact areas every six to twelve months.
Older leather(cars more than 3 years old) need oils and conditioning to maintain softness, fading and prevent long term shrinkage of leather. After about 3 years, leather fibres begin to lose moisture. this is a gradual process by which fibres slowly shrink and tension on the seams rises. The leather often feels harder because the surface finish polymers gradually lose flexibility. Microscopic cracking is common and a known part of the ageing process. Geist. Leather Conditioner is a micro oil-water emulsion with penetrators, that rapidly penetrate into dry leather by overcoming surface tension. It can reduce or even reverse shrinkage caused by moisture loss. It increases the tear resistance of older leathers. Apply once every 3-6 months depending on use. The use of Dye & Friction Blocker would still be required for car seats especially on main contact areas. Apply the conditioner and allow it time to penetrate. Ideally overnight but any level of time you can give it is better than nothing. A day later, apply the Blocker to protect from dye transfer and friction and abrasion damage.
Older convertibles and classic cars with shinier and dry leather should be conditioned using Geist. Leather Preserver which is a synthetic wax that protects, softens, revives faded dyes and maintains the flexibility of leather. It also contains a UV filter and conditioning additives that buffer against dryness, sunlight and sweat.
Important: Our care products are intense in effect. Looking after leather regularly with little amount of product instead of rarely cleaning or protecting and over-applying is the best method. “More” doesn’t help “more” when protecting leather.