Cleaning car leather: How to keep car seats & co. beautiful for longer

Autoinnenraum mit grauem Cockpit, schwarzem Lenkrad und roten Ledersitzen

Leather not only gives vehicles a luxurious appearance, but is also a high-quality and durable material. To keep the leather in your car's interior in the best possible condition, you cannot avoid regular cleaning and care. Continuous care helps to keep the leather supple, protect it from premature wear and tear, and maintain its shine for years to come.

The following guide will give you a detailed insight into the correct procedure for cleaning and caring for car leather. Whether you are an avid car enthusiast or simply the proud owner of a vehicle with leather upholstery, the following information will help you keep the interior of your car in good shape and significantly extend the life of your leather interior.

Which leather is most commonly used for car interiors?

To create a high-quality and comfortable ambience, different types of leather are used in car interiors . Each of these types of leather has its own characteristics and advantages. Here are some of the most common types of leather used to furnish car interiors:

Suede: Suede, also known as Alcantara , is a high-quality microfiber that offers the look and feel of suede . It is often used in premium vehicles and gives the interior a luxurious feel. Suede is soft, breathable and resistant to stains.

Nappa leather: Nappa leather is a particularly soft and supple type of leather that is increasingly found in high-priced vehicles. It is characterized by its smooth surface and pleasant feel. Nappa leather is very comfortable and gives the interior an elegant appearance .

Aniline leather: Aniline leather is a high-quality natural material that is characterized by a minimally processed surface. It retains the natural texture and grain of the skin and offers a luxurious look and a pleasant feel. However, aniline leather is sensitive to stains, sunlight and moisture because it has no protective coating. Therefore, in order to maintain its luxurious appearance, it requires a lot of attention in the form of care .

Semi-Aniline Leather: Semi-aniline leather is a combination of aniline leather and coated leather . It is lightly pigmented or given a thin layer of color and protection, making it more resistant to stains and fading while retaining some natural features.

Coated (pigmented) leather: Coated leather is the most commonly used leather for car seats. To provide a uniform surface and better resistance to wear, stains and UV rays, it is coated with a thicker layer of color and protection . However, the natural texture and grain of the leather is often lost in the process, which is considered a disadvantage for many car enthusiasts.

Artificial leather: Artificial leather is made from various materials such as vinyl or polyurethane . Nowadays, the visual difference to real leather is negligible. On top of that, artificial leather has the advantage that it is less sensitive to external influences and is easier to clean and maintain. However, in direct comparison to real leather, it is less breathable, which affects comfort.

What factors determine the frequency of car maintenance?

The frequency of cleaning car leather depends on several factors, such as the use of the vehicle, environmental conditions and the general cleanliness of the interior.

Generally, it is recommended that you thoroughly clean and condition leather every two months . This routine will help remove dirt, dust, and everyday grime before you can get deeper into the leather. Here are some guidelines to help you decide how often you should clean your car leather:

1. Intensity of use: If you use your car frequently or regularly take passengers with you, the leather can get dirty more quickly. If this applies to you, then you should clean your leather seats etc. once a month . This is the only way to maintain optimal cleanliness and care in the interior of your car, which means that the natural material will retain its beautiful appearance for longer.

2. Environmental conditions: If you live in an area where extreme weather conditions such as high humidity, strong sunlight and dirty streets prevail, then you should be aware that these external influences can cause the leather to become dirty and wear out more quickly . To prevent it from becoming brittle and cracked, you should clean your car leather more often and treat it to appropriate care at regular intervals.

Rush hour traffic at sunset in a big city

Image source: Pixabay

3. Stains and dirt: To prevent stains and dirt from penetrating too deeply into the material and causing permanent damage, dirt such as spilled drinks or food must be removed immediately . Waiting until the next complete cleaning is due would not be a good idea, as small mishaps will be very difficult or impossible to remove from your leather seats.

In most cases, targeted stain removal is necessary. Use a stain remover that is specifically designed for your leather. We recommend the premium leather cleaner from Emma Grün . It is suitable for all types of leather, does its job sustainably and effectively, and achieves excellent results.

4. Preventive care: To prevent the leather from fading and drying out, remember to protect your leather from direct sunlight . Regular care with sustainable products that have integrated sun protection will prevent the leather from drying out, changing its color and becoming damaged due to external influences.

Emma Grün Tip: For the love of your leather, you should avoid aggressive cleaning and care products that do their job with the help of chemical ingredients. Because they attack the surface and clog the pores, which means that the natural material can no longer breathe and the care products cannot penetrate the leather. The result is rather unsatisfactory in the long term, because the leather dries out and can become seriously damaged.

That's why we recommend choosing products based on home remedies . They have the ability to penetrate the material immediately and care for it from the inside out, instead of just settling on the surface and having a short-term effect. They are also harmless to the environment. If they get out into the outside world and into the groundwater, they do not cause any damage.

Cleaning & caring for car leather: How to keep your car's interior leather beautiful for longer

In order not to damage the natural material, cleaning car leather requires a gentle approach. Aggressive products and a rough approach are out of place here . The following steps will help you to clean your car leather effectively without damaging it:

Remove dust and dirt

To remove dust, dirt and loose particles from the interior of your car, we recommend using a microfiber cloth or a soft brush with natural bristles. This will prevent dirt from scratching the leather surface when cleaning.

Use sustainable leather cleaner

Spray your Emma Green Premium Leather Cleaner onto a clean, damp microfiber cloth and gently work the leather from the inside out. Be careful not to wet the cloth too much to avoid excessive moisture on the material.

Wipe & dry

To remove the dissolved dirt and excess cleaner from the leather, you should always use a clean, slightly damp microfiber cloth. Make sure that all residue is thoroughly removed.

The care

If you want to keep the natural material supple , you should then use a suitable care product such as the leather care cream or leather care lotion from Emma Grün . Apply a thin layer of the product to the cleaned and dried leather and polish with a clean, dry cloth. This helps to moisturize the leather all over and thus protect it from drying out.

Sun protection and regularity in cleaning & care

To prevent the leather from fading and drying out and to ensure the long-term beauty and durability of the material, you must regularly clean and care for your leather interior. Also remember to protect the leather from direct sunlight. With the leather care products from Emma Grün, you can do this in one step with the care you apply . This saves time and money and also protects the environment thanks to the harmless ingredients.

Important: If the leather is very dirty or damaged, it is advisable to seek professional help. Professionals can thoroughly clean the leather, repair it and restore it to its best condition.

Does the steering wheel in the car require special care?

The steering wheel is one of the most heavily used surfaces in the vehicle interior , as it is frequently touched and exposed to various influences such as sweat, grease, UV rays and dirt. This is precisely why it usually requires more attention than the rest of the interior of your car. Here are some important points to consider when caring for your leather steering wheel :

  • Regular cleaning: Clean the leather steering wheel regularly to remove dirt and debris. Use a sustainable cleaner such as the Premium Leather Cleaner from Emma Grün and a soft microfiber cloth .
  • Sun protection: Direct sunlight can cause the leather steering wheel to fade and dry out. Use a sunshade or park your car in the shade whenever possible . This will help protect the color and material of the steering wheel.
  • Avoid sharp objects: Keep sharp objects such as keys or metal objects away from the leather steering wheel. These could cause scratches or damage the leather.

Leather steering wheel and cockpit Mercedes

Image source: Pixabay

  • Special leather care products: For the regular care of your leather steering wheel, you should use leather care products that are suitable for steering wheels. Emma Grün's sustainable products contain ingredients that nourish and protect the leather without weighing it down or causing stains.
  • Moisturizing: To keep the leather steering wheel supple, you should treat it regularly with a high-quality leather care cream or leather care lotion. Apply the product thinly and polish carefully with a clean, dry cloth.


Car leather care requires patience and attention. However, the results speak for themselves and are definitely worth it. Regular cleaning and moisturizing can help you maintain the beauty and value of your vehicle in the long term. Always remember to use sustainable leather care products for leather care and be careful when applying them. Your car will thank you with a beautiful and well-maintained interior that will still look impressive even after many years.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

Why is car leather care important?

Caring for car leather is important to maintain its beauty and durability. Regular care prevents the leather from drying out, discoloring and wearing out, resulting in a well-maintained and high-quality interior and also increasing the resale value of the vehicle.

Can I use regular household cleaners on car leather?

It is recommended to use special leather cleaners that are pH neutral and do not contain harsh chemicals. Normal household cleaners could dry out or damage the leather.

How often should I clean car leather?

The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as the use of the vehicle, the environmental conditions and the condition of the leather. As a general rule, cleaning every two months is appropriate, but in cases of intensive use or heavy soiling, cleaning should be done at least once a month.

Can I clean my car leather with water?

Water can be used to prepare a cloth for cleaning, but should be used sparingly to prevent moisture from penetrating the leather. It is advisable to use special leather cleaners for best results.

When should I consider professional cleaning for my car leather?

Professional cleaning is advisable if the leather is very dirty or has stains that cannot be removed with normal cleaning products. Professionals can thoroughly clean the leather, condition it and protect it from damage.


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