The look and feel of a leather interior in your car is heaven. Keeping it that way, on the other hand, can be not so heavenly. Leather has specific care requirements different from vinyl or cloth seats. If you want to keep your leather interior looking like new, follow these five easy tips to keep your car's leather interior looking like the day you bought it.

Stay Out of the Sun

Leather and vampires have something in common: neither do well in the sun. Leather can fade and crack if exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. To keep your leather happy, keep it out of the sun as much as possible. Seat covers, parking in the shade or a garage, or using a leather conditioner with UV protectant can help to prevent the sun from damaging your leather interior.

Vacuum First

Before you do any other type of cleaning or conditioning to your leather interior, always vacuum first. Little bits of dust and dirt, or tiny pieces of dried up French fries, can scratch the leather as you wipe it with your cleaner. Use an angled vacuum attachment to get down into the stitching and crevices and a soft brush attachment for the rest of the interior.

Don't use roller attachments. The rollers will drag across the leather and can cause the same type of damage all those pieces of dirt can cause.

Use a Neutral pH Leather Cleaner

Never use soap or bleach products on your leather. Find a neutral pH-balanced leather cleaner that uses soft oils to break down and lift dirt from your leather. Cleaners with ammonia or bleach will dry out the leather and cause cracking. After you are done cleaning, apply a good leather conditioner to keep your leather looking and feeling great.

On areas with stitching, apply the product to the towel rather than directly to the seat to keep the stitching from deteriorating. Use a horsehair leather brush to push the cleaner down into the cracks and crevices and pull dirt out. 

Use a Microfiber Towel Only

Just like the bits of dried up fries, a rough towel can cause scratching to your leather when you are wiping on products like a cleaner or a conditioner. Using a microfiber towel will prevent the damage left by a rougher towel. Microfiber is soft enough to prevent damage and absorbent enough to pick up any excess moisture and bits of dirt. This is the number one tool you will need when you are protecting your leather interior.

Use Toothpaste for Stains

If there is a stain that won't come up with a regular leather cleaner, take a bit of toothpaste and work it into the stain using a circular motion starting from the outside of the stain and working inward. The toothpaste will pull out the stain particles and hold them in the toothpaste. Then, all you have to do is wipe it off.

Leather interiors are beautiful and create a classic look inside your car. If you want to keep your leather looking like new, use only a microfiber towel, steer clear of cleaners not made for leather, and park in the shade. Check out the wide selection of microfiber towels available here at Golden State Trading.

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