If you detail vehicles for a living, cleaning and conditioning leather seats is a lucrative source of income. Leather seats show dirt and grime after just a couple of years, yet vehicle owners take great pride in their appearance. You might consider this service as an add-on to boost your bottom line. Here are some best practices to follow when cleaning and conditioning leather seats in a vehicle.

Clean the Seats

Before you apply any conditioner to the seats, you’ll need to make sure they are clean. Applying a conditioning product to soiled seats will only make the problem worse. Follow these steps while cleaning.

Brush Seats

The first step is to get large particles off the seats. Brush off crumbs, sand, and dirt. Getting rid of these particles is the easy part of the job.

Use a Vacuum

A vacuum will help you reach the particles lodged in cracks, crevices, and textured areas of the seats.

Clean off Film Layers

After you get rid of loose particles, you’ll need to clean the residue film that remains on leather seats. Use an approved leather cleaner to get rid of this layer. Don’t use cleaners formulated for other surfaces because you can never quite predict how they may react to leather. If there are particularly stubborn spots, you might consider using a scrub brush for a hand drill to get them out.

Condition the Leather

Once the seats are clean, you’ll move on to the conditioning phase of the project. Follow these steps.

Select a Conditioner

You’ll find many conditioning products on the market. Choose one that is water-based and pH neutral. Don’t just choose anything off the store shelf or the cheapest product. You might even want to read online reviews before selecting a conditioner. Choosing a conditioner is not the time to compromise on quality.

Spot Test the Conditioner

Before you apply the conditioner over a large area, give it a try in an out-of-the-way spot. You’ll want to see how the leather reacts to the conditioner you selected.

Apply the Conditioner

Using a soft microfiber cloth, gently apply the conditioner in a circular motion. Try to apply a consistently even coat over the leather, avoiding getting too much in any one spot. Use a new cloth as needed to go over the leather a second time to remove any excess conditioner. Keep the vehicle out of direct sunlight for a while to allow the leather to cure without direct light and ultraviolet rays.

Low Investment and Big Profit

Cleaning and conditioning leather seats in a vehicle can be done with simple accessories and supplies such as a horse hair brush, microfiber towels, cleaner, and conditioner. For a detailing shop, the investment in supplies is small, but the potential for profit is huge.

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