Steam cleaning leather in the vehicle
Over time leather in your car will get dirty from body oils, dirt, and grim. It will leave leather with a shiny look and slippery feel. It's easy to clean if you do it frequently but if you don't maintain or protect the leather it will be difficult to clean without the proper equipment. The picture below shows a seat that has never been cleaned. You have to be careful in the cleaning process because using the wrong chemical will remove the color from the leather. Luckily we use steam and harsh chemicals are not needed.
We use steam to clean and disinfect leather seats in the vehicle all the time. With steam, we are able to break up and loosen the dirt and grime from the leather. With steam the use of chemicals is minimal. This ensures that once we are done there is no chemical residue left behind.
How do we do it?
First, we set the steam machine to dry steam and use it to remove all the dirt and debris from the seams. With perforated seats, the method is the same. With steam and a vacuum, this makes quick work of removing the debris.
Next, we remove the stains on the leather by using steam to loosen or break up the body oils, grime, dye transfer, dirt, and so on. A mild chemical cleaner is used with a soft boars hair brush to agitate the leather with the cleaner. This will bring the seats back to looking new.
The last step is using steam to rinse those mild chemicals from the leather and a microfiber cloth to mop up and dry. Clean leather should have a matte or dull look. It should never be shiny. Once the leather is cleaned there is no need for any leather conditioner. Automotive leather has a clear protectant resin. No leather conditioner will ever penetrate that layer.
You can now protect the leather with a dedicated protectant like Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard. This will protect against abrasion damage, UV rays, dye transfer, and other discoloration
Check out this video as it will explain in more detail and show how we clean leather.