How to Deep Clean Leather Seats, Couches and Upholstery

Deep Clean Leather: tips from a pro

“What I’m about to share with you is the ‘professional’ cleaning method, and I swear on my life it works, but you need to be careful. Seriously. I’ve brought back leather that was covered in soot before”

This is an edited repost from the NSFW version at:

Example of 1/2 Cleaned:

Get the following items:
• a bit of degreaser. Super Clean is great, it comes in a purple container.

There are other alternatives to degreaser. I use degreaser personally because plenty of the seats I get have excessive dirt & grime, and I mean bad. For lighter dirt, another user mentioned Totally-Awesome and I’ve also heard good things about Simple Green


–> Don’t let the degreaser touch any and I mean ANY of your plastic!!! Degreaser will quickly fade any plastic to white and it’s a nearly impossible to fix that.

• Two spritzer bottles, old windex bottles actually work perfectly.
• Leather conditioner, splurge on the good stuff. Leather (especially nice leather) is very picky about what you use on it. If you go cheap you might end up with dull and shiny spots.
• A nice scrub brush with about the feeling of a softer toothbrush. Nothing too rough!
• Two towels you will throw away.
• Gloves might help, that degreaser is rough.

Find a time where you can leave your car open for around, say 2 hours, windows down.

Make a mix of degreaser and water in one bottle, 3 parts water, 1 part degreaser. If your leather is lighter, you may want to go 4:1. (later another pro says mix Totally-Awesome-Cleaner 15:1 – Your guess.)

Fill your other bottle with water.

NOTICE: Do not get distracted while you are doing the following steps. You have to be quick otherwise you can get “drip marks”.

1) The First Clean, clean your leather with some windex. Get all the major dirt off, it’s bad. Otherwise go to the next step.

2) Put your water, scrub, brush, degreaser, and towel all within close reach of you. Seats come in “panels”. Do ONE PANEL AT A TIME. Spray a little degreaser on it. Scrub it quickly with your brush. Wipe it with the towel, and then spray it with water fairly liberally.

3) Wipe it with the towel again.

4) Repeat this on each individual PANEL of the seat. Do the whole thing so it’s even. If your bolsters are dirty you may have to do them twice.

5) After your seats are all nice and clean, take a close look at them. They’ll look “dull”, not reflecting as much light as normal. THIS IS PERFECTLY FINE. YOU WANT THEM TO LOOK LIKE THIS. DULL IS GOOD RIGHT NOW.

6) Once Everything is perfectly dry, grab a throwaway rag and your leather conditioner. Rub it in really nicely and evenly. Wait an hour or so letting it soak in before you sit so you don’t have oily pants and a “butt-mark” on your seat.
Reply>I’m also a professional auto detailer and you can clean just about any leather with Totally-Awesome-Cleaner **diluted 15:1** and a mr clean magic eraser, as for leather conditioner we use Lexol-Leather-Conditioner


I think these are the products mentioned. Use them and this technique at your own risk! I’ve not tried it out myself at the time of this post.

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