Leather car seats are super popular as they look fantastic and have that luxury quality everyone wants. But how about having them when it gets hot?
Here Is What You Can Do To Stop Sweat From Wrecking Your Leather Car Seat:
There are many factors you can do to stop the sweat from affecting you leather car seats, as you don’t want it absorbing and staining your leather.
It’s advisable to look at seat covers, wear lighter clothes, and protect your car from the sun (when you can).
This is the short answer.
We will go through in detail what sweat does to leather seats, and 5 super solutions for you so your seats will be protected in those sweaty hot months of the year.
- Here Is What You Can Do To Stop Sweat From Wrecking Your Leather Car Seat:
- What Does Sweat Do To Leather Car Seats?
- 5 Ways to Stop Sweat from Wrecking Your Car Seat
- How Do You Clean Up Sweat From Leather Car Seats?
What Does Sweat Do To Leather Car Seats?
When you’re driving your car, the air conditioner tries to keep you cool. The leather car seats also work hard to preserve your comfort. However, sometimes sweat can do the opposite of keeping you comfortable. Here are some ways in which sweat can affect your leather car seats.
a. Absorbing Sweat Into The Leather
When sweat comes in contact with your leather seats, it can absorb into the pores. Leather is made of dried animal skin that has been treated with an oil finish.
When the leather absorbs the sweat, it can alter its chemical composition and cause damage. Leather seats have tiny pores that are able to absorb liquid. Sweat is mostly water, however, there are several other chemicals in sweat that can affect leather car seats. These pores will let sweat through unless they are sealed.
Excess sweat will darken the leather, causing it to change colour and become discoloured over time. The salts in perspiration can corrode the leather’s surface, causing permanent damage to your upholstery.
The process of discoloration is similar to what happens when you leave a glass of iced tea in the sun for too long. The tannins in the tea will leech into the cup and stain it brown unless the tannin is removed by leaving it out overnight. The products used in finishing leather are similar to tannin and they react with salts in your sweat.
Exposure to sweat will also fade the leather over time, especially if you have light-coloured seats. This is because your skin contains oils and acids from the foods you eat as well as from what your body produces naturally. When this comes in contact with leather, that acidity causes a chemical reaction that makes the leather fade.
Here is a good article I completed on sweat on leather seats.
5 Ways to Stop Sweat from Wrecking Your Car Seat
There are several things that can cause sweat to wreck your leather car seats. But there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.
1. Airconditioned Seats
One of the best ways to reduce sweat on your leather car seats is by purchasing an airconditioned vehicle. Airconditioning keeps the inside of the car cool, preventing sweat from building up in the first place. The less sweat that is absorbed, the less chance of damage to your car seats.
Sweating is caused by an increase in body temperature and can happen to anyone. It can be especially problematic for those who are driving in non-air-conditioned vehicles during the summer months.
Installing air conditioning is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent sweat from damaging your leather car seats. The air-conditioned seats are automatic and come with different functions which include air vents, heating, and cooling functions.
When it is hot inside your vehicle, the air-conditioned seats turn on automatically and maintain a comfortable temperature inside your car. During winter months, the heating function of air-conditioned seats is activated so you will not have to drive around with cold leather car seats.
2. Beaded Seat Covers
Beaded seat covers are made from non-porous materials that do not soak up sweat or body oils. These seat covers are sewn from a sturdy mesh material which is supported by a soft cotton backing. The beaded seat cover cushions the body against the seat and keeps the skin from touching the hot leather car seats directly.
The beaded seat cover can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and mild soap solution without damaging the cover. This type of seat cover is also resistant to moisture, sweat, and spills, protecting your leather car seats from damage or staining.
3. Seat Cushions
Seat cushions made from memory foam are an inexpensive way to prevent sweat from wrecking your leather car seats. Memory foam is made from polyurethane and consists of millions of tiny cells containing air or some other gas.
The memory foam reacts to the heat in the vehicle, which causes it to expand and mold itself to the shape of your body’s contours. This makes for a smooth, firm seating surface that is very comfortable.
Memory foam seat cushions are usually equipped with an elastic strap that acts as a closure to keep the cushion firmly in place on the leather car seat.
A Kool cushion is an example of a seat cushion that can help keep sweat from ruining your leather car seats. It is made from memory foam, which is filled with gel beads that circulate freely to keep your seat cool and dry.
The Kool Kooshion can be used on any car seat but has specially designed pockets for the headrests on seats in SUVs or trucks.
4. Sunshade When Leaving your Car in Heat
Leaving a sunshade on your car’s windshield when you step out is a good way to reduce the heat build-up inside the vehicle. Leather absorbs heat and hot temperatures can cause the material to dry and crack.
It is important to remember that any moisture or sweat on the leather car seats will also absorb into the leather, causing damage.
Sitting on a hot leather car seat can cause sweating and discomfort. With heat build-up inside the car, leaving a sunshade on the windshield helps to reduce the amount of heat getting into your vehicle and elevates the inside temperature by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is a great article we did on summer heat affecting leather car seats.
5. Don’t wear Layers of Clothing
While it may be necessary to dress warmly in the winter months, wearing layers of clothing in the summer months is a bad idea. When you wear layers of clothing, your sweat will not evaporate-instead it becomes trapped between the clothes and dampens the leather car seats.
If you must dress warmly for a winter drive, remove some of your outer layers while inside the vehicle so that air can circulate around you and reduce sweating.
Sweat from your clothes seeps into the car leather and causes discoloration and fading. It is important to always allow sweat to evaporate completely during warm weather so it doesn’t cause damage to your vehicle’s interior or exterior. If you decide not to wear layers of clothing, ensure that the setting inside the vehicle is as cool as possible.
How Do You Clean Up Sweat From Leather Car Seats?
When your leather car seats get ruined from sweat, it is time to clean the material. There are different ways you can approach this depending on how much damage has been done and what type of upholstery the damaged leather car seats consist of.
1. Use Soapy Warm Water
Mix one tablespoon mild soap with warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and rub gently on the affected area to remove sweat stains or body oils. Avoid saturating the upholstery because this will cause it to shrink.
Doing so can distort the leather car seats, eventually causing them to come apart at the seams. If the leather car seats have been stained by leaking drinks or food, it is advisable to clean the surface with a solution of mild soap and water to avoid bleaching. Dry immediately after cleaning with a lint-free cloth to prevent damage from moisture.
2. . Use Leather Cleaner
There are many types of leather cleaners available on the market in different forms, including sprays, wipes, and bottles. Choose a cleaner that is recommended for the type of leather in your car, read all directions carefully before use, and test it on an inconspicuous spot to make sure there are no negative effects.
3. Use Vinyl Cleaner
Vinyl leather is a type of upholstery that looks and feels similar to car leather but is not as expensive. The vinyl cleaner works the same way as a leather cleaner, so apply it with a soft cloth and rub gently until the stains have been removed. The same care as for leather car seats will need to be taken afterward to avoid drying or scratching.
4. Clean With Vinegar and Water
Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and rub it onto the affected areas of your vehicle’s upholstery gently to remove sweat stains and other dirt that can be found on leather car seats.
5. Use Leather Conditioner
After cleaning the surface, apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to help prevent further damage from dirt and sweat in hot weather. Most upholsterers recommend conditioning your vehicle’s interior every three months or so, depending on how often you use it. For vehicles that are being used daily, apply the conditioner every two weeks.
6. Clean With Baking Soda
Apply a small amount of baking soda to your soft cloth and rub the mixture onto leather car seats to remove sweat stains using gentle circular motions. Dry with another clean piece of cloth as soon as this has been done to avoid damage from moisture. Apply leather conditioner to the affected area after cleaning.
7. Use Ammonia and Water
Mix one part ammonia with three parts water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and rub gently onto leather car seats to remove sweat stains and discoloration caused by perspiration accumulated over time.
Leather car seats are expensive, so it is important to take the proper steps to avoid damage from sweat. When your leather car seats get ruined from perspiration, clean them properly using a method recommended for their type of upholstery and apply a layer of conditioner afterward.