Cleaning Leather Car Seats

July 8, 2015

I used the Tana leather shampoo for the rear seat of my BMW. No signs of residual rust yet several other products had failed before.


Tana is made in Australia but should be available elsewhere.


12 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

January 24, 2008

How can I get gum off of a leather seat in my car?

Tammy from FL


January 25, 20080 found this helpful

I woud try freezing the gum first with ice or another implement which will not wet the leather .
Once frozen you should you should be able to pick it off with your finger nail.
Hope this works! I've done this to remove gum in many "sticky" spots. Good luck

By lindajean. (Guest Post)
February 2, 20080 found this helpful

I'd be afraid to pick the frozen gum off the leather--it might take the color/finish off the leather. What about using the leather cream since oily stuff (mayonaise, peanut butter, etc.) is good for removing gum from hair, etc.

By Metaholic (Guest Post)
February 3, 20080 found this helpful

I tried the baby oil, and the ice pack, and after almost 10 minutes of hard work thought about something else.

I put very hot water in a nylon pack, and only 30 seconds after placing them on the gum, is completely dissolved! It even partially came out with the bag. 2 minutes later I was done.


Judging from this effect, against the common advice, I'd bet chicken soup causes cancer.:)

By Jowita (Guest Post)
February 22, 20080 found this helpful

I would try using a product called Goo Gone first(can't do any harm to your leather seat) it also works great for removing old stickers on your windshield and much more.

March 11, 20080 found this helpful

I tried metaholics' advice of using the hot water. it really worked! I didn't have a nylon bag, but I boiled some water and used an old towel/rag. I laid the rag on the seat, poured a small amount the the boiling water on, left it for about 30 seconds.


(Iput on my rubber dish gloves so I could hold the rag and scrub). with a little rubbing, it came off. I think the heat melts it enough to where it's soft enough to come off. Thanks !!!

By B-Man (Guest Post)
July 15, 20080 found this helpful

I found scotch tape worked well on my leather seat (also highly endorsed by a Lamborgini owner.) Just treat it like you're waxing... ;o

By ryan (Guest Post)
October 26, 20080 found this helpful

I found that if you spray some armour all on the gum and let that sit for about 30 seconds and then scratch the gum off with your finger nail it won't damage the leather or take much of your time!

By Descarado (Guest Post)
December 1, 20080 found this helpful

After reading the I'd try's in this form, I tried ended up trying two of them. First the Scotch Tape: worked well on the areas with very little gum, but in one area, removed the leather finish.


Next the hot water: worked great. I used a paper towel instead a cloth rag or nylon bag.

July 12, 20090 found this helpful

In the "gum on leather couch" a number of vegetable oils were recommended. I had very fresh gum (my 7 year old's) on my Corvette leather seat. No idea what would work best.

The vegetable oil solution worked perfectly! Put some on a paper towel, and work into the gum. Soon it softens the gum up, and then just starts to lift gum without smearing or spreading, which is what usually happens when you try to remove it. Thank you Thrifty Fun!

January 23, 20180 found this helpful


January 23, 20180 found this helpful


September 2, 20180 found this helpful

Ur tip with hot water worked awesome!!! Too bad I didnt see it until after I tried all the others ones that failed! Thank you so much!!

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September 2, 2005

I have leather seats in my new car. I also have a 3 year old!
A red crayon was left on the back seat and melted all over the leather seat (I live in Florida).

How do I get it off safely? Thanks!


January 25, 20060 found this helpful

This will be easy since leather has a smoother surface than fabric.

First, use a butter knife to scrape off as much wax as you can.

Now get a paper towel and turn on an iron to low. Fold the towel twice so it has 4 layers. Place the paper towel over the crayon and iron until the wax melts. If wax is not melting, turn up the iron one notch. Do not turn it on high, it might scorch your leather.


Continue to use a new section of paper towel each time you iron the spot. Iron with paper towel until crayon is gone. When all wax is removed, the crayon may leave a dark mark on the leather. It is not possible to get this dark mark off, you must buy new seats. Consider using seat covers next time.

This method works with wax on most any surface including carpet.

By Trista (Guest Post)
January 25, 20060 found this helpful

The dark spot left on the seat after you remove the wax is the grease from the crayon. I have removed grease spots from my leather couches with baking soda. Apply liberally and rub into the spot, you may need to repeat several times.

By Michele Collie (Guest Post)
May 30, 20060 found this helpful

Did it work? my brand new car...two months old has black leather with orange melted crayon. I'm scared to try anything. Teresa I live in Florida too...did it work?

By momma meltdown (Guest Post)
July 14, 20060 found this helpful

Check out crayolas website they have suggestions that involve wd-40. Also check out Amodex it's supposed to remove just about anything including ink

By nannie (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

I haven't tried it yet but I am thinking of putting ice (covered in a plastic bag) over the melted crayon and seeing if when it gets cold I can scrape as much as possible off. I'll let you know if it works.

By chris (Guest Post)
July 25, 20070 found this helpful

I had a crayon stain on my leather seats rubbed in by a car seat. The iron trick didn't work for me, however I had some Armorall Leather Wipes and in two minutes it was gone!

By Jean (Guest Post)
October 2, 20070 found this helpful

my 2 yr old colored my beige sofa with crayons.
how to get off?
please respond to tupperware AT

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April 17, 2005

I accidently left a few newspaper ads on my leather seat in my car, baking in the hot sun. I have tried everything and nothing works including after shave, alchohol, nail polish remover, bleach.

I am desperate. I have the ads permanently on my seat. Please help get my new car back! Thank you in advance. Christine


By Mary (Guest Post)
April 18, 20050 found this helpful

Have you tried oil? Like baby oil or almond oil (sold at health food stores)? I don't know, it may work. Also you might want to call the manufacturer for cleaning ideas.


Beyond that I am stumped. What a shame if your seats are ruined! I hope something will work for you!

April 18, 20050 found this helpful

Try using hairspray the cheaper the better, spray on heavily and wipe it off with a hot damp cloth. If that doesn't work try leather shoe cleaner and if that doesn't work try using Dawn dishwashing liquid. If nothing works take it to the car dealer where you purchased it. They have all kinds of cleaning tricks to make cars look new again.

July 23, 20050 found this helpful

try mr clean dry erasers... i used it on my leather seats to get concrete dust off them, that stuff was horrible, i also use them on the steering wheel and the blinker cause my husband gets them so dirty and nothing else took off the concrete dye dust...

July 23, 20050 found this helpful

try mr clean dry erasers... i used it on my leather seats to get concrete dust off them, that stuff was horrible, i also use them on the steering wheel and the blinker cause my husband gets them so dirty and nothing else took off the concrete dye dust...

By Marion (Guest Post)
January 9, 20060 found this helpful

I accidentially got newspaper ink on my new beige colored suede leather jacket as we were driving through the city looking for a new apartment with the newspaper on my lap. Any thoughts on how to remove? Thank you.

By leather Guy (Guest Post)
July 8, 20060 found this helpful

The ink from the paper has penetrated into the leather. Rubbing to try and remove will only harm the finish and rmove the color... You need a Pro... heres a few things you can try...

1.) Call a dealer and get the name of their leather tech. They can redye the area to match.

2.) check some of the links here ...(ads to the right... I saw something that may work.

3.) sometimes pep boys has vinly spray colors that might match for a do it yourself job..

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January 29, 2019

The dye on my leather belt has rubbed off onto my tan leather seat in my truck. How do I remove this stain? I've tried leather boot cleaner, Lexol saddle cleaner, toothpaste and a toothbrush which left dried residue in the perforations, hydrogen peroxide, lacquer thinner, WD40, and I even tried a Mr.

Clean Magic Eraser which actually scratched the surface, but didn't touch the stain.

Stain on Leather Car Seat from Belt - closeup of the stain
Stain on Leather Car Seat from Belt


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
January 29, 20190 found this helpful

Try nail polish remover or hairspray


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
January 29, 20190 found this helpful

it looks like the fibres of the darker leather have permanently dyed the lighter leather. It seems that there is no real way to remove this if all these methods have not taken fruit.

here's a tutorial for cleaning lighter leather


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January 30, 20190 found this helpful

Sounds like you have really tried a lot of ways to remove this stain so maybe you might pay a visit to a local auto detailing shop and ask their opinion.
They usually specialize in this type of work.

The suggestions may or may not work but be sure to test in a hidden place before trying anything else. Suggestions from the web site:

"Remove stains with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. If there are a few stains that wont come off with regular cleaning, then you can try treating them with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Rub the stain with a cloth that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
Always test the fabric before applying to stains to ensure that it does not leave a mark."

I have had pretty good luck using the hand cleaner Goop but I'm not sure about using it here.
It is possible the stain is permanent.


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February 10, 20190 found this helpful

Ask your mechanic or dealer for their go to product. You have tried and failed all the home remedies I know. Sometimes the sun bakes in these stains. Hope they can give you an answer. Post back what you learn!

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June 10, 2009

My 4 year old daughter accidentally wrote a long line on my friend's car leather gray seat. She used a purple RoseArt bold washable marker. I feel so badly since I'm the adult and I feel responsible. It happened 3 days ago and she only found out this afternoon. She said she'll bring it to the professional cleaner and will let me know. How else could we remove the mark? I will appreciate any help. Thank you.

By jocelyn from Las Vegas, NV


June 11, 20090 found this helpful

In my experience baby wipes are a blessing.

June 11, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with jenthehen77. Baby wipes are gentle enough for a baby, they will be gentle enough for leather.

June 11, 20090 found this helpful

Is the marker just "washable" or is it one for a whiteboard? If the baby wipes don't work, try this ... as ridiculous as it sounds. Take the same marker and write another line on top of the one that's already on the seat. Then wipe it off immediately. It re-wets the original mark, so it's more "agreeable" to being wiped off. I've had dry markers on a whiteboard for ages, sometimes, and this is the only sure way I know of to get rid of it. Then wipe it down with the baby wipe a second time to get as much as possible out.

June 12, 20090 found this helpful

I always use this comb on everything. One of those mr. clean erasers & fantastik the one with oxy in a blue bottle gently wipe the area. It should come off. It may take a lot of wiping but remember gently. Hope it comes off, but ya know what stuff happens it isn't the worst thing.

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December 31, 2010

What is the best way to clean leather car seats?

By LeftyCC from FL


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 186 Feedbacks
December 31, 20100 found this helpful

You can buy bottles or tins of leather cleaner, in auto parts stores. I can't remember what it is called. There is also cleaner for leather furniture that I would imaging would work. My guess is that could be purchased in a furniture store.

January 4, 20110 found this helpful

Leather cleaner and leather conditioner.

January 5, 20110 found this helpful

My son-in-law has worked in the car industry for many years and he uses spray furniture polish. He sprays it on his cloth and it works like a charm.

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November 7, 2009

What can I use to clean the leather in my car? It is starting to crack and is somewhat soiled. I have tried to clean the leather, but it does not work. Thank you.


By Irene from Topeka, KS


November 8, 20090 found this helpful

3M Co. makes a product for cleaning leather interiors. Should be available at automotive stores. Possibly Target or Walmart.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 11, 20090 found this helpful

Armor All!
You can find it at all auto supply stores, many hardware stores and I've even seen it at stores like Target and WalMart.

November 12, 20090 found this helpful

Go on line to Get Interior Cleaner for leather and then use Leather Care Spray. They are excellent products and well worth the money.

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June 1, 2010

How do I remove grease from leather car seats?

By curtis from Lake Alfred, FL


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 399 Feedbacks
June 3, 20100 found this helpful

I would try putting some plain old cornstarch on the grease, brushing it in a bit, & letting it sit overnight. This might need to be repeated, but should help. Good luck.

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November 3, 2014

How to best clean beige leather car seats?

By Mary from Huntington, IN

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September 20, 2006

How do you remove tar from leather car seats?

JP from San Diego

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August 21, 2006

I have grass stains on car leather seats.


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