As the proud owner of a vehicle with real leather seats, your first priority should be to learn how to condition truck leather. If you want your leather seats to look beautiful and last a long time, the leather must be cleaned and conditioned on a regular basis—not as often as you clean the truck itself, but at least every couple of months. It’s much easier to take care of truck leather right from the beginning than to try to repair it after it is already damaged.
Because it is a natural product, leather dries out as it ages and makes it more susceptible to dings and scratches from everyday use. Truck leather should be cleaned to remove dirt and oils, then conditioned to restore natural moisture and soften the leather. Leather conditioners are made to penetrate the leather to help prevent cracking and peeling. Car parts stores sell both cleaning and conditioning products for leather, so do some research and pick a product with good reputation in the leather care world. After a thorough cleaning, your truck leather is ready to condition.
You will need:
- Soft foam brush
- Soft cloth
- Leather conditioner
- Dry the leather seats. Most conditioners work best on dry leather, so if you’ve just cleaned your seats, make sure you wipe them down with an absorbent cloth before applying the conditioner.
- Apply conditioner. Using the sponge brush, apply a layer of conditioner to all areas of the seat. Once you have the conditioner on the seat, use the sponge brush to gently massage the conditioner into the leather with small circular motions. Don’t worry about getting too much conditioner on the seats–the leather will only absorb what it can and the rest will stay on the surface.
- Let conditioner sit. Leave the conditioner on the seat for twenty minutes.
- Remove excess conditioner. Using a slightly dampened towel, wipe the excess conditioner from the seats and let the seats air dry for another half hour.
Pretty easy, huh? That’s really all it takes to keep your leather seats looking and feeling good. Without conditioning, the leather will quickly dry out and crack, sometimes within a year or two in a warm climate.
The cheaper brands of leather conditioners usually contain petroleum and chemicals that sit on the surface of the leather instead of penetrating into it. They make the leather look shiny, but are quickly absorbed into your clothing, leaving your clothes oily and your truck leather unprotected. Choose a water-based leather conditioner to avoid this.