How to Get Smells Out of Leather Car Seats

Leather car seats can absorb odors from smoke, food, and pets that can be difficult to remove. Therefore, it is important to know to get smells out of leather car seats for a pleasant interior experience. Not only does this help keep your car smelling fresh and inviting, but it will also help preserve the appearance and longevity of your car’s interior.

How to Get Smells Out of Leather Car Seats

One of the major advantages of getting smells out of leather car seats is that it can be done quickly and easily. This makes it a great option for busy people who don’t have time to spend hours trying to remove bad odors from their vehicle’s interior.

Additionally, this method often requires minimal supplies, making it an affordable solution. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to get smells out of leather car seats in this blog article.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Get Smells Out of Leather Car Seats

Step 1: Inspect the Leather Car Seats

Before you start cleaning, check your leather car seats for signs of damage or wear and tear. If you see any cracks, tears, or peeling of the leather, do not attempt to clean them until they have been properly repaired.

Step 2: Vacuum the Leather Car Seats

Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt and debris from the leather car seats. Make sure to pay special attention to seams, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas. Use a microfiber cloth or feather duster to dust off any remaining dirt or particles on your leather car seats.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

Step 3: Mix Cleaning Solution

Create a cleaning solution by mixing one cup of mild dish soap into two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Ensure the soap is specifically designed for use on leather, as some soaps may damage the finish or cause discoloration. Before spraying your leather car seats with the cleaning solution, test a small area first to ensure it won’t cause any damage.

Step 4: Spray the Leather Car Seats

Once you have determined that the cleaning solution is safe for use on your leather car seat, spray it over all of the surfaces to be cleaned. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before proceeding to step seven. Wipe away the cleaning solution from your leather car seats using a clean, damp microfiber cloth. Ensure that all of the soap is removed and that you are not leaving any residue behind.

Step 5: Deodorize Leather Car Seats

To remove odors from your leather car seats, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the surface and allow it to sit for about an hour before vacuuming it away. Once all of the cleanings is done, use a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple. Apply the conditioner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6: Admire Your Handiwork

After completing all of these steps, you should have successfully removed any odors from your leather car seats! Enjoy the fresh scent of your clean leather car seats.

Following these steps, you can easily remove odors from your leather car seats and ensure they look as good as new. With some effort and the right cleaning products, any smell can be removed from your leather car seats.

Remove Odors From Your Leather Car Seats

Safety Tips for How to Get Smells Out of Leather Car Seats

  1. Ensure you are in a well-ventilated area while attempting to get smells out of leather car seats. Working with strong-smelling chemicals may be hazardous if done in an enclosed space without proper ventilation.
  2. Wear gloves when working with any cleaning agents or solutions that will come into contact with your car seat upholstery. This will protect your skin from any potential irritants.
  3. Before beginning the cleaning process, test a small area of the car seat to ensure it won’t be damaged by whatever cleaner you use.
  4. Check with your car manual or manufacturer before attempting to clean leather car seats on your own, as some products may void the warranty or damage the material.
  5. When applying any cleaner or solution to leather, be sure to use a soft cloth and take your time in order to avoid potential staining or discoloration of the material.
  6. Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment (or even a hand-held vacuum) to remove dirt and debris before cleaning.
  7. Avoid harsh solvents or chemicals, as these may damage the leather.
  8. If possible, use a product that is specifically made for leather car seats – this will help ensure that the upholstery remains in good condition.

By following these safety tips, you can get smells out of leather car seats without damaging the material or putting yourself in harm’s way.

How Often Should You Clean the Leather Seats to Prevent Bad Smells From Developing?

Regular leather seat care is the best way to prevent bad odors from developing on your leather car seats. How often you clean them will depend on how often you use your car, but generally, it’s good practice to clean the seats every few months. Start by vacuuming or brushing off any surface dirt and debris. 

Then use a damp cloth with mild soap to carefully wipe down the entire surface of the leather seat. Dry the leather once you’re done and condition it using a leather conditioner designed specifically for car use. This will help protect your leather seats from cracking or fading over time and keep any bad smells away.

Using a Leather Conditioner

If you really want to be sure your car seats stay odor-free, you can use an upholstery cleaner once a year to give your leather seats an extra deep clean. This will help eliminate any trapped odors that brushing and vacuuming couldn’t reach.

How Can You Prevent the Smell From Returning? 

After getting rid of the smell in your leather car seats, it’s important to take steps to prevent the smell from returning. Here are some tips for preventing and eliminating smells from leather car seats:

  • Vacuum Regularly: Regular vacuuming will help remove dirt, dust and other particles that can contribute to odors. Use a soft brush or upholstery attachment to ensure that the vacuum doesn’t damage your leather seats.
  • Use Air Fresheners: Air fresheners can be used to help reduce and prevent odors in the car’s interior. Choose a product specifically designed for automobile interiors, as these are typically less harsh than other types of fresheners.
  • Clean Spills Immediately: Spills can quickly lead to bad smells, so make sure you clean them up as soon as possible. Use a mild detergent and warm water to gently remove the mess, then pat dry with a towel.
  • Avoid Smoking in Your Car: Cigarette smoke is one of the biggest culprits for smelly leather car seats. To prevent this, avoid smoking in the car or take extra steps to air it out if you do smoke inside.

Following these tips can help keep your leather car seats smelling fresh and new. Contact a professional for more information about Getting Smells Out of Leather Car Seats.

Air Fresheners Can Be Used

Are There Any Professional Services Available to Get Rid of Bad Smells in Leather Car Seats? 

Absolutely. Professional detailing services are available that specialize in cleaning, removing odors, and replenishing leather car seats. They can help you eliminate the musty smell from sweat, food spills, pet accidents, smoke, and more. A professional service will use an advanced odor removal process to eliminate smells caused by bacteria and other contaminants.

Using these services is the best way to ensure that your leather car seats look and smell great again. They have the experience and expertise to do a thorough job and know how to handle any odor in leather.

Before hiring a professional, it’s important to research their reputation and ask for references to rest assured knowing you’re dealing with experienced professionals. Many detailers also offer discounts for multiple services, such as cleaning and odor removal, so be sure to ask about what they can do for you.

With the right professional service, you can get rid of bad smells in leather car seats quickly and easily.  Take your time to find the right one and ensure they have experience removing odors from leather.


In conclusion,  getting rid of the pesky smells of leather car seats is not impossible. You can get your car smelling fresher in no time by using the methods discussed—such as steam cleaning, baking soda, and odor-absorbing mats. 

Additionally, if you’re dealing with stronger odors, such as smoke or pet odors, try deep cleaning your leather car seats with a special cleaner and applying an odor-blocking conditioner to help keep the scent away. 

Taking some preventative steps, such as frequently airing out your car or using seat covers, can also be helpful in managing future smells. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to get smells out of leather car seats. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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