Leather is luxurious and elegant, perfect for a high-end ride. But it isn't particularly simple to take care of. It's absorbent and soaks up smells and stains --and if it gets wet, it only makes those smells penetrate deeper. Luckily, we've checked with leather experts for everything you need to know to take care of your leather car seats! So how do you remove smells like body odor from leather car seats?
You can remove body odor from leather car seats with a few standard methods. Some are ideal for body odor specifically; others are good methods for cleaning leather seats no matter what the problem is.
- Use silica gel, which absorbs moisture—including sweat.
- Wipe or spray the seats (lightly) with a cleaner made from vinegar and water.
- Use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and grime from the seats, and a leather conditioner to preserve the quality and integrity of the seat.
Keep reading and we'll cover exactly how each method works and how to do it. We'll also cover whether leather car seats are real leather or just leather-like. We'll cover why new leather smells so bad, and what you can do about it. Finally, we'll cover what cleaners work for a different kind of smell problem—smoke. Follow along for all the tricks you'll need to have great smelling leather seats!
How To Remove Body Odor From Leather Car Seats?
There are two big problems when you're trying to remove body odor from leather car seats. First, leather absorbs smells easily, making it hard to get a bad smell out. Second, leather is tough to clean. You can't get it very wet, you can't be too rough, and you can't use harsh chemicals.
But there are still a few methods for removing body odor from leather car seats. A few of these suggestions are best for removing body odor, specifically. Later suggestions are still valid cleaning methods, though you may find them useful for any kind of smells that plague your leather interior.
These little packets can be placed strategically around the seat to absorb moisture like sweat. When there is nothing left for the bacteria to feed on and grow, odors will go away as well.
Click here to see silica gel on Amazon.
Vinegar And Water Cleaner
Vinegar can also help kill bacteria, the main source of body-odor-related smells. It's highly acidic, though, and may damage your leather. Always spot test in a small, hidden area first.
Mix a solution that is half vinegar, half water. Use a rag or a spray bottle to apply the cleaner all over the seat. A rag is preferable since you can wipe the seat down and immediately wipe it again with a dry rag. This lessens the chance of water damage or water spots on your sensitive leather seats.
Use Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Leather cleaner works to break up grime and dirt on the surface of leather. It's the best way to clean --really clean-- the leather, and as a natural result, also remove any lingering odors. You can learn more about how and why to clean leather seats here: "How to Clean Leather Car Seats? [Step-by-Step Guide]."
Follow up the cleaner with conditioner. This helps replace any moisture removed by the cleaner. It keeps the leather strong and in good shape.
Not only does this help the leather last longer, but it actually prevents odors. The better condition of your leather seats, the less likely they are to absorb and accumulate sweat, bacteria, and other nasty smells.
Click here to see this Leather Kit on Amazon.
Are Car Leather Seats Real Leather?
Can You Use Febreze On Leather Car Seats?
The manufacturer for Febreze doesn't recommend using it on leather car seats. The biggest problem is that Febreze can leave water spots --something that's a real issue with leather.
Even with faux leather, Febreze isn't the best choice. Some people do spray it without any long-term harm to their seats. But other methods do a much better job at fixing bad odors, like using the above water/vinegar spray instead.
Why Does New Leather Smell So Bad?
Does Leather Smell Go Away?
Can You Get Smoke Smell Out Of A Car With Leather Seats?
Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator
Just put this under your seat for a few days. The gel inside absorbs the smoke smell while releasing an air freshener of its own. Plus you won't have to worry about it damaging or discoloring your leather seats.
Click here to see this odor absorber on Amazon.
Vinegar and Linseed Oil
Using vinegar and water to clean your leather seats, as described above, can work for smoke odors as well. You can also use one part vinegar mixed with two parts of a quality leather oil. The vinegar can help break down the smoke odor, and the oil covers it up. Note that this isn't a good choice for leatherette or faux leather seats. Vinegar and water is a better option for those.
Just use a cloth to rub it into the seat. You can gently use a soft brush to rub it in as well. Then use another soft cloth to wipe the seat clean. As always, be sure to spot test first to make sure your cleaner won't discolor your leather seats.
Click here to see this leather oil on Amazon.
While leather seats can be a bit sensitive and hard to clean, you can still remove most strong odors with a little extra care. Body odor, smoke, and even just too-new leather smells can be removed by sprinkling baking soda. Let it absorb unwanted smells, then simply vacuum or sweep the baking soda away.
Body odor and smoke odors can also be dealt with by using leather cleaners and then conditioners to remove dirt, grime, and odor-causing bacteria. Another option is to wipe the seats with a vinegar and water mixture.
There are lots of good methods for cleaning leather and removing odors. Just take special care to avoid staining the seats with harsh chemicals, doing spot tests in an inconspicuous place first. Also, watch that you are not oversaturating the material with moisture, which leaves water stains and spots.
If you enjoyed this article, try:
How to Repair Leather Car Seats?