How Does Sweat Affect Leather Seats?

Sweating on leather seats can cause stains and damage if you don't take the time to remove it. A lot of people don't realize just how bad sweat can affect leather, therefore, it is imperative that you protect your leather by regular cleaning.

So how does sweat affect leather seats anyway?

It all has to do with the pH levels in our human bodies and the pH levels in leather. The standard scientific measure for levels of acidity or alkalinity in organic material is known as pH, which stands for potential hydrogen.

Normal, optimal pH levels for humans is 7.4. Processed leather pH levels range anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5., which is more acidic. And because of the difference, when sweat soaks into the leather, it causes a reaction with the leather fibers and will cause damage. This is where you see the darkening and hardening of the leather.

I know - too scientific and too boring! Just know that sweat and body oils need to be removed from leather, but really it can be done simply by wiping down the leather before the sweat and body oils has a chance to seep in.

Dealing with Sweat on Leather

  • Prevention: One of the best ways to prevent getting sweat and other liquids all over your naked leather seats is to protect them with seat covers. But then again, that defeats the purpose of having leather seats - they're modern and stylish!  If seat covers won't do, just be sure to wipe down the leather seats regularly with a damp cloth to remove any body oils sitting on the surface before they penetrate the leather.
  • Getting Stains Out: Here's a DIY cleaning trick if you are seeing initial signs of body oil in your leather seats: Rub a generous amount of corn starch or talcum powder onto the stain and let it sit overnight. The powder will draw out oil from the leather. Vacuum the area clean and wipe with a damp cloth. Do this again until you don't see any remaining oil. When you have removed all the oil, wipe the entire area with a damp cloth and allow to air dry completely. Finish by apply KevianClean Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to restore the leather to it's best condition. And that's it!

If your leather seats are already heavily damaged with sweat and body oil stains, showing signs of darkening and hardening, you can try this method, however you probably won't see too much difference and may need to consult a professional leather technician.

leather car seats

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