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No matter how neat and lavish the leather seats appear, they will lose all their attraction once a crack appears in them. Usually, users worry about the cracks in the leather seats and wonder if there is any way to fix them.
Well, if you are also one of them and lose all hope after noticing a crack in your leather seat, we have your back. Unlike what most people think of cracks in leather seats, there are some fixes you can try to get rid of them.
To fix the cracks in leather seats, you can use leather creams, and crack fillers, paint enamel sprays, blend them with leather dyes, and sew the holes.
We have put together a detailed guide for you explaining some of the reasons why cracks appear in leather seats. We will also provide you with multiple fixes for the cracks in leather seats depending on their types and severity. Ultimately, we will take you through a list of preventions you need to heed to avoid future cracks.
Why Do Cracks Appear in Leather Seats?
Before moving towards the fixes, let us look at some of the main reasons for the cracking of leather seats. Like other materials used for your vehicle seats or other such things, the leather material used in the seats can wear out over time.
Reason #1: Changes on Microscopic Level
As far as leather is concerned, it is composed of thousands of tiny interwoven fibers packed together firmly. In this composition, the dense fibers are present closer to the surface, and as they move forward, they become loose.
These fibers can dry out as time passes, resulting in their wearing out. This change in the leather material on a microscopic level is the main reason for its cracking.
Reason #2: Lack of Conditioning
Another reason for the cracking of leather seats is the lack of conditioning. Let’s take the example of skin here. If you don’t apply moisturizer to your skin or use face oils or water to keep it hydrated for a long time, your skin will dry out, and you might notice dry cracks on it. The same is the case with leather seats.
These seats are usually lubricated with leather oils and other hydrating solutions from time to time. If you don’t pay heed to the condition of your leather seats or fail to clean or lubricate them on time, the upper layer will become dull, eventually cracking down.
Reason #3: Overexposure to Sun
No one can deny the harmful effects of the sun on different materials, and leather is no expectation. If you park your car at a place overexposed to the sun, it will gradually damage the upper layer of the leather seats, and in no time, you will see cracks appearing on them.
Reason #4: Scratching the Seats
This is another widespread reason for the cracking of leather seats. If you have removed the protective plastic wrap from your seats and weren’t careful either while keeping sharp objects on the seat, these objects can scratch the covering, resulting in the cracking of leather seats.
Fixing Cracks in Leather Seats
If this is your first time noticing cracks in your leather seats and you have no idea how to fix them, our 5 simple solutions will help you perform this task without much hassle.
Method #1: Cleaning the Seats
The cleaning method is the first method to fix cracks in your leather seats. Sometimes the cracks in leather seats appear because of dirt and debris accumulated on it. If you haven’t cleaned your seats for a long time, you will see some dirt patches on their surface, which often appear to be cracks.
Here are the steps you need to follow in cleaning your leather seats:
Step #1: Removing Dirt and Debris
Firstly, remove the dirt and debris from your leather seats. For this, you can use a vacuum cleaner or handpick trash on the seats or behind them. You can also use a duster to get rid of dirt from the seats. For cleaning the hard-to-reach corners, use a soft brush head with the vacuum cleaner.
Step #2: Using Soapy Solution
Once you have removed all the trapped dirt from the seats, take a lint-free cloth and dampen it with a soapy water solution. You can also fill a dish detergent solution with water in a plastic spray bottle or the solution of isopropyl alcohol in water and spray it directly on the seat. Once the seat is damp, wipe it off with a lint-free cloth.
Step #3: Pat Drying the Seat
Now use a dry cloth to clean the seat and wait for it to dry out completely. If you still notice stains appearing like cracks on the seat, use a liquid leather cleaner and repeat the same process even after cleaning the seat with the soapy solution. Ensure not to use harsh sponges or puffs for cleaning the seats.
Method #2: Using Leather Cream
Another method for fixing the cracks in leather seats is using leather creams. Fortunately, you can find an extensive range of leather creams in the market, each having better cleaning properties.
Once you get your hands on a leather cream from a reputable brand, follow the steps below to fix seat cracks.
Step #1: Cleaning the Seats
Follow method 1 to clean your leather seats thoroughly. Try the leather cream on a small seat patch first to avoid any risks. For this, clean a small portion of the seat first and apply the cream to it. If you don’t notice any damage, move toward the next step.
Step #2: Spreading the Leather Cream on the Seat
Once you have successfully done the patch test, spread the leather cream all over the seat. As mentioned above, if the leather seats are not lubricated timely, they tend to dry out over time, eventually cracking up.
Use your finger or a smooth sponge to spread the cream over the seat’s surface evenly. Keep lathering the cream on the seat until you notice the crack fading. When the crack isn’t too visible to you, stop lathering any more cream.
Now, use a microfiber cloth to clean off the excess cream and leave it to dry. Wait for 5 to 6 hours, as the leather material needs time to absorb the cream completely and regain its hydration.
Step #3: Reapplying the Cream(If Required)
Once the cream completely dries out, see if you can still find cracks on the leather seats. If yes, reapply the cream and repeat the above process. One thing to keep in mind here is that don’t lather too much cream on the seat, as this can leave the leather slimy and waxy.
Note: For best results, try to apply the cream once a month. This will save the seat from drying out and keep it lubricated, thus preventing cracks.
Method #3: Using Enamel Paint
You can also use glass enamel paint, the same color as your leather seat, to cover up or fix the cracks.
To do this, here are the steps you need to follow.
Step #1: Finding the Right Paint
The first step towards fixing the cracks in leather seats using enamel paints is to find the right paint. Usually, most of the leather seats in cars and other vehicles are dyed. This means you won’t struggle to find the correct paint to fill their cracks.
Visit a nearby color store and get the enamel paint the same color as the leather covering of your seat. Be extra cautious while choosing the paint color, as this could make or break the game for you.
Step #2: Spraying the Paint on a Cloth
Once you get your hands on the enamel paint, take an old towel or another piece of cloth. Spray a generous amount of the paint on the towel or piece of cloth and make a patch about 2 inches in diameter.
Ensure not to wet the entire piece of cloth with paint.
Step #3: Applying the Paint on the Seat
Now fold the piece of cloth with paint on it in half. Ensure that the side with paint is on the inner side. Folding is crucial as applying the paint directly on the seat can cause discoloration. If the cloth is extremely thin, you can fold it twice to avoid direct contact between paint and leather.
Step #4: Cleaning the Tower
While applying the paint all over the leather seat using the towel, clean the towel with a lacquer thinner before spraying another layer of paint on it. This will help you with a smooth application.
Note: Apply the paint on the leather seat in long, smooth strokers. Rub the towel on the seat in back-and-forth strokes of 8 to 9 inches each.
Step #5: Applying the Second Layer
Once you have applied the first layer of paint on the seat, wait a few minutes before coating it the second time. After finishing the second application, wait around 8 to 10 hours for the paint to dry out completely.
If the cracks are still visible, apply more paint and repeat the above process. Make sure to apply the second layer while the first one is still wet to avoid any rough patches on the seat.
Step #6: Coating the Leather Condition
Once the paint dries out completely, use a leather conditioner to spray the seat thoroughly. This cream or conditioner will act as a sealant to keep the enamel coating intact.
Usually, these leather conditioners come in spray bottles, and you can quickly seal the paint by spraying them on the seat. However, if yours doesn’t, you can use an empty spray bottle at home and pour the liquid into it.
Method #4: Using a Liquid Leather
Another thing you can use to fix the cracks in the leather seat is using liquid leather. As discussed above, leather seats can crack easily if not cleaned properly.
Following are the steps you must follow to fix the cracks in your leather seats using liquid leather.
Step #1: Find a Liquid Leather for Your Seat
Like the enamel paint we discussed earlier, liquid leather also comes in numerous colors. Firstly, visit the market to find a liquid leather bottle almost the same color as your leather seat.
Once you have bought the leather bottle, apply it on a small patch of your leather seat to check if the color you have got is a perfect match.
Step #2: Clean the Seat
Use a microfiber cloth, duster, or vacuum cleaner to clean your leather seat’s surface thoroughly. You can use a mixture of isopropyl alcohol in water to clean the seat for the best results.
Step #3: Apply the Liquid Leather on the Seat
After cleaning the seat with the alcohol solution, take a sponge and dip it into the diluted solution of liquid leather and alcohol. Don’t leave a single patch; evenly distribute the liquid leather across the cracked area.
Wipe the access liquid with a damp cloth and apply the second coat. Wait for the liquid leather to dry out completely.
Step #4: Seal with Leather Cream
Finally, use a leather conditioner or cream to seal the liquid leather. This will prevent the cracks from appearing again and keep the liquid leather intact for a long time.
Method #5: Using Crack Fillers
All the above solutions are true for small cracks in the leather seats. However, if the cracks on your seat are too deep and brittle, using a cream, enamel paint, or liquid leather won’t make a significant difference.
For such cracks, you need to use leather crack fillers. As the name suggests, they will fill up the cracks for you, leaving the leather surface even and clean.
To do this, follow the steps explained below.
Step #1: Clean the Seat
Like all other methods discussed here, this one also requires you to clean the seat thoroughly. You can use a sponge, a cloth, or a vacuum cleaner. But if you think the seat is too dirty, to begin with, use a solution of isopropyl alcohol in water.
Step #2: Smoothen the Leather Surface
Once you are sure that the leather seat is all clean and dry, use sandpaper to smooth it out. Ensure not to apply a lot of pressure as this can further wear and tear the seat. Once you have smoothed out the leather surface, use a dry cloth to clean it.
Step #3: Apply the Crack Filler
Use a palette knife to spread the crack filler over the cracks evenly. Now, with the help of a brush, fill the paste fully into the cracks. Keep adding the filler to the hole until the crack is completely covered.
Step #4: Get Rid of Excess Filler
Once you have evenly filled the crack filler in the crack, use the same palette knife you used to apply the filler before to scrape off the excess from the edges.
Step #5: Wait for the Filler to Dry
Lastly, leave the leather seat with the filler on for a few hours to dry. It’s best to leave it for an entire night for better results. If you still see cracks after completely drying out of the leather seat, use the filler to cover them and repeat the entire process.
Note: If the cracks on your leather seats are too big, mix the crack filler with leather dye and fill it in the hole.
Step #6: Seal the Crack
Top the crack layering off with a leather cream or conditioner to seal the filling. If you don’t want the gap to keep appearing repeatedly, use a large amount of cream as its sealant.
How to Protect the Leather Seats from Cracking?
Though we have enlisted all the methods you can use to fix the cracks in your leather seats, the best way to go here is to be cautious since you got a vehicle with leather seats. This way, you won’t have to go through all the hassle of fixing.
Regardless, we have put together a list of preventive measures for you to protect your leather seats from cracking in the future.
Don’t Park Under Direct Sunlight
As mentioned above, overexposure to direct sunlight is one of the main reasons for leather seats cracking. It’s because sun rays are pretty harmful. When the leather material stays under the sun for a long, the harmful sun rays can damage the upper coating of the leather material, eventually disturbing its microscopic composition.
So, if you don’t want to see cracks on your leather seats, avoid parking your vehicles under direct sunlight for long hours.
Use Sun Shades
This preventive measure is an extension of the above measure. If it’s not possible for you to park your vehicle anywhere but under direct sunlight, you can use sun shades on the window and windshield of your car. This will prevent the sun rays from hitting the leather seats directly, thus saving them from cracks.
Clean the Seats
As clearly explained above, if you don’t clean your leather seats regularly, dirt and debris tend to accumulate on them. This trash, when not disposed of for a long duration, can eventually result in the cracking of the seats.
Keep Sharp Objects Away
Another thing that can cause your leather seats to crack too often is scratches from sharp objects. Keep all the pointed and sharp objects away from the leather seats to prevent this from happening. Ensure not to scratch the seats even with your nails.
Conclusion – How to Fix Cracks in Leather Seats? Causes, Fixes & Preventions!
In this guide, we have looked into some of the primary reasons for the appearance of cracks in leather seats. We have also provided you with a list of possible fixes you can try to get rid of these cracks on your own, along with a list of preventive measures you have to pay heed to.
Hopefully, this guide has been helpful for you so far and has managed to clear all your confusion regarding cracks in leather seats and has addressed the question, “Can you fix cracks in leather seats” well. Stay tuned for more such guides in the future!