How To Clean Perforated Leather Seats In Your Car? 4 Quick Steps

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cleaning perforated leather seats with a brush

Having leather seats in the car have always been a luxurious add-on. It became even more popular when the perforated leather seats were presented. They look and feel fantastic. However, cleaning perforated leather seats is often a pain in the butt for all car detailers. Today, I want to show you how to clean perforated leather seats in your car to get the best results.

You should clean perforated leather seats almost identically as with plain leather seats. You’ll only need to pay more attention to vacuuming and brushing them to take every piece of dirt out of their tiny holes.

As I said, there are not too many differences between cleaning “normal” leather seats and perforated leather seats. So, make sure to follow the tips that I’ll be sharing below.

How To Clean Perforated Leather Seats In 4 Easy Steps

Here are the 4 quick steps for cleaning car leather seats with holes.

1. Thoroughly Vacuum The Seats, Especially The Perforated Parts

As always, you should start by thoroughly vacuuming the leather seats. However, the only difference from vacuuming typical leather seats is that you’ll have to pay much more attention to the tiny holes.

Those tiny holes attract dirt like nothing else. Even worse, the dirt sticks inside and hardly get out when you’re vacuuming. That’s why you’ll need more thorough when using a vacuum to clean most of the dirt out from perforated leather seats.

Typical leather seats are pretty easy to vacuum since nothing traps inside them, but perforated leather seats require more attention to detail.

So, use your vacuum and try to vacuum the seats as thoroughly as possible. Don’t rush. Take your time and let the vacuum suck the dirt out of every single hole inside the seats. 

Don’t forget to be gentle. That way, you’ll avoid scratching the seats with your vacuum nozzle. 

2. Use a High-Quality Leather Cleaner and Leather Brush

After vacuuming, you should thoroughly clean the leather by spraying some high-quality leather cleaner on your brush and working that into the leather. Leather cleaners will soften the dirt inside, so it’s easier to brush out with leather or a detailing brush. 

Recommended Leather Cleaner: Koch-Chemie Pol Star (check the price now)

Usually, you could spray the product directly on the leather and then agitate it with a brush, but you should avoid doing that when cleaning perforated leather seats. That’s because if you use too much of a product, it can get into those tiny holes, and it’ll be harder to remove it later.

Related: What’s The Best Brush To Clean Car Leather Seats?

Just make sure to use a dedicated leather cleaning brush since they are sensitive but still strong enough to clean car leather seats. You don’t want to damage anything. 

When you’re cleaning perforated parts, you can also use detailing brushes. They’ll clean those tiny holes more quickly than a standard leather cleaning brush. 

3. Wipe The Excess With a Clean Microfiber Towel

When you’re finished brushing the seats, especially the perforated leather parts, you should wipe everything with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Sometimes, you’ll realize that you used too much of a product and that it’s stuck inside the holes. So, with wiping everything with a microfiber towel, you may also need to vacuum perforated parts again to ensure that there’s no product inside the seat left. 

Also, if the seats are extremely dirty, when I’m wiping them down, I like to use a bit more of a product on my microfiber towel to make sure that I clean every single piece of dirt. 

4. Apply Leather Conditioner

Lastly, you should condition perforated leather seats to make them last longer and prevent cracking. Buy yourself some high-quality leather conditioner, pour it into a clean microfiber towel, and apply it to the leather seats.

Remember, conditioned leather lasts much longer, and it’s only a few minutes of extra work when you’re already cleaning the seats.

Additional Tips For Cleaning Tiny Holes Full Of Dirt

I shared the general tips for cleaning perforated leather seats with you, but there’s always more. Very often, you’ll find that those tiny holes inside perforated leather seats still have some dirt trapped inside. 

When that happens, there are several more steps (ways) of cleaning them, and I want to share my techniques with you. According to the detailing equipment you have, there are more different approaches, so pick a few ones that’ll suit you. 

Usually, after cleaning perforated leather seats, I do these steps if I realize that they’re still dirty because of the dirt inside the perforated parts.

I use the methods below only on dirty parts, so there’s no need to clean total leather seats by using the methods below. By doing it that way, I save a lot of time.

Also, whenever you’re using the methods below, you should use more of them. Only one approach won’t work to clean perforated leather thoroughly, so keep that in mind. 

1. Air Compressor

An Air compressor is a perfect detailing tool to have if you’re an auto detailer (both professional and hobbyist). It’s beneficial in so many different situations, especially when cleaning perforated leather seats.

For mobile auto detailers, it’s a bit harder to fit it inside the working van, but I’ve written the guide for choosing the right air compressor size for mobile auto detailers, so check it out. 

So, if you realize that the dirt is still trapped inside those tiny holes, use an air blower gun, connect it to your compressor and try to get that dirt out by using compressed air. 

Most of the dirt will go out that way. Of course, this method works for solid specks of dirt (rocks, pieces of food, dust, etc.). 

After using an air compressor, you’ll have to wipe the seats again or even quickly use the vacuum to clean the potential mess you made by using compressed air. 

2. Toothpick, Interdental Brush, or Gum Stimulator

interdental brushes for cleaning perforated leather seats
Interdental brushes

A toothpick, interdental brush, and gum stimulator are fantastic tools to clean every hole on the perforated leather seats. Of course, you won’t use them to clean each of thousands of holes, only for the dirty ones. 

We all have toothpicks inside our houses, but I suggest buying an interdental brush or gum stimulator. They work much better in removing specks of dirt from perforated leather seats. 

So, if you notice that there’s still some dirt inside those tiny holes, I suggest you remove them by using either a gum stimulator or an interdental brush. 

Interdental brushes tend to do a better job, but since they have metal parts, you should be extremely careful not to damage the leather. That’s why I mostly use a gum stimulator. 

Furthermore, wipe the interdental brush or gum stimulator with a microfiber towel whenever you take some dirt out of the holes. Just to make sure that you don’t stick that dirt back in the seat.

3. Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaner is one of the most essential auto-detailing tools, even though many car detailers still don’t use it. It’s a piece of equipment that can help you when nothing else can. 

If there are some old spills (milk, chocolate, ice cream, juice, etc.) inside perforated leather seats, removing them is hard without using a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner will soften and break them down, so you can easily clean them using a brush, vacuum, or a microfiber towel.

So, as you can see, steam cleaner has to be together with some other tools in order to get good results. By using only a steamer, you won’t get that dirt out of the tiny holes in perforated leather seats. 

4. Use a Very Thin Vacuum Nozzle When Vacuuming

Just as the air compressor uses thin nozzles for blowing the air faster, vacuums use narrow nozzles to get more suction power. When you’re cleaning perforated leather seats, suction power is critical. 

Recommended Product: EZ SARES Micro Vacuum Attachment Kit (check the price on Amazon now)

Of course, you don’t need a 5HP vacuum. You only need to use a thin nozzle that’ll give your vacuum high suction power on a small area.

You can try to clean stuck dirt from perforated leather seats using a thin vacuum nozzle only, but I usually use this after using some of the earlier tips I gave you. So, a thin vacuum nozzle should always be used after using an air compressor, interdental brush, steam cleaner, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between leather and perforated leather?

Standard leather seats are fully covered, thus making them less breathable. On the other hand, perforated leather seats have tiny holes in them. Those holes make the seat more breathable, which makes it more comfortable for passengers.

Are perforated leather seats harder to clean?

Unfortunately, perforated leather seats may be a bit trickier to clean than standard car leather seats. Removing the dirt from those tiny holes is usually the trickiest part.


Perforated leather seats are beautiful, but they’re harder to clean than standard car leather seats. However, by following the tips and techniques I showed you in this article, I believe that you’ll successfully clean perforated leather seats every time in the future. 

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the best detailing channels on YouTube. They often share some additional advice on cleaning and detailing cars and car leather seats.

If you’re a professional car detailer with extremely dirty perforated leather seats, don’t hesitate to charge extra. Cleaning dirty perforated leather seats take more time and effort and should be paid for correctly. 

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