Summer Leather Care: Refreshing Sun-Damaged Leather

Sunlight doesn’t just make leather furniture and car seats hot to sit on — over time, the sun’s rays can actually damage and discolor leather, making it faded and dry. If your leather gets a lot of direct sunlight — as leather car seats almost always do — it’s important to know both how to protect your leather and repair sun-damaged leather. 

Protecting car leather and furniture from sun damage

The best solution for sun-damaged leather is to prevent the damage in the first place, and that starts by following two simple rules: 

1. Prevent direct sunlight from hitting your leather whenever possible 

If you can situate your leather furniture away from a window, that’s ideal — your leather will last longer and will resist fading. It’s not always possible, but when it is, aim to prevent your leather couch or chairs from getting extended periods of direct sunlight. 

With leather car seats, you can aim to park in the shade during the hot summer months. When that’s not an option, or you’re not sure that shady parking spot will remain shady, you purchase a window shade — used regularly, it will protect your leather seats from those harmful rays. 

2. Keep the leather hydrated

Keeping the leather moist and hydrated will help prevent sun damage, which drys out the leather considerably and leads to fading. A good leather conditionerwill protect your leather when you’re not able to shade it from the sun. 

Restore leather after sun damage has occurred 

If the damage is already done, it’s not too late to try to reverse it. Leather that is sun-damaged often appears stiff, faded, or even tacky. Over time, it will start to crack if not properly treated. Here’s how to restore leather after it’s been discolored or damaged by the hot summer sun: 

Cleaning car interior leather with Leather Honey1. Clean the leather thoroughly

In most cases, this starts with a good vacuum so you can get in all the crevices of your leather furniture or car seats — you want to remove any loose dirt or dust. Once you’ve done so, wipe down the leather with Leather Honey Leather Cleaner. You should not have to scrub — in fact, doing so can cause more damage. A gentle wipe of the leather using a lint-free applicationcloth will quickly and easily remove dirt from the surface. Once the leather is clean, allow it to dry completely. 

2. Condition the leather with a leather conditioner

Once the leather is dry, you can apply Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, which penetrates into the leather’s pores to hydrate the individual fibers. This boosts the color and restores the lost moisture, reversing the stiffness and dry appearance that the sun can cause. Apply a thin, even coat of the leather conditioner and allow it to dry for at least two hours (preferably overnight). If the leather absorbs the conditioner quickly or still appears dry once the conditioner has absorbed, it’s a good sign you need a second coat. Severely sun-damaged leather will drink up the leather conditioner. 

3. Consider dye as a last resort

Cleaning couch with Leather Honey Leather Cleaner

Leather Honey often restores the color that’s lost due to fading from sun damage, but if your leather has been severely damaged, you may need to dye it to fully restore the original color. This is often a job for a professional — look for a leather restoration service in your area that can professionally recolor the leather. If you can’t find one or the service is prohibitively expensive, there are DIY products you can try at home — but proceed carefully, as they can be messy and difficult to use.


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