How to Prevent Car Seat Marks on Leather – Tips and Tricks

Car seat, side view position image

Are you wondering how to prevent car seat marks on leather? You’re not alone. There are other parents out there that experience scuff marks on their vehicle’s leather seating. Fortunately leather is a strong fabric that can withstand chafing from the bottom of baby car seats.

However, the marks on your car seats can be unsightly and you also don’t want to damage the upholstery inside your vehicle because it can decrease its value. Not using a baby car chair is not an option when driving with your child so what other options are there?

Although, as a father, I love driving my little girl around, e.g. to the zoo, I don’t enjoy it when my light brown leather car seats in my Honda CR-V get dirty. I’ve researched, tried out a few tips and tricks that any dad can use to prevent car seat marks on their leather seats.

You want to make sure that whatever you use to protect your seats won’t pose a safety risk when your child is sitting in his or her car seat. Continue reading to find out more about what you can do to protect your car seat without posing a safety risk to your child.

Car seat in a wide view captured

How does a Child Car Seat Mark Your Leather Car Seats?

Sometimes when placing a car seat or booster seat inside your car it can scrape against your leather upholstery and leave marks. Shifting the chair around for the perfect placement can also leave marks on your leather car seats.

Additionally, when you’ve left the car seat inside your vehicle for too long it can start making dents on your seating. If there is any sharp hardware at the bottom of your baby’s car seat it could potentially rip the leather fabric open.

That’s why you should take precautionary measures when installing your baby’s car seat. Take a look at my tips in this next section on how to prevent car seat marks on your leather seats.

Easy Ways to Protect Leather Car Seats from Child Car Seats

It’s important to protect the value of your car in case you want to trade it in one day. Leather seating has great value but not if it’s damaged. Here are top tips to prevent your leather seats from getting marked by your baby’s car seat:

  • Let an Expert assist you: If you’re a new dad you may struggle to install your baby’s car seat without damaging your vehicle’s upholstery. Therefore you should let a professional install the car seat for you. A professional knows how to install a baby car chair without ripping your leather seating to shreds.
  • Use a car seat protector: Many dads use car seat protectors not only to prevent marks on the leather seating but also to protect them from spills, throw up, and food. These car seat protectors are durable and easy to remove and install. What’s more, a seat protector comes in various designs to choose from so you can add to the aesthetic of your car.
  • Put a towel under a car seat: If you don’t have seat protectors or a professional in your area to install a car seat then use a towel. This is what I did. Place the towel under the car seat before you install it. This is a cheaper alternative to using covers.
  • Use shelf liner paper: Another cheaper alternative to seat protectors is shelf liner paper. It will act as a barrier between the baby car chair and your leather seating to prevent scuff marks and stop the chair from creasing your upholstery.
  • Put mats under the car seat: If you want a car seat protector that’s a bit more durable and thicker compared to shelf liner paper then consider placing a mat under the baby car chair. Use a thin, flexible rubber mat. The advantage is that rubber mats provide traction to prevent the car seat from sliding so it adds safety to your baby’s car seating arrangement too. You can cut up a yoga mat, baby bath mat, or buy a rubber sheet at a hardware store. Ensure that it doesn’t emit high VOCs because you don’t want your baby breathing in toxins.

Is it Safe for the Leather and Your Child To Put a Towel Under a Child Car Seat?

Placing a towel under your child’s car seat is perfectly safe because it doesn’t cause problems with the installation process. Toweling material isn’t slippery either so it won’t cause the car seat to move around while you’re driving. The material is thin and flexible so you can place it over your leather seating with ease. See this picture of the backseat of my car.

Car seat with half of baby's hand view

Simply open up a large towel and place it over your leather car seat so that it covers the backrest and seating area. You can tuck the towel into sections of the seat that have gaps to prevent it from falling. Then place your baby’s car seat on top of the towel and install it as normal.

Toweling material won’t cause any damage to your leather seating provided you use one made with a softer fabric. There are microfiber towels on the market that will be gentle on your leather car seating.

Are Seat Protectors Safe to Use Under Child Car Seats?

Car seat protectors are safe to put under car seats. This is because most protectors attach securely to your existing vehicle seating either with velcro, fitted corners, or quick-release clips.

My personal favorite car seat protector is the Lusso Gear seat protector that not only prevents my leather seats from getting damaged but it’s also safe to place under baby car seats. There are two types of Lusso Gear protectors: One for sitting comfortably and one for child car seats.

Lusso Gear Car Seat Protector for Baby Car Seat - Thick Padding, 2 Mesh Storage Pockets, Waterproof, Protects Fabric or Leather Seats, Non-Slip Padded Backing (Black)

It’s a given that you should pick the cover that’s specifically designed to go under your child’s car seat. Use this seat protector to extend the life of your leather upholstery. It’s made with PVC material that’s waterproof. So if your little one spills juice from a sippy cup on the protector it won’t seep through the fabric and damage your leather seating. Furthermore, it’s easy to attach to your existing seat and doesn’t require special tools for installation.

Can You Clean The Marks Easily Off of Leather Car Seats?

Leather is one of the easiest fabrics to clean. You can wipe any mark off your leather seating provided it’s not etched deep into the material. What’s more, certain leather materials don’t absorb liquids easily such as pigskin so you can wipe up spills easily.

Scuff marks caused by the bottom of child seats can be wiped away easily too. You simply need the correct products for the job. Take a look at this next section to find out how to clean and condition your leather seating.

Cleaning and Conditioning of Leather Seats

Regular cleaning and conditioning of your leather seats is imperative if you want to preserve the integrity of your vehicle’s leather upholstery. Whether your child’s seat creates marks or not, you still have to keep your leather seats clean and conditioned.

I use a leather wipe and I’ll describe how to use it properly.

Hand handling wipe package

If you’re using a leather cleaner spot test it on your seats first in case it damages your leather seating. Follow these easy steps to keep your leather seating clean and conditioned:

  • Vacuum your chairs: Before you can wipe your leather seats down you want to get rid of any debris or crumbs that have fallen on top of your leather seating. Vacuum up any dust, sand, or food that your little one might have spilled on your leather car seats.
  • Use wipes to clean stubborn dirt: Is there a sticky residue on your leather seating? Perhaps your baby dropped a lollipop on your seat or spilled some juice. The best way to tackle sticky messes or stubborn dirt is to use leather wipes. Try the Weiman leather seat wipes because they wipe away dirt without the need for scrubbing. The wipes are also soft so they won’t scratch the surface of your leather seating. You’ll also appreciate that the wipes condition your leather seating to prevent the material from fading or cracking.
  • Make your own cleaner: If you want to use an organic cleaning solution that won’t harm your baby or your leather seating then use vinegar. Mix two parts vinegar with one part water and stir. Then dip a microfiber cloth into the solution and wipe down your leather seating.
  • Cleaning routine: To maintain your leather seating correctly you should clean them once every month and condition the leather two to three times a year.
Weiman Leather Wipes - 2 Pack - Clean Condition UV Protection Help Prevent Cracking or Fading of Leather Furniture, Car Seats & Interior, Shoes and More

Take a look at this YouTube video for a full overview of how to clean and condition your car’s leather seating

The sole purpose of conditioning your leather seats is to add moisture to the material. This prevents the leather from drying out and cracking. Sometimes leather can dull overtime so conditioning the material will invigorate its color.

What’s more, conditioning your leather car seats also makes it easier to remove marks on the surface caused by baby car chairs. It protects the leather seating by adding a protective coat over the material.

The conditioner will penetrate deep into the leather to prevent it from cracking under the pressure of baby car seats. The Weiman leather car seat wipes are a great all-in-one product that cleans the dirt off of your leather seating and conditions them at the same time.

Use your leather cleaning wipes to clean off scuff marks caused by baby car chairs or any other marks you may experience on your vehicle’s leather upholstery. You also want to make sure that the cleaner you use is non-toxic so that it doesn’t cause harm to your child.

Final Thoughts

No matter what cleaners or car seat leather protectors you use to protect your leather seating from baby car seats you must ensure the products are safe. If you’re using a cleaner or conditioner make sure it’s a non-toxic product so that your baby doesn’t inhale the fumes.

What’s more, if you’re using a seat protector make sure the device is attached securely to your seat before installing your baby’s car chair. A towel is a great alternative to seat protectors especially if you’re on a budget and they’re perfectly safe. I use a towel to protect my leather seating when I put my daughter’s car seat inside my car.

Use leather wipes to clean up spills or marks because they contain conditioners that preserve the leather’s integrity.

Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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