Here is a quick list of cleaning tips for those that have leather in their coach, leather is a great product but like all furniture it needs care on how you treat it and clean it.
RVing Tip of the Day
Spills on RV seats? Here’s how to clean ’em
You’ve come home from the summer vacation. You start to unpack the RV and realize it’s not just the people who look like they’ve been on the road forever. Between wear and tear and food and drink spills, the seats look like they’ve been run over. It’s all got to be cleaned up, but where do you start?
Oftentimes the worst problems with cleaning up seat spills in RVs isn’t what was spilled, but what the RVer tried to clean up with. Wrong approaches to cleaning up spills can really cause permanent damage.
Here are tips from seat-cleaning experts:
First, before you leave, clean and protect the seats. Dirt, oil and dust that get on leather and vinyl seats act like a fine sandpaper, slowly wearing down the vinyl and the protective coating on the leather, making them more susceptible to damage. Once weakened, leather and vinyl are more likely to crack and fade and they won’t hold up well to everyday wear and tear. Get a leather cleaning kit to include cleaning and protection cream; for vinyl, get a cleaner — then use these products before you go.
Top vacation road trip spills and how to clean them
Food or drink stains
• Don’t use window/mirror cleaner because it contains alcohol which will dissolve and destroy the surface coating on your leather.
• Do use a damp towel to wipe up the mess and a dry one to finish the job. Fully-finished leather is pretty much water resistant, so a little spill isn’t going to hurt as long as you clean it up quickly, before it soaks through.
Ink — Some of the bright-green marker colors the dragon in the coloring book, but some of it misses and now the corner of the RV seat looks like the dragon.
• Don’t use dish soap or hair spray to remove the marks. The degreasing agents in dish soap can permanently de-gloss and damage the top coating on the leather surface. Hair spray (another commonly recommended remedy) contains alcohol and will ruin the surface coating on your leather.
• Do use a soft sponge and specialized leather cleaner, available at most leather furniture retailers.
• Don’t use nail polish remover because it will take all of the color out of your leather and leave a bleached spot bigger than the nail polish spot.
• Do, once again, use a soft sponge and leather cleaner. However, you will most likely have to call a professional for help to get rid of this stain.
Animal scratches and “picks”
• Don’t touch up the spots with shoe polish or markers because it makes an ugly, sticky mess.
• Do try to reduce the visibility of the problem by snipping off the cotton interior strands that often get pulled out when leather gets “picked.” Do use a hair dryer and massage minor scratches with leather cleaner to try to rub it out. Call a professional to fix larger scratches and holes — this is not a DIY kind of job.
Once back home, clean your seats, especially after a beach trip. Sand and salt from the beach can not only damage your leather and vinyl seats, over time it will be ground into the carpet and become almost impossible to remove. That means the salty sea smell will stick around as well. Use the leather cleaner mentioned above on the seats. In most cases, a good vacuuming will remove the sand and salt. If sea water found its way into the RV and really soaked the carpet, it might be wise to get the carpets washed as well.
photo: Mel B. on flickr.com