How To Remove Cracks and Fading In Leather Car Interior

The sun’s UV (Ultraviolet) rays can destroy your leather seats which are meant to be subtle and smooth, not faded, cracked and hard. General aging will always take place no matter what you do, but when you add oxidation from the hot sun to the aging process, your leather won’t last very long if you don’t take very good care of it.
If your leather seats have been victim to oxidation and general wear you do have have choices. You could cover the seats with some material, or spend a fortune to have them reupholstered with new leather.  I am going to show you a tried and true way to nourish, bring life and color back to your leather, making is soft, smooth and flexible once again.
The treatment listed below should take no more than about 1 hour of your time and cost about $10. for the supplies you will need, and you won’t believe the results.

Supplies Needed:
-LEXOL LEATHER CONDITIONER     16.9 oz container will be more than enough.
-Soft clean cotton rags.  Old cotton t-shirts will do just fine.

Where to Buy Supplies:
Lexol Leather Conditioner     O’Reilly’s Auto Parts or similar parts store

Approx. $10.


  1. Wipe down and clean the leather removing any spots or stains that you possibly can. Vacuuming is also a good idea to remove any debris and crumbs in the crevices.  A very small amount of common dish soap in clean water will work to remove those sticky spots, maybe where that soda pop spilled.  You may also use a very soft bristle brush if needed.  The goal here is to end up with a smooth clean surface.  The conditioner does not clean the leather, but only conditions it.

  2. Apply a liberal amount of Lexol on a soft clean rag. Start with roughly 1 tablespoon.

  3. Starting at the very top of the seat and working your way down, massage the product into the leather, working an approx. 12x 12 inch area at a time. Really work it in good, and continue to use more Lexol as needed, turning your rag as you go along so you are working clean.  Be generous with the product, the leather needs the nourishment, but no need to be excessive.  Amounts used will depend on the condition of your leather.  If it is sorely dry, cracked and damaged, the leather will absorb more of the product.  Less damage or newer leather will require less Lexol, so there are judgment calls on your part.  Always apply extra on hard and cracked spots.  You will be amazed as how this product will soften and expand the leather reducing the crack size.  Keep in mind that if the leather is completely worn away in an area and you are looking at the underlining, that this or any product I know of will do no good.

  4. Once the product is applied to all of your leather, wait approx. 30 minutes for the Lexol to completely soak into the leather. Your wait time will depend on the temperature of the air, humidity levels  and how much you applied.  The object is to wait long enough until any excess product has pretty much disappeared.

  5. After waiting as mentioned in the previous step, take a clean soft unused cloth and buff off any of the excess oil, going over all of the areas where you applied it. This is just to remove any oily residue that has not absorbed into the leather by now.

  6. Wait at least an hour if possible before sitting on the seats.  If possible leave the windows open so fresh air can come in and out of the car and increase the drying process.  Once buffed and dry you should immediately see the difference and feel it too. The original color should be back, cracks will be less defined and the leather should be soft, smooth and subtle to the touch!

Interesting Facts and Notes:

-It’s a good idea to retreat with Lexol at least 4 times per year, or every season change.  Especially retreat areas most vulnerable to direct sunlight. Typically this would be the top of the back seats.  Also pay special attention to seats that are used often, like the driver seat, as the product will wear away quicker there.
-To preserve your leather try and avoid perspiring on it.  A good example would be sitting on the seats with shorts on while perspiring.  The salt from our sweat is one of leathers worst enemies, drawing the moisture out of it, causing the leather to harden,  and making it more prone to cracking.
-Oily hair tonics are another culprit. Once the oil dries over the leather, the leather will not be able to breathe as long as the oil is present, thus hardening and cracking may occur in that area. Keep in mind that leather does need to breathe.
-Proper care of your leather will allow it to last as long as you want it to!