How & Why You Should Care For Your Aircraft's Leather

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Unlike other parts on your aircraft or car, the leather was in fact at one point, alive! If your aircraft or car has leather seats, you already understand how difficult they are to maintain and keep looking fresh. Thanks to the never-ending danger from pen marks, liquid spills, and children, keeping your investments looking great can be somewhat of a challenge. Also, being a natural product, it will deteriorate without proper care. Here are my simple steps to cleaning and conditioning your leather seats to keep it at a high quality.

1. Buy a quality leather conditioner and cleaner.

You will need a cleaner and conditioner that shields against damaging UV rays. The leather on your seat is frequently under constant bombardment from UV rays that can damage the leather if it is left untreated for too long. UV rays give you sunburn, and essentially the same thing happens to your leather seat while you are flying. Prolonged UV damage will cause cracking, drying and fading. Protecting it from the sun is extremely important to keep its integrity secure. You will need a conditioner that acts as a sunscreen for your leather. It is crucial to preserving a quality leather seat and interior and preventing the leather from losing value quickly and easily. I recommend Final Inspections Leather Clean and Final Inspections Leather Feed.

2. Ensure to clean spills quickly.

Do not let your leather become damp for an extended amount of time. The water will seep into leather gradually and sit on the surface, which will begin to damage it if left for too long. To prevent water damage such as swelling and fading, promptly dry the surface of the leather so that no liquid can compromise its structure.

3. Get a sturdy brush to grind out tough stains.

A quality brush can be challenging to find but to adequately scrub out deeply ingrained stains in the pores of aircraft leather, you will need a brush that has strong enough fibres to clean deep into the contours of the leather. I prefer a brush with a durable handle.

4. Close your window shades (for larger turboprops or jets)

Although an afterthought for many crews after a long day of flying, the simple act of developing a healthy habit of closing your aircraft’s window shades whenever parked can save your leather seats from fading. Just like your skin, leather is porous, so the sun’s UV rays penetrate the leather’s surface and begin to damage them almost immediately. Even more, if your flights take place during summer months, at higher elevations, and even at polar locations, you may be causing even more damage while your aircraft is parked due to the UV intensity found at these locations.

By using my simple tips, your aircraft and cars leather seats will look as good as new and will resist future damage. Proper regular care is essential for any aircraft detailing procedure. Keeping your aircraft leather in good condition only requires a few moments of diligence every day. With these tips, your leather will shine for a long time.


If you have any questions about this article or want to discuss proper cleaning maintenance for your aircraft, contact me at

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