Should You Use A Magic Eraser on Leather Seats?

If you are familiar with magic erasers, you know how effective they are at removing dirt and stains.

This might give you the idea of using such an eraser on your leather seats, as the leather can develop tough gunk over time.

Is it possible and recommended to clean leather seats with a magic eraser?

Quick Answer

Using magic erasers to remove dirt and stains from leather seats should be avoided. Magic erasers are abrasive and should not be used to clean delicate surfaces like leather as repetitive use will cause damages. It is best to use a dedicated leather cleaner and a soft microfiber cloth to clean leather seats.

This article will cover how to safely use magic erasers on leather seats. If you know how to use magic erasers properly, it can be your next favorite thing for cleaning your car’s interior. 

Using Magic Erasers on Leather Seats

Firstly, it is important to be familiar with using magic erasers on other equipment in your household. If you are confident with using them on leather, then go for it.

But it’s best you get some experience by using them on hard surfaces before trying on soft ones, like leather.  

Leather car seats can get dirty quite easily. The seats can get smeared with grease, grime, food, drinks, chewing gum, foot/handprints, and so on.

While there are other options for cleaning the stains from the seats, cleaning with magic erasers will be both fast and easy.   

Again, when you plan to use something new to clean your car seat, you should first test it on a small part of your car seat that is not easily visible.

The same goes for magic erasers.

If the test goes smoothly, you can start using it on the entire seat. 

Making sure to test on a small patch first is extremely important, as the abrasiveness of the magic eraser can damage the leather seat.

It would be incredibly disappointing to be left with noticeable damage on the leather seat, just because you did not test out the magic eraser on a small spot first.

There are surfaces inside your car that you can clean with a magic eraser. Leather seats should not be cleaned with a magic eraser.

What You Need to Start Cleaning Leather Seats with A Magic Eraser

If you decide to clean your leather seats with a magic eraser, there are a few things you will need:

  • Magic Erasers: Buy two or three magic erasers to clean the seats because they can break down or decay pretty fast. You may require only one or two erasers, but it is better to keep extra nearby.
  • Degreaser: You also have to buy a degreaser like Super Clean Degreaser. Add 5 parts water with 1 part degreaser to create a solution. 
  • Microfiber Towel or Wipers: Every time you use a magic eraser and degreaser, you need to wipe it off from the seats with a microfiber cloth. 
  • Dust or Residue Cleaner: Keep a brush or vacuum cleaner to clean up the residue created by the eraser. 

Negative Effects of Using Magic Eraser on Leather Seats

As mentioned before, cleaning leather seats with a magic eraser is indeed possible. However, it can be risky and there are some possible negative effects.

Here are the risks of using a magic eraser to clean leather seats:

  • The magic eraser can peel off the leather protection
  • The eraser can peel off the leather itself
  • Erasing changes the pH level of the leather
  • Magic erasers are only suitable for large surface areas

Can peel off the leather protection

Leather is a very soft material. In order to protect it from any wear and tear and to increase the durability, leather seats in cars are coated with a special leather protection.

This also protects the leather against UV rays, which can have discoloring effects.

The danger during the cleaning process is that the abrasiveness of the magic eraser can peel off this protective layer if too much pressure is applied.

These damages are not necessarily immediately noticeable, but, over time, the parts where the magic eraser has been used might start to look worn out and might even become discolored from the sun.

Can peel off the leather itself

Not only can the magic eraser peel off the leather protection, it can also peel off the leather itself.

In the worst case, a magic eraser can lead to serious damages like the ones circled in red

This leads to noticeable damages that are not easy to repair.

Slight discolorations can be fixed with leather ink, but if the damages are severe and parts of the leather are missing, the car seat might have to be completely re-leathered.

Changes the pH level of the leather

Magic erasers have a pH Level of 8 to 10, which is considered alkaline (basic) and even strong enough to cause chemical burns.

This can change the pH level of the leather, potentially leading to chemical burns and dry spots and cracks in the leather over time.

Only suitable for large surface areas

Magic erasers are very abrasive and will damage the leather if too much pressure is applied.

This makes them the wrong choice when cleaning tight spots. Magic erasers are only suitable to clean large surface areas.

Cleaning tight spots generally requires more pressure in order gain access with the cleaning product.

Doing this with magic erasers is very likely to scratch the leather and damage it.

Alternatives to Magic Erasers for cleaning leather seats

As you’ve probably learned from reading this article so far, magic erasers are not the best choice when it comes to cleaning soft materials like leather, as the risk of damaging the surface of your seats is quite high, if you are not careful.

So, if you are afraid of damaging your car seats, then here’s a list of some alternative products:

  • Leather cleaners
  • Dish soap
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking Soda

Leather Cleaners

Leather cleaners are specially made for cleaning your car seats and should, therefore, be your first choice. They will ensure the best results with minimal drawbacks.

Leather or interior cleaners are the safest option for cleaning leather seats

You can also buy leather conditioners.

They are used to condition the leather after cleaning them with leather cleaners to make them soft and smooth like they were when the car was new.

Dish Soap

You can make your very own leather cleanser by mixing some dish soap with water.

Use a water to soap ratio of 5:1, then get a small cloth and dampen with the solution. Squeeze out the excess water and wipe the seats clean.

You don’t want the cloth to be drenched, as the water can get into the nooks and crannies of your seats and pool up, which can leave unpleasant stains.

Olive Oil and Vinegar

Create a mixture of 50% olive oil, 25% vinegar and 25% water.

This solution can be used to wipe down car seats. (Note: it is not quite suitable for deep cleaning car seats)

The oils work as a natural conditioner to make your seats soft and smooth. 

Given that olive oil is a natural product, it will also refrain from damaging the leather.

Just make sure that you don’t use too much oil, as it might leave spots on the leather.


Yes, you read that right. Toothpaste is an incredible cleansing agent. Not just for your teeth but also for leather products.

It’s best for use on small areas to remove tough stains rather than cleaning the whole seat.

Unless, of course, you want your car to reek of mint.

Apply toothpaste on the stain. Then dampen a toothbrush and brush the stain of your car seat.

But be careful here: toothpaste is abrasive and can damage the leather, just as a magic eraser might.

It’s just that the risk with toothpaste is significantly lower.

Baking Soda

You can dry wash your seat with baking soda. Again, this method is best for removing small stains than cleaning the whole car seat.

Baking soda works best on any oil and grease stains.

Just powder on the areas that need to be cleaned and then rub with a clean cloth. Leave it for a while, preferably overnight.

Finally, wipe away any soda on your car seat with a dry piece of cloth and you’ll have a stain free leather seat.

But be careful when applying the baking soda and make sure not to spill any as, if any of it manages to get into the small spaces of your seat, you won’t be able to get it out very easily.

Similarly, if your seat has wrinkles in it then the aforementioned methods might be preferable.    

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning leather seats with a magic eraser is doable but risky
  • Magic erasers are abrasive and can burn/rip the leather
  • It is best to get a leather cleaning agent
  • Always test your cleaning agent on a small spot before continuing use


Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge