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How To Prevent Car Seat Marks or Damage on Leather (3 Solutions You Need to Know!)

How To Prevent Car Seat Marks or Damage on Leather (3 Solutions You Need to Know!)

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All parents understand that car seats are extremely important for the safety of their baby while traveling but they might wonder how to prevent car seat marks or damage on their leather seats. These marks or other damage can lead to costly repairs.

To prevent car seat marks on your leather you should use a seat protector, adopt the CCR method (clean, condition, and rest), or create your own DIY mat or cover to suit your needs. Special care should be taken to ensure that any cover used does not prevent the baby’s car seat from functioning properly.

In this article, we are going to explain to you the methods of protecting your leather seats from damage done by child seats and focusing specifically on seat protectors since they’re the best possible solution. We’re also going to look at some of the alternatives, even and tell you how to fix damage that has already occurred. If you want to protect your leather seats, keep reading to find out more.

Kids sitting in car with leather seats

How to prevent car seat marks or damage on leather

Sometimes parents are forced to perform damage control when it comes to taking care of their children. This could take the form of cleaning up spills, painting over marks on the walls, and anything else imaginable. After our first two kids grew up a little bit, my wife and I decided that we needed to do a better job of preventing damage to our belongings with our next two children.

Whether you’re a new parent or just have a new car, you might not have considered the potential damage to your leather seats.

Can car seats damage leather?

The leather seats in your car can easily be damaged by your baby’s car seat. This is because they have to be strapped down so tightly and are designed in such a way that there is always a piece of plastic jutting into the seat. This constant pressure will stretch, crease, and generally leave marks in your leather seats over time if you don’t have something in place to prevent it from happening.

Unfortunately, this damage can become permanent if it’s left for too long. In all cases, prevention is the best solution.

I’m definitely going to go into a lot more detail with this subject, but if you want to know the cheapest and easiest solution, then you need to check out a seat cover like this to help prevent damage in your car. It’s an affordable option with tons of great reviews. Yes, there are fancier options available, but this will get the job done.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Can you feed a baby in the car seat

How do you keep a car seat from damaging leather seats?

A child car seat is a piece of equipment you add to the car so that you can drive an infant safely. They are specially designed to protect the child from harm and despite some hazards, car seats are generally considered to be safe. Also, they are legally required in all states.

Since they are usually large, plastic pieces of equipment, they might not work well with your new leather seats and they can leave marks and even do real damage. Luckily, there are ways of avoiding this damage:

  • Seat protectors – seat protectors are handy additions to your child safety seat because they protect leather seats from car seat damage. They are placed under the seat and reduce the pressure and traction caused by the child seat. There are simple models that provide basic protection and there are also more complex models that have additional pockets for toys and other things. This is certainly a good investment if you want to protect your leather.
  • CCR method – our acronym actually stands for “clean, condition and rest”, which is a method to deal with non-permanent damage done to your leather. Luckily for you, most marks are not permanent and can be fixed, but this isn’t always the case. For this method, you have to take out the safety seat each time it’s not needed and then clean and condition your leather with special conditioners. Then, you need to let the leather rest for a while and the marks will most likely disappear. It is debatable how effective this method is long-term, but it could save you some money on buying additional equipment.
  • DIY mats – this is technically not a car-specific solution, but it could do the trick. DIY mats aren’t exactly devised to protect your leather seats from marks, but a dealer might suggest them as a cheaper solution to your potential problems.

Since seat protectors are the best and most specialized product out there, we are going to deal with them a bit more.

What is the best car seat protector out there?

As it usually is with the hyperinflation of consumer products, even the seat protector market has a lot to offer. I have tried a few different products over the years and I can tell you all you need is a basic seat protector that provides some resistance over the leather where your car seat is strapped down.

I’ve already mentioned a cheap and easy option and you can check out the details about that child seat protector model here.

As you can see, this model offers a durable product for a relatively low price. It also has the best price-to-value ratio among the competition. It’s durable, but also aesthetically pleasing. This protector won’t slip and it will protect your seat – especially if it’s made of leather – from marks and other damage.

On top of our experience with this model, other customers have also had great things to say about it. They praise the quality of material, size, and durability, confirming that it’s truly a great product that will keep your seats safe. Some have reported that stitches and tears begin to appear after some months, but that will depend on how much pressure it’s exposed to.

If you tend to remove your car seat base frequently, you should expect to see some more wear and tear, in general.

Car with leather car seats

Are car seat protectors safe for the seats?

You might wonder whether the seat protectors themselves are safe for your seat because it would be ironic to have the seat protector actually damage your seat. As far as the seat of your vehicle is concerned, seat protectors will not do any (permanent) damage.

If you remove them, you might notice some marks or dents in the shape of the protector, but they are temporary and will certainly disappear if you give your leather enough time to rest. The most important thing is that the seat protector won’t have any sharp edges jabbed into your seat, which is the real enemy.

Still, they might cause problems with the child safety seat, because they separate the child safety seat from your vehicle’s seat, which might not be a good thing as it can decrease the safety of the whole apparatus, especially if it’s not installed properly. These issues can generally be avoided by proper installation and regularly checking the car seat system to ensure it’s installed correctly.

Is it safe to put a towel under a child safety seat?

A towel is a cheap option to secure your car seats, but it’s still a possibility if you cannot afford something more adequate. A towel, especially if it is thin, will not provide as much security as a seat protector and you’ll probably have to combine it with the CCR method, but it can work for short-term use.

The towel can be a safe alternative as far as the safety of your child’s seat since it won’t dislodge it or cause problems with the installation (there might be some slight movements, but nothing major), but it’s important not to actually fold the towel because it compresses during crashes and it could cause more harm than benefits.

As with anything you add to your car seat system, it’s critical to keep in mind how it may impact the safety of your child. While your leather seats may be important to you, they’re no where near as important as your child’s safety. If you have questions about whether your setup is safe, you can find a certified car seat technician in your area.

How to remove car seat marks from your leather

If you already have car seat marks on your leather seats, you might wonder how to remove them. Well, this depends on the type of mark the seat left.

The main thing you’ll want to do to avoid them is either put some protective surface between the seat and the leather or use the seat only when necessary while applying the above-mentioned CCR method in the meantime.  But, if you don’t actually succeed in avoiding damage, here is what you can do.

If you get some typical pressure marks and dents, you’ll be glad to hear that they can be removed. You can try and apply the CCR method in these cases (if the marks are small and not present for a long period of time), but if it doesn’t work you can apply heat to straighten the leather out. Then, you can use mechanical force to complete the process. Just be careful that you don’t wait too long since even small marks that are not fixed quickly might become permanent.

Here is a quick video that shows the heating method.

If you do see a crease, we have bad news for you – the process is usually irreversible. Even if you manage to straighten the leather out, it’s only temporary, because the crease will return after a while. Prevention is the key thing to prevent permanent damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use to protect the leather in my car?

Prevention is the best method to protecting your leather seats from car seat damage. You can usually clean and condition them to get rid of minor damage, but using a car seat protector is generally the best way to prevent any damage in the first place.

Do you need to protect leather car seats?

Since the pressure of a child seat can lead to damage, you do need to protect leather seats if you don’t want them to become damaged permanently.

What is the best product to protect leather?

There are leather conditioners out there that you can use to keep your leather looking brand new. However, the damage that comes from child seats can be permanent. The best way to keep your leather seats in the best condition is to use a car seat protector.


Before you have kids, you may not realize just how much damage they can cause. If you have leather seats in your car, your child’s car seat can be cause temporary or permanent damage if you don’t protect them. The best way to prevent this damage is with a car seat protector.

Although you might love your leather seats, they’re not as important as your child’s safety. Always make sure their car seat is installed properly and ensure any product you use doesn’t keep their car seat from doing its job. When in doubt, check with a certified car seat technician.

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!

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