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 on their leather car seats to avoid having to pay for expensive 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 damages done by child seats, focusing especially on seat protectors, because they are the best possible solution. We are also going to dwell on some of the alternatives, even the cheaper ones, and tell you what you can do when the damage has already been done. So, keep reading to find out more.
Can car seats damage leather?
Sometimes parents are forced into 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 get in front of potential damage with the next two children and really try to prevent any damage to our belongings that we could.
The leather seats in your car can easily be damaged by your baby’s car seat because they are often 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 is left for too long. In all cases, prevention is the best medicine!
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, in my opinion, 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.
How do you keep a car seat from damaging leather seats?
A child safety 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 during driving and despite some hazards, car seats are generally considered to be safe. Also, they are legally required in all states which is why you’re probably not going to be able to avoid putting them in your car.
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/or even do real damage. Luckily, there are ways of avoiding this, and here they are:
- Seat protectors – seat protectors are very handy additions to your child safety seat as they protect your car seat from the potential damage caused by the seats. They are placed under the seat and they reduce the pressure and traction caused by the seat. They can be more or less sophisticated – there are simple models that provide basic protection, but there are more complex models that also 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 the risk is yours). This method is rather simple, but it can get annoying from time to time. You just have to take out the safety seat each time it’s not needed and then clean and condition your leather with special conditioners. Then, after doing that, 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 – well, 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 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 that 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 very good product for a relatively low price and it has the best price-to-value ratio among the competition. It is very durable, but also aesthetically pleasing, it 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 its quality of material, the size, and the durability, confirming that it is truly a great product that will keep your seats safe, look elegant, and last for a while so that you do not have to replace it after several months of use. We haven’t had any problems with it, and the majority of people don’t, but few do tell that stitches and tears begin to appear after some months. That depends on how much it is used and how much pressure it is exposed to, but that’s about it when it comes to the downsides of this product.
If you tend to remove your car seat base frequently, you should expect to see some more wear and tear, in general.
Are car seat protectors safe for the seats?
You might wonder whether the seat protectors themselves are safe for your seat because it would really be ironic to have a piece of equipment designed to protect your seat actually damage it. 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 just temporary (due to the pressure) and will certainly disappear if you give your leather enough time to rest. The most important thing to consider 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. Luckily, these issues can also be avoided by proper installation and regularly checking the apparatus.
Is it safe to put a towel under a child safety seat?
The towel is a very 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 be of short-term use.
The towel is a safe alternative as far as the safety of child seat as it won’t dislodge it or cause problems with the installation (there might be some slight movements, but nothing major), but you mustn’t actually fold the towel because it compresses during crashes and it could cause more harm than benefits.
How to remove car seat marks from your leather?
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 even in such 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 and then use mechanical force to complete the process. Just be careful that you don’t wait too long, as even small marks that are not fixed quickly might become permanent.
Here is a quick video that shows the heating method.
In case you 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 in such cases.
And that covers our topic for today. We hope we’ve helped you with all the details and that you’ll find our advice and tips useful.