Sweat. It's your body's natural cooling system. One problem with it though - it can damage your leather or cloth car seat and will leave your ride smelling funkier than James Brown doing the electric slide at your cousins wedding 🕺🏾.
Why does that happen? We've consulted a few sage advisors across the Internets so we could give you some background on why sweating on your car seats is a bad idea.
1. It's all about the chemicals in your body, baby...
"Body oils are pretty much God’s gift to humanity: they’re our very own personalized leather conditioners. Without those pesky oils at the end of your fingertips, our skin would have no lubrication, and dry out and wrinkle up like a raisin before whittling away into icky piles of dust (or just the latter part on the off chance Buffy the Vampire Slayer just staked you, and you are a vampire). But on the other edge of this handy-dandy sword, we’re like Rogue from X-Men, destroying anything we touch. That actually might also be a plus to some people. You can take that part however you want.
There is one definite bad thing about this peculiar superpower: it messes up leather, big time. You’ve probably noticed it by those dark spots that came out of nowhere on your leather purse, or flakes and cracks on the armrests of your leather couch. Or anything that has lots of contact with skin. That’s how body oils affect leather. Give them a chance to accumulate, and in time they’ll tear a whole right through your leather and rot it straight to the gates of Hades itself.
Body oils and perspiration are made up with lots of salts, enzymes and fatty acids, which can amount for a pH level that is adamantly not leather’s style. Chemical reaction ensues any time your sweat and fingerprints touch your leather. Unfriendly pH oils penetrate and build up, and leather fibers weaken as it keeps building. Eventually, body oils affect leather by destroying it completely. Adding to your woes, you probably won’t even notice this is happening until a lot of oils have already soaked in. The first symptoms you’re likely to observe are flaking or a darkening spot. If you let body oils affect leather over a long time, your leather will start to crack, at which point irreparable damage can occur." -Daniel Sutton, Leather Milk
2. Sweat can lead to cracks in your leather
"Old, worn leather car seats looks seriously bad. Unless you clean them regularly, sweat, dust and dirt will seep into its pores. Unless you condition them as needed, leather can become hard and eventually crack." -Price's Collision Centers
3. An ounce of prevention is worth pounds and pounds of nasty sweat
"Cleaning your upholstered seats may be a little trickier than the floors. That's because sweat, soil, and food stains on fabric can be difficult to treat if they've been left too long. A light sweep with a hand-held steam cleaner can make a big difference (same goes for the floors once you've vacuumed up any baking soda). You can also use one of a number of effective cleaning products designed to make your seats look like new. Follow the directions carefully for best results. To clean and protect leather upholstery, use a cleaning agent specific to that purpose.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cheese fries, so if you really want to keep your seats looking and smelling fresh, get yourself a set of seat protectors." -Advance Auto Parts
So what can you do?
The best way to protect your car from damage is with a water-proof barrier (hint hint: not a towel) that will block moisture and oils from penetrating your leather seats in the first place. Dry Rub® car seat covers do exactly that - the dual-layer build allows for it to be both breathable and sweat-proof - something you won't find anywhere else.