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Old 07-01-2006, 08:40 AM   #1
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leather seat care

I know this topic has been covered previously but I searched and couldn't easily find the answers.

My new leather seats are getting a bit scruffed on the side bolsters simply from entering and exiting the vehicle.

Since of course we can't wear our velvet shorts all the time, what leather treatment product do you recommend, and do you have any tips about application (method, frequency)?

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Old 07-01-2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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Hey SoCal, also be cognizant of things like cell phone and other PDA devices clipped to your belt. These can scuff your leather too. Even your pant belt can do damage and I have seen belts do color dye transfer on light leather interiors. Watch for any fancy (metal) belts that your spouse may wear too.

I have been using the leather conditioner from www.colorplus.com. I have applied it twice since late March.

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Old 07-01-2006, 09:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal
I know this topic has been covered previously but I searched and couldn't easily find the answers.

My new leather seats are getting a bit scruffed on the side bolsters simply from entering and exiting the vehicle.

Since of course we can't wear our velvet shorts all the time, what leather treatment product do you recommend, and do you have any tips about application (method, frequency)?

the only products i use on my ride are those from Griot's Garage (www.griotsgarage.com). try using the interior cleaner, leather rejuvenator and the leather care products, your seats will thank you. good prices, expert advice from their customer service reps too.
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
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Leatherique makes very nice products.

I also use Lexol with good results.

Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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I agree with Brucelee on the Lexol products. Easy two step process that I've been using for many years.

Zymol also makes a good leather conditioner, but not the Zymol you can buy at your local auto parts store. That's the pedestrian crap made by Turtlewax (who bought Zymol a few years ago). Try California Car Cover Company for real Zymol stuff.
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Old 07-01-2006, 12:30 PM   #6
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Hi,

Been using Leatherique for years on cars with 25 y.o. leather and it's as new. Tried them all, but never found anything which worked better.

That said, most (not all) automotive leather is really inferior grade to that used in clothing, handbags and shoes and is so full of fillers and dye that the best thing to use is mild soap and lots of water. Few products will actually penetrate past the dye into the leather.

I don't know about the leather Porsche uses, but it certainly isn't top Grade like the Connelly leather in my Lotus Esprit. I suspect it's just run-of-the-mill auto leather and not anything special.

I use leatherique on mine, but only because I already have an ample supply of the stuff on hand, and it works well. But, if I didn't have it, I'd just go the soap and water route...

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Old 07-01-2006, 01:07 PM   #7
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Hi Dude,

The PCA website has alot of good info on leather seat care, www.pca.org, I went with their cleaning tips with great results.

I first clean with the P21S car conditioning shampoo (mixed 1 capful with a bucket of water). This works great for the rest of the interior as well.

I then follow with the 2 Lexol leather products on the middle portion of the seat. I don't have the full leather seat package, so just the center part is made of leather with the sides and back being vinyl.

I finish this up with the Lexol vinyl protectant on the the sides and back of the seat.

Last edited by drhlau; 07-01-2006 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:16 PM   #8
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I've been using lexol products for some time now and i love it. I use it on all my cars.
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:39 PM   #9
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For abrasion protection, I'd recommend seat covers. Real sheepskin seat covers.

Cleaning won't stop the wear and tear, and like any painted surface in a high traffic area, the paint will chip away. This is what is happening to your seat.

Last edited by creseida; 07-04-2006 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:12 PM   #10
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All of the swell leather care products will keep your seats clean, soft and supple, etc., but once you start wearing the finish off, i.e.,the abrasion problem, about all you can do is dye the leather back to it's original (hopefully) color.
Shoe dye is one option, although I'm sure there are others. Be very careful if you go the dye route, as you can easily end up with a bigger mess than you started with. If you have black seats, a little black shoe polish used sparingly in the appropriate place can work wonders, although you might want to henceforth wear black pants most of the time.
The question at some point is, should the seats on a car with 60,000 miles on it look the same as the the seats on one that has 10,000 miles? In the antiques trade a little wear I believe is called "patina", a quality much appreciated by European car collectors. On this side of the pond we seem to prefer the as-new look, regardless of age.
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Old 07-02-2006, 02:06 PM   #11
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If the bolster is already in pretty bad shape, you could have it filled and re-colored. I had that done on my Infiniti and I'm pleased with the results. You can see the difference in the pictures I've attached.

The best way to find a specialist in your area is to contact a luxury car dealership and ask the manager for the name of the person who reconditions the leather in their used cars.
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Old 07-04-2006, 04:53 PM   #12
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Ronzi, patinas do form on leather, but only aniline dyed, not pigment dyed. Pigment dyed leathers (which most auto leathers are) simply get worn and dingy and look ratty. The pigment is a lacquer sealer coat that is essentially like painting the leather. It does not allow the penetration of stains from spills, but it also does not allow oils or conditioners to soak in. At least until the finish begins to crack.

A patina on leather is something that must be seen; it is hard to explain. It is a warmth and mellowing of the leather, as it darkens with use and time. Not unlike an old piece of unsealed wood that has been rubbed and polished by human hands over the decades.

Last edited by creseida; 07-04-2006 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:43 PM   #13
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I suppose we could argue ad infinitum about the definition of "patina", but wear marks on leather would seem to me to qualify as patina, regardless of the type of finish put on the leather. One man's dingy, worn, and ratty, is another man's patina.
In any event, my point was that absolutely as-new seats in an otherwise appropriately worn automobile mileagewise brings to mind the picture of the pig in a tutu.
You bring up an interesting point with your observation that pigment dyed leathers essentially have an impermeable finish. If this is the case, then seat treatments that promise to restore natural oils, soften the leather, etc. are just so much hogwash, not so? The stuff's not going to penetrate the finish, anyway.
So, the redoubtable MNBox is right again! Save your money, boys, and use the dish detergent from the kitchen instead of buying leather conditioners at $20 a bottle.
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:58 AM   #14
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You bring up an interesting point with your observation that pigment dyed leathers essentially have an impermeable finish. If this is the case, then seat treatments that promise to restore natural oils, soften the leather, etc. are just so much hogwash, not so? The stuff's not going to penetrate the finish, anyway.

I mentioned this before, back in December...
http://www.986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=32395#post32395

The products WILL restore natural oils, etc., if they could actually get TO the leather. But the pigment dye is a protective sealer. It keeps the leather from getting stained from spills. It keeps the oils and conditioners out, too.

So, the redoubtable MNBox is right again! Save your money, boys, and use the dish detergent from the kitchen instead of buying leather conditioners at $20 a bottle.

I'd use Murphy's Oil Soap myself....

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