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Thread: Caring for leather car seats

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Caring for leather car seats

    I'm now the owner of a car with leather seats. Being new to the whole 'leather car care' thing, I wonder if anyone has any suggestions on best products to use, how to care for the leather, etc.

    Thank you.

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    I use Griots 3 in 1 spray for periodic cleaning and their Leather Care every couple months. Works great and smells so much better than other stuff out there.

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    the problem with most car seats is that the leather just isn't the kind of good quality full grain leather you might find in a shoe. it's usually coated with some sort of plastic. if you were lucky to get something nicer than a BMW 3 series, the leather gets significantly better.

    a lot of the leather things they market just don't do anything, you can't really get past the barrier unless it has open pores. it's almost not even worth cleaning them on many cars.

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    We have both an Outback with leather and also a MB E350 with leather. We just use standard Lexol every now and then and it does a good job. The MB takes a beating with applesauce, kid spitup, and who knows what else and the seats become clean.

    Like Evan said, they are coated pretty well and stand up to people not taking care of them.

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    Varsity Member armedferret's Avatar
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    As @evanparker mentioned, the overwhelming majority of leather surfaces in cars (and you'd be surprised how many are "sustainable" leather these days, i.e. not really leather at all) are coated with a type of plastic to help keep them from wearing as quickly. If you put conditioner on these seats, the way to choose which one to use is which one you want on your skin and clothing. Because it definitely won't be getting into the seating surface at all. Just keep them clean with a non-silica-based (that means NO ARMOR ALL) interior cleaner. I use Meguiar's. This stuff. Spray some on a microfiber towel and wipe everything down.


    ETA: I cannot stress enough how important it is to NEVER use armor-all or similar products (anything designed to make your interior bits "shiny") on anything in/on your car. It looks great at first, but within a few hours it will start to dry out the surface, and over time it will significantly accelerate fading, warping, and cracking due to UV and heat exposure.

    ARMOR ALL DESTROYS CARS.


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    Varsity Member minty007's Avatar
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    I get to maintain the leather interiors of 6 cars at home. Like @JBarwick, I use Lexol for the regular conditioning. For the occasional deep conditioning and cleaning, I use the Leatherique system (https://tinyurl.com/y92ux9hu). A detailer in one of my car clubs turned me on to it several years ago. The Leatherique process takes a couple of days to get through, but it has produced amazing results when I really want clean and supple seats, doors, &/or dash.

    If you have 20 minutes to see it in action, here's a good how-to video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JLr7igvCZc
    Last edited by minty007; January 29th, 2019 at 03:05 PM.
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    I like using Lexol conditioner since it has a non-greasy formula.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Thanks Gents. Seems like Lexol is the way to go as many of you are using it. Traditionally I've been a Mothers guy for car care products. That Meguiar' product looks like something I have used before too.

    Good advice re: car seats being treated with something. I wasn't aware of that.

    Right now the weather is too cold for me to any sort of car care. I'm keeping an eye out to early spring when I can wash/wax and do a full detail job.

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    All good suggestions so far. Some more options:
    Chemical Guys Sprayable Leather Cleaner and Conditioner in One
    303 Leather Cleaner and Conditioner (and get their Aerospace Protectant for your dash/plastics)
    Chemical Guys Leather Protectant Dry to the Touch Serum

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