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Cleaning and protecting leather interior

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by Khabel, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Khabel

    Khabel Member

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    I've recently got a SS-V and the seats are pretty grubby, can anyone recommend products to use to clean and protect them?
     
  2. mpower

    mpower Well-Known Member

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  3. Longman

    Longman Member

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    I use leathertex. Not cheap but works a treat and very easy to use.
     
  4. ari666

    ari666 250,000 hits

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  5. VTSSLS1

    VTSSLS1 New Member

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    When I first got mine I used meguiars cloth & trim cleaner to clean them, followed by meguiars gold class cleaner & conditioner. It works very well and made a huge difference, but it's a bit of a pain in the arse because of the perforated leather, and gets stuck in the stitching as well. Also have used Sonax leather care foam which was pretty good and much easier for the perforated bits. Neither of these seem to last very long though, probably because they're both 'two-part' products (clean & condition). I'm looking at trying the lexol cleaner and conditioner (two separate products) next because it's a pump/spray rather than a cream.
     
  6. mpower

    mpower Well-Known Member

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    give this kit a go, the brush will help with the perforated leather

    https://www.carcareproducts.com.au/product/duragloss/professional_leather_system
     
  7. TinSnips

    TinSnips Polish all the things...

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    Holden leather is pressed and urethane coated - little, if any need to condition them - just keep them clean.

    All you really need is a gentle all purpose cleaner, a soft brush and some microfibre towels for regular maintenance.

    HD-Total Degreaser & Soil Remover

    Mix that at 10:1 with water and you can use it to clean any interior surface - even a spot cleaner for carpet and upholstery - only thing I don't use it for inside a car is microsuede/alcantara and glass (there are better options for both). Spray it on, work over it gently with the brush, use a damp microfibre to remove and a dry one to wipe dry.

    You can use a leather cleaner like the duragloss one, or whichever - while it's good, it's not required on this type of leather. Conditioning will leave a film over the leather coating (which won't allow it to sink in) which will attract grit and dust that can work to abrade the urethane coating as you move around in the seat. Maintaining that coating is the goal with modern leathers. You can use a leather sealant or coating to help protect the urethane, but conditioners are generally counter-productive on this surface.

    The added benefit of Total is that you can mix it stronger (5:1) and use it to clean your engine bay, tyres, wheel arches, exterior plastics - it's great for melting bugs off the front of your car - it's a very versatile product, very safe if you use it properly and doesn't leave a sticky residue like most APCs, so is fine to use on most any surface.
     
  8. Silver Streak

    Silver Streak Member

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    Eagle One the way to go.They have the complete range for inside and out. Supercheap use to have Eagle One ,but Autobarn and Sprint .
     
  9. 426Cuda

    426Cuda SUBLIME!

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    I tried Maguiars leather cleaner and conditioner and think they're both rubbish. Then tried Bowdens Leather Conditioner which was good.

    I'm not sure of the exact product names, but the Opticare Coat all purpose cleaner (diluted per instructions) and the Opticare Fabric Cleaner and Protectant / leather conditioner are simply fantastic. A little more expensive than most, but pure magic. both ok for the microsuede / alcantara in the VF's too from my experience.

    h t t p://optimumcarcare.com.au/
     
  10. SSVSE

    SSVSE New Member

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    on the g8board i read that the the cows that supplied the leather in our cars must have been fed a diet high in polystyrene !

    my seats used to feel alot like that could be true.

    a couple of years ago i found Duragloss leather conditioner and it has softened the leather quite well, plus it makes the car interior smell like real Leather!
    mmmm nice... if you like dat sorta ting lol
     
  11. Robbo VS3

    Robbo VS3 Member

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    I bought some ArmorAll leather wipes the other day and they did a decent job of making the leather look nice.
     
  12. VTSSLS1

    VTSSLS1 New Member

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    I understand these leathers have a coating over the top, but if that's the case though, why do the leather conditioners make such a huge difference? My rear seat for example was far softer, 'richer' feeling and the colour was deeper after the second application of the conditioner, and it had not been sat in since I bought the car, and it was dry and hard as hell then.
     
  13. ChRiDDa

    ChRiDDa Active Member

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    Lexol - 2 stage process - cleaner and then conditioner

    Used it on multiple cars - works a treat
     
  14. dgp

    dgp Well-Known Member

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    This is what I have been using for a few years, works a treat.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. TinSnips

    TinSnips Polish all the things...

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    Most of the time, the reason for a modern leather going "cardboardy" or crunchy is simply because of the layer of grime that has built up on the surface. 99 times out of 100 you'll get the same softening result from just giving them a really good clean. IF the conditioner is actually having some effect on the softness of the leather, it's likely that the clear has been compromised and the leather has had a chance to dry out. However, if this is the case, a simple wipe on/wipe off conditioner is not overly likely to go very far towards hydrating it. That's where the leatherique system comes into play - it's a two part process where you start with a nourishing oil, followed by a cleaner - the reverse of the normal concept of clean/condition. It conditions first (oil is allowed to dwell 24hrs+), then you clean to leave the surface of the leather free from any oils or whatever that will attract dust and grit.

    In the case of perforated leather - yes, SOME conditioner might work it's way into the leather but it certainly won't give uniform coverage or have any real effect - and definitely not before the conditioner dries out. All it really does is clog the perforations and you have to go and clean them all out with a tooth pick. A cleaner/conditioner routine is really maintenance only on well cared for, non-cleared leather (which really doesn't exist any more, at least in terms of automotive finishings).

    As for the colour, the deepening effect you're seeing is simply the oily conditioner sitting on top of the clear - it's not rejuvenating the dye or anything fun like that. The colour in leather is exactly that - a dye - a conditioner won't bring that back. You'll often find that black leather seats look slightly lighter and lose their sheen when you clean them - this is because you're removing the built up oil and people grease that is sitting on top - has exactly the same effect.


    A simple test to find out how effectively you can condition your leather is to get an eye dropper and let a drop of water fall on the seat. Uncoated leather will almost instantly soak it up and turn dark (try it on your Mrs expensive matte leather handbag - these are rarely coated - but yes, it will probably stain it). The urethane coating will stop the water from sinking in - I'm not saying it will bead up like freshly waxed paint, but your seat will just be wet - it won't absorb it. And if the leather can't absorb water, it certainly won't absorb a wipe on cream or solvent and lanolin napkin wipe (which really just work towards drying everything out and make it go crunchy). Automotive leather is generally not meant to be shiny.
     
  16. Michael-08-VE

    Michael-08-VE New Member

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    Your one of the gurus on here mate so I've got a question for you. Could you oil the seats In a similar fashion as you would a jacket?
     
  17. SSVSE

    SSVSE New Member

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    Tinsnips , im confused, i am sure my car 's leather does not have any coating on it at all as the Duragloss leather contioner i use soaks right in and does a good job of softening it with no residue. It also gives it a new leather smell too.
    ps, my car is immaculate in and out with only 58k on it.

    this is what i use: Leather Conditioner | duragloss.com.au
     
  18. Wongsta

    Wongsta New Member

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    While on the subject of leather, I have a SS-Z ute with the "leather bolstered" seats. Can anyone tell me if the non-clothed sections including the back of the seats and headrests are all leather or a mix of leather and vinyl? To me the leather seat sections feel no different to the vinyl on the door trims.
     
  19. Veberlina

    Veberlina Member

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    I use Final Inspection Leather Clean + Final Inspection Leather Feed on my Caprice nappa leather seats. This is made by some aussie guy who is a detailing guru.

    The leather cleaner is the best cleaner I've found, gets all the dirt up. The Feed apparently doesn't get absorbed as my seats also have a urethane coating, but I use it because it smells like brand new leather seats, and I like that smell given I have nappa. It also makes the seats feel softer for a while.
     
  20. TinSnips

    TinSnips Polish all the things...

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    The urethane clear applied on the top of the leather surface will not allow an oil to penetrate in as it should. The leatherique system works in much the same way as treatment for a jacket or couch, or whatever - but relies on the surface being able to absorb it. So for old aniline leather, it's ideal - and for cracked modern leather it can help, though the adhesive in between plied layers of leather will limit how effective it will be. Basically, if you have an old 50s rolls royce, yes you can - modern vehicles, not so much unless they're already munted.



    I agree with you entirely that it smells stunning. Duragloss 221 and Zaino z10 (same same) are what they like to refer to as a water-based leather conditioner, which isn't strictly accurate. It uses a water based emulsion to thin out and carry whatever they decide to use as conditioning oils, usually mink oil and lanolin. So as you apply it to the surface, it basically flashes dry like IPA would - rather than soaks in (a negligible amount MAY get in through stitching, but no where near enough to actually be of any real benefit). This is so it doesn't leave a greasy film on the surface - but it still does leave a film (if you use the shampoo on it again after conditioning, you will remove it), and it's designed to so they can say it offers UV protection (some). Contrast that to a genuine leather sealant or coating that will actually cure and bond to the surface and serve as a sacrificial layer to help preserve the urethane and won't be wiped off.

    There is piece of text on some sites (for zaino and duragloss) that kind of gives the game away a little. It's recommended for use on vinyl as well, which obviously has no use for, and is unable to absorb any conditioning oils, but will still have the same flashing effect as if you were to apply it to leather, so as not to leave a greasy surface.

    Leather is cleared for two main reasons - firstly for durability and stain resistance (although, the clear can still stain - things like sun screen can bleach the clear and make it opaque). If manufacturers building mass produced cars didn't use cleared leather, and the cars were being used as much as they are today, with the vast majority of people completely disregarding any form of maintenance or dedicated cleaning, they'd have a phenomenal amount of seats to re-trim within the warranty period. The second reason is to lock the natural oils of the leather in - the average person does not care for their car, but also won't put up with seats and the like that are cracking and splitting within a year of purchase due to drying out, so clearing them locks in the moisture and keeps them sort of soft-ish. You won't have a warranty claim knocked back because you didn't condition your leather enough. So if moisture/oil is locked in, it's also locked out, at least for the functional part, perforations and stitching aside.

    Please don't think I'm blatantly advising against using it. If you're happy with what it does and enjoy the smell, by all means, condition to your heart's content. Duragloss/Zaino don't have any mineral spirits that will break down the urethane or anything nasty like that - so you're not going to break anything by using it. I'm more trying to make the point that the clean/condition route is somewhat redundant with modern leathers. A clean and seal, or clean and coat approach is more appropriate for modern finishes.

    I also didn't mean to imply that you let your seats get manky - but it doesn't take long for seats to have enough grime on them to start getting a bit stiff. The duragloss cleaner is very good and very gentle, I believe it does contain some mink oil which, again, won't hurt. You can use the Leatherique cleaner as a regular wipe down as well - but you can also use a non-caustic APC (weak mix) as a leather shampoo and not have any troubles, while saving a fair amount of cash.

    There's an increasing range of leather coatings arriving on the local market, both DIY and pro-applied - and they're definitely worth looking into as they are designed to work with the urethane coating, rather than the leather beneath it. The big trick to getting the most out of modern leather is to keep that urethane layer clean and intact.



    The upper surface of the bolsters will be leather, the outers and backs of the seats and arm rests are almost always synthetic.
     

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