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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
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Leather cleaning question

I have done a lot of homework on cleaning and so I use Lexol. And I clean & condition my seats often, but also correctly. My question is; I have tan interior and it seems like because of the way the e46 seats are, there are like groove like waves in the seat (hope you all know what I mean LOL) in the dirt and dust is very prominent. You can see it and in order to clean it you have to scrub hard, thus this also scrubs off the protective layer on the leather. This is the same problem with the door trim as well. The dirt gets in the little grooves in the Final/leather@and if you scrub it clean, you basically scrub off a layer of the leather/leatherette. Does anyone recommend another way of cleaning? Also, I have neuropathy in the hands and scrubbing is very hard. I need to find another way to clean it so the dirt can get out of these grooves; without further damaging and hurting my hands. And no, I am not buying new door panels or seats LOL
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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Use warm water + woolite and gently scrub using a microfiber. use a soft toothbrush on harder surfaces like door panels. then condition with your favorite conditioner.

put the woolite solution in a spray bottle and pre-soak the affected areas by lightly misting. do one seat/panel/section at a time.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:04 PM   #3
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Okay, I will try it. But I am open to any other suggestions as well thanks bro
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:34 AM   #4
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Clean - there are two cleaning-related factors that can cause your leather to wear prematurely. The first is dirt, and the second is oil, combined they become very abrasive, as dirt / grit and subsequent friction cause the finish to wear. Use an aqueous (water- based) foam cleaner (Leather Master™ Foam Cleaner) a foaming action makes it especially safe for Aniline, heated seats and perforated finished leather surfaces. Foam encapsulates the dirt so that it can then be wiped away; allow the foam to dwell to ensure the chemicals have time to work.

The foam holds the dirt in suspension, avoiding the possibility of being simply pushed around or being re-deposited on the surface, a medium soft brush can be used to clean any folds or creases; this will help to dislodge any ingrained dirt, which can then be just wiped away with a clean, soft towel.

For stubborn dirt use Leather Master™ Strong Cleaner, which can be diluted with distilled water to the required strength; do not apply any liquid cleaning product directly to the surface of finished leather, as it may ‘spot’ clean leaving a faded area? Always apply cleaning products to folded 100% cotton micro fibre towel and then apply using light / medium pressure.

For ingrained soil the best results are obtained by placing a damp micro fibre towel in the microwave and heat for a few minutes - until they are really hot but not so hot that you can't touch them. Place on the seats and leave for a few minutes, this should lift / loosen any ingrained dirt

Modern automotive leather upholstery use a completely different tanning processes and finishing system, utilizing advanced polymers and chemicals (urethane doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation) and as a consequence they do not need to be treated with aftercare products containing oils or proteins. Oils and soft plastics (polymers, acrylics and urethanes) are not compatible; repeated application on to finished leather can cause the break-down of cross-linking and binding agents.

Oil accelerates the deterioration of urethane over time. After extended use the condition of the finished leathers pigmentation (colour) will be removed by the oil causing the urethane protection to become delaminated.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:37 AM   #5
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Within these articles you’ll discover the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ and find pretty much everything you need to know about detailing and care of automotive leather; if you do your research correctly.

The most fundamental question to be answered before you clean or care for leather is to establish the type of leather finish used in the vehicle as the methodologies are very specific for each type

Automotive leather is typically finished with a coating that both provide protection from ultra violet radiation (degradation or fading) as well making it resistant to both abrasion and soiling. The finishes used in automotive upholstery leather are unique; much different than furniture, garment or shoe leathers. Finished leather is extremely resilient and easy to clean and maintain.

“Leather Articles Hyperlinks” http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia...yperlinks.html
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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I personally use the Leatherique combo over the Lexol products. It does a better job of cleaning and conditioning the surface in my experience so you don't need to scrub so much. When you wipe off the excess product you should only be using light pressure with a clean/soft microfiber towel (ie DI Microfiber All Purpose Towel). Don't underestimate the importance of a good microfiber towel, they are integral in my experience. If you're scrubbing too hard you definitely can harm the surface, so be really careful. You can see how the Leatherique products are used in the detailing guide or our Ask a Pro Detailer Blog.

For the doors, dashboard, doors, console, carpets, fabrics, etc. I'm a big fan of the 303 Cleaner & Spot Remover. It's a highly effective product that should help you clean quicker and with less scrubbing.

Hope this helps!

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