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Car Care & Detailing
Get detailing answers and tips here

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Old 07-23-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
Nick@Autogeek
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Expert Leather Cleaning Tips




I'd like to share a couple of leather cleaning tips that I've picked up through the years from various detailing experts including Mike Phillips, Todd Helme and Jason. There is a lot to cover when it comes to car care and detailing and no matter how long you've been doing it, whether as a career or hobby, there is always more to learn.

I detailed a Mercedes-Benz E350 Saturday night and if you've ever set foot in an E350, you know that most of its interior surfaces are swathed in leather. When I clean delicate leather surfaces I take every precaution necessary to avoid inflicting any damage. That means I use the highest quality cleaners, conditioners, brushes, microfiber towels and so forth. This ensures that when the detail is finished, the owner is paying me, rather than me paying the owner.

To deeply cleanse the leather surfaces of built-up bod oils, dirt and grime, Wolfgang's Leather Care Cleaner was the obvious choice. This leather cleaner packs quite the punch because its formula is citrus based. This enables Wolfgang Leather Care Cleaner to deep clean delicate leather surfaces without drying them out.






The first tip is all about the steering wheel, a part of the interior that's always being touched. As you drive your vehicle day in and day out, the steering wheel accumulates dirt and body oils more so than any other surface. Pair our versatile Microfiber Gloves with Wolfgang's Leather Care Cleaner and you'll be cleaning soiled steering wheels faster than ever.

Start by spraying a liberal amount of cleaner onto the gloves. Then, grab a firm hold of the steering wheel just like I did the first time I drove Max's Corvette.






Massage the cleaner into the steering wheel by twisting your hand and moving it side to side. Divide the rim of the steering wheel into four sections and reapply cleaner after each section. Once you're satisfied, pat the steering wheel dry with a microfiber towel. One of the benefits of using a high quality leather cleaner instead of an APC is the fact that the steering wheel won't be sticky after being cleaned.

This is what the microfiber glove looked like after cleaning a quarter of the steering wheel!






The next tip pertains to cleaning all interior surfaces, but works especially well on leather. Professional detailers know that on heavily soiled leather surfaces terry cloth provides superior agitation compared to microfiber. Terry cloth has a more aggressive nap that pulls dirt out of leather when used in conjunction with a high quality leather cleaner.

An excellent alternative to a large, cumbersome terry cloth towel is one of our 6" Terry Cloth Bonnets. These work great because you can fit most of your hand inside, making an easy to hold scrubber. Because they're not dyed, you don't have to worry about any artificial color bleeding out of them, potentially staining the leather.






Spray a liberal amount of cleaner onto the terry cloth bonnet and vigorously scrub the leather. The elastic band ensures the bonnet doesn't fall off your hand easily.

It's always best to do a test spot first on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with your chosen cleaner.






This is what the bonnet looked like after cleaning the lower seat cushion on the driver seat. As you can see, the terry cloth bonnet paired with Wolfgang's Leather Cleaner pulled everything but the color of the leather itself.






Always follow up with a dedicated leather conditioner after thoroughly cleaning leather surfaces. Both the microfiber gloves and the terry cloth bonnets are washable and reusable.

There you have it, a couple basic tips that will make leather cleaning much easier. With the right products, no surface on your car should go uncleaned or unprotected.

Wolfgang Leather Care Cleaner

Microfiber Gloves

6 Inch Terry Cloth Bonnet
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
Taunto
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so what exactly is better to use. the soft brustle brushes that I have seen and read about, or a terry cloth as you described there. I have been using Auto Glym leather Cleaner and leather Balm on my Cinamon interior for my M3 and its a amazing product. cleans extremely well and the conditioner lasts alot longer than some other products I have used in the past. I have just used a microber applicator pad and towel to apply and wipe off when cleaning the leather in my car. Would buying a soft bristle leather brush work better? or a terry cloth? what are the pros and cons of each?
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taunto View Post
so what exactly is better to use. the soft brustle brushes that I have seen and read about, or a terry cloth as you described there. I have been using Auto Glym leather Cleaner and leather Balm on my Cinamon interior for my M3 and its a amazing product. cleans extremely well and the conditioner lasts alot longer than some other products I have used in the past. I have just used a microber applicator pad and towel to apply and wipe off when cleaning the leather in my car. Would buying a soft bristle leather brush work better? or a terry cloth? what are the pros and cons of each?
In my opinion (and experience) terry cloth is the better tool for deep cleaning leather when compared to a soft, leather-safe brush.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
Beau B
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Perfect timing, thanks for posting this as I am preparing to remove most of my interior to clean it throughly...
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