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leather interior??

3412 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ChuckG
although I know our leather will "wear w/time", what is the best technique/products/materials to keep the leather clean and from 'aging'.

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It is easy to spot an interior that has not been cared for with leather conditioner. The changes in humidity and tempuratures make the leather dry out, and you will see small lines develope which eventually split and crack. I suggest conditioning a min of 2-3 times a year to ensure long life. A quality horse hair brush is perfect for cleaing with leather cleaner (It can be purchased at any janitorial supply store) or I can get you one if you can't find it. Then follow up with conditioner. I sell both items on my web site. Gary
I recommend Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. Always use a two part process, because you can clean or you can condition, but trying to do both at the same time is never going to be optimal.

Lexol has been around for a long time and is the best I have found.

Clean gently, I don't recommend a brush unless it is VERY soft. try not to totally soak the leather, especially the seams. A soft cloth is just fine unless the leather is really dirty. With Lexol cleaner you apply some to a damp cloth and work in to create mild suds. Work one seating area at a time and dry before moving on.

Wipe dry with a soft towel.

You can then apply the conditioner. I like to apply Lexol conditioner by bare hand, it prevents extra wear on the leather, and also is good for your skin.

Put a thin consistent layer on and you can do the entire interior before going back to your starting spot to buff dry with a soft towel.

Lexol will leave your leather looking and feeling natural and the smell is gentle and goes away to leave just the natural smell in a day or two at most. I haVe tried some products for my business that left a horrid smell that lasts for weeks. Test any new product you get for this possible side effect.

I recommend that you treat your leather 3-4 times a year especially for cars used daily and that sit in the sun much. If you don't drive it daily and it spends most of the time in the garage, then 2-3 times a year is plenty.

BTW, the creases that most leather gets are in the leather from the start for the most part. Just like creases on your own skin. The color process and dye tends to cover this up on new leather, but as the leather moves around, the natural creases reveal themselves. The trick is to keep those creases clean. It is dirt in those creases that causes the finish to crack earlier than it would normally. The dirt acts like little razor blades to help tear the fibers. So clean regularly and use conditioner every time.

Final tip: never use conditioner without cleaner. Using just the final step is working the dirt into the leather and will lead to problems. Always use both steps.

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In the past forty odd years, I have restored probably an even dozen vintage Brits of one species or other. Many with ignored and neglected leather.

I can second the reccomendation for Lexol. However, I can also add personal nods to "Treat"...the Zymol leather conditioner. It is a collagen formula which, used properly, does a very good job in preserving and rejuvenating tired leather as well as new. Their cleaner is so-so, it works well but nothing to write to Gerty about.

In a pinch, Tanner's Preserve is a serviceable product as well. It is cheap and readily available. But I would absolutely use one of the others if at all possible.

If you want the cheapest, yet effective, of all candidates....there is always Mink Oil. It is a reliable standyby that has been around for decades and which is available at just about any grocers' in town for a couple dollars a tin.

As with any treatment/conditioner, always try a new formulation on an area out of sight in case it might affect the colour/textureof the leather. However, I can say that any and all of the above have never caused me such problems in any situation.

I would also agree with Don NOT to bother with the combination formulas, no matter whose you go with. Get a cleaner and use it each time prior to conditioning.

I don't own a detailing shop and I'm not selling anything. Merely comments based on personal experience.

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Ditto, on the use of the Lexol. That stuff has been around for about a 100 years. It is the stuff that the coyboys have uses on saddles, etc. for forever.
There is another leather treatment thread with lots of discussion. FWIW, the manual calls for NO CONDITIONER and cleaning with mild soap and water which I do not follow.
Has anyone tried the Lexol wipes for cleaning and conditioning leather? You can see them here:
This has GOT to be the most IRONIC thing I have ever seen on this forum.

A few posts back a guy informs us to use a soft horse hair brushes to clean and treat our leather seats.

Then a few posts later we get a link to a Country Supply store which sells items geared towards of all things............. Horse owners!

Anyone else catch it?

Thanks for the info... I bought the kit today....... but mainly loved the hidden humor!
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I bought the kit also from Country Supply. I figured what the heck, for $7.99+ shipping I'll give them a try.
ChuckG said:
I bought the kit also from Country Supply. I figured what the heck, for $7.99+ shipping I'll give them a try.
midwestrc said:
Thanks for the info... I bought the kit today....... but mainly loved the hidden humor!
Can you guys post a review after you try this kit out? If you chose to be the guinea pigs, might as well let us profit from it. ;)
Horse hair is soft and won't harm leather, I use it when I clean the leather prior to conditioning it. Gary
Got the Lexol wipes and used them today. The kit comes with two containers, one for cleaning and one for conditioning. The wipes measure 7x9 and are dispensed through the top of the container. Make sure you read the instructions on how to get the wipes to dispense properly. There are 25 wipes to each container.

All I did was follow the instructions on how to apply. You just clean the leather and then condition it. It's easy and doesn't take very long. You can expect to use one wipe of both the cleaner and conditioner for every seat. What the Lexol did was to put a luster finish on the leather and it also brought out the grain.

I did the procedure on my wife's 2005 Grand Caravan. I attached pictures of a partial treatment on one of her seats to show a comparision. Take a look.


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