Well this Friday I plan to finally go into a dealer and likely buy a
Red LL Bean Forester. He has it on the lot and I am bargaining with
him on the phone. Well since it's a LL Bean it has leather seats and
I've never owned a car with leather seats before. My question, I have
upholstery cleaner but what's the best way to clean leather? As well,
I use armor all for the dash on all the cars I've owned. Is this good
for leather seats?
Nothing harsh as you'll take the natural
oils out of the leather which will eventually crack.
Avoid detergent-based cleaners etc and use soft
soap on a damp cloth or sponge and remove residue
with a clean damp cloth or sponge.
Armor or similar not a good idea on leather.
NNOOOO!! on the armor-all. It is the worst thing you could do to leather as
it will quickly rot both the leather and the stitching. The best thing to
clean it with is saddle soap and water, then dry with a cotton or microfiber
cloth. Immediately when dry, you need to re-feed the leather with a good
saddle dressing, available at a tack shop (horse supply). The good products
are pastes, avoid liquids. There is a good German brand that contains
lanolin and beeswax. Also good but expensive is Williams brand from
Australia. Don't use Lexol either. Good leather care shows in the long
run. My 98 Outback has 243K miles and there are almost no wrinkles or
creases in the seats and no cracks.
Along the same line, Meguiar's vinyl dressing is much better than armor-all.
Most of the new leather seats have a PVC coating on them. They wear like
vinyl seats but are leather. Mild soap and one of the magic white eraser
sponge. You can protect it if it gives you piece of mind, but it's not
necessary. NO ARMORALL.
I think that's polyurethane, BTW. PVC wouldn't be very suitable.
Same as leather furniture - find a restorer of leather furniture
and they'll give you the best advice about your leather seats.
Once the PU film gets cracked, it exposes the uncoloured and
unsealed leather underneath, which gets dirty and looks bad.
The film cannot be restored, but the right leather product
(for cleaning and colouring) helps a lot.
I have been using Meguiars products for years. Excellent protection.
They have several products for leather in addition to their extensive
line of car care products:
Another question about cleaning leather! I have a Tribeca and only the
center portion of the seat is leather, I believe. The rest must be vinyl.
Would the same leather cleaner and conditioner be good for the vinyl?
You really need products designed specifically for leather with a good
Lexol has been making great leather conditioners and cleaners for years.
You can get it at most hardware stores and tack shops. Also, Griots Garage
makes excellent car care products that I would trust on any car from a new
Ferrari to a Model-T. www.griotsgarage.com Their paint care products
brought my "dead" Porsche back to life, and I just got their paint sealant
to use on my new/used Outback.
I also just ordered their leather conditioner as one of the seats in my
Porsche is starting to stiffen up.
A good leather conditioner should make stiff leather soft and keep soft
leather supple, without leaving behind a slick shiny surface. Armor All has
a pretty bad reputation among people who are fanatic about their cars.
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