Best way to clean leather seats

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?
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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. -C-
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Clive wrote:

I've read that products containing silicone should be avoided though I don't know why. good question. I'd like to see the responses.
Carl
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I understand that silicone dissolves some glues used in shoes. I don't know whether leather seats are made using glue.
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John Rethorst
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Good point on the armor all. I know how they warn against using it on steering wheels so maybe not a good idea for seats :)
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My question, I have

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.
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BobN wrote:

What he said. If you don't have a tack shop nearby, motorcycle shops carry good leather care supplies.
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Don't leather care products containing wax leave the leather sticky for a while afterwards?
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John Rethorst
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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.


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Johnson wrote:

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.
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while
Not if you buff the leather well.
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On Wed, 12 Apr 2006 03:04:09 -0600, Mark W

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: http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Leather-Cleaner-Conditioner http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Foam-Cleaner-Conditioner http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Wipes http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Aloe-Cleaner http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Aloe-Conditioner http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Spray
http://www.meguiars.com
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wrote:

http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Leather-Cleaner-Conditioner
http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Foam-Cleaner-Conditioner
http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Aloe-Cleaner
http://www.meguiars.com/?automotive-leather-care/Gold-Class-Rich-Leather-Aloe-Conditioner
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?
Don Dunlap
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You really need products designed specifically for leather with a good reputation.
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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