Leather care

What's the best way to care for, and preserve, leather in my new Forester so it will last many years? Owner's manual says just wipe it off with a clean
cloth. Seems to me some sort of conditioner would be advisable. Do I wait for a while (had the car 3 1/2 weeks now)--say, a year--then do something, or start right away with something.....and what would that potion be?
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Lexol
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in article U3ojb.39813$La.6315@fed1read02, H. Whelply at snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote on 10/15/03 11:16 PM:

check http://www.properautocare.com
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Good site. I use the brush attachment to get all the 'stuff' out of the seems. Then I use Meguair's leather wipes if I'm feeling lazy or the lotion and a terry towel if I want to spend more time.
The good brand names (Mother's, Lexol, Meguiar's, etc) are probably all good. I tried the cheaper stuff like ArmorAll brand leather cleaner and it just took too much to get the same look and shine as my meguiar's it also didn't last as long.

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I'm in the leather restoration biz.... have been doing this for more than 25 years. I was trained in New York City, where there was a never-ending demand for it. Best thing to do for leather is to keep it from drying out & cracking. Keeping it out of the hot sun as much as possible.... this is most important.
My observations over these many years has been that using most (if not all) of the leather conditioners actually contributes to cracking and color change in the long term, despite what the label says. Also, leather that has been treated repeatedly with these products will not be able to be restored because if the leather becomes saturated with these products, they become resistant to the dyeing & restoration process.
Best to just keep the leather clean and out of the direct sun as the manufacturer suggests... tinting of the windows certainly helps, as does keeping the car covered or in the garage. Just be aware that you can always restore the beauty of the leather if it does get worn or ugly.... as long as you restore it before it's too far gone.... also, as long as you don't overdose a bunch of cleaner or conditioner on it to try and make it look better.
Finally, my advise for when you need to restore your leather... call around to a dealership that sells mostly luxury cars... ie, Lexus, Mercedes or BMW... to get a referral to a leather professional in your area who specializes in restoring leather seats.
Leather is certainly a wonderful way to go for seats... it's rugged, stretches & conforms to a body shape, and smells great too. However, it does take a little more TLC to keep it maintained.
--Pete

so
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Yep, a totally useless post
On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 09:53:10 -0700, "Peter Berkey"

<< Every measure the interior temperature of a car in the summer, say in NC, Virginia, or even Florida...
It can get well over 110-130 degrees, this does a nice job of destroying a leather interior, especially one that is not treated...

Hmmm, most people don't read the label, or apply the product properly, THIS is what contributes to the craking and color change long term.

Mr officer, I had to have my windows tinted to protect my leather.. Ok sir that will be a $100.00 fine per window plus court costs of $65.00 have a nice day... This is what a local cop would say, as window tint not applied by a professional window tinter with a approval sticker from Virginia DMV is illegal.

This is not possible in this area.

They will refer you to a saddle store, that will sell you saddle soap, which is what you should be using at least once a year.
Yep, it stinks, but leather usually does anyway. But to make the car last it needs to be treated at least once a year.
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I've got a family member who has owned a Toyota with leather seats for more than 20 years... it's got about 150K miles. The car looks and smells wonderful. She lives in a very hot area of California and has never used ANY conditioner on the leather seats. The seats look and feel as good as new. Nope, I didn't restore 'em.... she just parks under a carport all the time, keeps the car out of the hot sun for the most part and treats the car with TLC.
If I really needed more business, I'd tell people to use more leather conditioners and park their cars in the sun.
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Of course, if these products *did* happen to work as advertised, then folks in the leather restoration business would have less work. Hmmmm...

Forester
clean
wait
something,
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Guess the only way to find out is to try all the products out there. Hey, it's only a few bucks to get them leather seats replaced anyhow... hmmmmm? So what do ya have to lose? ; )

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