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Thread: leather restorer?

  1. #16
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    I have used lexol and a detailing brush to clean my leather with good results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    "Connolly Leather Cleaner is a luxurious leather cleaner that quickly removes dirt and oil by penetrating and lifting them from the surface of the actual hide."

    NOTE: Virtually all car leathers used today are finished with a clear protective coating that is applied for protection and durability of the leather.
    This means you'll actually be cleaning, or conditioning a clear protective layer that's made up of different types of resins, polymers, synthetics etc.
    You are not dealing with the actual leather, but the clear protective layer; just like the clear coat on your car paint.
    Keeping your car leather clean is the most important and critical part to the health and beauty of your car leather.

    Here's a little info on modern leather care.
    My jeans are leaving a little blue dye on the light tan leather in my 2014 Explorer. I tried cleaning it with Mequires Gold Class Leather Cleaner and a microfibre cloth. I am seeing the tan dye from the seat come off on the MF towel. Ouch!

    I want to clean the seats first and then apply a good conditioner afterwards. How can I clean my seats without removing the OEM color spray dye on the seats?

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  3. #18
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    Here are a few suggestions...

    Woolite - Dilute the HE mixture with water at ~10:1 Take a towel and wipe the seats down.
    If the stain is very persistent, try saturating a Magic Eraser in the solution.
    If the stain is very persistent it may take a couple applications, but it works.

    NOTE: Be careful, using a Magic Eraser dry or too much pressure, this can damage the leather.
    Prolonged or aggressive use may make a visible change in tone or texture.
    Though the Magic Eraser feels soft, it is abrasive.

    "Tuff Stuff in a spray can will take it off. Spray it on a soft cloth & use it sparingly. Auto parts stores sell it."
    It has been noted that Tuff Stuff will dry out the leather so use a liberal about of conditioner afterwards.

    Do you still have any Z-9 Leather Soft Spray Cleaner? I've found using this with a light mist of water works well.
    "A clean Magic Eraser and super hot water along with the Zaino and I've gotten some of the worst seats to come clean."
    You have to have PATIENCE when cleaning the seats otherwise you can risk ruining the coating and the leather.

    I've heard of some folks obtaining excellent results with "See Spot Go" and a horse hair shoe shine brush.

    Another product that has received excellent reviews is LTT Auto Jean & Dye Transfer Remover Kit

    • DO NOT use solvents of any kind as you will remove the finish and/or pigment which will need replacing.

    • DO NOT use household cleaning products, alcohol, cleaners for rubber, vinyl and plastics, or oil/petroleum-based
    leather conditioners. These products may cause premature wearing of the clear, protective coating.

    • ALWAYS test any of the above products in an inconspicuous area first!

    This is actually pretty common. With newer leathers you need to keep them cleaned and conditioned on a regular basis.
    After the seats are clean, there's really not much you can do to prevent this from happening again.
    Regular maintenance is your best bet to keep the seats looking good.
    I'd suggest seat covers for tan leather to keep your seats new and looking good.

    Another thing you can do is to not "slide" in and out of the seats.
    Many people have a tendency to do this, especially on vehicles like trucks (because of the height of the seats).
    This will not only exacerbate the dye transfer problem, but cause excessive wear to the seats.

    NOTE: I've found that using CQuartz Leather & Vinyl "after" removing the stains helps prevent them from returning.

  4. #19
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    Name: Chuck NHTOC #291

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    Many thanks Merlin. I'll have to give some of these a try as well.

    I kinda thought that by buying an automotive product that said it was a leather cleaner that it would do the job for me. Having to go and use a bunch of other stuff isn't quite as reassuring. Maybe I was rubbing too hard and I need to just have more patience and try applying the cleaner in 2 or 3 sessions instead of trying to get it all off in one go?

  5. #20
    iHarley
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    Yes I know this an old thread, but still important.

    I've been working on my seats again, using Zaino which is almost gone. The driver's seat bottom, door side baluster was noticeably duller after treating with Zaino. No surprise, just getting in and out of the vehicle. So I applied Doc Baileys that I have been using for years on my Corbin HD Ultra Classic seat. Two days later I'm still trying to wipe the Doc Baileys off to get a clean rag to avoid transferring the black to the grey seat inserts. The Doc Bailey did recolor the black leather and bring back some of the shine and matching unworn black leather, BUT it requires days of wiping to obtain a clean rag.

    I tried Meguiar's One Step Leather Care cleaner and conditioner. It appeared to clean better than Zaino leather cleaner, but left a very dull finish.

    Next I decided to use Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative. I've used this on my work boots for years, amazing results and my boots get far more use than getting in and out of the truck.

    http://www.obenaufs.com/ - it's worth your time to learn about this product, also Made in the USA

    I like the results and will not be ordering Zaino again.

    Now some thoughts and question:

    Posted by Merlin and other articles on the internet:

    "Virtually all car leathers used today are finished with a clear protective coating that is applied for protection and durability of the leather. This means you'll actually be cleaning, or conditioning a clear protective layer that's made up of different types of resins, polymers, synthetics etc. You are not dealing with the actual leather, but the clear protective layer; just like the clear coat on your car paint. Keeping your car leather clean is the most important and critical part to the health and beauty of your car leather."

    So?? - If there is a clear protective coating used on vehicle leather seats to protect the leather from stains and wear, why after cleaning we are not using this type of coating to replace / recoat the leather with the same stuff?

    I submit to you, any clear coating especially on the driver's seat after years of use and cleaning is long gone.
    A Google search on "leather clear protective coating" results in many such products.

    Thoughts, comments - please
    2003 Black / Silver
    Build Number: 9384

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHarley View Post
    Posted by Merlin and other articles on the internet:

    "Virtually all car leathers used today are finished with a clear protective coating that is applied for protection and durability of the leather. This means you'll actually be cleaning, or conditioning a clear protective layer that's made up of different types of resins, polymers, synthetics etc. You are not dealing with the actual leather, but the clear protective layer; just like the clear coat on your car paint. Keeping your car leather clean is the most important and critical part to the health and beauty of your car leather."

    So?? - If there is a clear protective coating used on vehicle leather seats to protect the leather from stains and wear, why after cleaning we are not using this type of coating to replace / recoat the leather with the same stuff?

    I submit to you, any clear coating especially on the driver's seat after years of use and cleaning is long gone.
    A Google search on "leather clear protective coating" results in many such products.

    Thoughts, comments - please
    Thoughts and comments...

    Yes, when the seats are manufactured there is a thin clear over the dyed color.
    This is how the designers can make red, blue, silver, tan etc. leather interiors.
    TMK there are no red, blue, silver or tan cows. (ok well maybe a tan cow?)
    To protect these colors after they are dyed, a protective coating is applied.

    Now to an important question. How long does this protective coating last?
    Well that depends on how much you drag your backside across the leather.
    In some cases (like with rear seats that are hardly ever used) a long time.

    Apply only safe leather cleaning products. Leather conditioners help
    True leather conditioners work on "natural" leathers (like Connolly).
    I have found CQuartz Leather & Vinyl works well to protect the leather.
    I have not tried or used Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative.
    Please tell us about the product...application, durability, looks etc.

    And yes, I've used Doc Baileys on lots of my motorcycle leathers.
    It has a black leather dye and a nice matte finish, but it rubs off.
    I've had issues cleaning the black/silver area as the black can bleed.
    Use caution along the black/silver seam and keep products separated.

  7. #22
    iHarley
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    Hey Merlin,

    I was hoping to get your input, thank you.

    This is a Cut n Paste from their website:

    Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP (Leather Preservative) is the most durable protection available. Originally developed for the severe conditions endured by wildland firefighters, LP protects, preserves, and restores boots, saddles, motorcycle leathers, tool pouches, baseball gloves, and more. It provides industrial strength protection for leather that gets exposed to harsh environments.

    Three natural oils are suspended in Beeswax and Propolis. In the leather these oils gradually seep out of the Beeswax/Propolis* Suspension Formula. If exposed to heat or flexing the oils are released faster so leather gets oiled when and where it needs it most instead of parched and cracked. This Beeswax/Propolis* Suspension Formula provides a time release lubrication to inner fibers while the surface is reinforced against scuffing and abrasions while the leather still breathes.

    I've been using Obenauf’s on my work boots for about 8 years, works great; I stopped looking at any other products.

    Now how does Obenauf’s do on our seats?

    I just applied it today, after disappointment in the "hype" and poor performance with expensive "Auto" specialty products.

    It looks better, if not as good as any product sold that I've used for this type of application!

    But… if all we are doing is cleaning / treating a clear synthetic coating over the dye, what's the point?

    Once this thin clear coating is gone, all you are doing is wearing away the color. That's were I think my grey section is, at 21K.

    I looked at CQuartz Leather & Vinyl you mentioned, thank you. The product looked really good except 60 bucks (I'd pay more IF it worked), Professional Product - Not for do it yourself use and Avoid use on white/light colored interiors? What's that all about? The instructions were basically wipe on, wipe off.

    They went on to say CQuartz is good for Vinyl, Synthetic leather, Interior plastic and Wood…. Really?

    "To protect these colors after they are dyed, a protective coating is applied."

    Where is this protective coating?
    I'm sure it's long gone on my 13 year old driver seat bottom.

    I will keep searching for "the go-to product," until then I will be using Obenauf’s on my work boots and truck seats.
    Hell, I may even try using Pig Spit. Why not, looks great on my Harley bike engine, the can says it improves the appearance of vinyl and plastic trim.

  8. #23
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    I will check out Obenauf’s...

    Yes, there are a lot of "consumer" products that are weak. This is by design.
    Consumers can screw thing up with a stronger product. Then they get angry.
    Not to mention all manufacturers want to sell more product over and over.
    It is very rare you will find a quality product at your local auto parts store.

    I've found that Zaino leather cleaner (with a fine mist of water) cleans very well.
    It does take work and you need to be cautious around the gray areas for bleeding.
    Zaino Z-9 got the "dirt" out of the seams in the grey and the seats look new again.

    "Z-9 gently lifts soil and stains without harming the dyes, clear coat protection or natural oils in leather."


    After the leather is clean then you would apply a protectant to keep it that way.
    This is where Obenauf’s or another Treatment and Conditioner comes into play.
    There is a big difference between a "dressing" and a "coating" for protection.

    Yes, there are hundreds of vinyl, plastic, leather products used in the interior.
    Always to a test-spot when using a commercial product (Like CQuartz Leather)

    CQuartz Leather & Vinyl is a "coating" and will seal the surface to protect it.


    There are many different types of "coatings" for different types of surfaces.
    I really like CQuartz DLux for exterior trim. This "coats" the trim and lasts.
    I use Shine Supply Trim Coat Black to blacken the trim then apply DLux.

    I'm a big fan of CQuartz FINEST "coating" for the paint. It lasts for years!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHarley View Post
    I will keep searching for "the go-to product," until then I will be using Obenauf’s on my work boots and truck seats.
    Hell, I may even try using Pig Spit. Why not, looks great on my Harley bike engine, the can says it improves the appearance of vinyl and plastic trim.
    BTW - I would NOT suggest using Pig Spit on leather.

  10. #25
    iHarley
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    Virtually all car leathers used today are finished with a clear protective coating that is applied for protection and durability of the leather. This means when you apply your favorite secret sauce you are actually cleaning, treating, or conditioning a clear protective layer, not the leather. This clear layer is made up of different types of resins, polymers, or synthetics. You are not dealing with the actual leather, but the clear protective layer. A mild household cleaner is all that's needed to clean the clear protective coating! Anything more, and that favorite secret sauce you like will actually begin to deteriorate your leather's clear protective coating. Example, I've read here or somewhere on the internet someone really liked a certain leather cleaner that was able to remove the crud in the cracks of the leather. Great… not really, the protective coating is gone! And even though the cracks are now super clean, the color in the leather is now being removed!

    Using mild cleaners to protect the clear coat will prolong the degradation of the all-important clear coat, but you are still doomed. Getting in and out of the vehicle, heat and cold cycles and just age will remove the clear coat. Once it's gone, game over. You are wasting your time and money on that expensive secret sauce you like and wearing away the color. But if it makes you happy…

    Oh no, could this be true? The internet can be a wonderful source of information as long as you have your crap filter on! Read for yourself, I recommend information from sites that are not trying to sell you something first.

    What to do? You need to replace the clear protective coating! Not supplement it, not a short time coating, but a clear layer of material similar to what was used when the leather was made. Remember the purpose of the clear coating is to protect and provide durability; you should never get down to the color. And even doing this, obviously the clear coating will not last forever, that's why you need to replace it now. But long term, it will last longer and protect the important leather / color underneath.

    Thank you Merlin for the CQuartz video! I watch all 7-1/2 minutes. The part where they have protected vs unprotected leather and mark it up and even put super glue on the leather was impressive. I've actually seen this demo used with another product. Now please don't take this wrong, I'm sure the product does what is shown. But I could do the same thing coating half a piece of leather with 30 weight motor oil. What made me suspect of this product, other than the price, is all the materials they claim it can be used on, including wood?

    A few posts up "cayman150" said "My jeans are leaving a little blue dye on the light tan leather in my 2014 Explorer." In my quest for information I found this is a common problem, no not the wearing jeans but the transfer of blue dye from the jeans to light colored leather. The website showed what the leather looked like magnified when the clear protective coating is gone, the jeans were creating micro scratches in the surface which contained the blue dye from the jeans. Guess what; game over… you do not have any clear protective coating left! But to be sure you need to find out exactly want kind of leather was used in your Explorer. Even though few vehicles don't have this clear protective coating, the Ford King Ranch leather, even though it uses Aniline leather, doesn't have a protective coating on the surface.

    Sorry about the long post, the seats in our special trucks are old and no easy way that I know of just to replace the cover. If new covers were available for the 2003 black / silver I would care less about this topic. Just use the cheap stuff at the auto store and call it good.

    I found out there is a company near me - superiorrestoration.com that's looks top notch. I may take the truck to them; hope they have the fancy machine that makes perfect color matches.

    As always, I really appreciate your comments, tell me where I'm wrong and good ideas to prolong the aging seat process. Got to go and take my BP meds, wash it down with a beer. Hope the heart lasts longer than the seats -)

    BTW - I'm not going to put Pig Spit on the leather, what a waste of Pig Spit.

  11. #26
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    There is a company here in Houston in works of seeing if they can make the seat for the 03 HD FYI. More info in a thread call " seat cover "

  12. #27
    iHarley
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENNY832 View Post
    There is a company here in Houston in works of seeing if they can make the seat for the 03 HD FYI. More info in a thread call " seat cover "
    Hey Benny,

    Yes I saw that, thanks!

    First one that can provide a real solution, I'm sure many would plunk down the cash.
    Last edited by iHarley; 09-08-2016 at 03:36 PM.

  13. #28
    iHarley
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    clear protective coating

    For a visual on a seat with good clear coating vs game over, nothing left.

    Vehicle is 13 years old, 2003 and has 21,000 miles
    Both seat bottoms treated with Zaino 9 cleaner and Zaino 10 conditioner, one coat.
    The Zaino is on top of the clear coat on the rear seat, front seat there is no clear coat left, down to the leather / color.

    Big difference!
    Of course you could keep piling on more of your favorite secret sauce and it would look better (and make more money for the sauce maker), BUT it will not replace the needed clear protective coating!

    The protective clear coating is like the clear coat on the exterior, and everyone knows what happens when you go through the clear coat - Game Over, redo the clear coat.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #29
    iHarley
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    Another example of what happens when the clear coat is gone

    This is cloth I used to apply Zaino 10 conditioner on the driver's seat bottom black outside baluster, the hardest hit when doing the in / out slide.

    Prior to applying Zaino 10 conditioner the surface was cleaned with Z9 cleaner and rubbed dry and the cloth was clean.

    The Z10 was spread lightly on driver's seat bottom black outside baluster.

    The clear coat is gone, anything I do moving forward on this seat will continue to remove the coloring.

    Remember this truck only has 21k, but in 13 years and normal use for those miles the seat needs the top coat replaced to provide leather protection and dye retention.
    But now its a little more than clear coat. During normal cleaning and conditioning, using a good product - a good thing, right? I've been removing the color, aka dye and that needs to be re-applied.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Do the HD F-150's share the same leather as the King Ranch F-150's?

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