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How to PROPERLY care for your Leather Interior

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by First Impression, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    A beautiful clean and care for leather interior is a source of tremendous pride for automobile owners. Modern day leather consist of a variety of natural and synthetic materials. Not many vehicles actually use just raw leather and most of them have a coating on them to help protect against wear and tear. These materials are likely to drying out and braking down over time so regular maintenance is very important.

    Caring for virtually any type of leather involves the same basic steps -Clean, Condition, Protect. Over time dirt, human oils, sweat, etc work themselves deep in to the seat making them challenging to remove. A good leather cleaner should separate those contaminants and bring them to the surface for removal SAFELY. A quality leather conditioner will help keep the leather soft and supple while remaining strong and durable. Quality leather cleaners and conditioners shouldn't leave a shiny or oily (slippery) finish behind. Finally some protection will help prevent UV fading while preserving the color and finish for years to come.

    Products that are 2-in-1 (cleaner and conditioner) are not as effective as a separate cleaner and conditioner. For regular maintenance I strongly recommend using a slightly damp towel with warm water to wipe down all leather, plastic and vinyl trim. If warm water doesn't do the work then use Leatherique Prestine Clean, Leather Master Leather Cleaner or Connolly Leather Cleaner. For conditioning the Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil is in my professional opinion the BEST leather conditioner in the market followed by Leather Master Conditioner and Connolly Hide Care Leather Conditioner. If you still want a 2-in-1 product then Sonax Leather Foam is a good choice. Finally, for protection after you have applied the conditioner the 303 Aerospace Protectant is the best in the field for its ability to block UV rays (don't over apply, a little goes a long way)

    Your leather should receive a good conditioning at least once a year (twice a year if the car spends most of its time parked outside under the brutal Florida sun). Conditioning any more than that shouldn't be necessary.

    With PROPER care your leather trim will look and feel like new year round while protecting and in many times increasing the resale value of your automobile.

    Hope you enjoyed this article.

    Pete Borras
    Master Detailer
     
  2. Twiddler

    Twiddler Member

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    Excellent - thank you so much for this valuable post!
     
  3. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Feel free to message me if you have any questions regarding the care of your Tesla
     
  4. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    Thanks for this info. I know you specified some products. I've used the Zaino z10 treatment & conditioner in the past. Any comments on it? I've liked the visual results but don't really know what I'm looking for.
     
  5. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've always used the warm water damp towel wipe down, but after some bad experiences with "conditioners", have avoided them. By "bad experience" I mean making the seats so slippery, I could barely sit in them. I can't remember the product I used (likely a crappy one), but that turned me off.

    Do the conditioners you recommend make the seats slippery? Is there a "trick" to conditioning leather without making it slippery?
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Wow: 303 is appropriate for leather? I never would have thought of that. I'll certainly defer to your expertise, however. Thank you for the information.
     
  8. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    If you're happy with the results you get from Zaino then there is no need to change. I have not used Zaino before so I cannot comment on their quality or results

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes. 303 is appropriate for leather. It should be used as a protectant and NOT as a conditioner. Meaning you clean, condition and then you protect. I encourage you to do some research about it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    High quality conditioners shouldn't make the surface slippery or shiny unless too much product has been applied and not removed.

    When applying conditioner to the leather you should allow it to sit on the leather for 15 or 30 mnts and then wipe of the excess
     
  9. Lawsteve

    Lawsteve MCATDT

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    +1 for the Zaino products. I've used them on 2 Lexus (Lexi?) and my Porsche leather. Cleaner works great with no residue and the conditioner is great.

    Never thought about 303 on leather, but always use it on dash and other spots exposed to sun. A little pricey, but a bottle goes a long way.
     
  10. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    A 303 bottle does go a long way...some people think they have to reapply it every week or every time you wash your car but that is not the case. Reapply every 2 - 3 months in small amount.
     
  11. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    I've got a stain on one of my leather back seats at about shoulder height, from what I suspect is from a summer of sunscreen on my kids. I haven't had any luck getting it out with warm water and mild soap. Anyone have a suggestion?
     
  12. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    If the stain is from sunscreen and it hasn't been there for a few months now, I recommend you to try Leatherique Prestine Clean or Leather Master Leather Cleaner. If it has been present for a while you might have to get the leather redyed on that spot.
     
  13. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Thanks for this... Now if only I'll remember to do it.
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks for the great info. If things look like they are in good shape, any reason to clean before conditioning after a year? Also, what kind of cloth do you use and how much product do you apply?

    If you use just warm water, do you just let it air dry? Thanks.
     
  15. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Leather should always be cleaned before any conditioner is applied unless you're using Leatherique were the conditioner goes on first followed by the leather cleaner 8hrs later.

    I usually use microfiber towels unless the leather is in bad shape, then I go with some high quality terry towels.

    For regular maintenance I recommend spraying the leather cleaner on the towel first (3-4 spray at first and 1-2 after that) and then wipe down the area that needs cleaning. This method will eliminate getting any overspray on the interior.

    Remember not to use a soaked towel whenever a leather cleaner or just plain warm water is being used to clean your seats. A damped towel followed by a dry towel to remove any excess is the right way to do it.
     
  16. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Pete,

    Thanks for starting this thread.

    Could you please specifically discuss how to treat stains in suede, or Alcantara?

    Is it the same as regular leather?

    Thanks.

    Larry
     
  17. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Larry,

    I will be writing a new thread either tonight or tomorrow morning about the delicate care of suede, microsuede and alcantara. :smile:
     
  18. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Thanks.

    Larry
     
  19. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    Pete, you are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! Really looking forward to seeing you next weekend.
     
  20. RodF

    RodF Member

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    Is it necessary to put on leather conditioner when the car is still new, or can I wait until the end of the first year?
     

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