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Leather Seat Cleaning - Need Help!

Hello TMC, I started to notice my seats getting stains because of my sunscreen usage (I think). I tried a normal leather cleaner without much success. Any recommendations/tips? Thanks!
 

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How aggressive did you get with the scrubbing? I clean my leather with 303 multi purpose cleaner and scrub the crap out of it to get all the grease and dirt off with a scrub brush.
This article was very helpful (I am not affiliated) when I was trying to figure out how to clean a leather seat. Clean leather car seats with tips from the professional detailer!

having said that, your staining almost looks more like some kind of chemical discoloration. I would still just try more elbow grease and a scrub brush with an all purpose cleaner.
 
How aggressive did you get with the scrubbing? I clean my leather with 303 multi purpose cleaner and scrub the crap out of it to get all the grease and dirt off with a scrub brush.
This article was very helpful (I am not affiliated) when I was trying to figure out how to clean a leather seat. Clean leather car seats with tips from the professional detailer!

having said that, your staining almost looks more like some kind of chemical discoloration. I would still just try more elbow grease and a scrub brush with an all purpose cleaner.
Thanks for the tip. I haven’t gone aggressive yet because I didn’t want to damage the leather. I just bought the chemical guys cleaner and conditioner. Hoping that works...
 

aerodyne

Nose cone car in hand > 2 refresh orders?
Nov 19, 2018
4,367
7,345
Los Angeles
He should definitely start with that but if it’s not working then he won’t have much choice but to try other methods. I thought scrubbing leather seats was insane when I first read the article but it worked.
Sure, there is abrasive methods like magic eraser and such, but you remove the protective film bit by bit.

I reccommend a Seat Towel to avoid dirt and stains when not wearing clean clothes.
 
Sure, there is abrasive methods like magic eraser and such, but you remove the protective film bit by bit.

I reccommend a Seat Towel to avoid dirt and stains when not wearing clean clothes.
Ah, so actually I agree with you on the magic eraser. That’s pretty abrasive and should be done with caution. That would be last on my list of things to try, if at all. A good horse hair brush really just agitates the cleaner to help lift the stain.

Curious to see if he can get this out. Keep us posted.
 

2101Guy

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AustinP

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Apr 6, 2015
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Slightly off topic if I may:
I use on our Next Gen (2015) seats Lexol (cleaner and conditioner). Why ? Because it looked like it was quite popular, and I did not have personal preference with any brand.
Quite happy with the result, but I wonder if it's really worth all the work: can someone confirm the next gen leather is actually coated leather, thus conditioning it is probably useless (as the coating prevents the product from "nourishing" the leather)?
 
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aerodyne

Nose cone car in hand > 2 refresh orders?
Nov 19, 2018
4,367
7,345
Los Angeles
Slightly off topic if I may:
I use on our Next Gen (2015) seats Lexol (cleaner and conditioner). Why ? Because it looked like it was quit popular, and I did not have personal preference with any brand.
Quite happy with the result, but I wonder if it's really worth all the work: can someone confirm the next gen leather is actually coated leather, thus conditioning it is probably useless (as the coating prevents the product from "nourishing" the leather)?

I believe most cars now, including the next gen I have, are coated leather. This does not mean nothing gets through however.

I use the most gentle process I can live with. Microfiber and meguirs final inspection.

I do have Mercedes leather cleaner,$$$, that I will use if I need to.

I install seat towels when ever I suspect my clothes or person are not clean.
 
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aerodyne

Nose cone car in hand > 2 refresh orders?
Nov 19, 2018
4,367
7,345
Los Angeles
I don’t believe Tesla uses leather (animal hide) for their seat covers. It’s “synthetic leather”, which is also known as “vegan leather”. When selecting an upholstery cleaner, you might want to make sure it’s appropriate for this type of material.
Technically correct as to current production. But they did in the past, as with the Next Gen leather seats in my car.
 
I’m pretty sure it’s coated leather. When I got my 2016 used, Tesla had put some awful shiny, greasy stuff all over everything, including the seats. I used 303 multi purpose cleaner and an actual scrub brush to get it all off. The amount of dirt that came off was amazing. I literally scrubbed the crap out of those seats until they were nice and matte looking and clean. I’ve done this on leather seats in a Lexus GS as well. The plastic coating is quite durable. Now I just wipe them down with 303 mpc every now and then to keep them clean and they still look really good for being six years old.
 

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