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White/Pale Marks on (New) Black Vegan Leather Seats (M3)

DigbyChicken

Member
Apr 7, 2021
157
122
Yeovil, Somerset
Sorry for starting yet another thread (did check, and all I could find was advice for cleaning the white interior...). We've had the M3 for a week and this morning I noticed (mainly on the driver's seat but also a little on the passenger's) a pale/white-ish couple of marks towards the front of each seat that roughly corresponds to human leg contact points. Not sure either of us have worn anything too strange in the legwear department...! I have carefully wiped the seats with some Dodo Juice leather cleaner stuff (a free sample that came with my recent order that I stuck in the glove box) and it has improved slightly, but... Any thoughts? (Picture below.)

Thanks, as ever.
IMG_20210702_1625259.jpg
 

init6

Member
Oct 16, 2020
524
297
Scotland
I thought of sun cream as soon as I saw the picture, but before reading the content. Be aware that the seats are not leather, so leather cleaner doesn't always work well.

There was a recent post about getting marks out of seats and I'm sure @VanillaAir_UK linked to the care instructions for what we believe the seats are made of. Have a search in the forum for it. Was only a few days ago IIRC.
 

DigbyChicken

Member
Apr 7, 2021
157
122
Yeovil, Somerset
Thanks, both. Yes, I think suncream/shorts is/are to blame, and apologies for forgetting the thread mentioned above - I do recall reading it now. I will re-read and inwardly digest.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
388
127
Burton-on-Trent
I get small patches of whitish residue too, but purely from leaning on it or touching it. I think it's from the skin/sweat of your arms and hands.

I keep baby wipes and microfibres aplenty in the car to sort it.
 

MrT3

Member
Jun 26, 2021
168
95
UK
Not tried it yet but Dodo juice Supernatural Leather sealer might be a good product to stop these marks appearing, or making it easier to wipe off. It is suitable for vinyl and fake leather so should work fine.
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,172
3,138
Scotland
The seats should scrub up back to normal with your seat cleaner of choice (but read on). You can recondition the "leather" afterwards using 303 Protectant every so often ... definitely don't use products that are for real leather. If you do use 303 I recommend not spraying it on directly (it has a spray pattern that goes everywhere). It's much better to spray it into a cloth or sponge and wipe it on. It protects from UV and restores the new look of the semi satin finish on the dark seats. It also makes any remaining surface marks/imperfections disappear... it really does!
 

DigbyChicken

Member
Apr 7, 2021
157
122
Yeovil, Somerset
Thanks for the advice, everyone. Apologies for not having put 'leather' in quotation marks - I know it's not been anywhere near a cow, thank goodness.

Have bought some additional cleaning products for home, plus some appropriate wipes for the glovebox. (The Dodo Juice sample says it's good for vinyl as well, and unscented wipes plus microfibre cloth have already made the seats look much better. Plus have sorted a suncream/human residue mark ;)on the interior passenger door handle. It will do until we get back from holiday...)
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,977
2,916
Shropshire
Remember it's not leather. It's vinyl.

I find a good vinyl cleaner brings them up really well - currently use Gyeon

Then protect with the 303 Aerospace protectant which keeps the stains away.
says you have to apply every 3-5 weeks. That sounds like a lot of effort.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,172
3,138
Scotland
says you have to apply every 3-5 weeks. That sounds like a lot of effort.

Apply whenever you think it needs a "refresh" which for me is much less frequently than that, and it only takes a few minutes so not much effort actually. It's a very small proportion of overall car cleaning time. I probably use 303 every couple of months or so.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,977
2,916
Shropshire
Apply whenever you think it needs a "refresh" which for me is much less frequently than that, and it only takes a few minutes so not much effort actually. It's a very small proportion of overall car cleaning time. I probably use 303 every couple of months or so.
fair enough though I am thinking the UV filter is probably not needed anyway. I already have one of those its called living in the UK. If the seats were designed for California ( as everything in the car seems to be) then UK sunlight should be no problem
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,172
3,138
Scotland
fair enough though I am thinking the UV filter is probably not needed anyway. I already have one of those its called living in the UK. If the seats were designed for California ( as everything in the car seems to be) then UK sunlight should be no problem

Yes, most modern plastics are pretty good for UV resistance but this is a bonus aspect and I think it's that filtering effect that changes the look of the "leather" ... maybe a bit like looking at things with polarised sunglasses. It's really just an appearance thing from my point of view with the ability to hide rubbing marks and blemishes. I find that after a few months the black seats start to look more like vinyl than leather so this stuff (303 Protectant) brings it back nicely ... I'm sure there are other products that do the same but I haven't tried them. Another way of describing the effect is like ye olde "Back to Black" for old rubber bumpers but without the greasy residue.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,172
3,138
Scotland
Exactly how does the 303 protect it? Is it just making it easy wipe for stains and spills?

The black seats are pretty much easy wipe already so I don't think it particularly adds much in that respect ... it's an appearance thing more than anything. I find that the seats can eventually go dull and matt with a greyish look rather than black ... perhaps if they've had to be aggressively cleaned a few times in the past. The Aerospace 303 Protectant brings them back to that semi satin dark look that they had when new ... more like a real leather finish. If your seats are still looking great I wouldn't bother but if anyone is looking to restore the "as new" appearance this is what you can use. (I came across the product after a recommendation on this forum some time back.)
 
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