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Old 24th December 2016, 22:34   #1
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Default DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

The leather seats on my Skoda Superb were craving for attention. It has been a while since they were cleaned. Unfortunately, there are no professional detailers in Vizag(3M car care opening soon). So, I decided to do it myself. The thread consists of 3 parts:

1. Selection of leather cleaner and purchase
2. Cleaning process
3. End result


Selection of leather cleaner and purchase


I was looking for a good leather cleaner in India, but was not happy with the products available. I had my better half coming down from the US, therefore I decided to get them from the US. Initially I thought of just getting the leather cleaner only. Upon researching further, I realised that I need the leather conditioner as well. Leather cleaners pull out the moisture and essential oils while cleaning the seats. Therefore leather conditioner is a must after the cleaning exercise to restore the essential oils, extending the life and making the leather soft. Ignoring the conditioning step might make the leather dry and prone to cracking.

After thorough research, the products I shortlisted were:

1. Meguiars gold class leather cleaner and conditioner
2. Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner
3. Meguiars all purpose cleaner

What made my decision making process faster is a website called fakespot.com. It analyses the reviews posted by buyers on amazon, looks out for any fake/similar reviews and gives a rating to the seller as well as the product. Many leather cleaners and conditioners were eliminated by using Fakespot. The reviews about products can sometimes be quite misleading.

DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-screen-shot-20161224-9.09.23-pm.png
Source: Fakespot

Here is a leather cleaner with very good reviews on amazon, with most of the reviews being fake/unauthentic.
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-screen-shot-20161224-9.10.11-pm.png
Source: Fakespot

Meguiars, as everyone is aware, is a well known brand when it comes to car care products. I had to rule out the gold class leather cleaner and conditioner as I am not convinced with the idea of a cleaning and conditioning product clubbed into one. Moreover, many reviewers have reported that it is a mild cleaner and leaves an oily feel after application. The Meguiars all purpose cleaner has very good reviews. Apparently it is a relatively stronger cleaning agent when compared to Lexol leather cleaner. It comes as a concentrate in the form of 1 gallon containers, which makes it hard to carry. I tried searching for Meguiars APC in India, but it was hard to find one online. I am definitely going to try out the Meguiars all purpose cleaner next time. Any information on its availability in India would be great. Finally, coming to Lexol, they are in business since 1933. Lexol is pretty famous for its leather care products. I was happy with the reviews, so decided to go with the Lexol leather care kit. Other than the cleaning products, I also procured the following products

1. Colorlock upholstery brush
2. Vikings cotton terry wax applicator pad

Both the products had good reviews. The Vikings cotton terry wax applicator pad can be used for polishing and waxing as well.

The cleaning arsenal .
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-img_4974.jpg

Cleaning Process

Firstly, be prepared to spend some time as it requires patience and care. My carís leather seats were pretty soiled, so it was time consuming. It would be helpful if you have a pair of gloves, waste cloth/microfibre towels ready along with a small container of water. It is advisable to work on small sections at a time. First work on the top most portion of the seat (backrest) then comes the seat base. This way, the cleaned portion of the seat wont require further cleaning once you are done with it.

Firstly moisten the surface of intended area to be cleaned with water by using the brush. Then spray a small quantity of cleaner onto the seat and spread it evenly. Use the brush to scrub against the seat. A decent enough pressure needs to be applied. Apply too little pressure, you cant get the grime out, while applying too much pressure is not advisable. Continue scrubbing until the seat looks clean. Wipe off the lather with a cloth. If the seat still has grime on it, repeat the same process. I recommend wiping off the lather before going ahead with the second application of cleaner. My carís seats took 2-3 application cycles as they had loads of grime on it. Once the seat is cleaned, make sure you clean the seat thoroughly with a moist cloth.

Spray the conditioner onto the applicator and spread it evenly onto the seat, covering every nook and corner. It dries up quickly. It can be applied for the second time if you feel it is necessary. Donít use the seats for at least an hour to let the conditioner do its job. Finally wipe off the seats with a clean cloth.

End Result

Driver's seat base before cleaning.
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-img_4916.jpg

Driver's seat base after cleaning.
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-img_4920.jpg

The right bolster on the driver's seat takes the most abuse as you get in or out. As you can see, it looks a lot better after cleaning.
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-img_4929.jpg

The cleaned driver's seat in comparison to the uncleaned passenger seat.
DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats-img_4926.jpg

Hope this helps the community. Thank you for reading through my post.

Please note: I am not associated with the product manufacturers in any way nor do I have any commercial interests.

Last edited by csr9 : 25th December 2016 at 12:32.
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Old 25th December 2016, 07:58   #2
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Hello everyone, could someone suggest a good leather conditioner for motorcycle gloves?
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Old 25th December 2016, 08:22   #3
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Default re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Hello everyone, could someone suggest a good leather conditioner for motorcycle gloves?
Lexol leather conditioner is a good product. I have tried it on my car's leather seats. It can be used on gloves as well.
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Old 26th December 2016, 08:05   #4
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Default re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the DIY section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th December 2016, 13:38   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Great Work and it looks fantastic. I think to bring it from where it was to where it is, probably you might have needed this product. But, to keep maintaining it, I think the dual purpose Meguiar's gold kit works well. I bought it from 3M and do it once in 15 days for my XUV seats by massaging them well. This gives a good soft feeling and NO oily residue at all.

Swami
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Old 26th December 2016, 17:10   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

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Great Work and it looks fantastic. I think to bring it from where it was to where it is, probably you might have needed this product. But, to keep maintaining it, I think the dual purpose Meguiar's gold kit works ...

Swami
Thank you! It took considerable effort to get to the present state. As you rightly said, Meguiars gold class cleaner would be good if the seats are regularly cleaned and don't have considerable grime on them. Good to know that Meguiars doesn't leave an oily feel.
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Old 27th December 2016, 11:58   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Quote:
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Hello everyone, could someone suggest a good leather conditioner for motorcycle gloves?

I use Amway's Leather conditioner and it does a pretty good job as well.
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Old 27th December 2016, 12:03   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

@csr9; I must say the results speak for themselves. They are simply excellent. I need to do two cars - Honda City AVN and Civic. Both have somewhat aged looking upholstery. Can you please post the sources and the costs for all of us to peruse.
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Old 27th December 2016, 16:25   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

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@csr9; I must say the results speak for themselves. They are simply excellent. I need to do two cars - Honda City AVN and Civic. Both have somewhat aged looking upholstery. Can you please post the sources and the costs for all of us to peruse.
Dear sgiitk,

Thank you! I got them all from Amazon, shipped to a US address.

1)Lexol leather care kit(16.9 oz)
Price: $24.99

2)COLOURLOCK Leather & Textile Cleaning Brush
Price: $8.5

3)Viking Cotton Terry Wax Applicator Pads - 6 Pack
Price: $4.6

Hope this helps!

Availability of Lexol products in India is an issue. I did come across the Lexol leather conditioner on eBay India, couldn't find the leather cleaner. Meguiars all purpose cleaner (APC) is equally good. It is a stronger cleaner compared to Lexol leather cleaner. Trying to source the Meguiars APC in India. Any leads would be helpful.
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Old 28th December 2016, 08:31   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Hello everyone, could someone suggest a good leather conditioner for motorcycle gloves?
I am using Armor All leather care gel for my riding gloves for the last couple of years and i would recommend it.

Clean the gloves by soaking in cold water and mild detergent for 15 mins followed by scrubbing it with your fingers. Wash under running water to remove any soap residue. Dry in shade. Will take 24 to 48 hours depending on the weather.

Once dried apply liberal amounts of the conditioner gel and massage into the glove. The gel will get absorbed soon. Repeat till the absorption rate decreases and the gel remains on the surface. Let it dry for 1 hour and use.

Enjoy the soft, supple, clean and hygienic gloves
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Old 28th December 2016, 09:25   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

I found the Maguire God Class 414ml for Rs.749 on Amazon.in
The Lexol deep Conditioner is now not in stock. Was about Rs.1699 yesterday, direct import through Cart2India.

I thought I might update.

Last edited by sgiitk : 28th December 2016 at 09:27.
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Old 28th December 2016, 11:32   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I found the Maguire God Class 414ml for Rs.749 on Amazon.in
The Lexol deep Conditioner is now not in stock. Was about Rs.1699 yesterday, direct import through Cart2India.

I thought I might update.
Thanks for the update sir, do let us know how the Maguire one performs if you have ordered it. Would try the same for my Civic as well.
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Old 31st December 2016, 01:47   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

csr9 - That is a job well done.

Somehow, I always prefer to use desi made products like Zessta or Proklear. They are pretty good and value for money. By using these desi products, we are promoting desi manufacturers too.

PS - I am not way promoting these brands. I have used these products and they seem to be good quality.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 16:54   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

Hi friends.
I have Leatherite seats on my Xuv500 fitted from Orchis, Vikhroli, Mumbai. As you all know it's not pure leather but one level below. My question is can I use the leather cleaner products mentioned on this thread without damaging the material ?
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Old 2nd January 2017, 19:26   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning your car's leather seats

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Originally Posted by rvd8732 View Post
csr9 - That is a job well done.

Somehow, I always prefer to use desi made products like Zessta or Proklear. They are pretty good and value for money. By using these desi products, we are promoting desi manufacturers too.

PS - I am not way promoting these brands. I have used these products and they seem to be good quality.
I agree with you on supporting desi manufacturers. I dont mind trying out a new product as long as it has positive reviews.
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