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Newbie question on leather interior cleaning


Dr Jkel
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Ok fellow peoples, newbie here, first time doing this, so be gentle. I am trying to clean my leather seats in my truck 2006 GMC 2500 HD. They have never been touched before. I used full strength and it seemed like the color was coming off so I diluted it 50/50. Aftre rubbing and cleaning on the seat of course my rag was filthy, so I did it again with a new rag. I then got a damp cloth and wiped the area over again, my towel was dirty not so much dirt but seemed like a little color/dirt mixed in. The seats look amazing but the rag didn't. So what does this mean? Do I need to do the whole process till the damp rag is clean when I wipe it? My leather color is light gray. Thanks for your help. John

 

 

PS I am trying all this stuff on my truck first so I can learn, before hitting the Camaro

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I know it was real dirty to begin with, but the wet rag still has some residue on it. I am sure a little of the color came off. Just trying to make sure I do not do too much and ruin the seats, but want to make sure before I condition them

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OK cleaned them till the damp towel was clean when I wiped it, the conditioned them. They soaked up a pretty good bit since they have never been done. I massaged it in like I read on the forum, let it dry then loaded it up again. They kinda have a shine to them, but will see the results tomorrow.

 

Another dumb question, I used the conditioner on everything on the inside, dsah, door panel etc... I am hoping that this is ok. Looked nice,

 

The seat are amazingly clean, Adam's stuff is goof stuff.

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My opinion is that all you took off was the dirt. Not the color. When leather gets dirty, it gets dark, and it looks like you're taking color off when you take the dirt off. Keep cleaning it until you get a clean rag. No need to dilute it. When your seats are clean and had sufficient time to dry,then start applying the Leather Conditioner. Even after two coats, you may still notice some uneven color, lighter and darker. Don't be concerned. All that is is the leather soaking up the conditioner at different rates. Some areas were dryer than others. I always wait a day after cleaning before applying the conditioner to let it dry thoroughly first. But I don't wait long between coats of conditioner, maybe a half hour between coats. Keep applying coats of the conditioner until all your leather looks uniform in color.

And yes, it's safe to use on your dash, doors, etc. I do, and have for years. I prefer it to the VRT inside. Let us know how it turns out. :cheers:

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I'm gonna let you in on a little secret that GM wouldn't want you to know... your not touching any leather in that truck. From the factor all new GM vehicles for years have had a clear protective coating over the leather that is laminated on. Its very rare that in any newer vehicle that raw leather is used anymore and in GM thats only part of the problem. They only have 'leather seating surfaces' meaning that any part of that truck that you don't touch by sitting on it is made of vinyl.

 

That being said for the color to actually be coming up you'd have had to get to a point where the coating had failed... which is highly unlikely... its pretty durable stuff. The only cases where I've seen people get down to the leather on a GM truck is if the seats were cracked around the edges and the coating had failed.

 

If you feel more comfortable with diluting the cleaner by all means do it, but I'd be willing to be you did nothing more than pull up dirt and crud from the surface. As Rich said make sure you treat with conditioner after the seat is dry and you should be good to go. I've personally never owned anything other than GM trucks and suv's and I've made a lot of money detailing them... at full strength I've never had the cleaner pull up color from leather.

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Thats good to know dylan. I now have a Grand Prix GT and they perforated leather....would that cause a problem you think? I have yet to try and clean them good with the cleaner but I do plan to and also when conditioning the seats in the SS i just used my hand can I do that as well with these seats in my GP?

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I'm gonna let you in on a little secret that GM wouldn't want you to know... your not touching any leather in that truck. From the factor all new GM vehicles for years have had a clear protective coating over the leather that is laminated on. Its very rare that in any newer vehicle that raw leather is used anymore and in GM thats only part of the problem. They only have 'leather seating surfaces' meaning that any part of that truck that you don't touch by sitting on it is made of vinyl.

 

That being said for the color to actually be coming up you'd have had to get to a point where the coating had failed... which is highly unlikely... its pretty durable stuff. The only cases where I've seen people get down to the leather on a GM truck is if the seats were cracked around the edges and the coating had failed.

 

If you feel more comfortable with diluting the cleaner by all means do it, but I'd be willing to be you did nothing more than pull up dirt and crud from the surface. As Rich said make sure you treat with conditioner after the seat is dry and you should be good to go. I've personally never owned anything other than GM trucks and suv's and I've made a lot of money detailing them... at full strength I've never had the cleaner pull up color from leather.

 

 

Dylan,

 

Thanks for the info, I could tell a difference in the actual seat and the sides. They were extremely dirty and finally the rag came clean. I know I should be shot for letting it get that way, but never really knew how to take care of it, now I do. I plan on doing a little each day since it is my daily driver, just for the practice before I start on my Camaro. I really appreciate all the help.

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I just bought a new sofa that's IS completely leather. No vinyl on it at all. The owner of the shop I bought it from had toured the leather shop and said that it was coated with a latex coating to make it more durable. He said it's nearly impossible to ruin and if it somehow does get a mark or scratch in it, take a cushion to Lowes and have them match it up and get a little jar of latex paint to touch it up. I thought that was interesting to find out.

 

I know for SURE that my G8's leather is coated. It's VERY apparent.

 

Also most leathers you see are textured from the factory using a heavy roller to emboss it, as regular leather has very little texture to it. My G8 has a TON of texture.

 

Chris

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Thats good to know dylan. I now have a Grand Prix GT and they perforated leather....would that cause a problem you think? I have yet to try and clean them good with the cleaner but I do plan to and also when conditioning the seats in the SS i just used my hand can I do that as well with these seats in my GP?

 

I have perforated seats in my Vette. I use both products all the time. Won't hurt a thing. And you can do it with your hands. My wife does the interior on both cars and that's what she does.

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Thats good to know dylan. I now have a Grand Prix GT and they perforated leather....would that cause a problem you think? I have yet to try and clean them good with the cleaner but I do plan to and also when conditioning the seats in the SS i just used my hand can I do that as well with these seats in my GP?

 

No issues with perforations... on the outside chance you do get a couple of clogged pores simply take a toothpick and stick it in the holes to clear it out. I've done tons and tons of perforated seats with the cleaner and the conditioner and never had problem

 

Dylan,

 

Thanks for the info, I could tell a difference in the actual seat and the sides. They were extremely dirty and finally the rag came clean. I know I should be shot for letting it get that way, but never really knew how to take care of it, now I do. I plan on doing a little each day since it is my daily driver, just for the practice before I start on my Camaro. I really appreciate all the help.

 

Trust me... you're not unusual... it always amazing to me how bad peoples interiors get, but they always tell me "I didn't know how I should clean it"

 

You have to realize that detailing is becoming far more prevalent than it has been in the past, but people tend to focus on paint and exterior matters... theres still a lot of learning to do for the general public on interior care.

 

My friend did a detail for his wifes coworker this week... it was a white 5 series BMW with a peanut butter brown interior... the leather in that thing looked like it had never been cleaned in its 2 years of life and she just didn't "know how to care for it"

 

I just bought a new sofa that's IS completely leather. No vinyl on it at all. The owner of the shop I bought it from had toured the leather shop and said that it was coated with a latex coating to make it more durable. He said it's nearly impossible to ruin and if it somehow does get a mark or scratch in it, take a cushion to Lowes and have them match it up and get a little jar of latex paint to touch it up. I thought that was interesting to find out.

 

I know for SURE that my G8's leather is coated. It's VERY apparent.

 

Also most leathers you see are textured from the factory using a heavy roller to emboss it, as regular leather has very little texture to it. My G8 has a TON of texture.

 

Chris

 

Texture hides defects in the leather. GM generally uses such low grade leather that excessive texture is needed. Super premium leather comes from cows that are kept away from trees, shrubs, barbed wire, etc and their skin is flawless. My TBSS's had leather that was obviously taken from a cow that was hit with buckshot, stabbed 20 times, and ran thru a field of thorn bushes, before they rolled it in barbed wire and slaughtered it. I swear there was a spot that looked like a scarred over cigarette burn.

 

They probably put a lot of texture on that kangaroo hide in your car :lolsmack:

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Trust me... you're not unusual... it always amazing to me how bad peoples interiors get, but they always tell me "I didn't know how I should clean it"

 

 

Dylan,

 

You are so right, I for one didn't do anything in fear of really messing it up, kinda like my paint. Always afraid of messing it up, " It's only a truck, albeit a 49 k truck, but just a truck. That was my logic, but when I bought my Camaro I realized that I wanted it to stay showroom floor nice, really better, and then AJ posted how to maintain your Camaro on Camaro 5 forum and the rest is history.

 

I realize that I have alot of Noob questions, I guess in fear of messing my ride up, but I can honestly say after doing one fender on my truck last night, having cleaned one window, and cleaning one seat ( yes I was skeptical) that all these products are GREAT AND work as advertised, just have to perfect my technique a little. But all I can say is WOW, when I completely do my truck, ( I have to now it looks kinda funny) I will post a thread from beginning to end of a Newbie's first REAL detail. A true Novice.

 

Once again I really appreciate your and everyone heres help. John

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That sounds great! I'll have to give it a try this weekend. Looking forward to see how it works on my black interior. Thanks for the info.

 

You'll love it... lower gloss than VRT, and VRT isn't really all that glossy to begin with. Then on top of that it has an SPF of 65!!! Keeps your dash and interior panels well protected from UV damage.

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Well I have completed my whole interior dash, seats and center console with the leather conditioner, I have a little shine to it but not alot, I like it this way, next is the carpets.

 

How often should I condition my leather?

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Well I have completed my whole interior dash, seats and center console with the leather conditioner, I have a little shine to it but not alot, I like it this way, next is the carpets.

 

How often should I condition my leather?

 

as needed... depends on how much you drive it, how much sun it gets, etc.

 

I condition drivers seats almost every wash... the rest of the car less frequently as they are less used. Dash and the rest of the interior just when it looks like it needs it.

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Dylan,

 

Thanks SO much, please rememeber I am new to this and just don't know. I didn't know if there was a certain time frame etc... My Camaro is only driven on sunny days, but my truck is a daily driver. I'll send pictures when I am finished with everything.

John

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