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Thread: Leather seats in need of treatment

  1. #1
    immo's Avatar
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    Leather seats in need of treatment

    Unfortunately the previous owner of my car did not look after the interior at all. Going to start with the seats. As you can see in the pic, the drivers seat has lots of wear from where you get in and out of it...looks worse in person to be honest!Just wondering if anyone has experienced similar if so how did you treat it? Or what can you recommend. Looking at trying a cleaner/conditioner like Maguire's Gold Class ?? Will this get rid of the horrid white marks though?
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  3. #2
    max69vk's Avatar
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    Just use some normal shoe polish on it to get rid of the white marks, but then make sure you buff it off very well, then use a good leather conditioner from Autoglym or Maguirs. To get rid of the sagging will require some expert work as it usually means the foam under each has sagged or compressed.
    TDI PD170 S-Line Sportback... 191.2bhp & 290lb/ft torque @ standard with an iffy turbo! No idea with the new one or Shark Stage 1 remap installed, DPF off Stage 1 ready to go, Suspension & wheels to be fitted... Still....

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    Something like Glipton G12 will remove the marks but I reckon you might be better off using a dye as the seats look scuffed.
    A3 2.0T Quattro S Line - BMW 320Cd M Sport

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    I remember a good article a while back from Marc at Heavenly (about as big as it gets in the detailing scene) about leather stating sagging, cracking and wear is a part of leather that is inevitable but you shouldn't really look to remove.

    Ill try and find it for you as I'm intrigued to read it again myself.

    EDIT: Sorry can't find it, as said though sagging will be in the foam not the leather. Zymol leather products are always top stuff!

  6. #5
    Turbo jay's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend using shoe polish. if the white marks won't clean off then it will be the finish which is damaged and cracking so no amount of cleaner will remove it and once it does eventually break through you will start to get further damage and colour loss (if you haven't already). the seat needs repairing properly which will require removal of old finish recolour and then refinishing, For the best results I would suggest using a leather technician as a repair on a bolster only wouldn't cost much and would look as close to new as your going to get. Also the leather is a pigment leather so will need to be coloured with a pigment rather that a dye.
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    Polish works a treat, been doing it to many for years, as long as you use a proper leather conditioner afterwards it will be fine, its also worth using baby wipes to clean the seats on a reasonably regular basis as it helps keeps the leather supple. Polish is good enough for shoes and they literally take a kicking, if its good enough for a pair of Army boots its good enough for a seat.
    TDI PD170 S-Line Sportback... 191.2bhp & 290lb/ft torque @ standard with an iffy turbo! No idea with the new one or Shark Stage 1 remap installed, DPF off Stage 1 ready to go, Suspension & wheels to be fitted... Still....

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    Turbo jay's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't recommend using shoe polish as it has no sealing,protecting,or stain resisting properties will also leave a sheen and is simply not designed to be used on leather seats which see constant wear and abrasion. Also I wouldn't use baby wipes either as the chemicals used in them can soften then leathers finish and eventually break it down leading to colour loss. Check this out for more info.
    Why You Should Never Clean Leather Using Baby Wipes
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    Ill take jays advice.
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    Over 15yrs of using polish & wipes on leather seats & never had a single issue, each to their own I suppose but a proper shoe polish will seal the leather properly & protect from further damage. Personally I wouldn't read into the baby wipe thing too much (especially as the article was written by someone who has a vested interest in saying that specialist treatment is needed) if they're delicate to use in your child's skin their delicate enough to use on the leather, especially if you use the leather conditioner afterwards.
    TDI PD170 S-Line Sportback... 191.2bhp & 290lb/ft torque @ standard with an iffy turbo! No idea with the new one or Shark Stage 1 remap installed, DPF off Stage 1 ready to go, Suspension & wheels to be fitted... Still....

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    Baby wipes or jay ... which one is better ... theres only one way to find out .... FIGHT!!!!
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  12. #11
    Turbo jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max69vk View Post
    Over 15yrs of using polish & wipes on leather seats & never had a single issue, each to their own I suppose but a proper shoe polish will seal the leather properly & protect from further damage. Personally I wouldn't read into the baby wipe thing too much (especially as the article was written by someone who has a vested interest in saying that specialist treatment is needed) if they're delicate to use in your child's skin their delicate enough to use on the leather, especially if you use the leather conditioner afterwards.
    oh well what do I know hey, I only do this for a living. And trust me shoe polish will not protect the leather in any way other wise manufactures would seal they leather in shoe polish instead of a clear coat finish. Also just to add some baby wipes often contain alkaline to neutralise the acidity in urine, and it's the alkaline which softens and eventually breaks down the leathers finish. Anyway as you said each to there own, I can only pass on advise and experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo jay View Post
    oh well what do I know hey, I only do this for a living. And trust me shoe polish will not protect the leather in any way other wise manufactures would seal they leather in shoe polish instead of a clear coat finish. Also just to add some baby wipes often contain alkaline to neutralise the acidity in urine, and it's the alkaline which softens and eventually breaks down the leathers finish. Anyway as you said each to there own, I can only pass on advise and experience.
    Dude Im not knocking what you do or your opinion/knowledge, however there are also scales of requirement & in this instance I reckon the OP's biggest issue is the collapse of the bolster foam rather than anything else.

    In the picture the white marks don't appear to be major cracking or splitting, hence the suggestion for using a decent polish to dye/colour this area to cover it, please note I said 'decent' polish as they will contain a dubbin which as you know will condition & seal the leather. Yes in an ideal world the leather would be rubbed down elastomer filled & re-dyed but as the guy was initially only asking what conditioner to use to try & deal with the damage, I'm guessing he's on a budget which makes the professional refurb cost prohibitive, & hence my suggestions. As for baby wipes, pretty much most are PH neutral these days so alkaline breakdown isn't an issue.

    I'm not implying that what I've suggested will be 'Pro' quality, however it will be more than enough to deal with the OP's original query.

    TDI PD170 S-Line Sportback... 191.2bhp & 290lb/ft torque @ standard with an iffy turbo! No idea with the new one or Shark Stage 1 remap installed, DPF off Stage 1 ready to go, Suspension & wheels to be fitted... Still....

  14. #13
    Turbo jay's Avatar
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    I understand what your trying to say but I still don't agree shoe polish is the way forward, as the op's question was will this get rid of the white marks, the answer is no a cleaner or "conditioner" will not repair damaged already caused. I was simply giving the op a professional opinion and option. As for "conditioners" the leather as I've already stated is a pigmented leather therefore has a clear coat finish and a conditioner will not be able to penetrate the finish so is not conditioning anything, what you need to use is a protector which works with the leathers finish to create a barrier aiding in further protection and preventing soiling from attacking the leathers finish.

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    Dubbin will not work on car leather simply because of the tanning and pigment process used to create car seats is totally different to the process used to make leather clothing and home furniture.

    yes it is leather, but treated totally differently in the manufacture process to resist very hot temps when the car is left in the sun all day. etc.

    jay is correct.
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  16. #15
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    I'm not bothered about the sagging, that's out of my control. Just the white marks really. I found a leather cleaner/conditioner at home last night so used that on both front seats and it's done a good job at cleaning, the seats look great now apart from the drivers side I showed you in the pic. So then tried shoe polish on the white marks but the damage is too deep just to cover it up...I may try several applications over time though. I don't like the car enough to have the seat refurbed, just don't want it to get any worse if possible
    2006 A3 2.0TDI 170 S Line Mauritius Blue
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  17. #16
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    get car leather cleaner & conditioner.... easy... and unfortunately the signs of age everything wears out sooner or later. Time to replace or re trim
    FOR SALE

    2004 GENUINE XENON HEADLIGHTS GREAT CONDITION
    FULL LEATHER INTERIOR! GREAT CONDITION

    FULL BOSE AUDIO SYSTEM INCLUDING HEAD UNIT (6CD CHANGER)
    FULL ENGINE COMPLETE WITH POLISHED & PORTED HEAD
    BREAKING THE WHOLE CAR PM FOR SPECIAL REQUESTS
    & TO GAIN A CONTACT NUMBER.


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    Most leather is not dyed these days as you might remmber, but it is a sealed surface coating.

    I've had connelly leather trained guys repair seats in my weekend car, and had the process explained to me at length.

    if you've white bits, I would suggest the surface finish has worn off, and you would need something to replace it.

    its also worth remembering, that no amount of baby wipes, or gliptone etc will make your leather more supple, as the surface finish is not designed to breath and let this through, the only place the leather breaths, is the underneath unfinished element.

    Though I guess many are going to disagree with this as a statement...
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    Can't speak for Audi's but we used to have a Jag with red leather seats. A family friend had a shoe repair business and knew everything about leather (40 years in the trade, man and boy etc). For the Jag he recommended a high quality cream shoe polish of a matching colour to be used in very small quantities and then carefully buffed off (to ensure you got it all off to avoid getting it on your clothes etc).

    Then he recommended a leather feeder/sealer. These days Autoglymn sell such a product although back in those days we used something intended for antique furniture.

    It all worked a treat. Although as I say that was for a 1959 Jag. No idea about how that relates to the leather on our A3's. One might suspect that modern leather might have different treatments applied beforehand. Best check with a specialist.

  20. #19
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    get_prod_img.php.jpg
    I use this product from Audi from 2009. part number is 00A096306A020, I use it on all leather surfaces, steering wheel, handbrake, gear shift knob, and ofc on the leather seats.
    This is the Audi official description of the product:This special-care product for leather upholstery and trim ensures that the high quality, crafted leather inside your Audi is preserved for many years. Leather care with impregnation effect is superbly suited for all smooth leathers, renewing the material's protective film against wear and premature fading. All ingredients have been very carefully formulated to ensure that, even with regular use, the leather inside your Audi remains soft, permeable, hard-wearing and looks as good as new. 250ml bottle with superior cleaning based on nano-technology.

    It's cheap, £6.00 per bottle of 250ml, the creme is like milk, it smells great, if you spill some on the rubber or plastic surfaces, you wipe it off and it's not harmfull. I use my hands to apply the product to the leather, and later the hands smell great There is no need for anything better. I'm not a fan of the Audi car detailing accessories, I prefer Meguiars but this product is an exception..

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 964kevin View Post
    Most leather is not dyed these days as you might remmber, but it is a sealed surface coating.

    I've had connelly leather trained guys repair seats in my weekend car, and had the process explained to me at length.

    if you've white bits, I would suggest the surface finish has worn off, and you would need something to replace it.

    its also worth remembering, that no amount of baby wipes, or gliptone etc will make your leather more supple, as the surface finish is not designed to breath and let this through, the only place the leather breaths, is the underneath unfinished element.

    Though I guess many are going to disagree with this as a statement...
    i totally agree with all of that!


  22. #21
    Turbo jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 964kevin View Post
    Most leather is not dyed these days as you might remmber, but it is a sealed surface coating.

    I've had connelly leather trained guys repair seats in my weekend car, and had the process explained to me at length.

    if you've white bits, I would suggest the surface finish has worn off, and you would need something to replace it.

    its also worth remembering, that no amount of baby wipes, or gliptone etc will make your leather more supple, as the surface finish is not designed to breath and let this through, the only place the leather breaths, is the underneath unfinished element.

    Though I guess many are going to disagree with this as a statement...
    more or less what I said above, spot on.

 

 

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