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leather cleaning queery

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by therealnovaboy, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. therealnovaboy
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    therealnovaboy Missed A Gear

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    i bought some auto-glym leather cleaner and leather care cream. i have an s4 with alcantera trim. the leather is in good condition but want to keep it that way.

    the instructions on the bottle recomends testing the product in a small unseen area first. what am i looking for? how long should i leave it?
    it also recomends testing for dye-fastness with a water dampend towel. again, what am i looking for? what is dye-fastness? (running/blotching of colour?)

    the alcantera is in good condition altho is starting to "pook". not knowing a better way to describe it ive added pics below. i was wondering if there is any way to fix this whith a swade comb or somthing. also should i apply any leather care to the alcantera.

    thanks in advance.
    [​IMG]
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  3. Jimmeh
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    Jimmeh Active Member

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    Nooooo. Alcantera, as far as I'm aware, is very fussy RE what it 'accepts' in cleaning terms.. You can't wet it, either. A damp microfibre 'dabbed' onto the surface is usually all you will need.

    The bobbles, or, 'pook', as you put it, can be removed by your old razor (if you're careful) I've used this method a few times on carpet pile, too.

    Dye-fastness, yes.. just incase its a poor finish or the product (for reasons unknown?!) would strip the colour off of the leather.

    Leather doesn't need conditioning with waxes/oil from the creams/potions you can buy off the shelfs.. If the leather needs rehydrating, as such, a wipe over with a damp microfibre will do this. A protector I use, and, would reccomend, is LTT Auto Ultra Protect - http://www.lttsolutions.net/category.asp?category=11

    Once the leather's clean, a spritz of the product and a quick wipe will form a protective barrier against dirt/oils etc for a few months at a time. I'd probs apply this 2/3 times a year (dependent on usage, etc) (this too is a water-based product..)
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  4. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    Jim whats the verdict on the liquid leather i use...is that not a sealant? was always under the impression it was a conditioner until that woman on DW spoke up and told me about how leather is sealed nowadays regardless of what you put on it
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  5. Jimmeh
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    Jimmeh Active Member

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    It's a difficult one, Tim. I've spoken to Judy a few times now, and, everything she's said makes sense. They're fighting a massssive battle in winning over the 'off the shelf' products. These products sell because of the marketing hype (it won me over a while back, too)

    But, modern auto-leather has a painted surface, a clear coat - the only thing that can penetrate this is water. Auto Ultra Protect (LTT's 'sealant') is indeed water-based, thus, allowing it to form a barrier to protect against dirt and oils. 'Conditioners', balms, feeds etc (traditionally oil and wax based) cannot penetrate this finish - they can also leave behind residues on the finish which will only attract more dirt if allowed to remain.

    It's a massive learning curve for me at the minute.. I've only used the Auto Ultra Foam/Protect a couple of times, but, each time has been to great effect.

    As I move on with the LTT kit, and, revisit some of the cars I've protected with Auto Ultra, I will have a better idea of the concept/principles behind it all. *eek!*?
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  6. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    I'm looking forward to going on one of Judy's courses in the near future. I've read widely about the various arguments about leather care, and I am fully convinced by the water-based argument put across rather well above. That said, plenty of the existing off the shelf solutions are water-based, and do a great job - anyone using Raceglaze or Gloss It leather care products will have found this out (both deliver a great finish, with obvious improvement in the appearance and feel of the leather surface and no greasiness or oiliness).

    Going back to the original questions, and the subject of Alcantara. Alcantara is a synthetic material with unique properties. Contrary to popular belief it can be wetted safely to some extent, and can even be machine washed. To find out more, read this in-depth guide on Alcantara's own site...

    http://www.alcantara.com/en/experience/manutenzione/manutenzione.shtml

    You can remove the bobbling either by gently brushing with a stiff interior brush, or by shaving as described by Jim - both methods require care and attention to the task in hand, as the pile can be damaged quite easily. So, for your leather bolsters, etc, your leather products will be fine enough, but for the alcantara inserts follow the care advice linked above.

    :yes:
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  7. therealnovaboy
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    therealnovaboy Missed A Gear

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    so is there no benefit to using a leather conditioner over water.

    how come when i was looking at buying s4s some i saw had that had less miles on the clock than mine and the leather was in much worse condition, not worn as such just dried out aand cracked. i thought this was down to the fact that it hadnt been conditioned and the leather dried out. or is it that just the fact that it has been in brighter sunlight and not cleaned as well/regular.
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  8. Jimmeh
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    Jimmeh Active Member

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    [Oct 5, 2009]
    "dried out" - it is rehydrated with above water-based cleaners.. that is all it would take (over a prolonged period if it was quite severe (to what degree is would revive to, I do not know..)) to help restore its finish.

    I don't want to get too involved lol. I'm still bouncing between the two, but, have certainly seen the light with everything that Judy has said.
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