Leather conditioner for car seats

Skeletor

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Another random question for the collective wisdom of the backstage crew (with a special call out to Dolebludger as I recall he has a fair bit of experience in the car detailing world).

What is the best product for protecting/restoring the leather seats in a car?
I recently picked up a 12 year old Cadillac and it has the typical wear mainly only on the drivers seat - little bit of "checking" and some wear marks. Looking for a product to make it look as new as possible as well as protect from future deterioration.

Much thanks
 

Dolebludger

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Skelator, Leatherique is great but last time I checked it was rather expensive. I've used it, but have settled on Malco which is a bit less expensive and seems to do just as well. The only difference is Leatherique has a better odor -- but the odor is gone in about a day anyway. After using a cleaner (almost any brand will do) I wipe on a bit of 303 Aerospace Protectant (prevents UV ray damage), and follow that with a wipe of Malco.

As far as restoration of checking and wear marks, I have no experience. Wear marks might be made to look better with some dye products. As far a checking is concerned, and how to repair it, I have no clue. All I can say is checking is caused by dryness from UV exposure, and the 303 will prevent further checking.
 

lung plunger

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Sounds like some RealTree seat covers may be the way to go
 

lucidspoon

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Going to highjack this and ask if there's a special technique for cleaning vented leather seats?
 

redcoats1976

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why is checking good on vintage guitars and bad on vintage auto seats?mojo...
 

Tone deaf

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I use Fiebing's mink oil paste on my leathers (shoes, boots, jackets, pants, furniture, etc.). The stuff is the best, in my opinion.
 

Dolebludger

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skeletor,

Do you have pics of the checking and wear marks? There are some pros who may be able to fix such things. I'm not one of them, as my experience has been in the area of preventing such things.
 

lung plunger

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It helps to get sensual with the conditioner to. I mean, like get in it, like you're oiling up some chick on the bed. Make love to that seat, make it penetrate. Technique dude.
 

Tone deaf

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It helps to get sensual with the conditioner to. I mean, like get in it, like you're oiling up some chick on the bed. Make love to that seat, make it penetrate.
Well, when I got my first pair of leather pants (I was 17), my GF applied the leather conditioner to the pants, whilst I was still wearing them.

I still have the pants...can't quite get the waist fastened...

The ex GF still possesses the greatest pair of legs of all times (6' figure skater, who happens to be blond and a lovely person). She is still in awesome shape, all natural and quite slim. I'm going to visit, before too long (i.e. right after I pick up my new bike and do a thread on crazy bike trips).
 

Fracture

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Going to highjack this and ask if there's a special technique for cleaning vented leather seats?
I've taken detail classes and read thousands of threads and articles on interior / exterior detail
the single best thing you can do is buy a dedicated vacuum
for the garage and the car
store the original carpet mats and find replacements
Weathertech is good, but Cocomats look cool and absorb
the particles
keep the area around the car as clean as possible to avoid dragging dirt into the vehicle
vacuum the car regularly with both a soft and firm brush
I usually vacuum my vehicles about twice a week and try to
wipe them down about the same

dead skin flakes, food debris, clothing fibers, dandruff, dust and pollen will wear down a vehicles interior very quickly
denim and blue jeans will also take their toll on leather
in the form of abrasion wear

use a quality cleaner & protectant like Aero 303 or similar

nothing worse than a low mileage well maintained car
with a totally clapped out interior
 

Dolebludger

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parts,

I think I'm going to follow your suggestion, because I know you are a car guy and a former GM of a dealership. And I have never restored -- just preserved. I will note however (for the info of Tonedeaf) that a major ingredient in the Malco conditioner I have used for years IS Mink oil. It has kept the leather on my 16 year old Honda S 2000 like new (except for a few driver's side creases). But I'm about out of it and it is Fall (car detailing time), so I'll be trying the Connolly Hide Food product parts recommends. I've dealt with autogeek before, and they are good.
 

Dolebludger

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parts,

Just clicked on your link to order Connolly Hide Food from autogeek and saw that it was "out of stock" and "discontinued". Do you know of another supplier of this product?
 

Dolebludger

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parts,,

Thanks, as I have already ordered mine from an Amazon Prime supplier with two day free shipping.

skeletor,

Yes, I used to be the detailing moderator on the Mercedes-Benz Club of America forum (before it essentially died), but that does not mean I felt I knew everything. It was a learning experience, and that is still ongoing. Most questions were about how to remove swirl marks from exterior paint and how to protect interior leather and MBTex (a good plastic interior material) from UV rays. (An answer was, for God's sake, don't use Armoral.) Never had a question about how to RESTORE interior leather. But I would believe what parts has to say, and did by ordering some Connolly Hide Food, as he recommended. Try it and see if it fixes your problems. If it does, great! If not. There are leather dyes and pros that can make your driver's side seat look much better. But I have some "rub offs" on the driver's seat side bolster on our 2007 SLK 280, and I will wait to see how the stuff that parts recommends does on it before doing anything else. Bottom line, I think that parts knows his stuff!
 

Skeletor

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Thanks all for the replies. I'm currently away from home (got tickets for Gov't Mule in San Diego on Monday) - will dig in to this when I get home on Wednesday).
Don't really expect a show car restoration as it isn't all that bad and this will be a daily driver in the harsh Canadian winters. Just want to clean it up a little.
Thanks
 

Dolebludger

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Skeletor,

Well, I hope you learned some things. I certainly did. And back in the days of being a moderator on the Mercedes-Benz detailing sub-forum almost all questions were not about having show cars. They were just about having daily drivers that didn't look like crap, and how to preserve them. Feel free to PM me about any preservation questions, but PM parts on issues of restortion,
 


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