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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting a 'new' car tomorrow and I want to get the leather in the best condition possible and protected if necessary. It's a 2010 Mercedes and the seats are in good condition already so would like to keep them that way.

My current car is a 2008 S Class Merc but I had a lot of the leather repainted not long after I got it so I have just used Dr Leather to wipe it down now and again to maintain that factory matt finish.

I don't think there's a need to recoat this leather but I suspect despite it looking good, it'll look even better once I've cleaned it. My question, is there any need to moisturise it or protect it? I've read things about how modern leathers don't need anything but cleaning, look on Youtube and there's all sorts of recommendations of things to protect it. I assumed unless it's cracked, the leather simply needs cleaning but happy to be proven wrong.





I have Dr Leather spray and dye block, I have Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner and also the Glyptone Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.

I'm thinking of just going down the cleaner route but any tips or recommendations are appreciated.
 

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I've used both Dr leather and supernatural, both are very good cleaners, I still have the supernatural leather sealant so that's what i still use but guess you could use the dye block which I belive is essentially the same thing
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks mate, I think looking at the Dye Block it essentially acts as a sealant lasting 6 months or so. So I think I'll give it a go with the Supernatural (as I only just got it) and the DL Dye Block.

The main area to clean is the central arm rest as it's the only bit of the car I noticed was dirty. The seats look great but I'm sure after 12 years of being sat on will clean up nicely. :)
 

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You don't need to feed leather so much these days as leather is sealed. But some cleaners do wet the leather too much, normally liquid leather cleaners. These get in to the perforations and stitching and start to brake down the seal. So if you have a liquid leather cleaner I would at the very least spray on to a micro fibre cloth first and wipe in to the leather this will help prevent the leather from getting wet from the cleaner.

We now look in terms of protection to leather no so much feeding the leather. The protection products help maintain the leather seal.

Old classic and vintage cars do need leather feeders and should be used more frequently to maintain a supple leather finish.

Elliott our in-house detailer did a video on cleaning old leather seats, you might find the video interesting.

Cleaning 35 Year Old Car Seat Leather!
 

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I am getting a 'new' car tomorrow and I want to get the leather in the best condition possible and protected if necessary. It's a 2010 Mercedes and the seats are in good condition already so would like to keep them that way.

My current car is a 2008 S Class Merc but I had a lot of the leather repainted not long after I got it so I have just used Dr Leather to wipe it down now and again to maintain that factory matt finish.

I don't think there's a need to recoat this leather but I suspect despite it looking good, it'll look even better once I've cleaned it. My question, is there any need to moisturise it or protect it? I've read things about how modern leathers don't need anything but cleaning, look on Youtube and there's all sorts of recommendations of things to protect it. I assumed unless it's cracked, the leather simply needs cleaning but happy to be proven wrong.





I have Dr Leather spray and dye block, I have Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner and also the Glyptone Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.

I'm thinking of just going down the cleaner route but any tips or recommendations are appreciated.
Hello mate. They say many modern leathers don't need cleaning because they're plastic coated, which can withstand pretty much anything.

I am certainly no leather expert, nor can I tell if yours is plastic coated. But I don't think you need to feed the leather if it's coated.
Before I started, I watched a load of American dudes cleaning 'leather' with magic sponges. Now I know why.

Personally I clean leather with g101 and a stiff bristled upholstery brush / drill brush. I can tell if it's leather by touch and adjust the g101 dilution as per leather condition. But it does have a tendency to dry out the leather so will need feeding.
 

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Modern leather as said does not need anything but cleaning.
use a dedicated leather cleaner not apc or g101 that can damage the clear coating.
then use a leather protection product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all the info guys and the links that's my weekend homework. DW never lets me down! :)

You have all confirmed what I was thinking, basically modern leather doesn't moisturising. I have a good leather brush, two good leather cleaners and Dr Leather Dye Block which will seal the surface for 6 months or so. I don't think the leather is in bad condition but it's still a 12 year old car and I suspect has never had a deep clean. Might even do a 50/50 to see the difference haha
 

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Hello mate. They say many modern leathers don't need cleaning because they're plastic coated, which can withstand pretty much anything.

I am certainly no leather expert, nor can I tell if yours is plastic coated. But I don't think you need to feed the leather if it's coated.
Before I started, I watched a load of American dudes cleaning 'leather' with magic sponges. Now I know why.

Personally I clean leather with g101 and a stiff bristled upholstery brush / drill brush. I can tell if it's leather by touch and adjust the g101 dilution as per leather condition. But it does have a tendency to dry out the leather so will need feeding.

It true that the paints used on leather are polymer based. It's not true they can withstand pretty much anything. The fact that your noticed that using G101 on leather is drying the leather out is clear reason why it should not be used on leather. AutoSmart do make leather cleaners. G101 is a product a car dealer might use because its quick at getting the job done but will setup the leather to degrade far faster. Even though products like G101 can clean leather they are not suitable for long term use on leather.

If like most detailers you use a pH neutral Snow Foam on the outside why would you use a high alkaline product on one of the most sensitive surfaces on a car?

To me detailing is about using the right products that make sure the surfaces being cleaned or protected last longer and stay looking newer for longer.
 

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It true that the paints used on leather are polymer based. It's not true they can withstand pretty much anything. The fact that your noticed that using G101 on leather is drying the leather out is clear reason why it should not be used on leather. AutoSmart do make leather cleaners. G101 is a product a car dealer might use because its quick at getting the job done but will setup the leather to degrade far faster. Even though products like G101 can clean leather they are not suitable for long term use on leather.

If like most detailers you use a pH neutral Snow Foam on the outside why would you use a high alkaline product on one of the most sensitive surfaces on a car?

To me detailing is about using the right products that make sure the surfaces being cleaned or protected last longer and stay looking newer for longer.
Are you assuming I go in on the leather neat? The pH level of g101 drops from ~13 to 10.2 when diluted at 1%, it is stated as water soluble. The data sheet I found for colour lock strong leather cleaner is ph 10.5.

Your reply is quite condescending. If you'd like to check with your chemists and get back to me to explain exactly what ingredients cause specific issues then no problem, I'll have to change up a few things. But having a generalistic approach on what you assume I am doing without backing up with facts isn't very helpful. I am no chemist, but I'll always read the data sheet. Every day is a learning curve, and always happy to take on feedback and improvements.
 

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Are you assuming I go in on the leather neat? The pH level of g101 drops from ~13 to 10.2 when diluted at 1%, it is stated as water soluble. The data sheet I found for colour lock strong leather cleaner is ph 10.5.

Your reply is quite condescending. If you'd like to check with your chemists and get back to me to explain exactly what ingredients cause specific issues then no problem, I'll have to change up a few things. But having a generalistic approach on what you assume I am doing without backing up with facts isn't very helpful. I am no chemist, but I'll always read the data sheet. Every day is a learning curve, and always happy to take on feedback and improvements.
Firstly it was never meant to be condescending. I also don't think its helpful to a discuss to suggest it being condescending. Instead of talking about leather cleaning we go straight to a Woke Conversation about offending people. Your cleaning leather in a way that will damage it over the long term surely you want people to feel comfortable telling you this.

Secondly a diluted version of G101 at the pH suggested is still not good. I'm sure if you asked AutoSmart they would not advise you to use G101 they would recommend there leather cleaner. I also did not assume you used it neat because G101 is a concentrate and using it neat would be madness.

The ingredients on there MSDS that causes me the most concern is Sodium Hydroxide. This is used in wheel cleaner, TFR and high alkaline cleaners. It is not suitable for cleaning leather. Long term use will cause damage, even when diluted.

You said that you feed the leather after because it drys the leather out. So you know it causes an issue, because you using a product to counter act the cleaner.

I'll finish with I'm sorry you found my advise condescending. I hope you over look this and realise that I was sharing useful information. Lastly that not all written comments come across in the same way they do in spoken word. I'm sure if we had a face to face conversation you would not have found it condescending.
 

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Just to add. I have just looked at the colour lock website and can see some ingredient listed on the strong leather cleaner. I would need to do more research on these ingredients and how they form a soap as suggested. I could not find the MSDS so was unable to see the pH level. But the formulation is very different. pH level and the type of alkaline or acid can make a big difference to the results you can get. G101 is a hard surface cleaner and is not comparable to the product from Colour Lock. I would need to test Colour Lock product over the long term to see what effect a product like this had. However I suspect the strong cleaner is for the odd heavy job, the mild is for regular cleaning.
 

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Just to add. I have just looked at the colour lock website and can see some ingredient listed on the strong leather cleaner. I would need to do more research on these ingredients and how they form a soap as suggested. I could not find the MSDS so was unable to see the pH level. But the formulation is very different. pH level and the type of alkaline or acid can make a big difference to the results you can get. G101 is a hard surface cleaner and is not comparable to the product from Colour Lock. I would need to test Colour Lock product over the long term to see what effect a product like this had. However I suspect the strong cleaner is for the odd heavy job, the mild is for regular cleaning.
Hi, thanks for your messages.

One thing that got me - you likened me to a car dealer. When I first started I got a job cleaning with a small local dealer, was a brilliant experience... Of what not to do. One (of many) example, we took in a little coupe, covered in paint spider webs on the bonnet, after not listening to me, he decided to try fix it himself, came bumbling out with some colourlock leather dye. Awesome.

I mentioned g101 drying out leather as a warning . I've made mistakes, like probably most, but I (hope) I've learnt from them and have got used to my own products /techniques to use them effectively.

My point I was trying to make is a lot of these products can be massively versatile. Bh surfex is even stronger at ph14, yet it can be safely used on fabric at the right dilution, but wouldn't use it to deep clean your seats every day, like a full decontamination on paint work. You mention sodium hydroxide... You're right, it can be really harsh. But on the flip side it is also used in soap and skin care products.

Anyway, no harm done (y)
 

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Hi, thanks for your messages.

One thing that got me - you likened me to a car dealer. When I first started I got a job cleaning with a small local dealer, was a brilliant experience... Of what not to do. One (of many) example, we took in a little coupe, covered in paint spider webs on the bonnet, after not listening to me, he decided to try fix it himself, came bumbling out with some colourlock leather dye. Awesome.

I mentioned g101 drying out leather as a warning . I've made mistakes, like probably most, but I (hope) I've learnt from them and have got used to my own products /techniques to use them effectively.

My point I was trying to make is a lot of these products can be massively versatile. Bh surfex is even stronger at ph14, yet it can be safely used on fabric at the right dilution, but wouldn't use it to deep clean your seats every day, like a full decontamination on paint work. You mention sodium hydroxide... You're right, it can be really harsh. But on the flip side it is also used in soap and skin care products.

Anyway, no harm done (y)

Hello EricSab

Thank you for your reply. Its great to have this sort of conversation/debate.

I too started at a car dealer. I learn a lot about how to clean a car very quickly and efficiently. My mobile Valeting business would not have been as successful without that experience. Not all car dealer are bad they just have a different perspective on car cleaning. Typically I would say a dealer would use a hard surface cleaner on leather. Which is why i made the comment.

Carpets and leather are different. Most carpets in cars are man made fibre and they are very resistant to hash chemicals. But use these types of carpet cleaners on a classic car that have wool carpets then your in trouble. Because wools use natural dyes and thus are not colour fast. It's the same with home carpets, these normally have a acrylic/wool mix. Using the wrong cleaner will immediately change the colour. Modern leather is not as sensitive as wool carpets but they are still sensitive and need the right care when cleaning them.

Sodium Hydroxid use in soap is very different. Sodium hydroxide is used to cause a chemical reaction with a fatty acid. That chemical reaction makes a new compound called soap. Sodium hydroxide does not exist anymore due to the chemical reaction.

Soap making - Originally potash was use to cause the chemical reaction with a fatty acid. Like animal fat. Potash comes for the ashes of burned wood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash Potash is commonly turned in to Potassium Hydroxide which is more aggressive than sodium hydroxide. So our ancestor would have use wood ashes, animal fat and water to create soap. You might find this interesting https://farmingmybackyard.com/homemade-soap-from-ashes/

Anyway my point is that the sodium hydroxide is not sodium hydroxide when making a soap. In G101 it is still very much sodium hydroxide and therefore not suitable for regular use on leather. Personally I would not ever use it on leather.
 
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