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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I want to do a really deep clean on my leather seats and then condition them. I don't think the leather has seen much serious cleaning. I did do a quick clean when I got the car, and have done some quick cleans. But now I want to do a thorough deep clean and really eliminate the grime. I'm not worried about the scaring (cracks and such) showing more. I just want properly clean leather. I'm open to suggestions on what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well, after lots of reading, I'm going to try liquid saddle soap followed up with a leather protecting balm.
 

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Well, after lots of reading, I'm going to try liquid saddle soap followed up with a leather protecting balm.
Are you sure that is for our type of leather? I think that's more for uncoated leather ..
 

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Well, I want something strong, but don't feel comfortable with using pinesol or Mr. Clean on my leather. I really want a deep clean, and I've tried several leather cleaners but none are strong enough to cut the years of build up I'm trying to eliminate. From what I've been reading, saddle soap looks to be the best solution. The leather has no tears, but it does have some scaring, and it should be softer then it is. I'm still open to suggestions though.
 

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Our leather is a coated leather so the best way to go for the cleaning is with an AP car interior cleaner like Griot's Garage interior cleaner as an example. For protection I Highly recommend Optimum Protectant Plus. Protectant Plus is the best for coated leather and vinyl. Great on the dash as well. Products designed mostly for "real" uncoated leather won't do you much good.
You might also try Optimum's Power Clean as the cleaner, but I have not tried it.

Use a soft brush with the APC on the leather and then wipe with a towel.
 

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Actually Woolite and water mix is very good for leather cleaning and safe .. 6 parts water . 1 part Woolite . All I have used for years in all the cars I detail .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did use the Griot's stuff, but it didn't do much (it took some of the dirt away, but no where near as much as I would have liked). I'm surprised the leather is in as good of shape as it is, but I know it needs attention - the sooner the better. I had settled on saddle soap because quite a few car manufacturers do recommend it. I will try the Woolite first. I want it cleaned, but I don't want to damage it more then it already is.
 

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As I mentioned a soft scrubbing type brush really helps to release the dirt from all the nooks and crannies.

Here's what you are shooting for. Although mine stay pretty clean, however I have done some dirty dirty BMWs and the brush is as important as the cleaner.

Optimum Protectant Plus review
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did use a horse hair brush. 6 to 1 ratio Woolite worked great on everything but the drivers seat. I ended up strengthening it to 4 to one, and then ended up using saddle soap on it (yes, I made sure to throughly clean it off - I also didn't let it sit on it for any length of time (as in whipe with soap, then clean with clear water immediately - and no the soap did not remove any coloring). I carefully and diligently conditioned it all - the leather feels really nice now, and has a proper mat (not shiny) appearance with no odd feeling left to hand. So now that I'm happy with how clean it is - to bad the front seats have loads of scars and cracks, though thankfully neither is split open anywhere. I might be able to hide them with a restore kit - something I'll consider down the road. But just the same, I don't ever want to clean leather in this state ever again. I need to figure out how I'm going to maintain it forward (thinking a weekly wipe down and balming it it about every few months ( 3 or 4 due to our dry climate). I'll have to watch it and see for that, but defiantly want the frequent wipe downs - that was waaay to nasty. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay, so this is my plan - weekly, lightly vacuum (I have a not too strong vacuum that will be safe to use) and a quick wipe down with a barely damp micro fiber cloth. The climate here is pretty dry, so I'm guessing that approximately every month or two apply a conditioner/protectant. Well, that maybe sooner but maybe later - I'll have to judge that over the next while. And lastly, every 3-4 months use a light ph balanced cleaner - but again, I'll have to judge this. Hopefully that will keep it feeling nice and keep it from deteriorating further (or at least really slow down the process).
 
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