View Full Version : The leather conditioning debate?

04-11-13, 08:37 AM
When I got my BMW 2002 325i, I knew that I was going to keep it for a while (how about 11 years, 68K miles, before trading in for an ATS Lux) and wanted to do whatever was necessary to keep it in tip-top shape. Amongst my many "preservation" goals was to prevent the leather seats from cracking or keep them from looking crummy. So, I started off by using Lexol leather cleaner and Leatherette conditioner. I must say that the seats wore very, very well with 2-3 cleanings/year. I also did quite a bit of BMW forums researching on how to keep the leather in good condition.

Unfortunately I can't find the references for what I am going to say, but there were some very well informed responders that claimed that almost all car seat leather was treated with various protectorants that precluded the use of conditioners. These "knowledgeable" folks claimed that anything other than routine cleaning with mild detergents (or leather cleaning products) was a waste of time as the conditioners wouldn't penetrate into the treated leather. BTW, one can test to see if their leather is treated or is "glove" leather: If a drop of water darkens the leather (until it evaporates), then the leather is glove leather and is amenable to conditioning. If the drop rolls off the leather, then this is treated leather. The purpose of treating is to prevent liquids from penetrating and staining the leather.

So, hopefully there are some leathe experts out there who can add/settle this debate.

04-11-13, 11:11 AM
Pigmented leather is where the color is painted on. Semi aniline is dyed and painted. Aniline is dyed only.
Semi aniline will probably last the longest and not gets stains because it is has the paint on it.
I have found that lexol does condition even the painted on leather, it does tend to soften it. I think any
Leather cleaner and conditioner/protectant will help somewhat.
Obviously aniline will see the most benefit.

04-11-13, 01:22 PM
b4z, any idea what kind of leather my platinum is?

04-11-13, 01:42 PM
Probably pigmented.if it were semi aniline they would announce it loudly.
Look at the options on the escalade and you can see the different types of leather that is available.
When they do semi aniline and aniline,they have to use the best hides. Often from a farmer that does not used barb wire fences, etc. there can't be blemishes on the hides. Pigmented leather they just cover up the scars.

04-18-13, 07:52 AM
b4z, I also have platinum seats. As you know leathers, how have you detailed your seats (cleaned, conditioned, etc), if you have?