View Full Version : Anyone have a top-notch way to clean leather?

03-08-04, 10:04 PM
I'm looking for something that will get the seats to look good as new(or close to). I've tried a couple different things but they don't seem to work.

03-08-04, 10:07 PM
I use Maguiars Leather Care wipes and they a pretty damn good job, but I think for the serious staining that some of the cushy Caddy seats get you might need to turn to some sort of multi-stage cleaning process. I know as far as maintenance there are few things better than connelly hyde food.

03-08-04, 10:36 PM
Here is the recommendation of one auto industry supplier of leather...


My personal care of leather is: If it is safe to use on your face, it is safe for leather.

03-09-04, 11:12 AM
For an intial caleaning, or bad stain, I use Armoral Mullti-Purpose Cleaner. Nothing cleans like this stuff. Don't leave it on long. I spray it on, brush immediately, wip off immediately. Never had it damage any leather. But test first.

From there out I use the Armorall Leather Cleaner & Conditioner.

03-09-04, 10:47 PM
If you have the grim built up (or not) there is a mixture I made of 1 part woolite 6 parts water and then I put it in a spray bottle. If you spray it and then scrub it with a towel you can see the dirt come right off. Then I always put leather conditioner over it. I got this idea from the Lexus forums and they claimed to have gotten it from a Cadillac manual printed in the 80's.

03-09-04, 11:33 PM
I've done this before on Vinyl so I dunno maybe it will work for leather. I used Mean Green. It took dirt off that I couldn't even see. Wipe clean. Then apply leather treatment. I know for vinyl I had no problems. Never tried it on leather. But, my seats were super clean after that. Mean Green is considered a degreaser so I wonder if that would be bad for the leather. Probably so, but if ya got vinyl it works. :2thumbs:

03-10-04, 12:44 PM
I second Lawrence, i armoralled my '89 yesterday and the whole interior just shines, smells good too. i dont usually let my seats get dirty, no one usually rides in anything but the pasenger seat, so im not all that keen on what to clean them with, but the Armorall orange wipes work great on just about anything, be sure to wipe it off your leather when youre done cleaning, use the armorall leather wipes, they let your ass slide right into the seat:halo:. good luck.

03-11-04, 01:05 PM
There are two automotive product lines I'll swear by. One being Mobil 1 and the other Armoral. I have to tell this short story about the Armoral.

Years ago I owned an old Buick Century, I think it was a 1973, that I bought from my sister (Debbie) as a second car. Sometime in the mid 80's I had noticed the vinyl roof was all cracked up. Everywhere, except one area less than a square foot on the rear pass side that looked like new. As the years went by I always wondered why that one small spot still looked like new even though the rest of the roof continued to get worse and worse. How odd. I eventually sold the car.

Then one day I was looking through some old pictures. In one of the pictures was my 1974 Corvette sitting in the driveway. I admired and reminisced of that old car for a few minutes and was about to put the picture down, when I stopped and started looking at some of the items in the background. How neat I thought. There's my old boat, both of mom and dad's old Buick's, and Debbie's (my sister) car parked right next to the Corvette. All in one picture, cool. As I looked even closer I noticed a rag on the roof of Debbies Buick. Hmmm, I must have been cleaning up the Corvette that day, hence the picture. Then it occured to me, Hey that rags right on the "good spot" of the roof.

As I sat there thinking about that picture and noticing all the details in it, it was as if I went back in time. I could now actually remember setting that rag on the roof of my sisters car. It was my Armoral rag. And when I picked it up, it left a mark on the roof of her car, so I kind of rubbed it in, flipped the rag and wiped it off. It left a "clean" spot so I quickly washed the car for her.

Well, the mystery that had gone on for years was solved. WOW! That one incidental application of Armoral to that spot of the roof had kept it looking new for some 11 years or so later. One.

And needless to say, I have been a beleiver ever since. I now use all of their products exclusively. My son occasionally brings home other car cleaning/protectant products. So I try them, mostly to re-assure myself. But I always find the Armoral products work the best.

I have found the Multi-Purpose Cleaner to be the best cleaner I have ever seen. It has cleaned stuff other cleaners couldn't touch. Even dirt that other cleaners would clean, the Multi-Purpose Cleaner does it much faster and easier.

Now, it is not specifically for leather. However I have had no problems using it on leather. I do remove it as fast as I can as it seems to clean instantly and does seem to "wet" the leather a bit. And as it does clean so fast and wet the leather I don't want it drawing the soil "into" the leather. So just remove it quickly. It is really efficent at lifting the bad oils, like body oils, from the leather and removing that "sheen" that gets on the leather with use. It leaves the leather looking beautiful with a natural dull satin finish. After I have it clean, I mantain it with the Armoral Leather Cleaner/Conditioner. But when it gets so shiny and dirty again from the things the leather product can't clean I go back to the Multi-Purpose Cleaner again. It seems like I use the MP Cleaner about once a year or so.

03-11-04, 04:37 PM
If you want the absolute best, use Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner. :drinker It is recommended by BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Lexus, Etc. Get the point?

That is if you want top notch stuff.

Otherwise go to Shucks and get some ARmoral.:canttalk:

03-24-04, 04:31 PM
A friend recommended leather shoe polish. I tried it on my 97 Seville's light tan (similar color shoe polish) leather interior and it worked great!!! It filled in most of the discoloration in the cracks and is cleaner and shinier than it has ever been

03-24-04, 11:25 PM
I'll chime in on this one and also recomend Lexol cleaner followed by their conditioner. I use it religiously with excellent results. Even use it on my bike leathers! I've never found anything better and have tried alot of the crap out there. Armorall isn't a good choice since it is a silicone based product and will seal the leather, not allowing it to breathe. Eventually it may also lead to premature cracking.

03-25-04, 06:30 AM
If you want the absolute best, use Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner. :drinker It is recommended by BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Lexus, Etc. Get the point?

That is if you want top notch stuff.

Otherwise go to Shucks and get some ARmoral.:canttalk:
I went to Murray's here in Ohio and they had Lexol on sale (it was still $9 a bottle) but it's the first thing that I used on my Caddy and it's some really good shit. My interior is already clean when I bought the car, but Lexol made it look real sexy :bouncy: For Vinyl use VINYLEX (made by Summit, the same folks who make Lexol), I put that on my roof and even my landlord said the vinyl looked really shiny and new, as if I bought a new vinyl top.

03-25-04, 10:24 PM
Lexol, or Connoly's hide food are the only things you should use on leather. It takes 2 steps, 3 if you clean first but it's definitely worth it. Armorall...........NEVER......... maybe on your tires, not your "skins".

03-27-04, 06:49 AM
Well, I might get flamed for this but...windex and a soft nylon brush for a stubborn spot but then I use Mother's leather cleaner and then the conditioner. It's worked well for me...I've always had leather in my sports cars. I cleaned the leather in my TA for 10 years like this and it always looked great. FWIW:p

03-27-04, 08:23 AM
Well, I'm a newbie here having just picked up a pristine pearl red '96 STS to join my pearl white '89 Allante' ( plus several other -non Caddies- in my Toy Box). This is my first post. I have several more asorted cars than I should , and for many years I've ONLY used ZAINO products starting with their original Show Car Polish about 20 plus years ago. And over the years they just keep improving their products as well as adding new ones. As Such I've been quite pleased with their leather cleaner and conditioner ( The conditioner is call leather in a bottle)... and of course their deep shine polish is so damn easy and looks :bonkers: better than anything else I've seen or tried. I have some friends with show cars who were very reluctant to take my advice and switch from Mothers/ Mcguires/ zimol. But once they did they appologized :banghead: for not listening to me a long time ago. They work was never easier nor did their cars ever look as good...
No I'm not related or have any financial ties... I just swear :worship: by their "STUFF"
check out the web site
there is a lot of good info and advice there.

And if in doubt, give them a call and talk with Sal (Zaino)

03-28-04, 05:36 PM
I use Coach Cleaner and Coach Moisturizer (Coach makes leather purses). I use them on all my leather handbags and shoes, on my car, on my sofa... you name it. I've never had a bad experience with these products. (http://coach.com/shop/category_l.asp?category_id=63)

Whatever you use, test it in an inconspicuous place first to make sure the products don't do anything to the color and/or finish. And make sure you wipe it off well. You don't want to leave a lot of product on the surface and then stain your clothes.

Just my dos centavos: Someone said "If it is safe to use on your face, it is safe for leather." I wouldn't go that far. There are several products I use on my face that I wouldn't recommend for leather -- and I use top-notch skin care products and makeup.


03-28-04, 09:21 PM
talk about confused....there are 4 good choices (or more) I can see in this thread! :bonkers: :hmm: Now I don't know what to get for my 72 eldo. just want to keep the leather from cracking basically...

03-29-04, 09:11 AM
If you have a lot of nice leather accessories (shoes, belts, bags, luggage), get the Coach products because you can use them on the accessories too.

If you want something just for the car seats, Lexol seems to have gotten the most endorsements, so that's probably the one to try first.

Good luck! And let us know what you use and how you like it.