The leather upholstery has been with us for decades, accompanying us in the upholstery of our seats, dressing our cabin with an extra elegance. With a good number of detractors, «that if a leather upholstery is colder in winter, if it is hotter in summer, than if it is more expensive or that you have to take care of it more», in my opinion it is always a welcome extra , raising the level of our cabin, leaving us with its peculiar touch, with its characteristic smell.
But, do we take care of it well enough? How long have you not cleaned the leather upholstery of your car? What care should be given to this type of fabric? In this new «Your car in shape» we get down to work and after seeing the maintenance that requires a hood, it is the turn to enter the cabin of the car, chamois and cleaner in hand and leave it as the first day that came out of the concessionaire.
We begin the leather treatment process by one choice: the product-products that we are going to use. It is common to find specific product lines for the treatment and cleaning of leather separated into two forms of application. On the one hand those that are based on the use of a cleaner and a moisturizer separately, on the other hand, those that offer both qualities in a single product.
If our leather is quite damaged we can choose to do a deeper treatment and choose the process with two products. If it is a more routine maintenance, the process with a single product is more practical and totally valid. Having seen this and taken the decision of which process we are going to follow we start with the cleaning.
Next to the cleaner and the conditioning product or the 2 in 1 we will also need a microfiber towel and depending on the condition of our leather, a soft bristle brush is also recommended. As we did with the hood in the special about your treatment, it is advisable to start cleaning with a vacuum, especially if we are treating the seats, to remove the first layer of dust and dirt that swarms on the surface.
Done this with a damp microfiber towel we can proceed to make a next superficial wash. If it is about minor blemishes and you eliminate them, you can reserve the treatment for later, I personally advise, depending on the use, about 3 or 4 times a year a deep cleaning and every 3 months to nourish it with conditioner.
With the first layer of dust removed, we apply the cleaner with the chamois and depending on the incrustation that is the dirt we apply with a brush of bristles. We clean the excess, wait and apply the conditioner, again, passing a chamois later to eliminate the surplus product.
With the 2 in 1 cleaner the process is exactly the same but saving one of the steps. Aspirada the surface to clean and with a first pass with a humid chamois, we apply the cleaner and conditioner and remove the surplus after being applied. Rather faster and for lighter cleaning operations.
Nourish the leather: the key to avoid your cracking </ strong>
After cleaning the leather and the conditioning touches nourish it, a key process to extend the life of our upholstery as this treatment is responsible for maintaining the elasticity of the material, while maintaining its gummy feel and appearance, avoiding cracking or loss of color.
The application is simple, simply, it is necessary to have the product and apply it with a chamois. A key process to keep it intact from the deterioration and action of the sun by the UV protection that specific products have to nourish the leather of car upholstery. Its application is recommended, again depending on the use, every 3 or 4 months, so we can take advantage after a cleaning to treat it.
Too late for this and what the upholstery needs is a restoration? If the wear is not excessive and there are no broken through, we can recover the condition of the leather with a deeper treatment.
Important: despite appearing effective at first, body moisturizers will only prematurely age the leather of our vehicle
After cleaning the area to be recovered, we apply the specific product to rejuvenate the leather. This product, which most dealers of cleaning products for the car have, is applied on the upholstery and requires that we let it act a few hours, depending on the condition and the product, from 5 to 8 hours. After that, if there is any area with some deeper wear, we can apply «liquid leather» that is responsible for filling the damaged spaces. And maybe even it is necessary to dye it, but for that, we will need a job in greater depth that it might be advisable to make a professional vehicle detailing.
As I mentioned we find a large number of distributors of cleaning products for the car that in almost all occasions enjoy in its range of products with specific material for the treatment of leather and if in the treatment for the hoods recommended Renovo, for the care of the upholstery we can go for example to Chemical Guys where we find both treatments in two products, cleaner and conditioner, and 2 in 1, products to nourish it and even dyes and products to restore them in the most extreme cases. In addition, most of the car companies that have leather upholstery in their range have specific products to treat them.
As a bonus track deny a fairly widespread myth. No body creams, petroleum jelly or moisturizers for people. The skin of the seat of our car is not like the skin of our face or body, it is dead skin and treated, so even though in a first application it may seem effective, over time we will only get premature aging of the upholstery , so discard it.
As a second bonus track and putting an end to this «Your car in shape» in which we have focused on the treatment of leather upholstery, a practical advice for day to day with this type of upholstery. In most hypermarkets there are wipes for specific cleaning of the leather that are quite useful for small spots or the typical rubbing or marking when leaving the car.