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#26 2011-03-29 13:45:28

tlow98
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2010-08-15
User Number: 4765
Posts: 5370

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

LordZed wrote:

tlow98 wrote:

then massage in the oil with your bare hands.

mmmmm....sexytime

Yeah, it's a good time.  Lord help the people that got my old seats....goooo


05 MT, cold, sport...black

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#27 2011-04-03 11:46:30

sylvr
Member
From: IE SoCal
Registered: 2006-07-06
User Number: 1202
Posts: 86

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

have been using the BMW leather care kit since i bought my car.  IMHO, is one of the easiest and most effective products.  once a month during the normal detail keeps them clean for me.  found this product when i had a BMW with tan leather seats and a messy group of friends, been using it for 10+ years on many cars.  about $30 for the kit at your local BMW dealer.  it works a little bit like saddle soap - use a damp sponge to apply, then wipe it off with something absorbent.

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#28 2011-04-04 09:16:22

LordZed
ImaChris
Supporter
From: Marietta, GA
Registered: 2011-01-24
User Number: 5169
Posts: 3132

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

I did this over the weekend and the magic eraser worked extremly well. Kept it wet and use even but not to hard scrubbing and everything came right off. I soaked the seats with conditoner after, let them dry, then repeated three times until it stopped absorbing the conditioner. Wiped them down and they are cleaner and softer than ever

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#29 2011-04-05 02:28:12

ska 92x
FoSTer Parent
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2006-10-16
User Number: 1428
Posts: 6120

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Porps, bro.


2006 9-2X Aero || Stage 2+ (10/06 - 12/14)

2014 Focus ST   || FR Tune FR CAI Mixed TBE Cobb SS

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#30 2011-04-10 15:30:49

GP2001
Member
Registered: 2010-10-01
User Number: 4874
Posts: 186

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

I ended up being too cowardly to take a magic eraser to my new baby's seats, and ended up using the Meguiars Leather Cleaner and Conditioner that I used to use on my LGT. It ended up working great! Granted, it took a lot of elbow grease, but it made quite a big difference. I'll post up some before and after pictures later. I used a very soft to medium bristled brush (comparable to a tooth brush, actually, I started with a toothbrush...), and methodically went to town on the seats with that an a ton of the cleaner. Then I just wiped off the gunk with a rag, and repeated until it was really clean. It definitely took me some time, but the result was worth it!!

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#31 2011-04-11 21:00:08

tgodbout
WRC Dreamer
Supporter
From: PNW
Registered: 2005-07-18
User Number: 559
Posts: 838
Website

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

As the link stated on the first page, I really like the Griot's interior cleaner. I use it exclusively for the inside of the car. I love the stuff. Haven't tried their leather cleaner.


Black Aero 5-spd (Cold and Premium)

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#32 2011-04-12 22:25:54

GP2001
Member
Registered: 2010-10-01
User Number: 4874
Posts: 186

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Here is a quick before and after, so much better now big_smile
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q83/GP2001/DriversSeatBefore.jpg
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q83/GP2001/FrontSeatsAfter.jpg

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#33 2011-04-12 22:31:20

kornfeld
Member
Supporter
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-01-22
User Number: 2503
Posts: 11467

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Wow!  up


Der Schuh
.
.

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#34 2011-04-12 23:09:55

crxgator
Bronicorn
Supporter
From: Raleigh, NC / Kingston, NY
Registered: 2009-04-06
User Number: 3626
Posts: 1832

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

i need to do that on my driver's seat.


05 Aero
06 Aero - 5 speed
04 FXT - 5 speed
09 JSW TDi - 6 speed

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#35 2011-04-12 23:30:59

tlow98
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2010-08-15
User Number: 4765
Posts: 5370

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

you gave em hell!  fully approve


05 MT, cold, sport...black

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#36 2011-04-13 10:08:02

racerjim
Headroom is overrated...
Supporter
From: Boulder CO
Registered: 2005-06-16
User Number: 247
Posts: 2999

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Yup.  My FS looks like the before pic...Now i'm motivated!


My Car:  2009 Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG
SOLD August 2016:  2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5-Speed, Cold, Premium, Arctic Silver
Her Car:  2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

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#37 2011-04-13 13:39:30

colb218
Saabaruski
Supporter
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2008-04-05
User Number: 2679
Posts: 1815

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Hooray for all black leather in my  92x  banana


2005 92x Aero - Cold Weather - Aftermarket Leather - After Market Moon Roof - WRX Rails - Auto Dim. Mirror/Compass - Door/Trunk Sills - Armrest Ext - Stg 1 - STi Catback

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#38 2011-05-06 11:27:42

kitab
Member
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 2005-06-20
User Number: 296
Posts: 89

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

I just cleaned my leather seats.  The magic eraser worked wonders, removing marks I hadn't been able to clean before.  I followed that with the Lexol cleaner then conditioner and they've never looked better.  My only observation / complaint is that the seats aren't as slippery anymore, so I don't slide in and out of the seat as easily.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5-sp - Black - Premium Package
---1995 Volvo 850 Turbo
---1989 Honda CRX-Si

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#39 2011-05-06 11:49:10

tlow98
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Supporter
From: Chicago
Registered: 2010-08-15
User Number: 4765
Posts: 5370

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

sliding in a seat is not desirable in a performance car.  cowhides are supposed to be soft and supple...that's what makes them luxo


05 MT, cold, sport...black

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#40 2012-03-04 19:48:45

-B-
Dismember
From: Delaware
Registered: 2011-08-05
User Number: 5813
Posts: 1454

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

Guess I'll step in and save you guys some money, since I had to learn all of this it might as well benefit you all here.....especially since it won't hurt my bottom line  wink I've been involved in textile repair and refurbishing since 1998, I'm not claiming I know everything, but this is what I've been taught, experienced and witnessed since then.

Step 1: I don't care what you paid for it, take anything labeled "leather cleaner" and throw it away....or give it to the guy next door....or whatever you see fit.

Step 2:  I don't care what you paid for it, take anything labeled "leather conditioner" and throw it away....or give it to the guy next door....or whatever you see fit.

There, those are the most important steps. Now I can give you a good start. If you get your seats as clean as you can and stick to this regimen I promise you'll be better off. Your seats will be cleaner and easier to clean.

The best secret for anyone needing a good heavy cleaning has already been told in this thread how to do it. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. They are especially effective on the leather in our cars because the material is not heavily grained. Since it essentially flat the Magic Eraser does a good job of getting to the entire surface. Anyone here that has done this can attest to one thing, they didn't see any color come off, just dirt. I say this is the best method for the DIYer because done correctly, or even over done, you'd have an extremely hard time screwing anything up. If this method causes issues then there is a good chance your car has had some cosmetic work done to the seats. PLEASE NOTE: This is not safe in every car. Some cars have a weak coating that does not take kindly to heavy cleaning. If you have another car, spouses, moms, friends etc. just ask and I'll tell you if your safe to proceed. I'll carry on assuming everyone here is dealing with a 9-2.

After that you should be able to maintain your seats and keep them clean with a regular regimen of soap and water cleaning. If you were to do so, say once a month, you very well may never need to go back to the Magic Eraser again. Here your mileage will vary depending on the amount of oils in your skin, sweat, amount of dirt you accumulate at work, wife's make up, use of lotions etc. etc. I recommend Woolite and water, 50/50 mix in a spray bottle as your main every day soap. Woolite is extremely gentle with a low Ph level. If you are dealing with wear on your bolster and are wetting the actual leather under the color you don't want a high Ph level soap to damage it with continued use. Evenly wet the surface then scrub with a dry towel. If there is still some dirt left behind then add the use of a Scotch Brite scrubbing pad, just like the one in the kitchen. Dampen it so it's soft so it's more effective. Repeat the same process but scrub with the scratchy side of the Scotch Brite before using the towel. I start on the seat back, complete it then do the seat bottom. I finish off by giving the entire seat a good vigorous drying again. If you have a compressor and an air tip, blow all the seams out then dry again....wait til you see the shit that comes out of there. Repeat process on the rest of the seats. I also recommend doing all of the other surfaces too, seat backs, door cards, console etc. Work fast on leather surfaces, and don't be afraid to use some elbow grease. Once done your as close to showroom new as you can get, no treatments anywhere....we're going to get into that.

OK, so now you have these beautiful, practically new looking leather seats. You have to condition them to keep them soft, supple and protect them from fading.......NO, I repeat NO. This can't be you say, I have to condition it, marketing say's I do. That's just it, marketing. The only thing I like about some of them is they smell good, that's about all they do. If you like the odor of one in particular, get enough of it on a rag and throw it under your seat. The biggest problem with these conditioners is they sit on the surface and trap dirt. In some cases the dirt can get so ground in to the coating from an abundance of conditioner used that they won't clean. That conditioner never gets soaked in, but too much of it can sit on the coating causing it to become just soft enough to be able to be stained. Why this can't be you say, what about the leather, how can I protect it....you can't. I'll go into the basic leather types so this will make sense.



Aniline Leather: This is leather. Baseball gloves, saddles, high end furniture, King Ranch F-150's. This is the stuff you can condition because it is leather. You see scars from the hides, natural variations in the color...this is skin. It goes through the tanning process and it's done. You'll know if it's aniline simply by getting it wet, If it gets dark as hell that means it's not coated. You'll want to keep this stuff conditioned, but not with that cream crap. This stuff needs oil type conditioners. The really good stuff has less scars, usually from Europe as they have much less barbed wire fenced cattle farms.

Semi Aniline Leather: Much like the stuff mentioned above with one difference, it's got a coating on it. Most of the time it's clear but sometimes it is pigmented. Since it has a top coat that means any and everything called a conditioner won't do it any good when applied to the top, it's sealed. If a conditioner could penetrate it then it would end up stripping it and you'd have aniline.....you can strip top coats, but not that easily.

Top Coated Leather: This is the stuff we most commonly see. Sometimes called furniture grade it is exactly what it sounds like, it's top coated. Yes, it's painted for sake of ease. It goes through a similar tanning process but is then coated and embossed to give it the grain you see, which is why the grain is the first thing to disappear when they start to wear causing them to become smoother in high traffic areas. There are different grades of it like anything else, and different techniques and products used to top coat them which is why what works for the Saabaru seats may very well wreak havoc on another. This, like the semi aniline can not be conditioned as you've been led to believe. I say that because it can be, the other side of it is leather, looks like suede. If you take your seat covers off and condition the underside of the material you can condition it just like you would with aniline.


So what you get with a conditioner is essentially something that changes the sheen, generally makes them slicker, can make them hotter when sat in the sun and worst of all, traps dirt. What about UV protection you say, there must be some benefit there right? Marginal, any benefit in UV protection is far outweighed by the negatives. The coatings used have excellent color fastness and those that aren't as good will certainly not benefit from the UV protection in the conditioner. It will fade, and if it's cheap then nothing will help it. The top coat on our cars is very good in terms of color fastness and durability. The hide is a little thinner than those used by Benz and BMW, but it's very on par with what is used in a Lexus. When you see damage from wear it is generally seat designs like big bolsters and failing foam that cause the color to crack as the material starts to lose suppleness and the pinch rates differ between coating and hide. When you see it start to wrinkle and crack it's normally caused by by the foam losing it's firmness and causing the material to suffer for it. Leather in a car is going to dry out eventually, it's a volatile environment for this type of material. You shouldn't expect it to last forever, just as you don't expect convertible tops to remain like new.

For one time cleaning of heavily soiled leather you can go to a heavier cleaner if the Magic Eraser won't get it. The stuff I use is horrible for this type of textile, but I'm using it once and I work fast. If I run into something that won't clean I have to redye it anyway so I can get brutally aggressive.. The steps taken above would be the same, but instead of Woolite you can use Simple Green, the purple stuff usually found close to Simple Green, Spray Nine etc. etc. The mixture is different, say 20% max soap to water. You'll want to work fast as mentioned before, but it's more important when using heavier grade soaps. Always test a spot you can't see to be sure it won't harm the top coat. Sometimes when you wet these top coats they can deceivingly change color, work fast and dry them off. As they dry they will come back to their normal color. Along with working fast with these you want to have a consistent scrubbing pattern to avoid streaks, sometimes you need to repeat scrub after drying to eliminate this. The Scotch Brite's are safe and won't leave scratching, I use a heavier grade pad than what's on the kitchen sponge so I'm confident it won't harm the leather top coat. Where you want to be careful is on plastics and vinyls with heavy scotch Brite pads as they can scratch, a well worn kitchen grade one is probably best should you need to scrub a door card or dash etc. but you will need something like a Simple Green or similar to strip any sort of treatments off should you decide to strip the interior clean. It generally takes a few tries do get a uniform appearance.

Speaking of, you don't need treatments on your plastics and vinyls either. They are much better made than they used to be in terms of color fastness and durability than in previous years and you just don't see fading and cracking like you used to. The few issues you see now are failures that couldn't be prevented. An example would be Dodge truck dashes in the late 90's, early 00's. Those plastic dashes cracked all over the place. Generally it will fade or crack if it's going to, regardless of the treatments used, could I be wrong here, yes, because I don't have scientific data. But in my years of doing this I have yet to see a heavily "protected" interior look, feel or repair any differently than one never treated after all the product is stripped away. Those instances of known failures like the Dodge truck dashes were never helped by them either. I can say the untreated interiors are easier to clean.

You say you like a sheen, then go for it. It's not my car and everyone is free to do things how they see fit. Personally I like them to look as they did off the line, but some like it shiny and that's ok. It's not wrong to like it, just know it's aesthetics and isn't really necessary to keep your interior safe from anything. One benefit I can say is it will help spruce up some lightly scratched plastics.

Ink stains, generally by the time you get them gone you have already gone through the color on leather. If they don't come off easily, they won't.

Solvent cleaners, bad. Alcohols, thinners. These all can strip color, make plastics whiten (Honda's especially) and soften them to the point of damaging the grain. If you have a sticky substance like adhesives or other non protein stains I suggest trying an citrus based cleaner such as Xenit cleaner from Stoner. Any solvent or citrus cleaner can remove leather top coat, especially if used for a long period in one spot, like trying to get an ink stain out.

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#41 2017-04-01 19:40:49

MaxPower
The wrong way, but faster.
From: NJ
Registered: 2005-06-01
User Number: 132
Posts: 108

Re: Cleaning 9-2x Leather Seats

just wanted to bump this thread, and emphasize the impact magic erasers can have on our interiors. i've slowly been cleaning up my car (possibly to sell, possibly not, as described here: http://saab92x.com/viewtopic.php?id=81434). i figured the dingy seats and door cards would be a huge hassle to spruce up - until i found this thread. still working on the seats (it's a lot of surface area) but here are before/after shots of the driver's side door: http://imgur.com/gallery/zl3sd

this is the result of one magic eraser, a little water, and about ten minutes of rubbing. still needs some work - but for the amount of effort involved, color me impressed! thanks to OP and everyone else who weighed in on the subject.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5spd - Deep Blue Mica - Premium/Cold
Armrest extension/MOMO knob/rear cupholder/trunk tray/Saab door sills

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