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treating leather dashboards...

 
Old 02-11-2013, 01:26 PM
  #1  
yoda888
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Default treating leather dashboards...

Folks, those of you with full leather interiors (40th AE, etc), how are you treating/conditioning your dashboards?

I've used Leatherique in the past on my other cars on the seats. But in the case of the dashboard are there any gotchas I need to be aware of?

For the "full leather" interiors, what else is leather?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:34 PM
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wross996tt
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The leather Porsche uses on the dash contains almost no moisture - it is specifically dried so there will be less "movement" as it goes through the big temperature changes that can occur on the dash. Introducing moisture back into the leather by using a conditioner will cause the leather to "move" with temperature changes and possibly break loose from the surface it is glued to. Here's what Porsche has to say about the leather used on the dash...

"All leather is not the same. We work with classic upholstery leather, but we also work with low-shrinkage leather. The instrument paneling, for example, can get extremely hot in summer. If the material starting tightening, what would that look like after a while? So we're talking about leather whose residual moisture has been largly removed, which means that it won't be able to shrink later." (Christophorus, No. 276 January 1999)

And link:

[email protected]
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:44 PM
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As a pro detailer, here is my take on leather. Modern leather, and vinyls, in today's cars are coated. In essence, there is a clear coat on the hide that protects it. Think of the paint on your car. Same deal, clear coat protecting the color coat.

So, now that we know it is coated, we know that nothing is supposed to penetrate the coating. The fancy and expensive leather systems are typically a creme type of product. They simply will not penetrate past the clear coat and will have a neglible effect. Most times, the product will actually hold onto to dirt, dust and body oils. You are creating a bigger problem sometimes.

But, it does not hurt to use a UV protectant, especially on the dash. Here is what I recommend:
First, keep the leather vacuumed. Dirt particles will get rubbed into the coating on the leather and eventually abrade it away. Keeping a clean interior is a must.

Second, you want a product that will protect but also not hold onto dust and dirt. I highly recommend a product called 303 Aerospace. You can pick it up at any marine supplier. It is awesome on leather and vinyl. It has very high UV numbers and you can make it as shiny or natural looking as you want. I prefer a satin look over high gloss. After using 303, you will be amazed at much less dusty your interior gets.

If you have uncoated leather, then yes, you need to use a higher end gel or creme based system.

Just my .02 based on 20+ years of high end and luxury detailing. My caveat is always, use what works for you and gives you the results you are happy with. It is always nice to have other options in the detaiilng tool box.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:47 PM
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Mark I
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You'll get about as many opinions as if you'd asked which oil is best. I use 303 Protectant on the interior surfaces, including the dash, primarily for the UV protection. I like the appearance, too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:57 PM
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Yes, Aero 303 is what I use also.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:27 PM
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alpine003
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Originally Posted by wross996tt View Post
Yes, Aero 303 is what I use also.
+996. Just make sure you spray it on the towel and not on the dash. It can be a pain getting stuff off in the crevices of your windshield.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:28 PM
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I'm a 303 guy as well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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I sense a pattern here! Great product.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:44 PM
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yoda888
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Thanks for the info everyone. I seriously thought about treating my dashboard, etc but also noticed no one ever mentioned that on the forums. So now I just need to do the seats!

As for the 303, I have that as well. Used it on my original E30M3.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:04 PM
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Bear in mind also that you really can't affect the suppleness of coated leather so just treat for uv and drive the **** out of it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:09 PM
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aviography
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Originally Posted by Gator996 View Post
As a pro detailer, here is my take on leather. Modern leather, and vinyls, in today's cars are coated. In essence, there is a clear coat on the hide that protects it. Think of the paint on your car. Same deal, clear coat protecting the color coat.

So, now that we know it is coated, we know that nothing is supposed to penetrate the coating. The fancy and expensive leather systems are typically a creme type of product. They simply will not penetrate past the clear coat and will have a neglible effect. Most times, the product will actually hold onto to dirt, dust and body oils. You are creating a bigger problem sometimes.

<snip>

Just my .02 based on 20+ years of high end and luxury detailing. My caveat is always, use what works for you and gives you the results you are happy with. It is always nice to have other options in the detaiilng tool box.
Exactly what I have been suspecting for some time, so why hasn't any of the automotive leather care product manufacturers come out and state that their leather care product won't do anything good for 90+ percent of the automotive leather surfaces out there?!

Oh right, profit.


Last edited by aviography; 02-12-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:16 PM
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You got it! Mad money to be made in the reconditioning market.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:08 PM
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Best product I have used for coated leather. I keep my seats pretty clean and was shocked at how much film came off onto the cloth the first time I used it. No shiny finish just matte new looking again.

http://www.autogeek.net/1z-einszett-leather-care.html

I've also been using Griot's Interior Cleaner which is available over the counter now at Advanced Auto. It works well on carpeting as well as the hard surfaces.
I love not having to pay shipping or needing to put together a big order to get free shipping.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:41 AM
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303 is also great on rubber trim, 996 spoiler bellows, '80s rear spoiler rubber edges and as a tire sidewall dressing. Love the stuff. Plus, a little goes a long way.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:25 AM
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Like said above, new automotive leather has a clear coat.

I generally use a damp microfiber towel is usually good. On seats/steering wheel I use a 1:50 mixture of woolite and water: spray on towel, wipe/scrub leather; then use a clean, wet microfiber towel to go over the treated area; finally go over with a dry towel.

For actual cleaning of the interior, I call up AutoLavish.
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