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leather treatments

741 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tomca
so... I'm sure this is a religious topic but... I'm curious what you guys like to use on Mercedes leather seats?

The black leather (261) seats in my new cabrio are in very good shape for a 22 year old 250000 mile car, but they are a bit dry, and I'd like to give them some more life, without making them too soft and/or greasy....

I've used Lexol in the past. I actually have a Leatherique kit I bought awhile back and never used, with a liter bottle of both the cleaner/restorer and the preservative.... I think I held back from using it before, because the process seemed so involved.

and... Leather wrapped steering wheels. the wheel on this car shows some signs of having gotten damp and sticky in the past, and is a bit 'lumpy' in places, my wife's E320T is much the same. whats good to use on these that won't make them either too soft or too greasy/slippery ?
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From what I know every leather is different and usually every manufacturer has their own recommendation on products. I learned that the most common mistakes in leather care is rubbing dirt into the leather or applying care products on it before it's been cleaned. I usually use warm water with moisturizing soap or baby shampoo sprayed on cheap microfiber cloths (don't spray the leather!). Tough stains can be treated with a mix of vinegar and oil or alcohol but it will most likely discolor the leather. I like saddle soap to keep old and worn leather from breaking. Once it's clean you can use conditioner. Vacuum clean before doing anything. Use a set of brushes to get dirt out of the grooves (toothbrush, shaving brush).

I never got a steering wheel back to new just with cleaning. Sweat, finger grease, climate and dirt is hard to beat. But if you're a little handy they are not difficult to rewrap. Take the wheel off, cut the zigzag stitch and remove it carefully. It helps to mark the position with a white pencil or a Sharpie. You can try to clean it from here or simply get a new patch and trace it from the old one. It's hard to explain in detail but there are several DIYs out there. Get yourself a set of curved leather needles, the best polyester thread you can find, patience and time and it's doable in one weekend. I got myself a cheap steering wheel from the junk yard to practice. It's amazing how easy it is to fabricate good leather if you take your time.
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