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i have never had leather seats before and was wondering what is best to use to clean and protect. i live in vegas so it is hot and the sun is bad. i have the med. stone color. it looks like the dye from my pants stain the seat a little too. i have a friend that uses windex on his chevy but i think the fords deserve a little more respect. ha ha ha.
 

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i use the meguires (sp) or the mothers leather care wipes and they work great and where your in alot of sun they dont leave a film residue that will get sticky in the heat
 

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i use the meguires (sp) or the mothers leather care wipes and they work great and where your in alot of sun they dont leave a film residue that will get sticky in the heat
Ditto.:thumb::thumb:
 

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The very best thing you can use is saddle soap, I have found a liquid kind at Wal Mart in the animal feed section (called saddle soap, clear bottle with tan liquid). This stuff dries in seconds so you can wipe it off and it keeps your leather soft. If you look at the Ford brand and look up the MSDS sheets on it you will see it is made out of the same ingredients as saddle soap.
I like the liquid better than the paste for its ease of use.
 

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i never even thought to use saddle soap cause we use cooking oil with no salt on our saddles but im sure that saddle soap would work awesome
 

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Meguires here
 

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+1 meguirs i use it on everything in the cab except the windows it works awesome
 

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do the research,
use to be "Hyde-Food" by Connoly Bros England their Out of business now all thats left is
"Lexol". Cleaner and Conditioner. Orange and Brown container
anything else will harm your leather. Soap, Windex, Armor, silicone, sweat you name it... it will harm it...
20+ years Expert Upholster.
 

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so you are saying that saddle soap that is made to use on leather will harm the seats???
 

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Proper leather care.

i have never had leather seats before and was wondering what is best to use to clean and protect. i live in vegas so it is hot and the sun is bad. i have the med. stone color. it looks like the dye from my pants stain the seat a little too. i have a friend that uses windex on his chevy but i think the fords deserve a little more respect. ha ha ha.
I found this article on the net. good and accurate reading for "Automotive Leather" the only thing I would add to it would be the use of "Hyde Food"
as acceptable if you can find it. Apparantly its being sold under another MFG.
but still using the name "Hyde-Food"
Hope this clears up any misconceptions about leather care. :)

Proper Leather Conditioning
Q. What is leather conditioning?
A. Conditioning replaces the natural tanning oils evaporating out of the hide. The smell of leather comes from these oils. If not replaced, leather will eventually dry out, become brittle and crack. Think of these tanning oils as microscopic, lubricating oils. If you look at leather under a microscope, the fibers look like a pile of rope that's all tangled up. Tanning oils coat these fibers allowing them to bend, move and slip across one another. These oils keep the leather soft and supple. Without lubrication, leather fibers will become stiff and brittle. When repeatedly flexed, stiff, dry fibers will simply break and the leather will develop cracks.

Q. That sounds simple enough. So what makes a good tanning oil or lubricant for conditioning leather?
A. All cow hides are naturally oily. Unfortunately, these natural oils are stripped away in the tanning process (Tanning is the process that renders the hide invulnerable to decay.) and some equivalent oils must be re-introduced after tanning. This last tanning step, the replacement of oils, is called "fatliquoring." Over the centuries, a number of oils have been found that have a natural affinity for leather fibers. Every leather tanner has his own, unique, blend of tanning oils. These formulas are closely held secrets, passed down through the generations. This is one reason why one company's leather can have a totally different feel, fragrance, texture and softness from another company's product. Tanning oils can contain a variety of oils including Neatsfoot oil, Sperm Whale Oil, pressed lard and Lanolin.

Q. I've heard the term Neatsfoot oil. What is it? Where does it come from?
A. Neat is an archaic name for hooved animals (i.e. cows, pigs, sheep). Neatsfoot oil is oil rendered from the feet of cattle or hooved animals. In the slaughterhouse, the feet would be cut off the animal, split, put into a large vat and boiled. The oils that rose to the top would be skimmed off and sold as "Neatsfoot Oil." Today, thanks to the US military, there is no actual Neatsfoot oil in Neatsfoot Oil! Let me explain. Back in the 1930's the US Army wrote a Military Specification (Mil Spec) that defined the properties of Neatsfoot Oil. Oil merchants bidding for government contracts quickly discovered other, less expensive, oils would meet this Mil Spec. Today, Neatsfoot Oil is any oil, regardless of where it comes from, that meets this US Government Mil Spec. Neatsfoot Oil now is mostly derived from pigs. Lard is pressed and the resulting liquid, which can be supplemented with mineral oil and/or reclaimed motor oil, is sold as "Neatsfoot Oil". Neatsfoot oil is widely used in the equestrian industry (saddles and tack) but has no advantage in conditioning the finished leathers found in automobiles.

Q. You make both Lexol Leather Conditioner and Lexol NF Neatsfoot Oil. Which should I use on my car's leather seating?
A. It comes down to personal preference. Both products arrive at the same end result using a different path. The advantage of Lexol NF Neatsfoot Oil is in the equestrian market on, say a blond, unfinished, natural saddle. Lexol Leather Conditioner over time, will darken unfinished leathers about half a shade. NF Neatsfoot Oil will maintain the natural color of unfinished leathers indefinitely. The leathers used in the automotive industry are "finished". There is no advantage or disadvantage of one product over the other. The conditioning oil in NF Neatsfoot Oil is a highly modified oil derived from lard. The conditioning oil in Lexol Conditioner is a synthetic Sperm Whale Oil. Both are excellent conditioners. Since we started in the equestrian market first, we have many "old timers" that will only use NF Neatsfoot Oil. Younger consumers that grew up with the Lexol brand tend to purchase Lexol Conditioner. Again, both products produce the same end result. There is no advantage or disadvantage of either product in the automotive leather market.

Q. I noticed dozens of drums of Lanolin in your raw materials area. I assume Lexol uses Lanolin as a conditioning oil?
A. Lanolin is used for conditioning leather. Ironically, Summit Industries is the third or fourth largest user of Lanolin in the United States yet, despite of our considerable research, we do not use a drop of Lanolin in Lexol products! Our use of Lanolin is reserved exclusively for our skin care ointments. Lanolin has two problems. First, it's very greasy. (Lanolin is produced by the sweat glands of sheep.) Lanolin is the greasy oil that covers the sheep's fleece. Secondly, it loves to migrate. There's no way to keep it in the hide. It loves to come to the surface where it is easily transferred to any material (clothing) it comes in contact with. The complaint that most leather conditioners are "greasy" is typically attributable to the use of Lanolin.

Q. I've seen other manufacturers use banana oil, aloe and collagen as conditioning oils or additives. Are these valid conditioning oils or beneficial in a leather conditioner?
A. (Laugh) Not to my knowledge! Banana oil is commonly used as a fragrance or fragrance enhancement. It will mask chemical or foul odors and add a "sweet" aroma. Banana Oil has no value as a conditioning oil. Collagen is used for human skin reconstruction. I know of no valid reason to put it into a leather conditioner. It is not a conditioning oil. Likewise, Aloe has no value as a conditioning oil. I have never, ever seen or heard of any study that gives any valid reason for putting Aloe in a leather conditioner.

Q. I've seen "Mink Oil" used in leather conditioners. Is Mink Oil a valid conditioning oil?
A. Yes it is. We do not use it in Lexol products but it is a valid conditioning oil. "Mink Oil" is a euphemistic name for liquefied pig fat and silicone. Like Lanolin, it's very greasy and typically unsuitable for leather upholstery. Mink oil is most often used on heavy boots or other hard-working leathers.

Q. Now I'm confused. If all of these conditioning oils are so bad, greasy, what do you use in Lexol Leather Conditioner?
A. The conditioning oils we're talking about, Neatsfoot Oil, Lanolin, Mink Oil, pressed lard oils, are not "bad" conditioning oils. If fact, they are very good conditioning oils. They just have some undesirable characteristics. They are all greasy and they like to move around. In the 1980's, largely from our research in skin care ointments, we discovered a way to modify some of these conditioning oils. We found a way to make the large droplets of raw oils into a microscopically fine emulsion that can be readily absorbed into the leather fibers. We also found a way to keep these oils in place, to greatly reduce migration. This keeps the internal fibers lubricated longer and prevents seepage into adjacent materials like clothing. The oils used in Lexol Conditioner, a closely held secret, make for a very user friendly conditioner that is excellent for leather upholstery.

Q. How is Lexol Leather Conditioner different from other leather conditioners?
A. First, it contains no petroleum solvents or silicones. It is an aqueous emulsion that quickly penetrates into the hide where it is absorbed and retained by the leather's fibers. We refer to the main ingredient in Lexol Leather Conditioner as a synthetic Sperm Whale Oil. This oil provides long lasting lubrication (within the industry, we call this lubrication nourishment) without migration or surface seepage. Unlike most organic conditioning oils, Lexol Leather Conditioner is non-flammable, odorless, non-toxic and non-sensitizing to the skin. It does not impart a greasy or tacky feel to the surface of the leather (unless overused). While there are many fine leather conditioners in the marketplace, we know of no other manufacturer in the world that has been able to match our technology in controlling greasiness or oil migration.

Q. How soon should I start conditioning the leather in a new car?
A. The leather in a new car is fully conditioned. There is no reason to use a conditioner for at least 60 to 90 days. After that, application is somewhat climate dependent. Monthly leather conditioning of cars in Florida, Texas and Arizona, especially during the summer months, would not be out of line. In a northern climate or during winter months the interval between conditioning could be extended 90 to 120 days.

Q. What is the proper procedure for applying a leather conditioner?
A. Clean the leather first to remove surface dirt. Lightly dampen a cotton or Microfiber cloth or applicator pad with water so that it doesn't absorb too much conditioner. Spray the applicator cloth or pad with conditioner and wipe it into the leather. A little conditioner goes a long way. Multiple light applications are better than one heavy application. Wipe the entire leather interior of your car and then allow 20 to 30 minutes for the oils to be absorbed. After this time, lightly buff the leather with a dry cotton or Microfiber cloth to remove any excess conditioner.

Lexol Leather Conditioner maintains the strength, beauty and utility of leather while protecting against the destructive effects of time and the environment. It also brings new life and resiliency to old or neglected leather that has become cracked or hardened.
Lexol Leather Conditioner leaves a soft, satin finish without a greasy, surface residue. For the very best in leather conditioning, insist on Lexol.




Proper leather cleaning.
A continuation of our interview with Dr. Don Jenkins and Phil Meyers from Summit Industries.

Q. How should you clean leather?
A. First let me tell you what not to do. Never, ever use a multi-purpose, high pH, or highly alkaline cleaner on leather. Your better, aniline dyed leathers, the kind used by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Lexus, should be cleaned with a product in the pH 5 to 5.5 range. That's actually a mildly acidic solution. Most multi-purpose cleaners and spot removers have a pH of 12 to 13. If you spray a multi-purpose, high pH cleaner on leather and buff with a dry cloth, the cloth will often turn brown. The consumer will believe it's dirt coming out of the hide. It's not dirt, it's tanning agents. You are actually detanning the hide! Remember, whatever chemical solution you put on leather remains in it.

Secondly, avoid cleaning or conditioning leather that is hot from being in the sun. Do not spray a cleaner directly on the leather. Use an applicator sponge or cloth to apply the cleaning solution. Spraying a cleaner on hot leather can cause spotting and discolorations.

Q. What is the proper procedure for cleaning leather?
A. Clean one manageable section at a time. For example, with bucket seats, clean the seat back and then move on to the seat bottom.

Wet a washcloth or Microfiber cloth with water, leaving it as damp as you would if you were going to wash your face. Spray the cleaner on the cloth and begin to wash the leather as if your were bathing. Don't forget the stitch lines. Dirt left in the stitch lines can cut through upholstery thread over time but proper cleaning will extend thread life. Especially soiled areas can be agitated using an upholstery or soft leather scrub brush.

After bathing each section, rinse the washcloth to clear it of dirt, wring it out, wipe off any excess cleaner then towel dry with a clean, dry cotton or Microfiber cloth.

Q. What about saddle soap?
A. In the late 1800's the final tanning of leather required the talents of a "currier". This craftsman took the tanned but stiff hide and worked oils into it until the desired flexibility was obtained. This process is called fatliquoring. The fatliquor of choice was an emulsion of oil in soap. This "saddle soap" was not used as a cleaner. It was a softening conditioner.

In fact, saddle soap is a very poor cleaner. It must first dissolve its own oils, limiting its capacity to dissolve dirt and oils in the leather. Saddle soap is also inherently alkaline but alkalinity is damaging to leather. Another problem arises during application. Most saddle soaps instruct the user to work the lather into the leather. Since loosened dirt is suspended in the lather, it is pushed back into the leather's pores.

Saddle soaps have long been replaced in tanneries by modern emulsions which penetrate, soften and condition with greater ease and stability. The popular myth of saddle soap as a cleaner however persists as modern folklore.

Lexol-pH Leather Cleaner is the safer alternative to harsh, alkaline products like saddle soap. Special cleaning agents have been blended to clean leather thoroughly without the damaging effects of alkalinity.

Lexol-pH is balanced to match the pH of leather. This preserves the leather's strength, durability and appearance.

It doesn’t have any chemical odor. If anything, Lexol-pH enhances the original leather smell.
 

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Wow Sam! That about covers everything I have ever heard about automotive leather cleaning.

I have used Lexol for the last 10 years and never been disappointed. It keeps all my leathers in top condition.
 

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Wow Sam! That about covers everything I have ever heard about automotive leather cleaning.

I have used Lexol for the last 10 years and never been disappointed. It keeps all my leathers in top condition.
Great. Since using the proper products Im going to bet you have nothing but GOOD things to say about leather!? :) But you gotta feel sorry for the people
that spray Armor all on their new seats eh? after 20+ years Ive explained this to countless Corvette owners. to still have them arrive at my shop with
rotten leather in 3 years. or less... but glad to hear you got it straight!!!! :)
 

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well that is all good to know i knew the automotive leather is different but i just kinda figured that it would kinda all be the same and i understand you pain about armor all that stuff should just be banned from all car care if you ask me i just absolutly hate it
 

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lexol is available at most any automotive parts retailers in the cleaning supplies section.
walmart pepboys autozone etc they all have it.

Sam, what do you think about keeping King Ranch leather up? We all know its a different higher grade leather than found in the Lariats so whats to be done differently?
I ve used only lexol on my other trucks in the past but am wondering since Ive read a few things here and there that recommend otherwise for this kind of leather.
Thanks
 

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lexol is available at most any automotive parts retailers in the cleaning supplies section.
walmart pepboys autozone etc they all have it.

Sam, what do you think about keeping King Ranch leather up? We all know its a different higher grade leather than found in the Lariats so whats to be done differently?
I ve used only lexol on my other trucks in the past but am wondering since Ive read a few things here and there that recommend otherwise for this kind of leather.
Thanks
I Know the King ranch has a different finish on the leather but its still the same in that once the leather is ready for assembly. it's got everything it needs in the way of oils. So, I would be inclined to continue to use the Lexol. however I would use the Lexol NF its designed for lighter (in color)/Natural finish leathers.
Lexol NF (neatsfoot) comes in a beige/tan bottle as opposed to a brown bottle.
Hope this helps.
:)
 

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I've used Zymol leather conditioner on my last two vehicles with great luck. I've never really been a fan of the wipes but in all fairness, I've never tried Meguiars (sp) version.
 

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I also have a King Ranch and a little afraid to treat the way I did with my Lariat. Where can you get the Lexol NF at? I have used the Lexol products for years and love it. I wasn't sure if I could use the conditioner on it w/o darkening the leather....


I Know the King ranch has a different finish on the leather but its still the same in that once the leather is ready for assembly. it's got everything it needs in the way of oils. So, I would be inclined to continue to use the Lexol. however I would use the Lexol NF its designed for lighter (in color)/Natural finish leathers.
Lexol NF (neatsfoot) comes in a beige/tan bottle as opposed to a brown bottle.
Hope this helps.
:)
 
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