Originally Posted by 5nX37
^Gotta try Leather Masters when I clean my leather seats. Since I have black interior, it hasn't been neccessary. Does anyone know how well they protect from cracking?
The LM Protector doesn't prevent cracking. Cracking is caused by improper hydration, temperature variability and stretching. Leather that is allowed to dry out, shrinks, turns hard and is then prone to cracking. Leather swells when hydrated and shrinks when it dries. When properly hydrated,the leather fibers plump up and the leather feels soft and supple. When dry, the fibers shrink and the leather is hard and unyielding.
Automotive leather is subject to extreme temperatures, easily reaching 160°F on a hot summer day in the sun to as low as -20° or -30°F in the coldest winter in some areas. Leather swells when it is heated and shrinks and hardens when it is cold, making it prone to cracking. The temperature also plays with the hydration levels of the leather.
Leather also undergoes stretching and creasing from body weight applied while sitting on it.
To minimize creasing and cracking, keep your leather properly hydrated. This will reduce the shrinking/swelling cycles. I'm often asked, "Since our leather is coated with a urethane paint to prevent it from absorbing stains and spills, how do I keep it properly hydrated?"
Coated leather absorbs moisture through a process of transpiration. When you wipe down the leather with a wrung out towel, the water film left on the leather surface raises the relative humidity around the leather and this is absorbed by the leather at a molecular level.
The best approach to take in keeping your leather looking good for as long as possible is to weekly vacuum and wipe it down with a wrung out towel. Every few months, do a careful deep cleaning with a leather detergent like LM Leather Cleaner or diluted Woolite (20 parts water to 1 part Woolite). Follow the cleaning with a wrung out towel wipedown to remove all traces of detergent and let dry. When dry, apply a water-based fluorocarbon protector to prevent dye transfer stains and to minimize wear of the topcoat. (I use LM Protection Cream)
Where possible minimize the leathers exposure to extreme temperature variations. Use a sunshade and/or park in a covered garage on the hottest summer days and keep your car in a garage at night during the coldest winter evenings.
Properly cared for, your leather should last 20-30 years, albeit, not without developing some character creases but no cracks should be evident.