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Old 01-07-15, 04:32 PM
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Some Tips on Deep Cleaning Old Leather

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Old 06-30-02, 08:27 PM   #1
Horta
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Lightbulb Some Tips on Deep Cleaning Old Leather

Hey CL Members I am editing this Old post because this pertains to my old 1991 LS400. I have sence wrecked this car and bought my 1998 LS400. This trick does an amazing job but I would would only reccomend it for older leather. Be very very careful on say a 98 and newer.

Hey guys for once some advice from me instead of all my questions.

You will not believe this but I have now proven the technique on my third car.

How to do a Deep cleaning on your old or really dirty leather with Soft Scrub!

Yes I said Soft Scrub. (The Lemon sent and grease cutting type)

I use to have a Chrysler Sebring Convertible and was ready to do a full detail of the interior when my neighbor who is a car dealer popped over. I was about to clean my leather with Eagle one products (as I always did). He asked me to stop and asked if I trusted him and was open to a suggestion. My car had tan leather and was always getting really dusty and dirty from having the top down. He said the Leather cleaner wont really get the deep dirt out and told me to get some soft scrub from my wife! I told him he was on drugs! He said trust me.

Anyways he worked on my drivers seat and holy smokes the leather was totally rejuvenated. He said dealers use this trick all the time to really clean old dirty cars and make them look like new. Well I ended up doing all my leather and it Looked amazing. The I followed it up with my regular leather cleaner to get up any left over soft scrub and then conditioner as usual.

I was scared of some kind of long term effect on the leather but a year later with top down driving no ill effects. The leather looked and felt like new untill last Sunday when I finnaly sold the car with 98k on it.

Ok so the second car I did this to was my wife's RX300. We were driving back home during Christmas when some how a Windex bottle has a small leak and soaked an wrapped present. When I got home my wife's leather was stained red. The Leather cleaner did nothing to the red stain. Once again I pulled out the soft scrub and sure enough the stain was gone. I must admit either the texture of that little piece of leather was different from the rest or the soft scrub change the texture some, but the god awful red stain was completely gone. If you look at the car now 6 moths later you could never tell where I used the soft scrub. The texture went back to normal with time.

Ok so finally the reason I'm writing and how it pertains to a LS400. I just bought my 1991 LS400 about 5 weeks ago and finally last Friday I got a chance to detail it. All this time I thought my leather had been color died because if felt hard to the touch and had many dirty wrinkles. The leather look good but felt kind of hard and tuff. The driver seat was of course the worst with many lines which looked like cracks and just lot of imbedded dirt. After doing the entire leather with soft scrub my leather was totally rejuvenated and supple again. The leather was never died it just had 11 years of dirt mixed in with who knows what kind of cleaners and conditioners built up on it. Some parts I kept going over until all the so called crack totally disappeared and was just clean leather with some texture line but no cracks or dark lines. I got so excited and proceeded to use my leather cleaner (Lexus Brand now) when I was done. Finally after cleaning all the leather I really soaked (within reason) the leather with mostiouirser (Lexus Brand) to soak in.

I figured I would be wiping the excess mostiouirser a couple of hours later but instead the old leather really soaked it up. Anyways now two days later my leather NO Sh_T feels as soft and looks as beautifully as my wife 99 RX300. Of course her leather is a different texture and color but come on it no longer looks like 11 year old leather but an honest soft beautiful supple leather. I can not waith to drive my friends to luch tomarrow they will not beleive the change.

Well anyways the technique if very simple put some small drops or a very small line (1 inch) of soft scrub on a small part of your leather. Now using a nylon bristled brush that has been just dipped in clean water, make some gently swirls over the leather. You do not want it soaked by any means just moist to slightly wet and foamy. Work on a very small area at a time and wipe it off as you go with a clean white towel. I say white for two reason one so you can see how much dirt you get up and second for some crazy reason if your towel decides to bleed color it does not get on your leather. As you go along keep putting small abount of soft srcub at a time and keep wetting you brush in clean water. You will see that wight towel get dirty as you go along.

My car now does not have one sigle stain or mark in the entire car. The single ony sign of cracking or ageing is on the driver seat. Before it looked as if I had some very small cracks in other areas and a lot of smudges and dirt. Now all are gone and the feel of the leather is like a soft leather couch.

Sorry for the VERY long post but thought all the info would be helpful.

I'm sure I may get some of you saying that I'm crazy and that I'm damaging my leather. Well I can say is that I have done it on three different cars all different ages and makes and each time it work with NO side effects and always gave me amazing results. Just work a small area at a time and wipe of with a dry towel as you go to see your progress.

PS I also had some minor grease and dirt stains on my tan carpet and floor mats. Well I use a product called Tuff Stuff in a big spray can with a Yellow top. All, I mean every sinlge smuged stain or mark is gone from all of my fabric (even the speaker grills when peole shoes tend to rub). Spray it on, let it soak for 30sec and again lightly srub with a nylone brush.

I have no idea what material our cars are made of but I have a new respect for Lexus. The quality of our interiors is so good it amazing. There is no reason to have a dirty LS400 if you try.

Good Luck
Jerry

Last edited by Horta; 08-24-03 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 06-30-02, 09:24 PM   #2
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Wow, very interesting. I just cleaned/conditioned the leather interior of my '91 LS with the Lexus brand cleaner/conditioner a couple days ago, and it didn't seem to do anything.
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Old 06-30-02, 09:24 PM   #3
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Thx a lot for all the useful info. I would do that but I will be getting the new seat leather shortly so no cleaning for me

The carpet is my main problem. From all the work I did in a car the carpet is REALLY dirty. I am even thinking of adding another catpet layer to make everything looks good.
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Old 06-30-02, 11:20 PM   #4
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Sounds interesting...do you think it will work okay with synthetic leather (for my other car)? What kind of leather is in the LS400?
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Old 07-01-02, 12:31 AM   #5
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for those of you wondering:

http://www.clorox.com/products/ssgrp.html



Jerry, coud you please post pics?

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Old 07-01-02, 03:48 AM   #6
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Hey All

The regulars cleaner do not always get up the deep stuff. I was always scrared I was just sealing it it. Also I only reccomend doing this once a years. The you should be fine with all the regular products. This is only to get up the real stubbon dirt.

I would not do this on a new car. On my wife RX300 I only have done it the one spot where it was needed. Sence then I have only used the regual Lexus Leather products.

Well as far as synthetics I really have no clue, sorry.

As far as pics go yeah I have a dig camera but sence I did not take any before pics all your going to see is clean leather. Also today is a rainy day. I will see what I can do over the next couple of days.

For the carpets please try the Tuff Stuff. I have used it for years and always have been blown away by how it cleans.

If for some reason you have gum stuck some were use a product called Goo-Gone. It will get 98% of the gum right up with no mark left over.

Have a great day all
Jerry
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Old 07-01-02, 04:08 AM   #7
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Ok it was not raining yet.
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Old 07-01-02, 04:10 AM   #8
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Back Seat with my 11 week old Daughters Infant seat. She is why I bought this car.
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Old 07-01-02, 04:12 AM   #9
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Front Seat. This also shows ho I got the seat stuffed. Much more comfortable than before. I am told the cusion will settle down some with time.
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Old 07-01-02, 02:47 PM   #10
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Nice job!!
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Old 07-01-02, 02:56 PM   #11
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wow is that how the bottom part of our seats suppose to look?? mines is sunk in low i guess i need them stuffed, the leather is perfect...i might try this on my drivers side seeing this side gets the most abuse.
thanks
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Old 07-01-02, 05:00 PM   #12
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Hey all

I ran out of time this morning but here is the drivers seat. This was the worst. It still has a small cracked circle patch about 3 inched in diamiter. But hey its original 11 year old leather.
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Old 07-01-02, 11:42 PM   #13
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Horta,

i spend my whole afternoon cleaning my leather according to your tips. my interior came out spectacular. i had tried so many products but none of them really has the ability to cut through stubborn dirt. this is the best. i mean it. i even once tried to use clorox + soap + water and rub it with the green thing at the sink (cant think of the word) anyways, i didnt do that to my Lexus. it was my old car. Dont try, it ruined the hell out of my leather .. lol

just wanted to say THANX!! and i hope you will post some more tips on cleaning cars.
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Old 07-02-02, 01:09 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tips horta For a 91 it looks almost brand new!
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Old 07-02-02, 11:06 AM   #15
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Horta, Thanks for the well-documented tip. I've got a lipstick stain on the seat bottom portion on the driver's side that I was never able to remove.
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