Keep It Shining: Car Leather Care

Lifestyle Sunday 08/May/2016 20:44 PM
By: Times News Service
Keep It Shining: Car Leather Care

If leather is to retain its beauty, it must be cared for. It is better and much easier to protect and maintain your fine leather upholstery than investing efforts and money on restoring it afterwards – prevention is better than repair.
Keeping your leather in good condition requires regular care. Leathers come treated with essential oils and UV protectants for softness and suppleness, which they tend to lose over the time, if not cared for. Much damage to the leathers is also caused by the abrasive quality of built-up dirt. Ignoring your interiors for long may result in dullness in finish and stiffness, which leads to crack formation.
However, it takes surprisingly little effort and investment on a few products to keep it looking like new. All you need is to have protective leather conditioners and a few soft clean rags.
How to do it
Start with removing any dirt and dust from the dashboard and other plastic trim with a damp microfiber cloth. Then, clean the leather parts including seating with a soft cloth, taking care of the stitching.
1. Dashboard protection
Spray dashboard polish onto a clean cloth and wipe it onto the dashboard and other plastic trim to create an even cover. Avoid spraying it directly onto the surface. Use another clean cloth to remove any remaining residue. Finish off with a buff to the whole dashboard for a nice and uniform finish.
2. Apply leather cleaner
Apply copious amounts of leather cleaner onto the seats, wiping it smoothly with clean cotton cloth in circular motion. Allow a wet film formation all over, and let it soak into the leather seats and upholstery gradually. Rub it well afterwards, and remove any excess product with dry, clean cloth.
3. Leather conditioning
Leather conditioner nourishes the leather with oils preventing drying out and cracking. Apply a small amount of conditioner to the whole surface with a soft cloth or foam applicator, and allow it to stay over a short period of time. Buff the conditioner off with a soft cloth afterwards for a most elegant finish

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Summer care
Block the sun: Nothing damages the leather interiors of your car more than heat and UV rays of the summer sun. Hotter the weather, more prone the leathers are to damage. Not only the excess sunlight fades the colour of the leather, it makes it dry and prone to cracking as well.
Strictly keep your car away from direct sunlight whenever possible, especially when parked. Tinted windows are a must have along with using sun blocker on the wind shield as well.
Cracking car windows: Cracking the car windows (leaving the windows open a little bit) is a must during the summertime. The inside temperature of a car may built up greatly during summer time; far more than what it is outside, leading to severe damage and discoloration of the leathers. Leaving the windows a bit open helps mild the inside temperatures and pressure.
Mind it
Test any new products on a discreet area before using them on the exposed surfaces. Make sure it does not damage the colour.
If you have perforated leather, avoid lotion-based cleaners and protectants as it could get clogged in the leather pores, choking them and drying up to white residue.
Avoid vinyl cleaners as well as those with petroleum-based solvents or silicone. They’ll leave your leather looking too shiny. Cheap cleaners also add sticky or slippery feel to the leather.
Repeat the maintenance routine at least once a month. Use leather conditioner more frequently during the hot summer months.