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View Full Version : What's the best leather cleaner?


Kswan23
08-01-2012, 07:54 PM
I just bought a 530 and the previous owner took excellent care of the car. I want to do all I can to keep this car beautiful. What do you guys recommend to clean the vinyl and leather interior?

bimmerfan52
08-01-2012, 10:26 PM
I just bought a 530 and the previous owner took excellent care of the car. I want to do all I can to keep this car beautiful. What do you guys recommend to clean the vinyl and leather interior?

Your leather is a pigmented leather with a vinyl coating, common to 95% of all leather interiors in the auto industry.

You are really looking to clean and protect the vinyl coating, as nothing can be added to "condition" the actual leather. Keeping the leather vacuumed regularly prevents dirt and grit from damaging the vinyl coating.

Most leather cleaners sold today are designed to safely clean dirt from the vinyl coating. Use the search function on this forum to see what other people are using. After vacuuming and cleaning a good vinyl protector should be used to prevent UV damage.

My personal favorite is 303 Aerospace Protectant, but there are many good ones on the market.

Alpine300ZHP
08-02-2012, 08:19 AM
My recommendation is Pinnacle Vinyl/Leather cleaner. I have used it for over a decade on BMW leather seats and it is IMHO one of the best products you can buy. I love how it works on plastic so I can use it on the dash as well as seats and it cleans everything and buffs off to a clean matte apperance. Get it from autogeek or other site that sells Pinnacle products. I use only Pinnacle products on my cars and have had great luck.

ECSTuning
08-02-2012, 09:43 AM
BMW acutely has their own leather care products. The "leather lotion" is designed to be used on just about everything except alcantara and cloth. I have it avaible HERE

http://c1552172.r72.cf0.rackcdn.com/67845_x600.jpg (http://www.ecstuning.com/ES197288/?salesrep=JRiggsbee&utm_source=bimmerfest&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=JRiggsbee&utm_campaign=postreply)

TLO03
08-02-2012, 07:38 PM
I use the following all do well. Z-9 ,Z-10. http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Zaino


http://www.leatherique.com/

I consider leatherique the best, zanio is a very close 2nd. I have cream interior ....

etnav382
08-02-2012, 08:31 PM
Leatherique is good but a waste of money (this is after I got 64oz special last year). You should read this http://forums.5series.net/topic/124358-leather-care/.Its Bimmerfan's more detailed explanation of pigmented leather. What he described about the leather I also noticed.

I used Lexol about a month or so ago and it left the car looking extremely clean but my recommendation, and what I'm going to try in the next week or so, is to try Glipton. It supposedly brings back that new leather smell to the car.

bimmerfan52
08-02-2012, 09:04 PM
I use the following all do well. Z-9 ,Z-10. http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Zaino


http://www.leatherique.com/

I consider leatherique the best, zanio is a very close 2nd. I have cream interior ....

Leatherique is an outstanding product for aniline and semi-aniline leather. These leathers can be identified by placing a drop of water on the leather surface it will be absorbed and leave a dark spot until it drys. These leathers are expensive because the dye is semi-transparent, requiring very clean, unmarked skins to be used. Leatherique adds moisture to aniline leather and prevents it from cracking.

Nearly all recent BMW leather is pigmented vinyl coated leather. Less expensive flawed skins are used, painted a solid color and sealed with a vinyl coating. During the sealing process heat is applied and a faux grain is embossed into the leather. Applying Leatherique to pigmented leather will do nothing but leave a greasy residue on the vinyl coating. No penetration of Leatherique will take place.

Nothing needs to be done to pigmented leather other than keep it vacuumed and wiped down with a towel damp with water. If heavy soil or food spills are present use a leather cleaner (it is really a vinyl cleaner) and apply a vinyl protectant to ward off UV damage.

I miss applying Leatherique to aniline leather like I used to do in my old Jaguar as the leather would get as soft as a baby's bottom. But pigmented leather is much more affordable and much easier to care for.

Ggramirez
08-02-2012, 09:05 PM
Let me know how glipton works for you. I'm considering buying 303 aerospace, but I'm curious is better for regular cleaning. I initially used armol all leather wipes but I learned that every inch must be cleansed in order to avoid leaving streaks. I am looking for a simple day to day cleaner for the occasional marks that occur.

HPIA4v2
08-03-2012, 06:45 AM
Let me know how glipton works for you. I'm considering buying 303 aerospace, but I'm curious is better for regular cleaning. I initially used armol all leather wipes but I learned that every inch must be cleansed in order to avoid leaving streaks. I am looking for a simple day to day cleaner for the occasional marks that occur.
Wait are you talking about 303 protectant as leather cleaner. I don't even use 303 on interior plastic (only exterior) after I came across Plexus. 303 actually turn tires brown, their advertisment seems like calling pot&pans bottom black when they are a kettle.

TLO03
08-03-2012, 06:50 AM
Well like all these "whats the best detailing product threads" it comes down to what works best for you. i've tried lexol and hate it. i would never put 303 on my seats because it wasnt intended for it. i do use it for other parts in the car works great..

I use pristine clean because its the only product i used with a soft bush that noticeably cleaned my seats zaino as well. i used the leatherique on my 96 acura tl seats that had never been treated they came out mint..

To the Op go to one of the detail sites and read reviews get an idea of what might work for you.. but there will always be an internet engieneer telling you why you should use this or that.

BMW535xia
08-03-2012, 07:46 AM
and switching it up some...how about some posts for cleaners that can be had with good results from the local autozone, advance auto, pepboys (ick) and any others? i've used meguiars interior detailer recently after a leather cleaner (can't recall name since i used the last bit of it).

etnav382
08-03-2012, 08:28 AM
Lexol can be bought at O'Reillys, if you have one near you that is.

Kswan23
08-03-2012, 05:52 PM
I went to the AutoZone up the street and they had the lexol. I bought it but was still reluctant to use it on my seats. I did a last google search on lexol and BMW leather and found several people saying it dried out their leather after about a week. I did not treat my seats with this and will probably return it tomorrow.

Mike Swing
08-04-2012, 12:39 PM
I use Griots. You can get it at Advance Auto Parts now. Goes on easy, not greasy, smells good, etc.

jamie75
08-04-2012, 07:35 PM
i use griots. You can get it at advance auto parts now. Goes on easy, not greasy, smells good, etc.

+1

dolfan13
08-06-2012, 02:53 AM
1Z einszett one step leather care.I know it's painted leather with a clear coat but this stuff soaked in and has a mint fresh smell.

Kswan23
08-06-2012, 08:41 AM
I read alot of blogs and decided to try the Zanio line (z-9 and z10). They also had some detailing products I wanted to try out (z-6 and z-8). I'll let you guys know the outcome and will post some new pics.

bimmerfan52
08-06-2012, 08:45 AM
1Z einszett one step leather care.I know it's painted leather with a clear coat but this stuff soaked in and has a mint fresh smell.

You've got it right!

By reading Einszett's description of the product (below) you know it is made to treat the urethane coating on the leather, which is exactly what you want to do. Einszett is an acknowledged expert in the care of rubber seals (Gummi Pflege) so I would expect nothing less from their leather care.

1Z Einszett Leather Care (Lederpflege) is a special leather conditioning cream formulated using natural carnauba wax, silicone waxes and polymer care components to ensure gentle care of leather, interior car fittings, leather luggage and all types of finished (painted) leather.

UltimateDriving
08-06-2012, 09:13 AM
What a coincidence, i was thinking of getting a leather cleaner recently but didn't know which one to choose.
I'll visit a few auto stores and check out what they have available around here and then i'll come back for some recommendations.

Rebound X3
08-06-2012, 04:39 PM
I read alot of blogs and decided to try the Zanio line (z-9 and z10). They also had some detailing products I wanted to try out (z-6 and z-8). I'll let you guys know the outcome and will post some new pics.

You may want to check this out (lazaino.com/ApplyZaino.htm) when you get ready to use it. :)

NoQuarter
08-06-2012, 08:47 PM
Bimmerfan that is some good knowledge you hit me with on Leather. Explains a lot about what I have seen and tried to understand on caring for the seats. :thumbup:

bimmerfan52
08-06-2012, 09:19 PM
Bimmerfan that is some good knowledge you hit me with on Leather. Explains a lot about what I have seen and tried to understand on caring for the seats. :thumbup:

Glad to help a fellow 5er! :)

legend700
08-07-2012, 07:45 AM
1Z einszett one step leather care.I know it's painted leather with a clear coat but this stuff soaked in and has a mint fresh smell.

Thanks, I just ordered a bottle.
Have been using their Gummi Plege for some time and like it a lot. Super easy to apply.