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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2011, 10:24 PM
aray aray is offline
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Dakota Leather Care

Ok - I searched, but I can't seem to triangulate the answer I'm looking for, and I've seen some conflicting information....so here goes, 2 part question:

1) Is this leather coated? If so, does it really need to be "conditioned" with a traditional leather conditioner like a Lexol, or does it just need to be cleaned and UV protected?

2) Depending on above answer, what products should be used. Is there anything besides a conditioner? (Lexol, Einzett, Zaino, etc?)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2011, 11:01 PM
aray aray is offline
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this is some interesting information
---
http://www.303products.com/shop303/i...ve-leather.cfm

Here is a snippet:
"Contrasting the ability of naked leather to absorb conditioners (and water) with coated leather, Dr. Jenkins states: “While vinyl-coated leather is care free by virtue of its protective plastic surface, it is also inaccessible for purposes of maintenance.” Meaning, of course, there is absolutely no point to using leather conditioners on plastic coated leather.

So, how should plastic coated leather be maintained? According to Dr. Jenkins, “Such leather should be maintained exactly like vinyl upholstery.”

----

Makes me wonder if I should be using a vinyl care product. I also understand that lexol recomments their Vinylex product for coated leather.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2011, 01:30 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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Us Dr have got to stick together

The hides used for automobile upholstery are treated with fat liquor and then sealed at the tannery. The only 'conditioning' required for finished leather upholstery is hydration (transpiration and evaporation of moisture); oil-based products cannot permeate the finish (urethane pigmentation or covering) that is used in 95% plus of modern automobiles, urethane doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation.


Leather Surface Identification - http://www.autopia.org/forum/guide-d...ml#post1451654

Proper Finished Leather Cleaning and Care - http://www.autopia.org/forum/guide-d...ning-care.html
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2011, 05:42 AM
aray aray is offline
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Wow - this is some great information! I need to read a couple more times and formulate some more intelligent questions, it's too early here.

I'm on a business trip right now so can't do the drop test, does anyone have the results of a drop test on Dakota leather?

(I'm somewhat inspired to do some sort of science project... I can picture 10 strips of leather nailed to a board in my backyard, wife will be ecstatic)
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2011, 10:20 AM
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Weaselboy Weaselboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyray1983 View Post
I'm on a business trip right now so can't do the drop test, does anyone have the results of a drop test on Dakota leather?
I have tested this on Dakota leather on my 2011 335i coupe and the water beads right up. As the other posters mentioned, we have plastic coated leather and all these fancy "leather conditioners" do absolutely nothing and are a waste of money.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:42 PM
DetailDan DetailDan is offline
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Moisture, dirt, and heat should be your top concerns with modern (coated) automotive leather. Automotive windows filter out the majority of UV rays already. Add some tint which helps reduce interior temperatures as well. Unless of course you have a convertible, then applying a product with UV protection would be important. Leather should be cared for using low moisture water based cleaners/ protectants.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2011, 09:05 PM
aray aray is offline
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TOGWT - I read a lot of your posts tonight (many not related to leather), great stuff! It's crazy how much misinformation is out there. It's unbelievable how some well known companies completely overlook the details and point their customers to the wrong product.

I think the parts that really hit home for me was the three step care.

So my take home is:

1) Wipe with damp towel weekly, keep surfaces clean and hydrated
2) Deeper clean on a regular basis as needed (probably with Leather Masters cleaner)
3) Protect on a regular basis (probably with Leather Masters protectant)

I have a couple other questions on alternative products, it's tough to decode the marketing jibber-jabber. From my reading two other products stand out (to me), Einzett and Optimum.

-Einzett Leather Care seems to be a combination cleaner/protectant designed for coated leather, and is water based. The only catch is some sites describe "Treat your leather with some of the finest natural oils and waxes". Would the wax/oil component here be equivalent or an alternative way to offer something similar to the Leather Masters protectant concept?

-Optimum Protectant Plus (Leather Protectant) seems to also be a reasonable water based alternative, but focuses more on the same features as 303, highlighting UV. Is this just better smelling 303?
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2011, 09:46 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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No comment on the 1z, but I have both the Optimum PP & 303. IMO, the PP is way more offensive smelling than the 303. However, I don't think I've seen anyone share the same opinion. But I really don't like it, and I say that as a pretty big Optimum fan in general, with quite a lot of detailing chemicals in tow.

Also the 303 darkens more than the PP; here is a shot of PP on the left, nothing in the middle, 303 on the right.



What I've been doing for a while is just vacuum if I have it out already, and otherwise just wipe with a super soft bare MF towel. I hardly even use distilled water at all, only very occasionally, maybe because I don't seem to let it get to that point. I guess I can say the same for most of my interior. I have window tint that blocks out 99.9% of UV everywhere, and the car is not my DD either. So, it's all easy for me to say, perhaps.

Anyway, it's basically like with most of the car, such as the paint; the best care is probably frequent care, well at least that's my impression.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2011, 09:59 PM
Stanislav Stanislav is offline
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This is the first time I heard about different types of leather. I just bought a '11 328 E92. Does this mean that I have "coated/finished" leather? I still have Lexol leather cleaner / conditioner from my previous cars. This weekend I used the cleaner and conditioner - but after reading this this - I guess I don't even need to use the conditioner.
Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2011, 10:49 PM
aray aray is offline
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Stanislav - I believe Dakota was the only leather available in the 328, I don't think Novillo or Nappa was available....so yes, this thread probably applies to you. Lexol is the wrong product....
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:21 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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[Einzett Leather Care seems to be a combination cleaner/protectant designed for coated leather, and is water based. The only catch is some sites describe "Treat your leather with some of the finest natural oils and waxes". Would the wax/oil component here be equivalent or an alternative way to offer something similar to the Leather Masters protectant concept?]

Leather doesn't need oils for conditioning - http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia...-products.html
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2011, 06:21 AM
DetailDan DetailDan is offline
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You will definitely find more people on the internet who praise 303, but I say its way overrated. It leaves a shiny slippery surface (as seen in the photo above) and all of the marketing behind it is the great UV protection it provides. However, like I said in a previous post, that should not be a concern unless the car is a convertible.

Optimum Protectant Plus/ Leather Protectant leaves less of a shine, but does leave a slightly "silky" surface, nothing like 303 however. It also smells a lot better than 303, it has a nice leather scent. I'll use Optimum on convertibles, or if an interior is faded, but thats about it. I prefer a product that will leave a completely factory look without any slickness. When it comes to leather, Leather Masters is the product that delivers these results.

Stanislav- that would be correct.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2011, 07:06 AM
aray aray is offline
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I am not a huge fan of 303, but I don't dislike it. I have a lot more experience with it on my vinyl boat seats which came from the factory shining like a disco-ball. I'll add the optimum to my arsenal to try it out I think.

So what is in the Leather Masters Protection Cream?

I found this snippet -- "Leather Master's "Protection Cream" contains no petroleum distillates. It's natural oils, acrylic resins, and polymers protect the surface from stains and keep the hide supple."

That doesn't sound that different from what Einzett is saying, and it sounds like they both have oils. LM says oils, resins, polymers; Einzett says oils and waxes.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2011, 04:25 PM
Stanislav Stanislav is offline
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When you guys say "303", do you mean : 303 Products Aerospace Protectant? I went to their website and see a lot of products (but not anything for seats specifics).
Thanks
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2011, 05:06 PM
DetailDan DetailDan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
When you guys say "303", do you mean : 303 Products Aerospace Protectant? I went to their website and see a lot of products (but not anything for seats specifics).
Thanks
Yep thats it.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2011, 11:54 PM
Stanislav Stanislav is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetailDan View Post
Yep thats it.
Since it is made for plastic, can you also apply it to dash board and plastics in the car?

Thanks
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:35 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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["Leather Master's "Protection Cream" contains no petroleum distillates. It's natural oils, acrylic resins, and polymers protect the surface from stains and keep the hide supple."]

The oils allow 'slip' making it easier and less abrasive on the surface when you enter / exit cabin, the acrylic resin and polymers are there to keep the oils in place and to protect the surface.

303 Space Protectant is a UV protection product that contains very little cleaning ability (so clean the surface before application)
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:54 AM
DetailDan DetailDan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
Since it is made for plastic, can you also apply it to dash board and plastics in the car?

Thanks
If you like the shiny look, yes.
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  #19  
Old 11-23-2011, 06:50 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Guys..my favorite leather cleaner is Pinnacle Leather/Vinyl cleaner. It gets the leather clean, does not leave a bad smell or residue and is great for cleaning the entire interior of the car. I personally have not found a better product. I do not condition my seats anymore as I knew the conditioner did not do anything (just lays on top).
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:37 PM
Revelation19 Revelation19 is offline
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My Black Dakota Leather seats are treated annually with Leatherique. It is considered by some high-end detailing professionals to be the gold standard for leather conditioning. See the reviews, and also see the Ask-A-Pro Blog in the link, excellent information.

Last edited by Revelation19; 11-25-2011 at 09:39 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-26-2011, 09:10 AM
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Weaselboy Weaselboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Revelation19 View Post
My Black Dakota Leather seats are treated annually with Leatherique. It is considered by some high-end detailing professionals to be the gold standard for leather conditioning. See the reviews, and also see the Ask-A-Pro Blog in the link, excellent information.
If you read over this thread, it looks like the fancy oils in this product you are applying are just sitting on top of the plastic coating on the leather and doing absolutely nothing.
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  #22  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:32 AM
Revelation19 Revelation19 is offline
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Originally Posted by E90Alan View Post
If you read over this thread, it looks like the fancy oils in this product you are applying are just sitting on top of the plastic coating on the leather and doing absolutely nothing.
"Looks like", is not an adequate substitute for real research. There is no plastic coating on Dakota Leather. It's a urethane, that's water resistant, not "water proof". As I've used Leatherique Oil, I can attest to it's absorption into the leather, leaving the seats soft and pliable.
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2011, 01:41 PM
Stealth8 Stealth8 is offline
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I have used Lexol on the Black Dakota leather in my '09 E60 550i and in my '12 F10 550i and I believe it makes a substantial difference. To clarify, I use it on the leather, and not on the plastic surfaces which look like leather.
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:13 PM
aray aray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation19 View Post
"Looks like", is not an adequate substitute for real research. There is no plastic coating on Dakota Leather. It's a urethane, that's water resistant, not "water proof". As I've used Leatherique Oil, I can attest to it's absorption into the leather, leaving the seats soft and pliable.
It took me 2 hours to read all of links in this thread that contain research

In any case -- I ordered the LeatherMasters products, as well as the Einszett leather care product just for kicks to compare. They should arrive Monday. In the meantime I did a interior clean on my wife's car, and wiped down the seats with a damp towel.

I was amazed how much dirt was lifted, as well as what appeared to be dried Lexol that had been applied months ago. After the wipedown the seats felt great, and there was a noticeable improvement in softness/feel.
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  #25  
Old 11-27-2011, 10:46 AM
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Weaselboy Weaselboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
This is the first time I heard about different types of leather. I just bought a '11 328 E92. Does this mean that I have "coated/finished" leather? I still have Lexol leather cleaner / conditioner from my previous cars. This weekend I used the cleaner and conditioner - but after reading this this - I guess I don't even need to use the conditioner.
Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetailDan View Post

Stanislav- that would be correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation19 View Post
"Looks like", is not an adequate substitute for real research. There is no plastic coating on Dakota Leather. It's a urethane, that's water resistant, not "water proof". As I've used Leatherique Oil, I can attest to it's absorption into the leather, leaving the seats soft and pliable.
I'm not sure what this "real research" is you have conducted, but if you read the thread the resident detailing expert here has come to the same conclusion I offered. If rubbing oil on your coated seats make them feel better to you, that's great. All you can attest to is that rubbing oil on your seats make them feel softer to you, you cannot attest to the oil being absorbed into the leather.
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