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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:11 PM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Best way to damp-wipe Dakota Leather seats (Chamois? Microfiber?)

I ask this because I came from an MB-Tex car where you could clean it with sandpaper.

I'm a big advocate for Chamois usage since IMO it's the easiest and most efficient way to wipe down the interior (and dry down the exterior), but want to make sure there's no funny stuff if I use it on leather seats (for example, some types of "fabric" on leather can make it shinier or something).

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:49 PM
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Decboy Decboy is offline
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For years I use the Absorber towel to wipe down the leather. It works great since it is damp enough to clean but not drenched to cause streaks on the wood areas. I find it to clean the leather very well without having to use chemicals or conditioners. Best of all, no shine on the leather or dash.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:23 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Get a good set of microfiber towels, and dedicate one to the seats. You can use just make it damp and then wipe. Would suggest that you condition the leather periodically if you make a habit of this as the water will dry out the leather. Use lexol, leatherique or zaino on them.
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Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:46 AM
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DieselNY DieselNY is offline
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You guys ever use 303 aerospace? Stuff is great and doesn't leave a annoying Guido shine.

Also does the leather on the BMW have a plastic sealant? I know the leather in corvettes and other cars do.

Essentially the leather is sealed with a urethane coating so nothing is able to penetrate its surface. Oils and polymers from traditional leather products sit on the surface and only give the allusion of keeping the sealed leather soft and pliable (and many can damage sealed leather if they are able to penetrate the surface through tears and surface abrasions).

Curious if this is the case with BMW leather.
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Last edited by DieselNY; 01-07-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:57 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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303 Aerospace is great.....for plastics. Would not ever use on leather.
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2011 535i
Sophisto Grau / Oyster - Black Nappa, Anthracite Wood Gone but not forgotten.

Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:12 AM
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DieselNY DieselNY is offline
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There does seem to be some coating on the leather so I wonder if all these fancy conditioners are just a waste of time?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=582734
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselNY View Post
You guys ever use 303 aerospace? Stuff is great and doesn't leave a annoying Guido shine.

Also does the leather on the BMW have a plastic sealant? I know the leather in corvettes and other cars do.

Essentially the leather is sealed with a urethane coating so nothing is able to penetrate its surface. Oils and polymers from traditional leather products sit on the surface and only give the allusion of keeping the sealed leather soft and pliable (and many can damage sealed leather if they are able to penetrate the surface through tears and surface abrasions).

Curious if this is the case with BMW leather.
I have also read that leather on cars are sealed so conditioners and other cleaners don't work to penetrate onto the leather itself. I did use conditioners/cleaners and over time noticed the leather gets a bit shiny on certain spots and feels hard. Maybe the conditioner/cleaner just sits and gathers on the sealant material making the seats feel that way. This supports what I read about sealed leather on cars. Thus, I gave up on conditioners and cleaners over the past decade in all our cars. As mentioned earlier, I just use the Absorber to wipe down the leather and has worked thus far. The only area I use a conditioner is the steering wheel.

I'm no detail expert but this method works for me.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:46 AM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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Conditioners should still be used on coated leathers (like dakota). I would not recommend using a chamois on interior at all. Use a damp microfiber dedicated for interior use and Zaino Z10 or other conditioners work well at maintaining the softness of dakota.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:50 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Guys, coated leather is not "sealed". All leather you see is treated and coated to a certain extent. If you saw natural leather, you would know it. You still need to clean and condition, or it will dry out and crack over time

You can read more on various detailing forums and sites.
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2011 535i
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Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:40 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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I personally do not use conditioners. These seats are coated and it just sits on the top. Use a dedicated microfiber towel and Pinnacle Vinyl/Leather cleaner every couple of weeks. I have done this and used this product for 15 plus years with great results. My seats always look good at trade time regardless of color.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:51 AM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Guys, coated leather is not "sealed". All leather you see is treated and coated to a certain extent. If you saw natural leather, you would know it. You still need to clean and condition, or it will dry out and crack over time

You can read more on various detailing forums and sites.
Exactly. It's like saying oh my car is clearcoated, don't need to do anything to it.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:06 AM
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Other factors come into play. I had an MB few years back. In the 7 years I had the car, it was only clayed/wax/detailed once in its 5th year. I always kept it garaged and in sunny SoCal, we only have rain to deal with. I also washed it once a week. It was a silver car so I guess it also hides a lot of the paint imperfections. Then again, no car finish comes perfect from the factory.

Given these factors surrounding my car ownership, the clear coat held up very well throughout the years without much detailing other than your basic weekly or sometimes biweekly washes. Of course, the region where you live plays a huge factor. A buddy of mine lives in Toronto and he always leases his cars since the salt from the winter roads ruin the car's underside and rocker panels within the year. Calgary is known for cracked windshields and front end dings from rocks they put out on their winter roads.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:25 AM
530CE 530CE is offline
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I've used Saddle Soap for years with no ill effects at all. It's not shiny and the leather is soft and smooth. I've used it for the past 6 years on my wife's 07 X3 and it looks and smells like it just rolled out of the showroom.

It also does a great job of getting the skin oils off of the steering wheel to give it that nice new BMW feel.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:06 AM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decboy View Post
For years I use the Absorber towel to wipe down the leather. It works great since it is damp enough to clean but not drenched to cause streaks on the wood areas. I find it to clean the leather very well without having to use chemicals or conditioners. Best of all, no shine on the leather or dash.
Ah, so that's basically a chamois I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselNY View Post
You guys ever use 303 aerospace? Stuff is great and doesn't leave a annoying Guido shine.
I swear by 303! I put it all over my cars interiors, totally amazing stuff, though it's something I'd just use once a year or so to protect the plastics and such in the interior. It says it's safe for leather but I've heard people say to not use it on leather. I dunno why though (maybe not formulated directly for leather enough therefore results aren't ideal?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Get a good set of microfiber towels, and dedicate one to the seats. You can use just make it damp and then wipe. Would suggest that you condition the leather periodically if you make a habit of this as the water will dry out the leather. Use lexol, leatherique or zaino on them.
I've heard that about the water on leather. What's the best way to clean leather then, if not water? I'm assuming it would be a dedicated cleaner but I've always been against using abrasives (even if minor) on my interiors especially since I tend to keep them clean (just need a little wipe down basically). Then again, I haven't had true leather in a long time though I did clean the Nappa steering wheel in my E-Class with a damp chamois and it retained its new feel.... I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kar Don View Post
Conditioners should still be used on coated leathers (like dakota). I would not recommend using a chamois on interior at all. Use a damp microfiber dedicated for interior use and Zaino Z10 or other conditioners work well at maintaining the softness of dakota.
Ah, ok looks like I'll be doing the dedicated Microfiber thing. Out of curiosity, what will a chamois do when applied lightly dampened on leather?
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:56 AM
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Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
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I'm a saddle soap whore too. It works great and gets lots of dirt out of older seats and conditions new seats.
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2011 E90 335 Sport (Jet Black, Performance Edition) *new commuter/flogmobile, whoa what is this NAV thing?*
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:24 PM
Andrew OD Andrew OD is offline
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Where does one get saddle soap?
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:11 PM
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TGray5 TGray5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselNY View Post
You guys ever use 303 aerospace? Stuff is great and doesn't leave a annoying Guido shine.

Also does the leather on the BMW have a plastic sealant? I know the leather in corvettes and other cars do.

Essentially the leather is sealed with a urethane coating so nothing is able to penetrate its surface. Oils and polymers from traditional leather products sit on the surface and only give the allusion of keeping the sealed leather soft and pliable (and many can damage sealed leather if they are able to penetrate the surface through tears and surface abrasions).

Curious if this is the case with BMW leather.
Yes, true. A damp rag will moisturize the leather but the pores are small enough that conditioners will not.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:32 AM
Yellow Jacket Yellow Jacket is offline
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Originally Posted by Andrew OD View Post
Where does one get saddle soap?
I get it at our local grocery store in the shoe polish section.
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:47 AM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
I ask this because I came from an MB-Tex car where you could clean it with sandpaper.

I'm a big advocate for Chamois usage since IMO it's the easiest and most efficient way to wipe down the interior (and dry down the exterior), but want to make sure there's no funny stuff if I use it on leather seats (for example, some types of "fabric" on leather can make it shinier or something).

Thanks.
Use BMW OEM Leather cleaner ($30 a kit) with a dedicated (not used for anything else)microfiber towel.

That's it.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:39 AM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Use BMW OEM Leather cleaner ($30 a kit) with a dedicated (not used for anything else)microfiber towel.

That's it.
bmw stuff is ok. It is rebranded meguiars or something. Damp chamois will do nothing, has no nap to clean. Chamois are meant to absorb water or dry a car, not for cleaning. Why would you use it?

Personally I just use leatherique pristine clean on my oyster dakota seats with a terry towel.
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  #21  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:55 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:11 AM
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Decboy Decboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I feel bad for the one who has to wipe down that interior to a dry. Maybe MB in his region will warranty water damage.
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Last edited by Decboy; 01-08-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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  #23  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:37 AM
5Xwen 5Xwen is offline
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Too funny!

Can anyone translate if they are saying anything interesting?
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  #24  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:20 AM
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Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew OD View Post
Where does one get saddle soap?
You can get a lot of excellent products from Tandy Leather. The Fiebling's saddle soap is the classic, it has magic ground up cow/horsey hooves in it and not only cleans, it conditions. I used it back on my baseball mitts back in the early 1980's too! I've also used the Dr. Jackson's rejuvinator stuff on my old car and it works well too but you have to wipe it down a lot as it's slimy.

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/e...tioners-n.aspx

or the same stuff piece by piece via Amazon.
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2013 F10 535i M-Sport (Sophisto Grau, 6-speed MT, M5 Grille/Trunk Lip)*for sale*
2011 E90 335 Sport (Jet Black, Performance Edition) *new commuter/flogmobile, whoa what is this NAV thing?*
2002 E46 330i Sport (Jet Black, 5-speed MT, H&R/Koni Sports, Meyle HD Control Arms, Powerflex FCAB's, Hotchkis sways...and more)*sold*
..lots of former cars

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  #25  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:47 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Leatherique is great stuff.
__________________
2011 535i
Sophisto Grau / Oyster - Black Nappa, Anthracite Wood Gone but not forgotten.

Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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