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

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2004, 01:15 PM
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Fifty_Cent Fifty_Cent is offline
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Johnsons baby oil for leather

It preserves and moisturises the leather, without using any harsh abrasives and chemicals!

It is really nice for your baby!!!

Try it! I did the other day!! It really works for non weathered leather. It is a nice product!

I used it yeasterday, and the results are astonishing!


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  #2  
Old 01-15-2004, 01:22 PM
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I'd be worried about what that will do to the leather long-term - make it shiny and plasticky?
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2004, 01:46 PM
marcelgood marcelgood is offline
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I used body lotion a couple of times on the leather around the shifter after I got the car to get rid of the squeeking noise in 2nd gear. It worked wonders. Hey, it's skin after all!
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:13 PM
bbkat bbkat is offline
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Originally Posted by marcelgood
I used body lotion a couple of times ...
"It rubs the lotion on It's skin..."
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2004, 03:15 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Umm, how about using leather conditioner instead ?

baby oil doesn't sound OK to me. But I'm sure JonM will have the best answer.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2004, 04:22 PM
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I got a newsletter from Classic Motoring Accessories today and this month they are talking about leather and their trip to Summit Industries, the makers of Lexol. It has some interesting information:

"Q. What is leather conditioning?
A. Conditioning replaces the natural tanning oils evaporating out of the hide. The smell of leather comes from these oils. If not replaced, leather will eventually dry out, become brittle and crack. Think of these tanning oils as microscopic, lubricating oils. If you look at leather under a microscope, the fibers look like a pile of rope that's all tangled up. Tanning oils coat these fibers allowing them to bend, move and slip across one another. These oils keep the leather soft and supple. Without lubrication, leather fibers will become stiff and brittle. When repeatedly flexed, stiff, dry fibers will simply break and the leather will develop cracks.

Q. That sounds simple enough. So what makes a good tanning oil or lubricant for conditioning leather?
A. All cow hides are naturally oily. Unfortunately, these natural oils are stripped away in the tanning process (Tanning is the process that renders the hide invulnerable to decay.) and some equivalent oils must be re-introduced after tanning. This last tanning step, the replacement of oils, is called "fatliquoring." Over the centuries, a number of oils have been found that have a natural affinity for leather fibers. Every leather tanner has his own, unique, blend of tanning oils. These formulas are closely held secrets, passed down through the generations. This is one reason why one company's leather can have a totally different feel, fragrance, texture and softness from another company's product. Tanning oils can contain a variety of oils including Neatsfoot oil, Sperm Whale Oil, pressed lard and Lanolin.

Q. I've heard the term Neatsfoot oil. What is it? Where does it come from?
A. Neat is an archaic name for hooved animals (i.e. cows, pigs, sheep). Neatsfoot oil is oil rendered from the feet of cattle or hooved animals. In the slaughterhouse, the feet would be cut off the animal, split, put into a large vat and boiled. The oils that rose to the top would be skimmed off and sold as "Neatsfoot Oil." Today, thanks to the US military, there is no actual Neatsfoot oil in Neatsfoot Oil! Let me explain. Back in the 1930's the US Army wrote a Military Specification (Mil Spec) that defined the properties of Neatsfoot Oil. Oil merchants bidding for government contracts quickly discovered other, less expensive, oils would meet this Mil Spec. Today, Neatsfoot Oil is any oil, regardless of where it comes from, that meets this US Government Mil Spec. Neatsfoot Oil now is mostly derived from pigs. Lard is pressed and the resulting liquid, which can be supplemented with mineral oil and/or reclaimed motor oil, is sold as "Neatsfoot Oil". Neatsfoot oil is widely used in the equestrian industry (saddles and tack) but has a tendency to be quite greasy making it unsuitable for leather upholstery.

Q. I noticed dozens of drums of Lanolin in your raw materials area. I assume Lexol uses Lanolin as a conditioning oil?
A. Lanolin is used for conditioning leather. Ironically, Summit Industries is the third or fourth largest user of Lanolin in the United States yet, despite of our considerable research, we do not use a drop of Lanolin in Lexol products! Our use of Lanolin is reserved exclusively for our skin care ointments. Lanolin has two problems. First, it's very greasy. (Lanolin is produced by the sweat glands of sheep.) Lanolin is the greasy oil that covers the sheep's fleece. Secondly, it loves to migrate. There's no way to keep it in the hide. It loves to come to the surface where it is easily transferred to any material (clothing) it comes in contact with. The complaint that most leather conditioners are "greasy" is typically attributable to the use of Lanolin.

Q. I've seen other manufacturers use banana oil, aloe and collagen as conditioning oils or additives. Are these valid conditioning oils or beneficial in a leather conditioner?
A. (Laugh) Not to my knowledge! Banana oil is commonly used as a fragrance or fragrance enhancement. It will mask chemical or foul odors and add a "sweet" aroma. Banana Oil has no value as a conditioning oil. Collagen is used for human skin reconstruction. I know of no valid reason to put it into a leather conditioner. It is not a conditioning oil. Likewise, Aloe has no value as a conditioning oil. I have never, ever seen or heard of any study that gives any valid reason for putting Aloe in a leather conditioner.

Q. I've seen "Mink Oil" used in leather conditioners. Is Mink Oil a valid conditioning oil?
A. Yes it is. We do not use it in Lexol products but it is a valid conditioning oil. "Mink Oil" is a euphemistic name for liquefied pig fat and silicone. Like Lanolin, it's very greasy and typically unsuitable for leather upholstery. Mink oil is most often used on heavy boots or other hard-working leathers.

Q. Now I'm confused. If all of these conditioning oils are so bad, greasy, what do you use in Lexol Leather Conditioner?
A. The conditioning oils we're talking about, Neatsfoot Oil, Lanolin, Mink Oil, pressed lard oils, are not "bad" conditioning oils. If fact, they are very good conditioning oils. They just have some undesirable characteristics. They are all greasy and they like to move around. In the 1980's, largely from our research in skin care ointments, we discovered a way to modify some of these conditioning oils. We found a way to make the large droplets of raw oils into a microscopically fine emulsion that can be readily absorbed into the leather fibers. We also found a way to keep these oils in place, to greatly reduce migration. This keeps the internal fibers lubricated longer and prevents seepage into adjacent materials like clothing. The oils used in Lexol Conditioner, a closely held secret, make for a very user friendly conditioner that is excellent for leather upholstery.

Q. How is Lexol Leather Conditioner different from other leather conditioners?
A. First, it contains no petroleum solvents or silicones. It is an aqueous emulsion that quickly penetrates into the hide where it is absorbed and retained by the leather's fibers. Lexol Leather Conditioner provides long lasting lubrication (within the industry, we call this lubrication nourishment) without migration or surface seepage. Unlike most organic conditioning oils, Lexol Leather Conditioner is non-flammable, odorless, non-toxic and non-sensitizing to the skin. It does not impart a greasy or tacky feel to the surface of the leather (unless overused). While there are many fine leather conditioners in the marketplace, we know of no other manufacturer in the world that has been able to match our technology in controlling greasiness or oil migration.

Q. How soon should I start conditioning the leather in a new car?
A. The leather in a new car is fully conditioned. There is no reason to use a conditioner for at least 60 to 90 days. After that, application is somewhat climate dependent. Monthly leather conditioning of cars in Florida, Texas and Arizona, especially during the summer months, would not be out of line. In a northern climate or during winter months the interval between conditioning could be extended 90 to 120 days.

Q. What is the proper procedure for applying a leather conditioner?
A. Clean the leather first to remove surface dirt. Lightly dampen a cotton or Microfiber cloth or applicator pad with water so that it doesn't absorb too much conditioner. Spray the applicator cloth or pad with conditioner and wipe it into the leather. A little conditioner goes a long way. Multiple light applications are better than one heavy application. Wipe the entire leather interior of your car and then allow 20 to 30 minutes for the oils to be absorbed. After this time, lightly buff the leather with a dry cotton or Microfiber cloth to remove any excess conditioner.

Lexol Leather Conditioner maintains the strength, beauty and utility of leather while protecting against the destructive effects of time and the environment. It also brings new life and resiliency to old or neglected leather that has become cracked or hardened.
Lexol Leather Conditioner leaves a soft, satin finish without a greasy, surface residue. For the very best in leather conditioning, insist on Lexol.



Proper leather cleaning.
A continuation of our interview with Dr. Don Jenkins and Phil Meyers from Summit Industries.

Q. How should you clean leather?
A. First let me tell you what not to do. Never, ever use a multi-purpose, high pH, or highly alkaline cleaner on leather. Your better, aniline dyed leathers, the kind used by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Lexus, should be cleaned with a product in the pH 5 to 5.5 range. That's actually a mildly acidic solution. Most multi-purpose cleaners and spot removers have a pH of 12 to 13. If you spray a multi-purpose, high pH cleaner on leather and buff with a dry cloth, the cloth will often turn brown. The consumer will believe it's dirt coming out of the hide. It's not dirt, it's tanning agents. You are actually detanning the hide! Remember, whatever chemical solution you put on leather remains in it.

Secondly, avoid cleaning or conditioning leather that is hot from being in the sun. Do not spray a cleaner directly on the leather. Use an applicator sponge or cloth to apply the cleaning solution. Spraying a cleaner on hot leather can cause spotting and discolorations.

Q. What is the proper procedure for cleaning leather?
A. Clean one manageable section at a time. For example, with bucket seats, clean the seat back and then move on to the seat bottom.

Wet a washcloth or Microfiber cloth with water, leaving it as damp as you would if you were going to wash your face. Spray the cleaner on the cloth and begin to wash the leather as if your were bathing. Don't forget the stitch lines. Dirt left in the stitch lines can cut through upholstery thread over time but proper cleaning will extend thread life. Especially soiled areas can be agitated using an upholstery or soft leather scrub brush.

After bathing each section, rinse the washcloth to clear it of dirt, wring it out, wipe off any excess cleaner then towel dry with a clean, dry cotton or Microfiber cloth.

Q. What about saddle soap?
A. In the late 1800's the final tanning of leather required the talents of a "currier". This craftsman took the tanned but stiff hide and worked oils into it until the desired flexibility was obtained. This process is called fatliquoring. The fatliquor of choice was an emulsion of oil in soap. This "saddle soap" was not used as a cleaner. It was a softening conditioner.

In fact, saddle soap is a very poor cleaner. It must first dissolve its own oils, limiting its capacity to dissolve dirt and oils in the leather. Saddle soap is also inherently alkaline but alkalinity is damaging to leather. Another problem arises during application. Most saddle soaps instruct the user to work the lather into the leather. Since loosened dirt is suspended in the lather, it is pushed back into the leather's pores.

Saddle soaps have long been replaced in tanneries by modern emulsions which penetrate, soften and condition with greater ease and stability. The popular myth of saddle soap as a cleaner however persists as modern folklore.
Lexol-pH Leather Cleaner is the safer alternative to harsh, alkaline products like saddle soap. Special cleaning agents have been blended to clean leather thoroughly without the damaging effects of alkalinity.

Lexol-pH is balanced to match the pH of leather. This preserves the leather's strength, durability and appearance.

It doesn't have any chemical odor. If anything, Lexol-pH enhances the original leather smell."
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2004, 05:25 PM
Malachi Malachi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
I got a newsletter from Classic Motoring Accessories today and this month they are talking about leather and their trip to Summit Industries, the makers of Lexol. It has some interesting information:
That was excellent, thank you

Edit: Is Lexol suppose to be the best for leather? I am using a Mequiar's 1-Step and really have not looked into the best leather care product.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2004, 08:16 PM
emilford emilford is offline
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I've used Lexol in the past and from the sounds of this article it still seems to be one of the best products on the market for leather care. After reading this article, I feel a bit more knowledgeable on the ins and outs of a leather conditioner. Great post!

The only other leather care product that has been recommended to me was leatherique (http://www.leatherique.com). I'm going to head to their website to try and find out more information on the product. Does anyone else have any comments on its?
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2004, 09:22 PM
JetBlack330i JetBlack330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilford
The only other leather care product that has been recommended to me was leatherique (http://www.leatherique.com). I'm going to head to their website to try and find out more information on the product. Does anyone else have any comments on its?
I've been using Leatherique for years. It does a good job and leaves a soft feel. I have not tried other products, so don't know how it compares. I can only tell that it performs better than soap, which leaves a harsh feel afterwards.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2004, 10:36 AM
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The Roadstergal The Roadstergal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malachi
Edit: Is Lexol suppose to be the best for leather? I am using a Mequiar's 1-Step and really have not looked into the best leather care product.

LeatherZ leather care.

I judged a Concours once and clambered around inside of a gaggle of BMWs - and excessive Lexol really does make the leather plasticky and shiny.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2004, 06:33 AM
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I recently read an article that argued lanolin is not a good leather or skin conditioner. I'm going to have to find the articles, because it counters the Lexol story.

Interesting to me that the construction of modern leather was not addressed. All BMW hides are tanned, split, milled, dyed and coated. That's right... coated! Our leather has a micro-thin layer of vinyl coating. The coating prevents the leather from drying, staining and leaching oils.

I do a lot of custom leather work. I have some scraps of black BMW hide that I can use for a demo. I will fume a small scrap with acetone to get the vinyl coating to bubble so yu can see it.

db
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2004, 09:20 AM
JetBlack330i JetBlack330i is offline
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So, your point is that any conditioner that we apply on top of that vinyl coat is a waste of money because it won't get absorbed by the leater?
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2004, 09:46 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidb
Interesting to me that the construction of modern leather was not addressed. All BMW hides are tanned, split, milled, dyed and coated. That's right... coated! Our leather has a micro-thin layer of vinyl coating. The coating prevents the leather from drying, staining and leaching oils.

I do a lot of custom leather work. I have some scraps of black BMW hide that I can use for a demo. I will fume a small scrap with acetone to get the vinyl coating to bubble so yu can see it.
No wonder leather and leatherette are so similar.
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2004, 12:01 PM
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Fifty_Cent Fifty_Cent is offline
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I week after using Johnson's Baby oil on my leather, and it feel s soft, non sticky, it is rejuvenated.

I am telling you, this thing works. I Found out about it when i went to buy a leather couch for my living room. The lady said that once a year the leather should be treated with Johnson's baby oil, to give it back its softness. And she was right.

This thing is really gentle on the leather...If you don't need to clean it, this is the product to go for for regular use.

I will use the BMW cleaner/conditioner ONLY once every six-eight months now, because it is (I insist) quite harsh, cause it has cleaning agent as well as a conditioner.

I will be using the baby oil more ofter now.

Remind you that I live in a hot country...(now is 15C, summer goes up to 40C)(And yes I have a black car with black leather!!!!)

The way I allpied it is by applying it with a clean cotton cloth, waiting for 10 minutes, and then wiping gently off the excess oil. I allowed it another 15 min to completely dry up.

Thats all.

For the non believers, I suggest using it at a small non noticeable area (under the seat??) just to be convinced!

This works.

Who can tell us what does this baby oil have inside anyways?
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2004, 12:13 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH
No wonder leather and leatherette are so similar.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent
Johnson's
Bad idea to cut-n-paste posts from MS Word, I'm guessing.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2004, 02:17 PM
egruber egruber is offline
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I work for Johnson & Johnson and I thought the story about the guy who glues our sanitary napkins on his hands to apply and buff car wax was over the top!

I haven't tried this, but I would expect to get oil marks on my pants. How long do you let it dry?
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2004, 05:17 PM
davidb davidb is offline
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Please, please don't use baby oil on your leather. If you've ever used baby oil or petroleum jelly on a condom, you'll know why... it disolves! A condom is much thicker than the vinyl film coating on BMW's leather hides.

Stick with traditional leather treatments. I'm finding that coated leather finishes don't absorb cream treatments as well as light liquids. So, water based protectants, like 303 Aeropace Protectant, work very well for normal maintenance on modern, coated leather interiors.

db

Last edited by davidb; 01-19-2004 at 08:18 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-19-2004, 07:44 PM
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F1Crazy F1Crazy is offline
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303 absolutely rocks on leather! I use Z10 or Lexol maybe twice a year and 303 every couple of weeks and leather maintains that factory look and never feels sticky.
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2004, 08:03 PM
Malachi Malachi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
303 absolutely rocks on leather! I use Z10 or Lexol maybe twice a year and 303 every couple of weeks and leather maintains that factory look and never feels sticky.
Really, did not know that. I thought it would harm the leather...just like I thought Armor All was not good for leather. Did I get that wrong?
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malachi
Really, did not know that. I thought it would harm the leather...just like I thought Armor All was not good for leather. Did I get that wrong?
303 is nothing like Armor All! You can get more info on 303 here.
It can't be used on Nappa but is perfectly safe on top coated leather like Montana or the leather in 5-er (I don't remember what it's called).
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  #22  
Old 01-19-2004, 08:16 PM
Malachi Malachi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
303 is nothing like Armor All! You can get more info on 303 here.
It can't be used on Nappa but is perfectly safe on top coated leather like Montana or the leather in 5-er (I don't remember what it's called).
Thanks I use 303, I just never thought to use it on leather. Does it act more like a cleaner? I have Lexol conditioner.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:26 PM
davidb davidb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malachi
Thanks I use 303, I just never thought to use it on leather. Does it act more like a cleaner? I have Lexol conditioner.

303 Aerospace Protectant has no cleaners at all. It is a water-based protectant with UVA/UVB protection. It dries to a nice satin finish, or to a matt finish if you do a final wipe with a slightly damp microfiber towel. Unlike a leather treatment containing oils, 303 Aerospace and a few other products like it, do not get blotchy in the summer heat. If you have a black interior, you're probably familiar with what I mean.

I have also found that 303 Aerospace is a great solution on the newer (post 1999) BMW dash material. I simply saturate a foam applicator, work it in well, allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes, then buff off with a damp mf towel. This is my 330i's interior, using only 303, after about 25,000 miles.





db
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2004, 08:39 PM
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I started using 1Z Cockpit Premium on the dash since it leaves it matte and that's the way I like it but I read somewhere that it offers no UV protection so I guess it's back to 303...
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  #25  
Old 01-20-2004, 04:31 AM
davidb davidb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
I started using 1Z Cockpit Premium on the dash since it leaves it matte and that's the way I like it but I read somewhere that it offers no UV protection so I guess it's back to 303...
The best way to think of 1Z Cockpit Premium is like a quick detailer for your interior. Cleaning is mechanical. Protection is minimal. It has a nice anti-static agent. I spray it on my MF towel and use it for dusting every time I wash.
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