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Cleaning Leather/Cloth Interiors



  • Hi,
    I own a 2000 Altima. Local mechanic says I need a new Oxygen sensor and will cost about $300. How long can I safely drive without getting a new Oxygen sensor?

    -- Brian
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    this thread was as close as i find for my problem. recently had my car detailed (interior only) specifically stated i wanted no armorall like products used. picked it up at the end of the day and the whole interior, leather, vinyl, hard plastic was all wiped down with some armorall like product, was shiny, glossy which i hate. it was late in the day and i was driving home into the western setting sun ,the glare on the dash board was terrible & i didn't have my sunglasses. is anybody aware of vinyl cleaners that leave the vinyl with the showroom matte finish. don't care if its a professional product that i have to buy in gallon jugs, just so it works to my satisfaction. i've since cleaned their mess but am unaware of suitable products. i use separate leather cleaners & conditioners so i'm looking for just vinyl products.
    any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.
    this is irrelavent but the car is an '06 accord, ex-l.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    I believe matte finish vinyl protection products are readily available at most auto parts chains. I'm sure I've seen it on the shelves.


  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    i'm looking for just vinyl products.

    I also have an 06 Accord EX-L. I love the products from Griot's Garage.

    They have an Interior Cleaner that is the best I've ever used. I was impressed with how well it cleaned rugs and cloth too. They sell it in several sizes. I don't really need it for the vinyl in my car because I keep it pretty clean and the black interior doesn't show dirt like my 95 Accord w/ivory interior does. This stuff (along with a stiff brush) really cleaned up everything (although some tough spots needed a couple of applications.)

    The Vinyl and Rubber Dressing they sell doesn't have any silicone in it and it doesn't leave that shiny, greasy mess. It's a great protectant for tires and vinyl. And if even the matte finish is too shiny for you, just buff it out a bit. The 8 oz. bottle last me a long time but they sell larger sizes. This is all I've ever used on my 06 vinyl.

    Good luck!
  • nellebnelleb Posts: 2
    I'm asking for help please! I am about to lease an Infiniti FX 35. I have the choice of 2 interior leather colours--"wheat" which is beige and /or "graphite" which is a dark, dark near black grey. Each colour , of course, comes with the same colour carpeting.
    I have 2 dogs, active lifestyle and am not compulsive about keeping the inside perfect. ( the exterior colour will be "Blue Slate a dark grey blue colour)
    Would anyone who has experience with this please give me advice? I ususally like a lighter interiors for the feeling of light ,sun ....but that's a feeling not concrete.... :) but also do like the darker one....Which colour shows less dirt, everyday wear etc.......
    Thanks so much in advance!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    I can tell you from personal experience that dogs will completely destroy any leather interior in a matter of days unless their area is completely covered by either a make-shift or specially cut canvas layer. They will scratch the hell out of it in other words.

    Leather is, of course an organic material and is not as durable as cloth or most artificial materials. It looks great, smells great and with proper care can remain attractive for many years. But it's a choice that requires you to both periodically treat, and well as actively protect, the surfaces from damage.

    Presuming the dogs are in back anyway, and you have the basic dog-proofing in place, I'd choose the darker color just in case you spill coffee, or have a water leak, etc. The only drawback is that dark leather might be hotter in summer.


  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    In addition to what Mr. Shiftright says, the lighter color will show any kind of scuff mark other places besides the seats. So when those dogs hit the door sill, carpet, etc. with their paws, the dirt will show in a light interior.

    Black will show any kind of light-colored debris on the floor from your shoes (or paws).
  • day9day9 Posts: 57
    I left my sunscreen in the trunk. Recently i found lots of sunscreen cream. I wiped it out with paper towel but I would like to know how to clean it completely. Any idea? Thanks.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    What's the trunk surface? Assuming it is some sort of cloth/rug material, a rug cleaner or stain removal product should remove it. I'm partial to the Interior Cleaner from Griot's Garage but I've never tested it on sunscreen.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Find a friend or buy a wet/dry vacumn.

    Then, I would just start with a lot of soap and water. The wet vac will pull the stuff out, then go with more straight water and keep vacumning and adding water until no more suds.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    I need to clean the vinyl in spots on the door panel where a dark area is. I think it's from my coats when I rest my arm on the door sill while driving. It's like the black from the coat has transferred to the light tan vinyl.

    I tried Dawn and leather cleaner and leather cleaner/preservative.

    Are there suggestions for things I can buy locally at auto parts stores that will work?
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Are there suggestions for things I can buy locally at auto parts stores that will work?

    I'm not aware of anything they sell at an auto parts store that works as well as this stuff: Interior Cleaner. I spray this stuff on and use a stiff brush. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries but I've managed to get out some tough stains on vinyl, cloth and carpets in my cars.
  • Thanks for the useful tips!
  • jjd345jjd345 Posts: 3
    Looking for STP Son of A Gun Protectant. I think they pulled it off the shelves in CA as no one carrys it anymore. STP says it is still available nationwide (not). I am looking to purchase multipal bottles of 32 oz or 1 gal containers.

    Can anyone advise of an out of CA vendor who carrys the product so I can order from them.

    STP really was no help.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ace Hardware online.

    Google is your friend.
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Posts: 23
    My car has leather seats. Today, I drove about 4 miles with a container of Windex on front seat. I had planned to clean windows of car. Windex tipped over and unscrewed and about 1/2 cup of windex was on front passenger seat. I immediately wiped up with paper towels. As I wiped up gently, I noticed that leather appears to be peeling off, in much the same way a snake looses its skin, or a person's skin peels off after a sunburn. I stopped wiping immediately, and just dabbed up all Windex. I have car windows open to help dry. Car is not in sunlight. Any idea what happened or what I can do to fix front seat? Not sure if this matters, but car is a 2006 Ford 500. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Buy replacement leather covers, do internet search and find companies who sell replacements.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    You may want to check with a detail shop to see if there is anything you can do. Is it still peeling? If you have any leather treatment products, you might try using that right away. I'm guessing that whatever is in the Windex (alcohol or ammonia) really dried up the leather and you would need to replenish it ASAP.

    Not that it has anything to do with your current situation but you may want to switch to a different glass cleaner in the future... something that is a bit gentler and without ammonia.

    Good luck!
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Ammonia is used to remove window tint. With that in mind it sounds like you've removed some type of protectant installed either by the dealer or manufacturer. Does that area seem to absorb moisture easier than the surrounding area? If so, that's what probably happened.
  • I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus with light grey cloth has been back to the dealership 5 times & counting and they have their service clean them & will continue until it's out of warrenty. Eventually they will get tired of paying for it....would be cheaper for them to replace the seats. Currently talking to Customer Care in Detroit to see what can be done....if only more people would complain they may have to recall them. They know there is an issue and refuse to do anything so far. Rain Water, Bottled Water stains should not stain seats. We have had plenty of cars over the years and it has never happened. Please anyone with this issue - Contact Customer Care - Detroit and make your voice heard.
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