Honda Accord Leather Care

cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
edited May 2014 in Honda
Ok, I applied Meguiar's Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Wipes to the rear leather seats of our 2007 EX-L. It seems to condition well, leaves the seats looking wet (glossy) even after it has dried (it's been a couple of hours).

The problem is that I don't want the gloss on the seats.

So, I guess I have two questions:

- How long can I expect this wet look to last and can I do anything to get the matte finish back quicker (wipe it with a moist rag, apply a different product). I much prefer the matte look that our front seats have from the factory (haven't applied it there yet, so they look mismatched at this time). I hope I am not stuck with the glossy finish. :(

- Does anyone have a recommendation on a leather cleaner/condition product that is easy is apply but does not leave the seats looking glossy after drying?

Thank you to anyone who can help me get the nice matte finish back on our rear seats. :confuse:


  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    - Does anyone have a recommendation on a leather cleaner/condition product that is easy is apply but does not leave the seats looking glossy after drying?

    The two that I've been happy with are Leather Master and Griot's Garage. You will want to clean the seats first. The Leather Master kit comes with a cleaner and I highly recommend the Interior Cleaner from Griot's. It works on much more than leather.

    You may also want to check this thread here on Edmunds: Cleaning Leather/Cloth Interiors
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Honda actually recommends using saddle soap on the leather. It will not make the leather shine, it will actually clean the leather, (which I found no other product could do), and it's even cheap ($5.00/can). You can't beat that with a bat. Too bad I wasted $$$ on a lot of other products, before I found some saddle soap at the local feed store.
  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    Yes, saddle soap is great for cleaning. Everyone gets to decide if they want to put some sort of protectant on.
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
    Tallman1, Elroy5 --

    Thank you both. I guess I might be hunting for some saddle soap this coming weekend.

    Now, does anyone know a good way to take the gloss off or how long it would take to come off on its own (clean with saddle soap?)?

    I need to figure out which of the following actions to take next:

    - apply the Meguiar's conditioner to the front seats as well to get them to match the looks of the rear seats, even though I do not want a glossy look. Then, use a different conditioner on both seats the next time once the gloss is off.
    - wait for the gloss from the rear seats to come off (how long would this take?) or try to take off myself, and then apply a non-glossy conditioner to both seats to make the looks match.

    (Right now the rear seats have a glossy deep black look they got after the conditioner treatment, and the front seats have a matte dark gray look as they came from the factory)

    Also, what is the best way to apply saddle soap to leather - is this in the owner's manual or the instructions that come with the product?

    Thanks a bunch - you guys are great.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    The directions are on the saddle soap can. I basically apply it like you would apply a paste wax (a damp micro fibre towel, and rub it in). It will probably take the shine off. It leaves the leather soft (not shiny) to prevent drying and cracking. There is no need for a conditioner. Easy, and effective, the best of both worlds. I guess that's why Honda recommends it. ;)
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    Here are a couple of links on saddle soap

    Do a general Google search on SADDLE SOAP. I get the impression that it's a cleaner for natural leather and not the finished leather used in auto seats.

    I'll stick with my $7 bottle of Lexol

    Just my 2 cents.

  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    What is Lexol, and what is it designed for? Since Saddle Soap works great, and Honda recommends it, I need some good reasons to try Lexol. ;) My seats were very dirty when I finally found the Saddle Soap, and none of the so called conditioners. did much to remove the dirt (and I tried a bunch of them). The few things that would have taken the dirt out would also take the color off (remove the dye). Saddle soap does not remove the dye, and just leaves the leather soft and clean (no shine).
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
    Mrbill, I came across a couple of other recommendations for Lexol while searching the web but I am not sure if it is specifically meant for leather (it was not described in those postings) - since you are using it, can you tell me if it is designed to clean or condition leather and if it leaves the seats with a glossy finish or not? Also, what color are your seats?

    In the meantime, I will be looking at my owners manual to see what honda has to say about saddle soap.

  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    Thanks for the saddle soap links. I've never used the stuff on my car seats but I have used it on other things.

    I did a fair amount of research on the cleaning leather thread after I bought my car in March of 06. Lexol and Leather Master were the two that were mentioned most. I discovered Griot's Garage shortly afterwards and love their products. I had a secretary who told me about the place and her leather seats in her old Acura were in amazing shape.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of these choices.

    As for the glossy finish, I'd use one of these leather cleaners and see if the gloss is removed. I'd bet anything it will come off. It may also come off if you try buffing it with a microfiber cloth.
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22

    I feel pretty confident that between everything that is mentioned, I have some good choices for the solution to this problem. I will try to get to it this weekend, and we'll see how it goes.

    Once I have an update, I plan to post it here.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    I have been using the Lexol on my 04 EXL since new. So far, the seats look as good as new. The Lexol doesn't leave a shine, but it does leave the surface slightly sticky. It's not bad, and it goes away in a week or so, it just seems like you can't slide into the seat as easy when you first apply it. My seats are the light tan color, and the Lexol has been able to keep them clean. When I first got the car, (nothing applied to the seats yet) a leather belt I was wearing left a black horizontal line in the driver's seat. I applied the Lexol, and it removed some but not all of the line. Now a few years later, I don't see the line anymore, so I'm assuming more applications finally removed the mark.

    The Lexol was recommended to me by a vintage Porsche fanatic. He doesn't use anything but the Lexol.

  • buyahomebuyahome Member Posts: 26
    Lexol is a great product to use on leather. The differnece in leather often times is that most car's have a "painted leather" instead of "dyed leather". Some of the old BMW's have tan leather that if you used Lexol on them you'd notice that it seeped into the leather and absorbed pretty much all of the product.
    Honda seats almost repel Lexol. I am pretty certain that is becuase they are painted leather.
    I use a variety of products on my own seats. Lexol, armor all for leather, Meguiar's for leather and even lemon pledge. The natural look as opposed to the wet look that a regular Armor All application would levae is best. If I was to point to one product, I'd say Lemon Pledge followed by a damp (slightly damp) towel.
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
    I was passing by a honda dealer near work today so I stopped by to see if they sell leather cleaner and conditioner for the accord.

    The service guy said they did but pulled out from his service station what he personally uses and recommends - a container of Lexol. He said I could buy it in the parts dept. but could find it cheaper elsewhere, and recommended using it every three months. He also said the stuff that Honda sells is 'made by the same people' - I am not sure if he was referring to the product sold at the parts dept. at this specific Honda dealership or a leather care product that Honda supplies to it's dealerships as an official Honda product.

    His recommendation was to go ahead and use Meguiars on the front seats as well, and then start with a different product when it's time for the next application, if I wanted a less glossy look. He advised that the gloss will wear off over time - a few months on it's own, maybe sooner with some buffing using a microfiber cloth, and thought Meguiars was also a great product for leather care.

    It seems like sensible advice, even though I hate the thought of getting the front seats glossy as well, albeit for a few months.
  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    I agree with you about not wanting to put that on your front seats. Just because he is a Honda service guy, doesn't mean he knows what is best. ;)

    I'd still rather clean off the back seat and start over but I doubt if you will do any serious harm. You may want to contact a good auto detailer in your area or check online. Some places have an 800 number for advice.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
  • accord6mtaccord6mt Member Posts: 53
    Does anyone know if the procedure for cleaning leather seats differs if the leater is perforated? My 05 6MT has perforated leater seats and I'm just wondering if there is a certain technique used on that kind of leather so the cleaner doesn't get ground/pushed into the millions of small holes.

    Thanks for any advice!
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
    Well, here is how it turned out. I picked up Lexol leather cleaner wipes (orange container) and Lexol leather conditioner wipes (brown container) from our local Pep Boys automative.

    I vacummed the seats and then cleaned the seats using the lexol cleaner and a damp microfiber cloth, following the directons on the lexol website - basically gently rub in the cleaner and remove excess with a slightly damp rag.

    Gave that some time to dry (actually as it happened I did not get to it till several hours later, but I am sure there was no need to wait that long), and then applied the lexol leather conditioner, following the directions on the container - gently rubbed in condtioner, waited about 45 minutes and wiped off the seats.

    (I used the leather cleaner and conditioner on the vinyl areas of the front seats as well - from what I understand, this is not a problem, although you don't want to use vinyl products on leather. BTW, I think I ended up using a total of 8 Lexol conditioner wipes to condtion the leather interior - seats, headrests, door inserts etc - not sure how many cleaner wipes I had used, but certainly no more.)

    I am very pleased with the results. All seats (including the rear seats that were treated with Meguiars a week ago) now have a nice even look - rich and supple without being glossy.

    Here are my thoughts on the two products that I tried in the process. Meguiars wipes combined the cleaning and condtioning in one time-saving step, were visibly richer in the condtioner content (just meant I had to use fewer of these), seemed to condition the seats well and had a pleasant smell; the downside for me was that they left the seats glossy and a little slippery (although I had not wiped the seats after applying this product, so I am not sure how much that would have helped...but I have read other posts about Meguairs being glossy). On the ohter hand, the Lexol products required separate cleaning and condtioning steps (so the process required more time and expense for cleaning wipes and condtioning wipes), the conditioner left the seats a little sticky (I have read this goes away quickly). Also I noticed a *slight* odor upon completion of the lexol condtioning process, which had dissappeared by the time I went back to my car a few hours later.

    Between the two products (Meguiars and Lexol) that I have tried, I prefer Lexol (because the finished look is not glossy) and plan to use it again. Incidently I had picked up the Vinylex product (for vinyl, plastic and rubber) from lexol for our other car, and it worked well for me as well.

    Thanks to everyone who provided input - there are certainly a lot of choices out there.

    (As someone has pointed before, perhaps this thread should be moved to different fourm?)
  • dairyshickdairyshick Member Posts: 129
    I second the lexol choice. I bought the cleaner and conditioner earlier in the year for the first time...the cleaning is time consuming, but the leather came out pretty nice after the conditioner was applied. I think as long as you're putting the conditioner on every few months, you really only need a cleaning once a year depending on how dirty you are when you sit in your car!

    It does has a funny smell to it, I agree.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Well... after 3½ years of use (38K miles) my 2004 Accord's ivory leather interior is clean and in excellent condition, with absolutely nothing being done on my part other than sitting in it and driving. Perhaps my clothes are never too dirty.

    It's interesting to note, that I went through my Owner's Manual cover-to-cover twice yesterday. There was absolutely no mention about care and feeding of leather upholstery.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    In the 03 Accord manual, it's on page 329 (appearance and care section). It says to "clean the leather seats with a soap made specifically for leather, such as saddle soap".
    It does not say to use saddle soap, it just mentions it as one possibility.
  • cb2kcb2k Member Posts: 22
    >> Well... after 3½ years of use (38K miles) my 2004 Accord's ivory leather interior is clean and in excellent condition, with absolutely nothing being done on my part other than sitting in it and driving.


    Good for you. :) I am doing it as a preventive measure. Is your car mostly parked in a garage?

    BTW, a day after using the Vinylex (for vinyl, rubber, plastic), I have noticed that unlike the leather conditoiner by Lexol, rheir Vinylex product does leave some gloss (I expected more of it to have worn off by now)- nothing overly dramatic, but not exactly a matte finish with Vinylex so far.

    Elroy5, what kept me from using saddle soap was reading about it's high alkaline content (supposedly not good for leather) compared to other leather care products on the market today - not sure what to make of it since the information was on sites that sold other leather care products and in your owner's manual honda does mention the product, but I decided to play it safe. That and the many positive posts on various web forums, including here, about Lexol (plus the honda service adivsor recommending it). I also came across some postive opinions about Griot's garage conditoner, here and elsewhere.

  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    I may try Lexol at some point. Saddle soap works extremely well for cleaning the seats, and mine were plenty dirty by the time I found some saddle soap. I had tried all those products sold at Autoparts stores (cleaner/conditioners. in one) and none of them cleaned the dirt off. I may try using a conditioner after cleaning with the saddle soap. I have been reluctant to use a conditioner because like you, I don't want my seats to shine or be slippery.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    I guess that I got gypped. My 2004 Accord Coupe Owner's Manual only has 304 pages plus a 3-page Introduction and a 9-page Index. It doesn't even contain an appearance and care section. The only reference to cleaning is of the seat belts, on page 240.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    It doesn't even contain an appearance and care section.

    That's strange. My last page number is 382. :confuse: I wonder, why? To save the trees?
  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    My 2004 Accord Coupe Owner's Manual only has 304 pages

    Well, of course, the owner's manual is shorter.... you have two fewer doors! :P
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    "Well, of course, the owner's manual is shorter.... you have two fewer doors! :P"

    DUH! Thanks tallman1, it really WAS obvious.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,436
    I'm considering getting an 08 EXL, and wondering about the ivory leather. I think it looks really good in the pictures, but we have two kids (ages 11 and 6) and so I'm wondering if getting a car like that is truly insane. Now, we usually don't let our kids eat in the car, but kids are kids, and dirt can sometimes be an issue. In terms of how picky I am about my cars, I usually wash them every 2 weeks, and I like them to be reasonably clean. I can see cleaning and moisturizing the leather seats twice a year with saddle soap (is that often enough). Anyway, is ivory leather a bad combo with kids? It sure looks nice. Is it a tad cooler than black leather, or is that just wishful thinking?

    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    If you wipe them off with a damp towel once every two weeks, they should stay pretty clean. The saddle soap works great for the hard stuff. You may want to use a conditioner after cleaning with the saddle soap. I have the Ivory leather seats, and you're right they do not get as hot as black seats would.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    I have never owned a vehicle with leather seats. But that will change very soon.

    All the messages posted in this forum are more than 2 years old.

    It would be helpful to know about new leather cleaning or conditioning products which are effective and priced reasonably.

    Is Walmart a good place to buy leather cleaning products? Thanks!
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Member Posts: 1,724
    I like to use Lexol! It really creates a soft feel with all the shine. It makes it look very plush and and its not all gummy or sticky.

    I like to really condition the seat bolsters wear you get out of the car seat. It keeps it from cracking, creasing. Gets rid of or tames down any creases too. I put Lexol the shifter and the steering wheel.

    When you detail your car, just spray a little on the cloth and wipe! It will keep the seats and car feeling new. Put some on all leather surfaces.

    I have thought about tan leather, I have black now. But would be afraid of blue or black dyes getting on the tan. But, with regular upkeep, It think you can be just fine.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Walmart has nothing that will clean the seats effectively (I tried it all). I have been using the Honda cleaner and conditioner lately, and it works well. Honda used to recommend Saddle Soap, and it works well too. Haven't tried Lexol yet.
  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    You may want to do some internet searching to read about leather care. Lots of good info out there. You have the right idea to be looking at both cleaning and conditioning products.

    I did a fair amount of research a couple of years ago and learned a lot. I still find that Leather Master and Lexol seem to be the products praised most often. I bought the Leather Master kit and liked it a lot. When that was done, I bought Leather Care from Griot's Garage and I'm liking it more and more. I'll try Lexol next. ;)

    Good luck!
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