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Leather Cleaning And Maintenance

Houston Brown

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Can anyone recommend a a good leather cleaner and treatment? I just purchased a used Lexus and the seats are in excellent condition and I would like to keep them that way.

Also, any other tips and cleaning/maintenance products you can recommend would be nice as well. The car will not be garaged and I dont want the sun to start fading the dash, would liketo knwo of a good product to put on that as well.

Many thanks,


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I'm not a "Detailaholic" like "Steve" but Lexol products are popular and what I use:

I buy Lexol vinyl and leather care products at a saddle shop but I've seen them in mainstream stores. There are many good brands of these types of products.

Consider using a windshield sun shade to preserve your dash and interior. Covercraft shades (about $50) are well made, are available for specific models and fit perfectly. I got 13 1/2 years out a Covercraft shade for my 90 LS400 and passed it to the new owner when I sold the car in 2003. I use a Covercraft shade in my 2000 LS400 when I park outside at work. My wife uses one in her Camry.

High quality window tint is supposed to block nearly 100% of UV rays and might help preserve the interior -- at least that's our hope. Our cars are tinted to a moderate 35% tint -- maximum allowed here in Kansas.

I use the windshield sunshade almost every time I park outside for more than a few minutes and sometimes even then if I think the area might be prone to break-ins. The sunshade and the window tint makes seeing what's inside the car difficult when the car is parked.

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Check out the detailing forum on here for ideas, lots of them there.

For routine cleaning its hard to beat a solution of 1 part Woolite to 6 parts water. It works well, and is very inexpensive. For protecting, Lexol is pretty good but the best is Leatherique. It can only be bought online, you'd need the rejuvenator oil and the pristine clean.

If its going to sit outside, I'd echo Jim's recommendation of getting the windows tinted and buying a sunshade. Probably the best custom shades I've found are these:

I own one for each car. They're custom fit, nice and sturdy, and attractive. I have one for my old Explorer thats probably 12-13 years old and still works great.

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Regarding leather seats, the owner's manual of the 2009 RX 350 stipulates NOT to keep the car under the sun in particular in summer.

Page 305

Preventing damage to leather surfaces

Do not expose the vehicle to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Park the vehicle in the shade, especially in summer.

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  • 3 years later...

Sun damage and UV are the worst. I live in Nevada at 5,000 feet and always use a dash cover, and a windshield shade. Park in the shade when you can.

I used to do leather work and had horses and mules for many years with all of that leather tack. There are two issues with leather in dry climates: keeping it clean, and keeping life in the leather and keeping it from drying out. Most Lexus owners are good about keeping their upholstery clean. I have decided not to do any eating in mine. Use leather products made from animals. Lexol is good but may darken your leather slightly. I found a product called Voodoo Leather Conditioner which has lanolin and other animal based products. All of the name brand leather seat products are probably okay if you check the label and find animal products. It is better to do some light applications twice a year than a heavy coat once in awhile.

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  • 7 months later...

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