This article was written by Ram Iyer of Colourlock UK!
Leather has been a feature of car interiors for more than a hundred years and today it is generally found in high-end models. Car manufacturers carry out rigorous tests, including tear strength, flammability, soiling, and smell. As a result of this testing, car leathers tend to be very uniform in appearance and the good news is that they are relatively easy to care for.
The Colourlock range of cleaners and care products is ideally suited to the task. Depending on the level of soiling, we recommend our Mild Leather Cleaner or Strong Leather Cleaner, applied with the Colourlock Leather Cleaning Brush. The cleaners come in a foam dispenser that prevents the leather from becoming too wet which would cause it to dry and crack. To apply, simply spray onto a cloth or brush and work into the surface of the leather. Wipe away with a clean cloth to remove any excess product, dirt, grime, etc.
New car leather upholstery should not need care products within the first three years, due to the heavy layer of color. However, we do recommend protecting the leather from surface damage, caused by friction, especially on the driver’s seat. Colourlock Leather Shield will prevent such damage and guards against dye transfer from clothing. For cleaning, starting off with the mild formula mentioned above will do the trick for most situations.
As the leather ages, it will need more care. Colourlock Leather Protector has UV filters that protect against sun damage. It also contains antioxidants that help to keep leather soft. Classic car upholstery will benefit from Colourlock Elephant Leather Preserver, which is an acid-free wax that refreshes and waterproofs the leather. Leather Cleaner Strong may be needed to clean heavily soiled leather, but we always recommend using the mild first to see if it does the trick.
These general cleaning instructions apply to water-resistant leather, which is what is generally found in the automotive market. However, there are some exceptions. Models, such as the Bugatti Veyron or the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 coupe, have semi-aniline leather interiors which, although softer, are also porous. For these, it is advisable to use the Colourlock Waterproofing Spray.
Over time, leather may become scratched or become faded. Colourlock Leather Fresh Dye Standard Black is a simple way to revitalize the color on black seats. DI only carries this color dye at this point, however, our automotive leather dye color chart, available on our website (also listed below), features most of those used by the main car manufacturers. If you can’t find the color you are looking for, ask your dealer or you can cut a small sample from under the seat. Alternatively, send us your car registration and VIN/chassis number and we will find out for you.
If you would like more information about caring for automotive leather, there are video tutorials on our website and you are always welcome to speak to one of our experts or the great staff here at Detailed Image. Take a look at some before and after shots below, which show results of the cleaning, Leather Fresh dyeing, and protection (Shield or Protector).