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Maintaining Leather with Prestine Clean, Einszett 1Z Cockpit Premium or Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer


While most leather interiors are not completely covered in leather, or are coated by the vehicle manufacturer for protection, finding the correct products to clean them can be difficult.  When reading vehicle owners manuals, you may find that simply soap and water are all that is recommended.  The intention of this is to preserve the coating applied by the factory to keep the leather protected.  Using a specific leather feeding product may not be beneficial as it cannot penetrate into the material, or the product is simply attempting to soften vinyl.  Using a diluted degreaser may work, but sometimes can be harsh.

I have been using Prestine Clean for years on many different manufacturers’ leather interiors.  One thing is consistent with the product; it cleans oils and denim transfer with no apparent negative effects on the underlying leather.

I used a light colored interior to demonstrate how effective Prestine Clean is at removing oils from the areas that are regularly touched by your hands in the car.  This 612 Scaglietti hand brake handle needs to be pulled every time the car is parked.  As you can see, it has a dingy appearance.

Dirty Handbrake

In preparation to clean the above hand brake, I attach a sprayer directly to the Prestine Clean bottle and have a soft bristled brush with a few microfiber towels ready.  I prefer to wear gloves with this product as it has a lotion like consistency to it.  If this were a seat, I’d start at the headrest and work down to avoid spraying product all over a clean area.   Also, I work one small (1’ x 1’) area at a time.  To me, this not only helps in preventing the product from drying out, it helps me focus my attention to get better “micro-results”.  I don’t let the product sit longer than ~30 seconds before I begin agitating with the soft bristled brush.  As you work, you will see the oils dissolve and the original color of the leather will come through.  Wipe the area dry with a microfiber towel and inspect.  Repeat if necessary, the product is safe.

Clean Handbrake

Dirty Seat

Clean Seat

Kids Seats

I’d highly recommend you clean your leather steering wheel with Prestine Clean.  If it’s not damaged, the wheel will feel like it did the day you purchased the car.

To maintain the interior once clean, I prefer to use ready mixed products.  I have bounced between two products over the years, Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer, and Einszett 1Z Cockpit Premium.  Both have their highs and lows.  Meguiars has a mild scent and a mid-level cleaning ability when compared to Einszett 1Z’s powerful scent and lower-mid level cleaning ability.  The scent of Einszet 1Z gives you the feeling that a professional cleaning has taken place.  But, it is not a scent that some prefer to have lingering when children are in the car.  Both clean well and are safe on wood and LCD screens in my experience.  I use a microfiber when using either of the products.  A light mist on the mitt and a firm wipe and you are done.

With any combination of these products you can revive a mildly dirty interior safely and maintain it for years.

9 comments on Maintaining Leather with Prestine Clean, Einszett 1Z Cockpit Premium or Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer

  1. Mike says:

    I have read in one of Todd’s writeups with prestine clean that when he is ready to wipe off the product, he wipes it down first with a damp microfiber and then hits it with a dry microfiber towel. Is the damp cloth necessary?

  2. Justin says:

    Mike – Pre-cleaning with a damp cloth helps and is recommended. I read somewhere that the tiny bits of grit on caoted leather seats is what causes the coating to fail and the leather to eventually crack. The grit acts like sandpaper.

  3. Chris Santoro says:

    No conditioner necessary?

    I have a e92 M3 with the Novillo interior. It’s very soft and I’ve been searching for the right combination of cleaner/conditioner to keep it nice.

    Do you have any experience with this interior?

  4. Justin says:

    I usually dont condition newer seats. Most leather comes coated from the factory which can prevent the conditioner from doing its thing. That 612 Scaglietti in the pictures above has never been conditioned, only wiped periodically with a damp cloth and cleaned every 90 days with Prestine Clean. the light color and porous leather pick up denim transfer like a magnet. They actually appear to have blue leg prints on them at times. Add in the food that the kids throw around, and you have a typical car interior!

    Novillo is a softer leather and I think there is more installed in the car than the the standard interor, correct? Prestine Clean may even be overkill as a weekly cleaner once you have the seats in the condition you like. If you see small creases in the leather and want to try conditioning with Rejuvinator Oil, do it. I have had great success with that product. Some people like to heat the seats with a heat gun before applying Rejuvinator Oil, I am one of those people. I also wrap the seats in plastic after applying the Oil and let it saturate all day. I periodically check to see if there are any areas that appear to be dry, and apply more rejuvinator Oil to that area. I work it in with a rubber glove covered hand and a soft bristled brush.

  5. Chris Santoro says:

    Great information!

    Thanks a lot Justin. I’ve been hesitant to try the Rejuvinator Oil because of how involved the process is, but I may need to try it as there are some areas that appear dry and cracked.

  6. Estuardo says:

    I have ordered a new steering wheel for my car its the Jetta GLI MKIV steering wheel, and has perforated leather, I want to keep it like new for many years i was thinking in this combo

    Every 90 Days clean it with Prestine clean
    Every week wipe it with Meguiars Quick Interior detailer
    No conditioner

    What do you recomend?


  7. Justin says:

    A new wheel will clean with Cockpit Premium or Megs Interior Detailer at a maximum…

    If you notice a film, or a non-OEM feel, jump to Prestine Clean.


  8. Justin says:

    I did a similar interior on a ’11 RR Supercharged today. Prestine Clean made the denim transfer “pool” like blue water on the seat. Minimal effort restored the interior to new (6 months ago…)

  9. chuck smoot says:

    I’m looking for something that can clean my F350 leather interior. The color is grey and still in good shape I wipe it down each washing. The steering wheel has some grime that I can get for the most part. The problem spots are my seat and passenger seat it’s just from the in and out of the daily drive.
    thanks in advance

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