How much Leather Conditioner Should I Use
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    How much Leather Conditioner Should I Use

    My Miata has one small crack/hole in the driver's seat and several minor surface cracks. The leather feels rather stiff to me, particularly in the area of the cracks. I have been using the one step leather care. I put on a relatively heavy coat (I can see white streaks of the product) over the entire leather area and then put an even heavier layer over the damaged areas,

    I then let it sit for several hours and notice that most of the product has disappeared (soaked in?). Then I put on additional coats.

    My thought is that the product is soaking into the leather and softening it. My question: is what I'm doing helping? Is it hurting? Is there any other product I should be using to "soften up" stiff leather?

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Well, I think that sounds fairly reasonable what you did. Can you tell a difference, and feel that it is softening up?

    The only other product would be the 2-step leather cleaner and conditioner. You could try the Conditioner, for a little extra moisturizing.

    Gold Class Rich Leather Aloe Conditioner


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    Registered Member 97t-bird's Avatar
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    I deep clean the leather with the 2 step mentioned above then everytime i wash i use the gold class cleaner/conditioner sray like a qd to get any surface dirt and it seems to help keep it soft my car is a 97 with tan interior and only a few small cracks. The leather did come with the creases that look like cracks but arent just the way its sewn. Plus most leather does have a clear layer ontop just fyi. Greg

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    Thank you 97T-Bird and Murr1525 for your insights. I haven't seen the two step product and wasn't aware it was available. I'll look for it.

    In response to T-Bird's queston about does the leather feel softer, I'm not sure. The surface has more shine and the color looks slightly darker. The leather may feel a little softer, but I wonder if it's just my imagination?

    My concern is that using too much conditioner may weaken the leather or the seams. I know that some products like Neets Foot Oil or Mink Oil will do damage, and I worry that I might be overdoing it with the conditioner.

    Any additional insights/experiences/suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    The Step 1 is a cleaner, that you could also get if you felt like it. Little hard to find in stores, you may need to order online.

    As far as using too much, I certainly wouldnt keep doing 5 or so applications a day every week... But I would think by now, you would have reached a plateu for the moment.

    Maybe give it a couple weeks, order the other conditioner in the mean time, then just one application every 2 months or so would be appropriate.


    edit:

    Did you notice less soaking in with the later coats of conditioner? More excess laying around?

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    Hi Murr1525,

    Thanks again for your insights. So far, all the additional applications appear to be absorbed just a quickly as the first applications. The only places it seems to "dry up" without being absorbed are in:

    (1) the small crack that has become a hole,
    (2) the needle holes from the stitching and
    (3) the holes in the headrest where the speakers are located.

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    Re: How much Leather Conditioner Should I Use

    Originally posted by redrider969
    My Miata has one small crack/hole in the driver's seat and several minor surface cracks. The leather feels rather stiff to me, particularly in the area of the cracks. I have been using the one step leather care. I put on a relatively heavy coat (I can see white streaks of the product) over the entire leather area and then put an even heavier layer over the damaged areas,

    I then let it sit for several hours and notice that most of the product has disappeared (soaked in?). Then I put on additional coats.

    My thought is that the product is soaking into the leather and softening it. My question: is what I'm doing helping? Is it hurting? Is there any other product I should be using to "soften up" stiff leather?
    I've use gc leather spray, wipes and the cleaner/conditioner as well as the 2 step system. I use the leather cleaner (step 1, which restores it to it's natural look) and then the gc rich aloe cleaner conditioner because I like the more natural look and feel. the spray and wipes leaves a shiny coating and so does the step 2 conditioner which I don't like. They don't seem to "soften" the leather. the aloe cleaner/conditioner does however, make the leather wrapped steering wheel feel soft and kept the natural look of leather as well as the seats. And when I used step 2, I didn't layer conditioner on, I used an even coat app pad and went over each square inch once or twice. I also used a mf to remove any that didn't get absorbed.

  8. #8
    Registered Member MaxImage's Avatar
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    Originally posted by redrider969

    My concern is that using too much conditioner may weaken the leather or the seams. I know that some products like Neets Foot Oil or Mink Oil will do damage, and I worry that I might be overdoing it with the conditioner.
    In my experiences with leathers of all types, from cheap plasticky ones to true luxury leathers, over time and sans proper care they all act the same...they dry out. Once leather has turned to "cardboard" it's sometimes difficult to restore it to the luster that it once was. Since leather is a natural product and many have a clear coat over them, it behaves accordingly. It's a skin, just like human skin, and if you didn't drink enough water, your skin would be one of the first things to dry out. So think of leather in the same way. If you didn't nourish/rehydrate it with natural oils and moisture, it too will dry out over time.

    In response to the above question, too much conditioner should not weaken the leather if it has dried out. If the leather is relatively new, then you do not want to oversaturate the leather, rather, apply a moderate coating of conditioner and let it soak in. What I like to do is to apply the conditioner at night and have it soak in, so that by the next morning most of it has been absorbed. Many brands say that you should buff off the excess conditioner with a soft cloth, but I allow the conditioner that I use (professional product, but not Meguiars) to be buffed off by my clothes when I sit in the seat. This particular product does not stain my clothes at all, and I have tested it with all types of fabics including silk. You may want to test the particular product that you are using for its ability to stain [your clothing] before you allow it to just remain on your seats without first removing the excess.

    For drier leather, frequent applications (i.e. once a week if the leather is really bad) may be beneficial to restoring some of the leather's suppleness, but this type of restoration is long-term. It probably won't regain the majority of it softness overnight, or even over a period of a month. Rather it may take several months. You may also want to experiment with different brands to see which one works the best for you. I use a lanolin based conditioner that does not leave a white residue even in the holes of perforated leather. It also does not leave a slippery "silicone-Armor-all-slide out of the seat" finish because it is a silicone-free formula, but rather it leaves behind a nice suppleness.

    I know this was lengthy, but I hope it helps. Please let me know if there is anything that requires clarification.

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