View Full Version : Leather Tech

09-03-2010, 10:23 PM
I'll admit it. I like to detail, and I like to clean things up every once in a while, especially when its a new truck and the funk is someone else's.

The 14 year old leather in my 80 is in pretty good shape, with just a bit of stretching in the seams and a couple of small tears behind the back seats. But the grime and dirt and scum was kinda nasty so I went after it, hoping to breathe some life back into the interior.

Pretty simple really - all you need is a bottle of Woolite, a gentle scrubbing pad or boars hair brush, clean water, and about 2 hours of your time. I went for a concentration of 1 part Woolite to 6 parts water for the baseline clean-up; you can go to 10/1 or higher for maintenance. Just work the soapy water into the seat with the brush so that it lathers up, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Some stains are more stubborn and you may have to work a bit harder.

Anyway - it turned out pretty good with the tan leather.

Bottom half has been cleaned and wiped




Not bad for a $4 bottle of Woolite. I've never had Lexol clean that well.

09-03-2010, 11:14 PM
wow, nice work!

Rock Dog
09-04-2010, 12:15 AM
BIG difference

09-04-2010, 07:48 AM
That looks great. I tired the Leatherique stuff. It works but probably isn't worth the extra cost.

I've been wanting to clean the headliner in my 80 but haven't researched the options yet. Any rec's for cleaning techniques that work with the headliner in the truck?

09-04-2010, 10:30 AM
Headliners are tricky; more like carpet than seat material, and they tear pretty easily. The problem is that if you are too invasive with soaps and water, the foam and other stuff that gets glued to the back of the headliner can lose its stickiness and the whole thing starts coming apart. And if you are too aggressive or only address certain areas you'll make it look worse than it did before. And when you add in the fact that you'll have to work upside down, the deal is off. I've never done it.

I assume you don't want to pull the headliner?

You could try a white towel or soft brush with a small amount of cleaning product or soap and water and light force, and try not to get it too damp/wet in any one spot.

I've wondered if you could use a handheld carpet cleaning machine like the mean green, but only if those machines allow you to adjust the water and make sure it doesn't get saturated?

09-06-2010, 01:10 PM
Wow...Matt, that looks great!!!

09-06-2010, 09:14 PM
Good work. I'll be out there scrubbing sometime this week.

09-06-2010, 09:28 PM
Nice job Matt!

09-06-2010, 11:24 PM
Wow, the backs of my seats look even worse than yours. This is now on my "to do" list.

09-07-2010, 12:18 PM
The Meguire's stuff is the best I've found so far for leather treatment. I have also tried Armor All's product, but don't like it as much.. but neither of them actually did much cleaning, I'm going to try the Woolite thing, followed by the Meguire's. Hopefully the dirt isn't too baked in, I've left them alone for a few years and the leather definitely feels harder than it used to be, would be nice to bring some life back. Your seats look great, Matt. :thumb:

09-07-2010, 01:18 PM
Looks awesome, elbow grease cleans up a lit things.

09-07-2010, 01:53 PM
I definitely think it's a two step process: clean first, and then apply a conditioner to protect and soften the leather. I think it's worth spending a bit of cash for a good leather conditioner.