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  #1  
Old 03-02-2006, 01:22 PM
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Leather Care: Griots

Folks, I have had a few unsettling experiences trying to care for my leather seats. I have used Griot's Interior Cleaner and their two leather care products, Rejuvenator plus the basic Leather Care. Whenever I apply any of these three products the color of my leather (saddle/1988 420 SEL) appears on the cloth or sponge. In fact, it appears that it's more the saddle color than dirt on the cloth. This concerns me...

By using these products over time (once a year) am I slowly removing dye and lightening the interior?

If the color of the leather predominates as residue on the cleaning cloth instead of plain old dirt stains does this mean my seats are as clean/restored as they will become?...

Does this mean that the minor perforations will never be clean (i.e. no matter how many times I clean the cracks remain darker and never clean to the surrounding saddle color).

P.S. By no means is this post meant to denigrate Griots. I read a few posts about Leatherique and some of those experiences raised my concern.

Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:08 PM
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Hans47, leather is dyed so some of the dye is coming off during the application of the Griot's leather care products. I've used both Griot's and Leatherique leather conditioners ... Leatherique will make your seats soft and supple so try it. Follow the directions and allow the rejuvenator oil to penetrate the leather for 24 hours, if possible, in a hot environment before using the Prestine Clean. From my experience Leatherique isn't any harsher on the leather than Griot's ... it simply works better to soften and clean the leather. Griot's is fine for quick treatments between annual Leatherique applications.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2006, 02:51 PM
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But given the tremendous amount of dye appearing on the cloth the downside to both products is that the color fades - that's the tradeoff, right?

I'm at a crossroad - if I don't see dirt but lots of dye on the cloth then the leather is about as clean as it will ever be, right?

And if the slight crack remains black after two thorough attempts then that's about a s good as it gets, right?

My seats are in excellent condition given the model year. I'm just a bit shocked by the fading (right after application) due to the once yearly use of the product.

I have heard pros and cons about Leatherique - glowing reviews and then reports of disaster. The before and after photos on their site are really bad - i.e. grainy photos, the "after" photo is not the same area as the "before" photo. Think I would need to see someone doing the actual restoration work.

Thanks for your feedback.

I would like to hear experiences from others too.
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Old 03-11-2006, 11:50 AM
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I use saddle soap to clean the leather and then use Hide Food to condition it.

I also try to keep the cars with leather seats out of the sun as much as possible.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2006, 12:33 PM
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I have been using Griot's Leather Conditioner and Leather Rejuvenator on all my cars for approx ten years. I use the Rejuvenator on the top of the rear seats where the sun hits the most (apply several times a year). I use the other on newer leather in good condition.

I have only seen the finish come off as you have described: The seats of my 1986 560 SEL had been repainted or refinished by a detailer. In some areas it took off most of the paint used to refinish.

I use these products in warm weather. In the problem areas like the drivers seat bolster and rear seat tops, I put it on somewhat heavy and let it sit for an hour before removing.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2006, 08:21 PM
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Griot's leather conditioner

I too have used this product on leather on my 300CE and Alfa Spider for many years without the problems you describe. Aslo, my son and I run a small detailing business and use this as well as other products from Griots and have used the leather care and interior cleaner on many high end cars with leather seats with no problems. If your leather has been restained or treated with dye, that is what is causing the problem. I have never had any color come off on factory original leather.

Antonino
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2006, 08:55 PM
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I have burgundy seats in my 1986 420SEL, and every leather cleaner or conditioner I have used removes a noticeable amount of the red dye and deposits it on the towel. I bought some BMW "lederlotion" cream and it did the same thing that the store-bought products did. I'm mainly concerned about staining my clothes...if it rains and I jump in the car with a wet white shirt on, will it be pink when I get home?
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2006, 07:35 PM
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I hate to say anything bad about Griot's products, since in general I think they are very high quality, but I ended up taking off most of the factory finish from my steering wheel with Griot's Leather Rejuvenator. Since the rag I was using showed some black stuff coming off, I figured it was years of accumulated dirt so kept going...a mistake...

I've never had that experience with Leatherique.

I have re-dyed the wheel and it looks pretty good, but not quite like the original finish. Got the dye from www.colorplus.com (they make great leather dye in MB colors -- no custom mixing charge).
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2006, 10:12 AM
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400E, well it's nice to know that I'm not the only one with OEM MB leather that reacts adversely to all of the Griots leather care products. I've used both and quite frankly their solutions take off too much coloring. I spoke to their customer service dept but my impression is that they think I'm delusional - just suggested that I stop using them. I would have preferred that they said they would have looked into it but I guess that is not the way Richard G. has chosen to run his company which was disappointing to learn.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:36 PM
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As you say that, I remember having a similar reaction when I called the company (about 5 years ago). They did sort of acknowledge that the Rejuvenator has a more aggressive cleaner than the regular leather product, but stopped short of taking responsibility for their product having taken off the finish. I would suspect the customer service people are trained to not say anything which would suggest accepting liability for any problems associated with use of their products.
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