Leather care

Post your E12 technical questions and comments here. Please, no off-topic posts.

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T.Hanson
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Leather care

Post by T.Hanson » Tue May 09, 2017 1:59 am

Does anyone have any recommendations from personal experience, on the subject of leather care ? Specific product names, what worked.
Leatherique has a website and by far the best sales pitch for their products. Extensive instructions for their use, including what not to use on our pre-1985 leather.
For no logical reason I have not hauled off and placed the order. Not a large priority, easier to buy the Lexol cleaner and conditioner bottles off the local parts dealer shelf. Search their ads, they sport glowing reviews.
Using them has not exactly turned the tops of the rear seat backs from hard and shrunken tight to butter soft. I was hoping but not expecting. Not much to lose experimenting I have tried Neatsfoot oil. It has worked fine for softening leather boots worn in the mud, rain and snow. Same as the conditioner, no magic softener.

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Mike W.
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Post by Mike W. » Wed May 10, 2017 12:35 pm

Part of the problem is the sealant BMW uses on their leather, it's hard to get the oil to penetrate well. But even so it's hard to soften leather, I had a sport seat in the garage some time ago and used the thigh support as a test since it was easy to isolate. I must have done at least 50 applications of various conditioners with minimal success, including leatherique.

I haven't seen anything that does much good.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter

T.Hanson
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Post by T.Hanson » Thu May 11, 2017 2:07 am

Thank you. As I suspected, the proper solution for returning leather to it's original soft and supple condition is to rub money on it. Take the seats to an upholstery shop and pay to have them recovered.

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Mike W.
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Post by Mike W. » Thu May 11, 2017 12:10 pm

T.Hanson wrote:Thank you. As I suspected, the proper solution for returning leather to it's original soft and supple condition is to rub money on it. Take the seats to an upholstery shop and pay to have them recovered.
Ha ha, good one. I'm going to have to remember it. 8)
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter

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Lock
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Post by Lock » Fri May 12, 2017 1:43 am

Well makes me feel better that I haven't tried anything on my seats, if nothing besides a Benjamin application really does anything.
1979 528i 5-speed conversion G260/6
1979 Honda CX500

kwyjibo
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Post by kwyjibo » Fri May 12, 2017 9:51 am

I had good results with the Leatherique Rejuvenator/Prestine combo for the e9 seats. I don't know if BMW sealed the leather in 1972, but the seats started out very stiff with some cracks and are now reasonably flexible. Did I get a magical return to new? No. But the leather is much better after the leatherique treatment.
A friend used the stuff to get an Alfa back on the road and I followed his recommendations. First was to slap a bunch of the rejuvenator oil on, wrap in plastic, and leave it to bake in the sun for a while. Wait 2 days. Repeat with more oil. When I took the garbage bags off the seats, they were a hot sticky mess and I thought that I really messed up. Friend said "trust me. keep going." After two rounds the leather felt soft so I moved on to the prestine cleaner, but you can repeat oiling if needed. After cleaning, the seats still had a tacky feel and I was not happy and put them away. I checked on them a couple days later and the tackiness was mostly gone. I cleaned them again. That was last year and, except for the cracks and a couple stiff areas, I'm satisfied with the results. btw, I bought the 16oz size bottles and had over half left over. I gave them to another friend for his 911 - he only used half of what I gave him. So my guess would be that you could probably treat 4 pairs of seats with "normal" use.

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Jcat
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leather restore.. The only way to go

Post by Jcat » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:33 pm

Just my opinion but using Leatherique is the ticket. But if you don't have the time to do it right, then Leatherique doesn't have the time to work. You MUST, in opinion, (and as was recommended to me by the folks at Leatherique, remove the seats and apply the product liberally before placing the seat in a plastic bag and putting in your attic for a fair amount of time ( actually I forget what that was) so the leather can absorb the Leatherique. I did it and found it to be amazing. Nothing short of amazing. Let me know if I can help further.

By the way... Attic, because it is extremely hot there, so don't do it when it's not hot in there. Heat helps to soften and makes the leather absorb the Leatherique.
J Prothero
Roswell, GA
Former FF Ambassador to Montvale
1981 528i stock
Jprothero600@gmail.com

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Jcat
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leather restore.. The only way to go

Post by Jcat » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:38 pm

Just my opinion but using Leatherique is the ticket. But if you don't have the time to do it right, then Leatherique doesn't have the time to work. You MUST, in opinion, (and as was recommended to me by the folks at Leatherique, remove the seats and apply the product liberally before placing the seat in a plastic bag and putting in your attic for a fair amount of time ( actually I forget what that was) so the leather can absorb the Leatherique. I did it and found it to be amazing. Nothing short of amazing. Let me know if I can help further.
J Prothero
Roswell, GA
Former FF Ambassador to Montvale
1981 528i stock
Jprothero600@gmail.com

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maybeillbuyit
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Post by maybeillbuyit » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:57 pm

I just treated my dried out leather seats with Leatherique and they are definitely softer than they were before I used it. The cleaner started to remove some of the red color in the leather so didn't use it. I've probably applied the rejuvenator 4 times. I just wiped it on and wiped it off. In the spring I'll do the plastic bag trick. They are better than they were, its not a miracle fix but it helped.
1977 530i another project
1979 635csi Euro "project"
1987 635csi

garyinwestoz
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Re: Leather care

Post by garyinwestoz » Mon May 14, 2018 9:35 am

I dont know if its available in America, but we have ENJO over here and they make magnificent Leather and wood Balm - I've used it to restore some Leather Breur chairs.
I've also use it to brighten up the black plastic on our cars - ei gills, mirror surrounds etc

I've also used it to soften and make nicer some blue leather seats from an E28

Base product is Bees wax.

https://www.enjo.com.au/leather-wood-balm-240ml.html
77 528i -4 speed manual getting rusty
76 525 - 4 speed manual LPG and holley carb
81 528i - auto - to be relicensed with a 3.5 (83 735i)
79 SA ? 528i auto
79 528i auto parts car
86 525e 5 speed manual

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528i-1981
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Re: Leather care

Post by 528i-1981 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:08 am

Wondering if the plastic bag trick was tried yet? It's getting warm, my attic gets about 90 F during the day. I've also got the red leather and am tempted by the promise of "nothing short of amazing" with Leatherique ...
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i 5-speed

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dsw99a
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Re: Leather care

Post by dsw99a » Thu May 17, 2018 12:10 am

Ive had pretty good results with Mink oil. Ive used %100 golden mink oil. Get the best you can afford. I agree a little heat helps, even if it is just a nice vigorous rub (to generate heat) to get the oil to penetrate well. You know how the story goes; wax on - wax off.

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528i-1981
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Re: Leather care

Post by 528i-1981 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm

Does anyone know the color code/name for the red leather available on the E12? Mine is a 1981 528i, and red appears to be a special order. My best guess is 0162 / Cherry.

I hit my seats with Leatherique and am going back for another round. They're better, but not where they could be. This reminds me of another thread on this forum where somebody warned that when you pull the carpeting out of your E12, it's no afternoon job because you see all kinds of horrors beneath that will require your attention. Same with the seats I guess. I used to think they were in great shape until I got them out of the car and under a workshop light 12 inches from my face. Now I have OCD supply for several weeks. I'm thinking I'll probably redye the rear bench and if that goes well I'll hit the front seats.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i 5-speed

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Mike W.
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Re: Leather care

Post by Mike W. » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:32 pm

528i-1981 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm
Does anyone know the color code/name for the red leather available on the E12? Mine is a 1981 528i, and red appears to be a special order. My best guess is 0162 / Cherry.

I hit my seats with Leatherique and am going back for another round. They're better, but not where they could be. This reminds me of another thread on this forum where somebody warned that when you pull the carpeting out of your E12, it's no afternoon job because you see all kinds of horrors beneath that will require your attention. Same with the seats I guess. I used to think they were in great shape until I got them out of the car and under a workshop light 12 inches from my face. Now I have OCD supply for several weeks. I'm thinking I'll probably redye the rear bench and if that goes well I'll hit the front seats.
Yep, tinted windows, even just factory tint, hides a lot.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter

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Jcat
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Location: Roswell, GA

Re: Leather care

Post by Jcat » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:12 pm

Sorry for the late post... but the color of your leather is called "Clarette Red", but dont hold me to the spelling. Also, I swear by the plastic bag thing. It is the only way to go but tht means you are not able to drive your car for quite awhile. Th longer you leave it up there the better. When it is absorbed, you know it. Then you keep putting more of the Leatherique on. I forget exactly but read the FAQ I posted years ago on this and it is the way to go. My leather to this day looks nearly showroom. (no kidding). And the smell of new leather is still there, but also know that I put my Leatherique on early not after the seams were popping out and welting was all cracked. If you need more info, I would love to be of any assistance I can provide. You all have been so good to me over the years.
J Prothero
Roswell, GA
Former FF Ambassador to Montvale
1981 528i stock
Jprothero600@gmail.com

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