Additional Leather Tips

From Moss Motoring 1985

by Michael A Mascelli Latham, NY

Dear Moss Folks,

Thanks for the great newsletter! I read your recent leather upholstery tips and from my long experience with leather seats I would like to offer the following additional tips:

1. Consumers should be aware that while ‘Lexol’ will in fact soften even severely dried leather it will also darken it progressively with each application. This is particularly evident on pastel color leathers, any product containing neatsfoot oil will have a darkening effect.

2. Heat and sunlight are traditional enemies of vinyl and leather but cold is just as deadly a killer. Extremes of temperature that cause expansion and contraction of leather should be avoided at all costs. Take your leather seats inside for the winter!

3. Dusting and vacuuming seats is, of course, necessary but some cleaning with saddle soap or very mild soap is also required to allow ‘Hide Food” to do its best. This should be based on use and done before applying Hide Food.

4. Perhaps the greatest threat to leather seats is the unknown effect of silicone based polishes and protectants. These products are wonderful for vinyl but spell doom for leather since they will eventually clog the pores of the leather and prevent penetration of the needed oils in ‘Hide Food’. Leather seats (even factory top coated) are not meant to be shiny and treatments used for vinyl should be carefully left off leather seat faces. Other clear seal products made for the shoe industry are far too effective for leather seats and should be avoided if they contain silicone and used extremely sparingly in any other case. If you are worried about spilling coffee on the seat, get a temporary cover rather than load up the surface with clogging topcoats.

Ed Note: One of the greatest advantages of real leather upholstery is that it is largely impervious to spills and soiling. If your seats are protected with Hide Food or Lexol, a spill can be easily wiped up, ‘no harm done’.


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