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Old 05-26-2020, 02:39 PM   #1
thatgarrett
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Member#: 497099
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: TN
Vehicle:
2007 Outback Sport
Urban Gray

Default Best $10 I even spent on cleaning supplies- Leather Brush

Iíve had a few different leather interiors of different qualities over the years (Toyota, BMW Nappa, Subaru and Momo) and had always just cleaned with a clean, damp rag whenever I washed my car and 2-3 times a year used leather specific cleaner with a microfiber towel (followed by a dry clean towel) and then a conditioner/protectant (not trying to argue that here!) followed by a budding with another clean dry towel. It did a decent job, or so I thought, on the different interiors, but the Subaru and BMW leathers always seemed to get shiny and slick to some extent (Toyota always seem to be like that, might have just been the coat they put on it).

Well over this virus outbreak, Iíve taken to deep cleaning my cars and, wanting to try something new, I ordered a leather specific brush. After wiping down the wheel and seat with a damp cloth, I sprayed some cleaner on the leather and the brush and gently scrubbed the leather, in small circles with light pressure, until I got a lather, then wiped it off. A few areas took another application but the difference in appearance, texture, and suppleness (soft and flexible but not wet/slick feeling) was pretty big. Followed by protectant/conditioner and another dry buff and I would say the seats in my 2011 look and few brand new, and the junkyard ones I swapped into my 2007 feel and look amazing, with a a slight tasteful patina to them.

Anyways, thereís a million videos and other threads on cleaning leather, but I want to say that if you even just have a leather steering wheel a leather brush is 100% worth it, safer than a magic eraser or whatever DIY solution it may be, and can really transform the look and feel of whatever leather surface you might have. I canít stop running my hands along the wheel of my car now after a proper deep cleaning!
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:26 PM   #2
Opie
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Riverview, Florida - U.S.A.
Vehicle:
2020 Canyon Denali
'18 FXT, '16 XV, '13 BRZ

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Pic's before & after?
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:07 PM   #3
thatgarrett
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2007 Outback Sport
Urban Gray

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I didnít really think about taking a high res photo of before/after, so here is an older pic I found with a new one I just took. Itís a lot harder to tell the difference in pictures than in person, and the feel is one of the biggest differences IMO. If it helps, the places where later years have audio controls had leather that was untouched and noticeably difference in color, texture, and few compared to the other areas that were touched, and now that difference is not noticeable at all. That is, the whole wheel fees like the ďunusedĒ area, and is what really made me notice the change. I know these arenít the best pictures in the world and have different lighting, angles, and cameras but you can get a feel for the heavier sheen on the before shot and the greasy/slightly sticky texture.

Before


After
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Old 06-12-2020, 04:00 PM   #4
blovesubaru
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Nice! thanks for sharing
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:37 PM   #5
Ginjasaur
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Wow that looks really good!
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:03 PM   #6
blue-sun
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Link to the brush you purchased?
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:00 PM   #7
Gerdinator47
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wow that's pretty incredible! My wheel is so shiny it matches the black paint on the exterior haha

What of cleaner & brush did you use?
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:31 PM   #8
OutbackJack500
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nice post, good info, any links to amazon to purchase?
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:55 PM   #9
thatgarrett
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2007 Outback Sport
Urban Gray

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For the cleaner, I used Lexol cleaner I bought years ago, and the brush was this Colourlock Leather & Textile... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J7XSOLS?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Thereís a million different ways to go about it after reading but I wiped the wheel down with a damp cloth, let it dry, put some cleaner on the brush and had light pressure and scrubbed a good bit, wiping the leather up with a dry cloth, then I wiped it down with a damp cloth again. Might have been overkill but the wheel still feels and looks great, it also really helped the leather seats in my car and my forester as well. Just donít be too aggressive, but leather (at least on this generation) is pretty tough.

I also put some Lexol conditioner on a cloth and wiped it down after, buffing it with a dry cloth after a minute and it slightly made it more satin than flat black but with how drastic of a change on the wheel happened I figured it could use some protection as part of the top coat has probably worn away in the last 13 years.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:59 AM   #10
enojy
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A horsehair leather brush (even the cheap Kiwi from Amazon) is an amazing investment, and crucial for leather care. Taking care of the leather interior can be largely handled with a rag, conditioner/cleaner, and a brush!

Lexol is an old favorite, but I've heard they've changed their recipe. Bickmore's Bick 4 is a great lightweight replacement for cleaning & conditioning, but I think it only comes in a cream. I haven't tried it on Subaru's interior specifically, but it is by far the "safest" and most trusted conditioner in my collection, and I feel like I've tried them all at this point. One of the few products that definitely will not change/darken color of leather.

Just massage in a light amount by hand or with a rag, let it dry & soak in for 15 minutes, and brush vigorously to buff it away. Repeat every 6 months (or more often in extreme daily conditions.) Occasional wipe down with a damp rag between applications will keep things clean. You want to get a majority of the cleaning done with the damp rag; leather cleaners such as Lexol and Bick 4 will remove surface dirt, but only what it can easily trap when applied. They condition the leather better when applied to an already clean surface.

Finally, brushing can (and should) be done at any time for a quick buff & clean, no product necessary. It'll help keep the leather healthy, and get tiny dirt particles out of holes and crevices. You can never brush leather too much. Overconditioning is a thing, though, but if kept to light applications about twice a year, you'll be at no risk.

Last edited by enojy; 09-01-2020 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:04 PM   #11
Killah_Cam
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Thanks for sharing! Pictures came out clean!
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:44 AM   #12
lisprost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgarrett View Post
For the cleaner, I used Lexol cleaner I bought years ago, and the brush was this Colourlock Leather & Textile... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J7XSOLS...p_mob_ap_share

Thereís a million different ways to go about it after reading but I wiped the wheel down with a damp cloth, let it dry, put some cleaner on the brush and had light pressure and scrubbed a good bit, wiping the leather up with a dry cloth, then I wiped it down with a damp cloth again. Might have been overkill but the wheel still feels and looks great, it also really helped the leather seats in my car and my forester as well. Just donít be too aggressive, but leather (at least on this generation) is pretty tough.

I also put some Lexol conditioner on a cloth and wiped it down after, buffing it with a dry cloth after a minute and it slightly made it more satin than flat black but with how drastic of a change on the wheel happened I figured it could use some protection as part of the top coat has probably worn away in the last 13 years.
Thanks for sharing the link. Will check it out on Amazon.
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Old 10-13-2020, 05:18 PM   #13
Aoshi1
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Oh man, sold, thanks for the post and the pics. Good stuff.
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:41 PM   #14
Tom24GR
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I had a similar experience. I got a chemical guy's brush for I think around 15$ and its so worth it. The leather comes out like new every time. Definitely going to be something I incorporate to my detailing procedure from now on.
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Old 01-31-2021, 02:52 PM   #15
jose37maria
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1998 Subaru GC8
Acadia Green

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Perfect
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