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The perils of cleaning your interior...

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by Jet-X, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
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    Brian
    ...or "How it took me almost 2 hours just to clean the back seats"

    Well, I've been saying since I got my car I was going to do a full 'scrub down' of the interior since I bought it back in June. However, because it's such a time consuming task, I had been putting it off for a while (instead doing 'basic cleaning').

    With the last FDC drive to Pachanga Casino, I let (forgot his name, forgive me!) the cameraman who accompanied the group ride in the back seat of my Mondial t in order to have more room to capture great shots of the cars. Those on the freeway that saw a black Mondial speed up and then slow by your cars know why (if you didn't) now I was doing that. However, as a result, my interior in the back seat was filthy. I decided that today I would embark on this 'restoration' of sorts.

    Armed with:
    • Lexol leather cleaner (no longer a favorite after today)
    • Leather cleaner from the Ferrari cleaning kit
    • Autoglym Leather Care Cream (still my favorite)
    • medium bristle brush
    • sponge (a real sponge from the ocean)
    • lots and lots of white cotton towels
    • white cotton terry applicators
    • foam applicators

    ...I began my journey.

    First off I would apply very liberal amounts of Autoglym leather cream to an applicator and spread it generously on one section of the leather at a time. Allowing a minute for it to penetrate, I would then use the bristle brush to scrub out the imbedded dirt. No people, those little black dots in your leather isn't characteristic of leather, it's embedded dirt!

    Then I'd follow up by buffing the area with a cotton terry towel. Afterwards, I'd scrub the bristle brush against another towel to remove the dirt and grime from the brush, and then repeat the sequence all over again.

    I thought using the Lexol might speed things up (I seem to remember this from my last car), however, it didn't speed things up hardly at all. I'll keep it as a back up, but will stick to the Autoglym Leather Cream.

    I decided WTF, might as well experiment with the leather cleaner from the "Ferrari Care Kit" (www.owners.ferrari.com, $199). I didn't buy it for the chemicals, just for the Schedoni leather case it came in. I planned on replacing the chemicals contained with my preferred chemicals and then carry this kit with me at all times for touch up spots. However, I completely forgot that the trunk on my Mondial gets extremely warm, and it might not be a good idea for me to put chemicals that could be a fire hazard back there. I digress..

    Anyway, I decided to try the cleaner. The instructions with this kit or so vague it's funny. But it's NOT funny when the instructions are vague, and you damage your interior!!! Hence why it took so long to try. Well, I said f'-it, and used the sponge with the leather cleaner. It worked very well, but contrary to the instructions. "Do not rub, light circular motions" which is contrary to how the stuff works. Doing it their way, only the lightest soilage is removed. Doing it my way, the dirt comes off, and no, no damage to my interior.

    After this is all done, I apply one last coat of leather care cream, and then buff out. With a convertible, the leather is baking under the sun a lot more often than a coupe. One of the worst things that can happen is leather to dry out. At Concours Italiano, I was amazed and shocked at the lack of interior attention cars got. Quite a bit of the leather there was not only dry and cracking, but lost it's original color. Such a shame.

    Don't think your leather is dirty? Take a good hard look at the areas where you are NOT sitting. Especially on rear deck shelves, behind 1/4 windows, etc. It's there, and it gets worse.

    How often do I plan to do a thorough clean like this? Probably once every 6-8 months unless it dirties up pretty badly prior. I use Autoglym Leather cream at least 1 time a month. My leather is always soft, supple, and smooth (sounds pornographic huh?). And the color is as brilliant as the day it left Ferrari.

    It's not hard to care for your leather and you'd be surprised at the results.

    Fchat will only allow 640x640 pics, so my pic isn't as dramatic as it the results in person. The seat on the left in the picture is the unclean seat, and the seat on the right is after I performed the scenario above.
     
  2. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
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    Brian
    The kit you can order from the Ferrari site.
     
  3. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    Inside of the kit...
     
  4. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    Brian
    And the tools.....(forgot to photo the cotton towels)
     
  5. DynastyD_308qv

    Nov 24, 2003
    36
    Long Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Ron Couch Jr.
    Love the detailed post.... and the Schedoni leather case.

    Just need a bit of clarification.... was the Autoglym sufficient, or did you NEED the chemicals from the leather case?

    Ron (totally ignorant on leather care) Couch
     
  6. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    Autoglym was sufficient.

    But the chemicals from the Schedoni case sped cleaning up a little bit, that's it. However, the end results were no different than using just the Autoglym with exception to a little less elbow grease.
     
  7. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    Welcome to the hell that is my life. :)

    Very nice results - Looks great!
     

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