Cleaning & Preparing Leather or Vinyl

Home Cleaning & Preparing Leather or Vinyl

Preparation is a bit more than a just a quick wipe over with a damp cloth

Preparation is key to a long-lasting finish.

Incorrect preparation can cause any repair to fail or be short lived.

Section 1: Leather General Maintenance

Section 2: Leather Deep Cleaning

Section 3: Vinyl General Maintenance

Section 4: Vinyl Deep Cleaning

  1. Section 1: Leather General maintenance.

Items required:

  1. GT15 Gentle (Maintenance) Cleaner
  2. GT11 Conditioner (GT13 Repellent conditioner)
  3. Cleaning cloth (use damp)
  4. Drying towel

With new leather or recently renovated leathers, you do not need to condition. The conditioner has nowhere to go and will just sit on top, attract dust and grime and in the case of renovated leather, can remove the dye. This is because conditioners are tacky and the twisting motion when using leather can cause it to grab at the dye and either weaken it or cause it to fail.

If you are maintaining newly renovated leather then we recommend you do not condition for at least 6-8 months. For new leather we also recommend using it after 6-8 months.

For periodic maintenance use GT15 Gentle cleaner with a damp cloth. Spray the top of your seats first and work your way down to the seat base. It is best to use a damp cloth as this will help disperse GT15. Wipe over the leather with the damp cloth and finally use a towel cloth to dry

If the leather is over 12 months old we advised lightly conditioning.

Once you have used GT15 to clean the seat, apply a small amount of GT11 Leather conditioner (approximately 50pence piece in size) and wipe over the seats. There is no need to use large amounts of conditioner on leather as only a very small percentage soaks in.

Once you have conditioned you can leave it to soak in overnight.

We advise you to clean the seats again after you have allowed the conditioner to soak in. This will not remove all the conditioner you have applied, only the residual condition that is sitting on top.

Residual conditioner can attract dust which can result in the pores of the leather becoming blocked, thus inhibiting its ability to breath and ultimately can cause the leather to dry out.

GT13 repellent conditioner has been specifically developed for use on leather that is exposed to the elements, such as cars with no roof.

If when undertaking periodic cleaning you find that the seats still appear dirty please move on to section 2

  1. Section 2: Leather Deep cleaning.

Deep cleaning is undertaken prior to colour application (the use of leather dyes) or if your leather is very dirty.

Items Required;

  1. GT12 Intensive cleaner
  2. GT 11 Conditioner (GT13 Repellent Conditioner)
  3. Scrubbing brush
  4. Scouring pad (Green only)
  5. Cleaning cloth (use damp)
  6. Drying towel
  7. Bowel or warm water

Put the scouring pad into the bowel of warm water along with a scrubbing brush until you are ready to use it.

Spray a mist of water or wipe over the leather with a damp cloth (do not soak). It is important that you do not allow the cleaner to dry out whilst deep cleaning.

Do not use any other colour of scouring pad apart from GREEN. If you use red, orange, yellow etc then the pigments of the pad can transfer onto your leather. In our experience the only colour that does not transfer is green.

GT12 Intensive cleaner is quite thick. Water will help GT12 clean disperse enabling it to get deep into the pores.
Apply GT12 Intensive cleaner to a wet scouring pads and apply light pressure to clean. You may find that this will develop a foam which will help lift grime from the leather.
If you are preparing your leather surface for the application of dye then you can exert more pressure to get a deeper clean. NEVER let the cleaner dry, always wet the scouring pad, (reapply cleaner if necessary). If preparing leather for recolouring then you do not need to worry about the removal of any of the current colour.

The scrubbing brush is to help clean in the stitch areas where the flat scouring pad may have difficulty reaching. Again, make sure the scrubbing brush it wet and apply a small amount of cleaner. Work the cleaner into the stitch areas or join stitch areas.

Once you are happy that you have scrubbed the leather, use 1 or 2 damp cleaning cloths to remove the initial grime that the cleaner has lifted. Finally towel down the leather.

If you are going to apply conditioner to your leather then its best done before the leather completely dries. After deep cleaning, damp leather will help draw the conditioner in. Only use a small amount of conditioner. If you want to apply more conditioner then its best to leave each application a few days to enable to it soak in.

Remember that once you have allowed the conditioner to soak in, you will need to remove any excess that is sitting on top of the leather. If you are intending to recolour your leather then it is very importation that you remove all residual conditioner or the dye you apply can fall.

The second clean (after conditioning) does not have to be as vigorous as the initial deep clean.

Interior Plastics

GT12 Intensive cleaner is also great on interior plastics. Such as dashboards, doorcards, carpet kick panels. Again, use as instructed above

  1. Section 3: Vinyl General maintenance.

Items required:

  1. GT10 Vinyl Cleaner
  2. Cleaning cloth (use damp)
  3. Drying towel

Vinyl is very easy to look after.

For periodic maintenance use GT10 Vinyl with a damp cloth. Spray the top of your seats first and work your way down to the seat base. It is best to use a damp cloth as this will help disperse GT10. Wipe over the vinyl with the damp cloth and finally use a towel cloth to dry

If when undertaking periodic cleaning you find that the seats still appear dirty please move on to section 2

  1. Section 4: Vinyl Deep cleaning.

Deep cleaning is undertaken prior to colour application (the use of dyes) or if your vinyl is very dirty.

Items Required;

  1. GT12 Intensive cleaner
  2. Scrubbing brush
  3. Scouring pad (Green only)
  4. Cleaning cloth (use damp)
  5. Drying towel
  6. Bowel or warm water

Put the scouring pad into the bowel of warm water along with a scrubbing brush until you are ready to use it.

Spray a mist of water or wipe over the Vinyl with a damp cloth (do not soak). It is important that you do not allow the cleaner to dry out whilst deep cleaning.

Do not use any other colour of scouring pad apart from GREEN. If you use red, orange, yellow etc then the pigments of the pad can transfer onto your Vinyl. In our experience the only colour that does not transfer is green.

GT12 Intensive cleaner is quite thick. Water will help GT12 clean disperse.
Apply GT12 Intensive cleaner to a wet scouring pads and apply light pressure to clean. You may find that this will develop a foam which will help lift grime from the vinyl.
If you are preparing the vinyl surface for the application of dye then you can exert more pressure to get a deeper clean. NEVER let the cleaner dry, always wet the scouring pad, (reapply cleaner if necessary). If preparing vinyl for recolouring then you do not need to worry about the removal of any of the current colour.

The scrubbing brush is to help clean in the stitch areas where the flat scouring pad may have difficulty reaching. Again, make sure the scrubbing brush it wet and apply a small amount of cleaner. Work the cleaner into the stitch areas or join stitch areas.

Once you are happy that you have scrubbed the vinyl, use 1 or 2 damp cleaning cloths to remove the initial grime that the cleaner has lifted. Finally towel down the vinyl.

Remember, if you have vinyl there is no need or point in using a conditioner.

Interior Plastics

GT12 Intensive cleaner is also great on interior plastics. Such as dash boards, doorcards, carpet kick panels. Again, use as instructed above

The method described above is the same method we use when renovating interiors. If you have questions or concerns please contact us.