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stanski

FAQs Interior cleaning and protection

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I have been meaning to do this for a while as we seem to get the same questions over and over so hopefully this can help you all. :)

 

Some general points to remember with Zed interiors

 

Japanese leather is not the most durable compared to other makes. It is quite thin and does suffer quite soon from creases on the edges of the seat and back. This is normal is not terminal and can easily be remedied and to a certain degree prevented.

 

If your car has heated seats this will accelerate the drying out process and hence make it more vulnerable to creases and eventually tears.

 

 

Easy ways to look after your seats

 

Do not wear jeans or skirts that have metal badges or buckles or studs - they will scratch and puncture the leather.

If your love munching on snacks in the car no doubt the crumbs will find their way onto the seat - brush the seat and vac them on a regular basis.

Try not to spill any drinks on the leather - especially sticky soft drinks like Coke. (If you do try to wipe it clean with cold water on a microfibre cloth soon as you can and dry it properly).

 

Twice a year clean the seats with a leather cleaner on a damp microfibre cloth.

Afterwards wipe off any residue with water and dry properly.

Apply the leather cream / conditioner to the whole seat including the back and let it soak in - follow instructions on the bottle.

Some leather creams like Connolly Hide food are quite greasy and very effective - your hands will be nice and soft afterwards, your seats will last for years.

Beware: after a leather treatment do not to wear any clothes that are pale in colour or are likely to stain for about a week of so. Tthese creams can lift a little pigment sometimes - which is harmless but you dont want to spoil your white flares now do you!

Thats it for leather its pretty durable stuff and will last the life of the car easily.

You should not need to redye or recolour your seats for at least 20 years - there are plenty of companies promising you miracle treatments - best way is to you the newer water based dyes that are mixed to order and keep the seat looking original and not freshly painted! I will cover that in a seperate article.

 

Fabric seats are not normally as strong as leather seats but do not suffer the same types of creasing that leather does.

The same rules apply for fabric as above. With Fabric you can buy scotchguard type sprays to help make them water resistant - personally I would not apply these but its a personal thing really - if you do - try a bit on the underside so you can see if its colourfast.

 

 

Pre '06 Facelift models - the dash and door cards are made from a slightly harder material than the later revised models. The revised materials are a vinyl /latex treated material which gives the interior a slightly more plusher lookl and is more touchy feely than the older type. The biggest down side is that its very soft and very easily scratched!

 

The centre console was also revised as part of the facelift and comes with similar touchy feely material - previous material was harder plastic.

 

Over the years I have tried assorted products and have come to the conclusion that if like me you dont want your car to smell like a sweet shop or a tarts hankie dont use fragranced cleaners for dashboards etc.

 

Lots of these are silicone based and silicone acts like a magnifying glass with the suns rays and dries up the material prematurely. I know we dont get a lot of sun in this country but the average car interior gets surprisingly hot!

 

All you need is just warm water and a microfibre cloth - a mild cleaner can be used if you like but normally I would'nt bother.

 

Carpets - can be cleaned with these foam carpet cleaners - Vanish is particularly good (dont always go for car products)

 

Plastic mouldings like behind the seats etc can be cleaned with vinyl cleaners if water does'nt get your stuff clean. Use Fairy liquid also but very sparingly

 

Alloy bits if real alloy clean up well with some cheap car wax on a rag - not on pedals though for safety reasons.

 

Scratches on the alloy bits like the steering wheel, or gearbox bezel (revised models) use a light polish first and work your way up to T cut if very bad.

 

Roadster owners - clean the hood with a suitable convertible fabric cleaner then treated with a water proofer. Do this twice a year

While your cleaning the hood check for any damage and get it looked at sooner rather than later - a local coach trimmer will be able to help here.

Note the boot and Hood cover at the back are made from Plastic so dont lean too heavily on it

 

Boot space you can wipe down again with just water or a mild cleaner - the carpet is cleaned up nicely with a damp shammy leather cloth or microfibre

 

Silver Plastic bits - the strut brace etc - be careful its not real alloy! silver plastic just needs a wipe with a damp rag.

 

Headling - if you have got a car from someone who was keen to smoke like a chimney you will find the headlining is more like a 1930's Cinema than a crisp white fabric!

This is a tricky one as headlining is normally precast into shape and is quite fragile compared to the rest of the car. To start use warm water and a microfibre or shammy cloth and rub gently in circular motions working your way across - same for the sunvisors. Let it dry for a while then do some more - look at the colour of the water!!!!

If you are not getting anywhere fast - mix some Vanish cleaner in with the water - only a bit - its more elbow grease and less haste with strong chemicals!!

 

This thats it really?

 

 

Some products I can recommend

 

Leather cleaners:

Autogylm leather cleaner - very good but very mild.

Saddle soap - gylcerine based cleaner.

 

Leather feeders / conditioners

Connolly Hide Food (if its good enough for Rolls Royce its good enough for Datsun)

Glyptone Leather cream

Autoglym Leather conditioner

 

Dashboard and door card cleaners - if water does'nt work or Fairy liquid

MER interior shampoo

Autoglym interior cleaner

ASTRAL dash cleaner foam (smells fab)

 

Polishing out alloy scratches (in order of softest first)

MER Polish

Autoglym super resin car polish

T cut

Autosol chrome cleaner

 

Plastic moulding like in boot

Mer interior shampoo

Mer Vinyl and bumper Gel (use tiny amount on damp rag - if you want a bit of sheen)

 

Roadster Hood

Autoglym Fabric hood cleaner kit (contains all you need to clean and waterproof it).

 

There are plenty of other products but they are all very similar - please add your recommendations here if you want. Dont be dazzled by a fancy brand a lot are manufactured by a few companies for everyone else! :dummy:

 

Please remember to look after the inside as much as your bodywork and it will reward you with years of trouble free motoring. Interior materials are very well designed but sometimes need a little love and care to help them along. B)

 

PS if you are tempted to recover your seats / dash - please please please be aware of the airbags - they are there for your safety DO NOT switch them off or let anyone sell you covers that hamper the operation of the airbag.

:thumbs:

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If you love munching on snacks in the car no doubt the crumbs will find their way onto the seat

 

:scare::scare::scare::scare::snack:

 

Its a good job Tarmac has got cloth seats :#1:

 

 

Great write up Stan - well done bud :thumbs:

Thanks mate, just cover seat in cling film at the start of the journey :lol:

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I'm a Gliptone leather man. Lovely stuff!

 

I also use poorboys natural look dressing on the plastics if I'm treating them (it has UV protectors)

 

A wipe down with a damp microfibre is enough though!

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Thoughts on Dr Leather wipes? I've heard good things

 

Perfect for maintenance cleaning of leathers but not really ideal for deep cleaning. I regularly recommend them.

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Thanks Stanski for a concise write up and i agree with Illogical1, I bought a container of their wipes last year and have been mightily impressed with them.

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Just out of interest, is there any reason why pretty much all the products you recommend are all products you can buy off the shelf at Halfords? Have you tested any of the stuff that can pretty much only be purchased online? Such as Gtechniq, Dodo Juice, Poorboys etc?

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HOLY thread revival.... (original 03/11/....2009... )

 

 

Just out of interest, is there any reason why pretty much all the products you recommend are all products you can buy off the shelf at Halfords? Have you tested any of the stuff that can pretty much only be purchased online? Such as Gtechniq, Dodo Juice, Poorboys etc?

 

New stuff wasn't invented back in the dark ages when you were a boy..... :p

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Ha I never noticed! I actually read it on tapatalk and never noticed the date!

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