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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which conditioner/restorer leaves less greasiness on the leather? Any other recommendations for non greasy conditioners?
 

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i've used Lexol for a long time, and probably wouldn't use anything else.

i always let the conditioner (step 2) soak in for 15-20 minutes, and then i buff it with a clean terry towel. no greasyness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BTW I normally use Connolly, but the Elise leather seems to be glossier and not as pourous as my other leather clad cars hence this question.
 

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ace3 said:
i've used Lexol for a long time, and probably wouldn't use anything else.

i always let the conditioner (step 2) soak in for 15-20 minutes, and then i buff it with a clean terry towel. no greasyness.
Same here.
 

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huggy bear said:
BTW I normally use Connolly, but the Elise leather seems to be glossier and not as pourous as my other leather clad cars hence this question.
That was the same difference between my last car & my dad's Lexus. His soaks up the conditioner like a sponge. MUCH nicer leather than my car. ;)
 

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Leatherique leaves a pretty much matte finish. I think there are better leather products out there than Lexol, but use what you like. A lot of times I stick with tried and true products just because they are familiar to me. Griots, Zaino, leatherique, and Spinneybeck all seem to be getting pretty favorable reviews. You might ask Nick what he thinks of his Einszett stuff compared to Leatherique. Of course, the needs for coated and non-coated leathers are a bit different. If the Lotus leather is coated I would probably not use something like Connolly hide food (besides, the smell isn't great).

The leatherique system however is something to use perhaps every six months to a year. The best way to maintain the leather is to keep it clean. For me this means weekly wipedowns with a wet and dry microfiber towel. Then on occassion you can use a cleaner or conditoner on it. I find it best to condition after using a cleaner, but it's not necessary to use a cleaner.

Over conditioning the leather doesn't do the leather any favors, but I suspect you will need to do it more often with the Elise because of sun exposure.
 

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In the owner's manual (pp. 97 under "Upholstery Cleaning") it states

"The manufacturers of the leather *do not* recommend the use of any hide 'food' and prohibit the use of petrol or detergents, furniture creams and polishes."

I wasn't planning on using petrol on the seats, but "hide food" seems to rule out conditioners and treatments. I've never heard of leather that one was not supposed to treat though. Lotus only recommends soap and water.

What is so special about this leather, or is Lotus simply being ultra-conservative?




DLY
 

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2005 Lotus Elise touring, hard top, Starshield
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I've got the perforated leather in my 2004 E500 Merc - they don't want you to use anything on the leather because it makes a mess because of the perforations and may leave "ring around the hole"
 

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It's possible to degrade the leather coating by treating it. Uncoated leathers usually found in more luxurious vehicles don't have this problem, but wear more quickly. The benefit is that they look and feel better. For example, take a look at what comes in the E500 vs. the E55.
 

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The einszett leather product isn't my favorite. It leaves a little more shine than I like. As far as conditioning goes, it is definitely good quality.

As Vantage mentioned, I too feel there are better products on the market than Lexol. Don't get me wrong, Lexol is a good surface conditioner, and is fine for new leather and general leather maintenance, but if you want to deep conditioner or restore dry leather, Leatherieque is the way to go. I have also heard good things about Spinneybeck, but haven't had a chance to use it. I have used Leather+Aid in the past and it impressed me.

I use Leatherique on our cars every six to nine months. It is a time consuming process, but I think the results are worth it. I really don't have time to treat my leather every 30-60 days, so I skip the surface conditioners. Granted, in a perfect world, I would Leatherique more often, but apathy and time constraints tend to overwhelm responsibility.
 

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Are any and all of these leather products
going to be of no real value to the Elise
because of the coating that seems to be
on the surface? I'm worried that applying
any of them will never result in anything
other than reaching the 'top layer'
surface coating and therefore a waste of
time.
 

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Well, there is no such thing as water-proof leather. For example, despite popular opinion the seats in the Acura NSX are water resistant, but not water -proof. I would imagine the seats in the Elise are similar.

A quality leather conditioner will have a droplet small enough to make its way through protective coating and treat the interior of the fiber. Even leather with a water-resitant coating should be conditioned.

I would say Lotus is being ultra-conservative about caring for the leather. I think this stems from the perforation and not the material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I'd stay away from any heavy creams (leather food) like connolly. I don't think it's detrimental to clean and condtion the seats with product (like lexol and leatherique) regardless of what the manual says. I think when they reference detergent they are refering to solutions that are not ph balanced.
 
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