Leatherique: 1st impression
I had heard some mention of Leatherique on the boards, but never really looked in to it because I thought it was the same type of stuff as the Lexol I've been using. After seeing how anal Bobby is about car care and then hearing him praise Leatherique, I figured it was worth a try. My leather is in good shape, but quite hard. I thought that is just how our cars are until I compared with the other guys at Carlisle. I had faith in the stuff so I went with a few of the guys to the vendor and bought the 32oz bottles of both "rejuvenator oil" and "prestine clean" for a total of $55.
I finally could be without my car long enough to really let the seats "bake" in the sun today, so I figured I should give the stuff a try. I saw on their website that many people recommend using a foam brush. Knowing that I would use the whole bottle and have a mess if I used my hands, I picked up a brush to use. I generously coated all the leather portions of the seats with the "rejuvenator" (despite the fact that rubbing oil on something that I was going to sit on in the future didn't seem like a good idea) and left the car closed up in the sun for about 7 hours. There was a nasty white film on the seats and they were very greasy. Supposedly this is the body oils and environmental contaminants the seats have picked up in place of their natural oils. That's pretty gross, especially considering I'm not the original owner of the seats. Anyway, the next step was to use the "prestine clean". As the instructions said, I sprayed it on and wiped the seats with a soft towel. I was amazed at how there were NO oily streaks or smears on the seats. I had some streaks previously and I believe it was due to some parts being drier than others and possibly being "stained" with more body oils and such. I'll have to look in bright sunlight, but it appears the inconsistencies in color are gone. Also, the scratches that I have on my lower cushions are far less noticeable now that those spots are conditioned. The towel was disgustingly dirty after cleaning so there's no doubt my seats really needed this. The leather is still pretty hard, but I believe it is what they call "cardboard hard". They say it will take several applications to get the seats soft again when it is like this. I'll probably do it again in a few weeks and then go to the 2-4 times per year they suggest, with Lexol in between when I detail.
My final verdict - this stuff is an EXCELLENT product. No fancy packaging, no advertising hype, just a really great product that works. It is a little on the expensive side, but considering what the seats are worth I think it is a worthwile investment. If you have leather and don't use this stuff, you're really doing yourself and your car a disservice.