AT A GLANCE | LEATHERIQUE SYSTEM
For those of you searching for a solid leather restoration system, Leatherique is what I would classify as a contender in the detailing industry, and is most definitely a part of the upper-echelon in its category. Please note, it should be known that this product comes in the form of a system and simply takes time to execute. From inception to finish, you should set aside anywhere between a few hours to a few days. There's a great deal of conflicting information online concerning this system, so please take it with a grain of salt.
After having an extensive conversation with Leatherique's customer service department, you'll find that the execution of every application is entirely dependent on the condition of your leather. In other words, if you possess a newer vehicle, curing times will most likely take only a matter of hours, versus decrepit leather that may require 48-72 hours for a proper application.
As you comb through the internet, you'll find that Leatherique can be sold in a variety of ways. One, you can purchase a part of the system which includes a bottle of either Prestine Clean or Leather Rejuvenator. If you want to gain the most amount of value, it's recommended that you purchase both of these together in order to see optimal results. Over the years, I've used a myriad of leather restoration products, with some performing well, while others have performed unsatisfactory. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being abysmal and 10 receiving high marks, I would rate Leatherique a solid 9.
So, how well does Leatherique perform? Well, after treating a series of vehicles with onset cracking, blistering, fading, and the common wear and tear associated with owning a vehicle, I can honestly say this system performs beautifully. So, without further ado, let me take you though a step-by-step guide on application.
1. First and foremost, it's essential to assess the initial condition prior to application. More times than not, your leather may require multiple applications, especially if your hide is comprised of a darker color (especially black). To the untrained eye, contaminated and soiled leather can be relatively easy to identify, with clear indicators such as cracking, blistering, fading, peeling, and any areas that give off a shiny appearance. If your leather radiates a shiny appearance, that's a clear indicator it needs to be cleaned. Over time, the residual oils within our skin can transfer into the dyes of the hide, resulting in a superficial shine. Healthy leather needs to produce a soft and matte-like appearance.
If the leather needs an initial cleaning, it's highly recommended that you remove any sediments or heavy debris that exists on the surface. After a thorough vacuuming, concoct a bottle of 3-4 oz. worth of Tide Cold Water Clean with the rest of the bottle filled with distilled water. Under no circumstances should you reach for a generic all-purpose cleaner. This method, while although effective, can be too harsh against the pores of the hide and has the potential of removing any original dye. In many cases, it's overkill and can have adverse effects if used over time. Would you wash your face with sand? No, I didn't think so. This is the analogy that I'll draw from. In a handful of cases, I've seen owners use generic cleaners on a regular basis only to instill white patches, whereby accelerating the deterioration of their unique grain. So again, with a dedicated leather brush and light to moderate pressure, apply the solution into the leather and wipe-off any remaining residue with a clean microfiber towel.
2. With a terrycloth applicator pad and your bottle of Leather Rejuvenator, start to apply liberally across the entire seat and any other areas that contain leather. Don't worry about applying too much, because in this case the more you apply, the better. Once it's been applied, take your bare hands and massage the solution into every conceivable space, including any stitching or embossed areas across the seat. At the end of the day, you want to remove everything that's sitting on the surface. By massaging the formula into the affected area, you're ensuring that all the proteins and collagens are penetrating deep into the hide. At the end of the day, this is more than half the battle because this will ultimately determine how supple and natural your hide will be restored.
3. Depending on the initial condition of your leather, set aside at least a few hours so that the Rejuvenator has an opportunity to work its magic. Why, do you ask? Rejuvenator contains emollient properties, which in turn will bring any embedded contaminants to the surface, and this process simply takes time. Again, this is not an express-lane type of process.
4. After a period of either a few hours or 24 hours, take your bottle of Prestine Clean and apply a moderate amount onto another fresh applicator pad and apply on top of any areas that are still shiny. If you happen to spot any areas that have a matte-like appearance, this simply means those particular areas need to be retreated with another application of Rejuvenator (this is especially prevalent in areas that have cracks or other forms of wear and tear). Sometimes this process may take another day or two to rectify. Simply check those affected areas after a few hours and proceed accordingly.
5. Once Prestine Clean has been applied, wait for a period of 2-4 minutes so that the solution has a chance to sink into the pores of the leather. Once this process is complete, then it's time to take a slightly damp microfiber towel that has been rinsed with fresh water so you can remove any excess. Again, please note the term "slightly damp" versus "soaked".
6. Finally, finish by taking a clean and dry microfiber towel to dry-off any remaining areas. By now, you should see a near fully-restored finish. Leather, by definition, should not be shiny in any way, shape, or form. Leather needs to produce a matte or flat appearance. This is, in fact, the natural look of leather.
In comparison to other short-term solution products like Lexol, Chemical Guys Leather Conditioner, Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Cleaner, 303 Protectant, and Pinnacle Leather and Vinyl Cleaner, I find that Leatherique is more extensive in the sense that it has the ability to successfully penetrate through the hide, resulting in a product that legitimately restores the natural appearance of automotive leather of many descriptions.
While the other aforementioned products are still worth noting, it's imperative to understand that Leatherique is not classified as a coating or protectant of any description. Rather, this is a comprehensive system that cleans, hydrates, and restores timeworn leather, regardless of age, manufacturer, or condition. Last but not least, I'll introduce another addition of "At a Glance" where I'll showcase two leading coatings that are specifically formulated for automotive leather, assessing their capabilities, and how well they've been holding-up over time. If you should have any questions, feel free to pop me a message. Until then, drive in confidence.
Blackstone Score | 8.5
LEATHERIQUE LEATHER RESTORATION SYSTEM