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      04-06-2023, 12:00 PM   #1
ArthurMorgan
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Question Argh - Shiny leather!! (Merino) - How to fix it?!

Hey everyone, first post in the detailing section! I have a 33k mile '17 X5 M with the black Extended Merino option. I've had it since October and until I saw a similar vintage car for sale at my local dealer, I had no idea that the Merino leather was supposed to be perfectly matte. Mine, particularly on the driver's seat, has become rather glossy, and the steering wheel almost seems like a well polished military boot; it's soft and supple, but very smooth and shiny.

I was under the impression that this was just how the leather naturally wore, but it appears that this is a sign of the leather being dirty. This is the first vehicle I've owned with anything other than cheapo basic "leather", so I have practically zero experience taking care of something like this.

I have seen Colourlock products mentioned as a good way of returning the seats back to their matte goodness, particularly the mild leather cleaner. I'll go ahead and try that, but what do I apply after the leather cleaner? Anything at all? The leather dashboard has been cleaned with Meguiar's (I know, I am a pleb, I don't know any better) Ultimate Leather Detailer, because I figured something containing UV protectants couldn't hurt with the Texas sun. The dashboard actually looks pretty good; nice and matte, not shiny or glossy.

Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated, because I'd love to keep this leather looking as nice and original as possible.
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      04-06-2023, 12:23 PM   #2
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The long and short of it is you have to catch the leather before it gets too shiny, in my opinion, or else you won't be able to restore it fully. Without seeing a picture, I can tell you your steering wheel is probably toast. By that I mean you may be able to improve it, but you won't be able to restore it back to new.

I would recommend using Colourlock STRONG leather cleaner, using their leather brush, and follow the instructions exactly. Once it is sufficiently cleaned, apply Colourlock Leather Protector.
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      04-06-2023, 12:31 PM   #3
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https://g05.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1821585

We need a leather forum, PPF forum, Ceramic forum...
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      04-06-2023, 12:31 PM   #4
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I concur with Allinon72. The main thing with leather is maintenance. Weekly mild cleanings and for most a once a month deep clean and condition, depending on the frequency of which you drive your car (ie. touch steering wheel, sit on the seats, sit on the seats with sweaty clothes, dirty hands, etc).

Colourlock is a great company. Gyeon makes some great leather care products as well. Most of the bigger brands lost there touch with high quality leather cleaners/conditioners but I have seen turtle wax slowly start to come back with innovation. The smaller brands now making an impact is Colourlock, Gyeon, Carpro, P&S, Koch Chemie. All these aforementioned brands have great maintenance and restorative products to be used. Check out youtube videos on proper methods of cleaning and conditioning.

PS. Leather should always be MATTE. NEVER SHINY.

NEVER USE THAT ARMOR ALL GARBAGE

Some useful videos:




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      04-06-2023, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas1836 View Post
https://g05.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1821585

We need a leather forum, PPF forum, Ceramic forum...
Talk dirty to me

jk, but technically the cosmetic care section is appropriate to go into discussion.
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      04-06-2023, 12:37 PM   #6
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For what it's worth when I bought my 18' X5M a year and half ago the leather was also shiny in some areas, especially the steering wheel. What really helped for me to restore the matte finish, other than the products mentioned above, was to also use some steam to really clean the leather and remove the excess oils and garbage products the previous owner/dealer used. YMMV.
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      04-06-2023, 12:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mencio View Post
For what it's worth when I bought my 18' X5M a year and half ago the leather was also shiny in some areas, especially the steering wheel. What really helped for me to restore the matte finish, other than the products mentioned above, was to also use some steam to really clean the leather and remove the excess oils and garbage products the previous owner/dealer used. YMMV.
YES! Using a steamer definitely is great for the deep cleans, and not maintenance.

Unfortunately, I don't think most DIY have a steamer but thanks for mentioning that. It is another great tool people should consider having in there arsenal of detailing.
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      04-06-2023, 01:00 PM   #8
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I really appreciate the insight, thank you! Like tools I need for working on things around the house, I have no problem adding new things to my arsenal if it'll make my life much easier and work well. I'll look into a steam cleaner, and pick up the strong Colourlock cleaner and the protectant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allinon72 View Post
Without seeing a picture, I can tell you your steering wheel is probably toast. By that I mean you may be able to improve it, but you won't be able to restore it back to new.
Yeah, given the name on the old insurance card I found in the owner's manual folio, it looks like a woman owned it before me. And if she was anything like my fiance, she probably used lots of hand lotions, creams, etc. which seemed to have seeped into the wheel making it this way. I suppose it's better than being dried out and cracked, so I can live with that.

I will check out the videos posted as well. Thank you all again!
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      04-06-2023, 05:50 PM   #9
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I realise that this is a UK video but similar products will be available in the US.

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      04-07-2023, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurMorgan View Post
particularly the mild leather cleaner. I'll go ahead and try that, but what do I apply after the leather cleaner?
It's super easy:

(1.) Colourlock mild cleaner using their brush on seats

(2.) Mild cleaner on the steering wheel and other hard to reach places using a soft detail brush

(3.) After it's dry, and before use, apply Colourlock leather shield

Then just repeat every 3-6-9 months depending on use.

I've had Merino for 15 years, including Opal white and now ivory
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      04-07-2023, 06:05 PM   #11
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I am a big Groit’s fan. I would use this: https://www.griotsgarage.com/leather...ator-8-ounces/
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      04-21-2023, 01:18 PM   #12
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Just wanted to give an update. My shipment from Colourlock arrived yesterday. I used the mild cleaner on the drivers' seat and the strong cleaner on the steering wheel, then followed it up with the protectant.

All I have to say is WOW. It turned my polished military boot steering wheel back to a nice matte finish, unfortunately I don't have any great before pics. I still need to take a little more time and do it more perfectly, but I couldn't be happier with the results.

Thank you everyone for the recommendations.
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      04-21-2023, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurMorgan View Post
Just wanted to give an update. My shipment from Colourlock arrived yesterday. I used the mild cleaner on the drivers' seat and the strong cleaner on the steering wheel, then followed it up with the protectant.

All I have to say is WOW. It turned my polished military boot steering wheel back to a nice matte finish, unfortunately I don't have any great before pics. I still need to take a little more time and do it more perfectly, but I couldn't be happier with the results.

Thank you everyone for the recommendations.
Glad it worked out...I have been against most leather products for a long time, but then I tried Colourlock and was similarly blown away. I'm not sure what is in the product but it's clearly something different because it actually works. The Leather Protector actually softens leather too without making it greasy or shiny, it actually sinks into the leather unlike 99% of the products out there.
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      04-22-2023, 01:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allinon72 View Post
Glad it worked out...I have been against most leather products for a long time, but then I tried Colourlock and was similarly blown away. I'm not sure what is in the product but it's clearly something different because it actually works. The Leather Protector actually softens leather too without making it greasy or shiny, it actually sinks into the leather unlike 99% of the products out there.
Have you used their leather shield? I plan on getting the new car kit and applying it.
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