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Interior Care Fabric? Vinyl? Leather? Alcantara? Wood? Plastic? Discuss how to identify your interior surfaces and use the right product and technique for the best results.

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Old 07-10-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Hi,
I was doing a bit of research on car care, since I just bought my new accord a while back and wanted to make sure the leather, wheels, and paint were getting the proper treatment. I've always used Armor All Wipes since they've come out but have heard in certain forums that they may actually damage the vinyl or at least not be the best thing for them. Even on my black vinyl surfaces, they don't tend to streak and i like the shine I get. Anyone figure I should be using a different brand?

Also, I've been using Armor All leather wipes for the seating and trim - are these no good, should I be using something like Lexol or Mothers?

Auto Zone, I've found out, doesn't have a great selection of the kind of stuff I'd consider buying...even a decent lambswool wash mitt, which I ended up buying on ebay.

My first post on this forum; hope you guys can help!
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Old 07-11-2004
supercharged supercharged is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

I also started my detailing with Armor All. But once I tried Mothers - good buy Armor All. Preserves-for vynil and rubber is awesome ( best one I tried, and I even tried a $20 Pinnacle vynil and rubber treatment 16oz and is not so good). Try it - you will love it!
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2004
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Alfisti Alfisti is offline
 
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Smile Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursino2
Hi,
I was doing a bit of research on car care, since I just bought my new accord a while back and wanted to make sure the leather, wheels, and paint were getting the proper treatment. I've always used Armor All Wipes since they've come out but have heard in certain forums that they may actually damage the vinyl or at least not be the best thing for them. Even on my black vinyl surfaces, they don't tend to streak and i like the shine I get. Anyone figure I should be using a different brand?
I don't use Armor All. I use another brand until its finished, then I'll try Mother's Preserves...I've heard nothing but praise for it.


Quote:
Also, I've been using Armor All leather wipes for the seating and trim - are these no good, should I be using something like Lexol or Mothers?
Yes!


Quote:
Auto Zone, I've found out, doesn't have a great selection of the kind of stuff I'd consider buying...even a decent lambswool wash mitt, which I ended up buying on ebay.
Where do you live?
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Hey there - something more specific than "yes", if you can. Why should I use a different brand? Are Armor-All leather wipes NOT good for the leather, or is it that the mothers & otehr brands are BETTER? I'd rather use a wipe as the material is spread evenly throughout the cloth and therefore allows me to spread the material evenly throughout the leather. Leather is a skin, and so it only absorbs what it can; after using the leather wipes you can always take a soft cloth and lightly wipe up the excess. Sprays are no good for black leather..too much work and it ends up being blotchy, which I hate, if you don't spread it just so.

On the vinyl, I'll try using Mother's, but I don't quite mind the shiny look Armor-All gives...is Mother's a better formula?

I live in the Boston area and have visited a few AutoZones. Some are better than others but it's becoming a Wal-Mart for car owners...many brands, few specialized products.
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Old 07-12-2004
Craig B.'s Avatar
Craig B. Craig B. is offline
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

To be very specific, Mothers is in fact a higher quality vinyl dressing. It is what we call in chemical terms "built". That is to say there are more active ingrediants in the bottle. It simply looks and feels better and lasts longer. When you do try the Mothers Preserves, you will notice a difference in the way it looks, smells and in general performs.
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Thanks Craig. What about leather...does mothers make leather wipes? I don't quite like the look I get, sometimes it turns out blotchy, from treating my leather with a spray.
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2004
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Alfisti Alfisti is offline
 
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Thumbs up Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursino2
Hey there - something more specific than "yes", if you can. Why should I use a different brand? Are Armor-All leather wipes NOT good for the leather, or is it that the mothers & otehr brands are BETTER?
As you say, leather is a skin (a fibrous natural substance), like our skin. Leather should be cared for as you would your own skin. We would never seal our skins in plastic wrap! They would shrivel and dehydrate from lack of moisture and oxygen.

Armor All relies heavily on silicones and synthetics, and acts like plastic wrap - it protects (like plastic wrap protects), but doesn't feed and nourish the leather (as you would skin). It is leather's nature to drink in the beneficial nutrients of the nourishing oils that feed it. The biggest obstacle to good absorption is a silicone sealer on the leather, or a heavy wax or petroleum distillate build up. Why use silicon based products, which prevent the delicate leather fibres from receiving nourishment on your leather? You should clean your leather, as you do your skin, with gentle, deep cleaning products; not harmful chemicals. You should moisturise your leather with the best moisturisers available to keep the fibres clean and strong.

I haven't used Mother's leather products, so I can't share personal experience, but they do contain natural oils that will feed the leather, instead of coating it in silicone, which will keep it clean and protected, but will eventually dry up like cardboard - clean cardboard, but cardboard just the same. Whichever product you decide on, the less silicone and more nourishing oils, the better.


Quote:
I'd rather use a wipe as the material is spread evenly throughout the cloth and therefore allows me to spread the material evenly throughout the leather.
Whichever product you use, simply spray it onto a soft terry or microfibre cloth and apply. Wait for absorption, then wipe with a clean soft terry cloth. You won't have any problems with over-application.

BTW, I wouldn't use Mother's Preserves Protectant on leather, for the above reasons. Excellent on plastic/vinyl/rubber, but not for leather.

I hope this is more specific and helpful.
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Last edited by Alfisti; 07-13-2004 at 06:52 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

HI Al -

That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for all your help. I'll be sure to use the cleaner & conditioner; now I'm glad I bought those terry towels for the car. How often do you suggest I do this? I'm thinking once every few months for the front seats, but I don't have passengers in my car too often and I keep the interior clean as a whistle, so maybe once per year on the back seats unless I feel they need to be cleaned, which again would be rare.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2004
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Alfisti Alfisti is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

You'll find this thread will answer your question:

http://www.waxforum.com/showthread.php?t=172
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Thanks!
Something I noticed in that thread - Forrest said once every six months is ok on the cleaner but conditioner can be used maybe once every couple of months. I thought you always have to clean before you condition? I know whenever you clean you have to condition, but can you use the conditioner on otherwise clean leather, even if it's been used for a couple of months?
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2004
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

I would think that you would only have to clean high-traffic areas - like the drivers seat, but not as freqently as you condition. The conditioning oils will have some solvent effect on dirt and take it off when you wipe - especially if you first apply with microfibre (microfibre grabs and traps dirt without even trying).

Condition the low-traffic areas less often, and high-traffic areas more often (every two months). Even if a backseat is never used, you'd want to condition it six-monthly because the tanning oils will naturally decline due to evaporation.

Use the cleaner as Craig recommended.
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Last edited by Alfisti; 07-13-2004 at 07:19 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Hi - thanks so much for all your help. That microfibre vs. terry cloth question was going to be my last, and you answered it. Thanks for everything, I already ordered the mothers cleaner & conditioner and will be using it soon! I'm assuming I can use the microfibre to first apply, as you said, then buff out the conditioner and any excess with any non-abrasive sponge or cloth (I like terry towels for this purpose).
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Old 07-13-2004
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Alfisti Alfisti is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

I love microfibre!! If it was me, I would even wipe off with microfibre after waiting for it to absorb, then buff with terry.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

OK, sorry for the continued questions...but when you wipe off w/ microfibre, isn't that buffing? My understanding is, after cleaning:

Use conditioner on microfibre cloth to apply
Let sit for 30 minutes
Use microfibre cloth to buff conditioner
Use terrycloth to wipe excess

Is this correct?
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Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

also, just to be sure...when you referred to armor all wipes before as containing silicon and other chemicals that only act as a wrap around the leather, you were referring to armor all LEATHER wipes, correct? that's what i was referring to...I find it hard to believe Armor All would sell a leather protectant that only acted as a plastic wrap w/ silicone as you said, and I can't find the exact ingredients to this product online...but I would rather use a proven leather cleaner and conditioner in two steps than use a wipe, as I know that's too good to be true.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2004
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Alfisti Alfisti is offline
 
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Lightbulb Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

It appears that Armor All has two leather products:
Leather Care and Leather Protectant. The description of their Leather Wipes matches the description of their Leather Protectant. I suspect its high in silicone.

Leather Care states:
"Keeps your leather looking like new
Cleans with a pH balanced formula that removes surface dirt
Conditions with lanolin and natural moisturizers which nourish the leather and keep it soft
Protects with a non-greasy shield"

Sounds more like the Mother's Conditioner.

However, you've been using the wipes (Leather Protectant), which, I will bet you London-to-a-brick, is full of silicones and synthetics.

Check it out:
http://www.armorall.com/prodcat/index.html
http://www.armorall.com/prodcat/page...her_wipes.html
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Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

again, thanks so much for your help. i found the detail guide and am reading it now. you rock!

I also saw the bug, bird & tar wipes at waxstation.com but am not sure if you need to re-wax the surfaces you use these on (i know ti's more a spot-cleaner and not to clean the whole car with them). is this something that takes away the wax, where i'd need to re-wax the area I use this on?
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Old 07-13-2004
ursino2 ursino2 is offline
 
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

OK, yet another.

Read the detailing guide; I'm up to tires now. I guess the leather chamois isn't as good as I thought. I use a water blade (VERY lightly to avoid scratching, just to get all that excess water off), then use a chamois. Do you use Microfibre towels? Do they work just as well and not leave water spots?
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Old 07-13-2004
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Craig B. Craig B. is offline
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Mothers Leather conditioner is like a lotion, you place it on a cloth and then gently massage the product onto the leather. You let it cure and then wipe of the excess and buff. Also note that Leather Conditioner does have some cleaning capabilities so do not be conerned about using it alone, unless the leather is quite soiled.
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Old 07-13-2004
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Ken H. Ken H. is offline
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Default Re: armor all vs. others (not mothers!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursino2
OK, yet another.

I use a water blade (VERY lightly to avoid scratching, just to get all that excess water off), then use a chamois. Do you use Microfibre towels? Do they work just as well and not leave water spots?
Water blades are great for hard surfaces like glass. But when used on clear coat paint, you run the risk of scratching the surface. All it takes is one small, sharp piece of debris between the blade and the soft clear coat paint to create a scratch. Both microfiber and thick terry cloth towels afford a cushion of fabric for stray pieces of debris to push into (a better option than a water blade scrapping jagged debris across your car's paint). Using light pressure with a water blade will not stop scratches, though it may make the inevitable damage less severe.

Good quality microfiber towels work great and leave no water spots. When I dry my car, I use two microfiber towels - one in each hand. I use the first towel to remove the initial layer of water, then immediately use a second towel to give the surface a final drying.
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