1969 Camaro, vinyl and nylon restored with Leather Therapy products.
Just want to let you know this: I used Leather Therapy to wash my husband's band members' German leather shorts and suspenders, called Lederhosen, with Leather Therapy. It did a fantastic job! My husband was pretty nervous, but I knew the shorts were very similar to chaps, etc. used in the horse industry, so I felt pretty confident. It has saved me a fortune on dry cleaning!
Thanks and have a great day!
An amazing restoration of a dusty, dirty saddle to looking and feeling brand new and shiny!
"I still can't believe the transformation of the moldy, smelly Campaign Chairs that I was going to sell on Ebay. Not any more.! Your products brought back the soft feel, look -- and fresh smell of these leather chairs. I used Leather Therapy Wash - Restorer/Condition and Finish. It was easy. Thanks. Here's a before and after shot of the chairs."
Mary F. Miami
- From: Matt K.
First, the results
Was it worth it? Absolutely. For $65, I REALLY cleaned my leathers, boots, gloves, and two pairs of old shoes, and I still have enough left over for probably 2 more leather cleanings. While it took a long time, I have the confidence of knowing it was done right and everything is thoroughly cleaned. The gloves turned out phenomenal, better than new. They are so soft and pliable now, it’s like they’re made of a different/better/softer type of leather than before. They form perfectly to my hands; I have better feel, range of movement and flexibility. It’s literally like wearing latex gloves; I could barely tell I had them on. The suit and boots turned out great; they looked, smelled and felt clean, but not nearly as impressive as the gloves. I suspect it’s because I applied the conditioner too soon and still had a lot of drying to do, and maybe that caused the conditioner to evaporate and/or not fully work its magic. That said the suit still turned out impressive after the second coat of conditioner.
All colors stayed fast, the product application was easy, and everything turned out great. The key lesson I learned was: “when you think the leathers are dry, they’re not”. I needed to let them dry a lot more than I thought, and I should have paid more attention to the weight of the leather, as that’s probably a better indicator of dryness than how they feel.
As you can see, I have an Alpinestars black cowhide leather 2-piece track suit, with matching gloves and boots. They’ve never been washed over the last two seasons, and have about 6-8 track days and the same number of street rides on them (the gloves worn probably ten times as much). That may not seem like a lot, but those who have been to track days with me and seen me fully geared up, waiting on the grid at road Atlanta on a 95-degree day, for example, know I sweat incredibly a lot. Plus I’ve been down once in the suit sliding through grass and dirt, so my leathers were a nasty stinky mess.
I have never washed leathers before so I did a good bit of research and found recommendations for everything from wearing them in the shower, and soaking in a tub of vinegar, to of course sending them to a pro. No one I talked to had used or ever heard of Leather Infusion products, and according to the companies website, they are admittedly new to motorsports leather care. Their website offered minimal instructions or customer testimonials for leather suit care, but their products seemed better than most other do-it-yourself options, and certainly more cost effective than sending them to the leather cleaners, where you don’t really know how good they are going to turn out.
On a perfect light breezy, 68 degree October afternoon, when I should have been out riding, I decided to give this a go.
1. Leather Infusion’s Wash product, Rinse product, and Restorer/Conditioner product.
2. A big flat surface; I used my outdoor patio table.
3. Lots of towels, though what I used them for may not be necessary in all cases…see below.
4. A good washing machine.
5. A decent fan; I have a variable speed construction fan, but a box fan or large oscillating fan should suffice.
6. An old sock; this was my conditioner application mitt, worked really well, especially for seams and folds.
7. A free afternoon.
1. Step one: don’t tell the wife you’re cleaning your nasty, sweaty leathers in her fancy new washing machine. Remove all pads form your leathers. You can probably keep them in, but I felt like I needed to hand wash them separately, plus it made handling the wet suit a bit easier.
2. Load washing machine with leathers and the Wash product. (I waited to add the rinse product, see why below).It’s recommended to use a garment sack but I don’t have one and since our fancy machine doesn’t have an agitator, I wasn’t as worried about the leathers getting damaged. Its also recommended you fill the machine with enough water first, then drop your leathers in, but our stupid fancy machine doesn’t let you do that (it has to ‘read’ how much water to add based on how full it is), so I just had to drop the leathers in and hope the machine would fill with enough water to dilute the cleaner enough. (it was less water than I preferred, but it worked out fine).
3. I used 6oz of cleaner per the ‘well soiled’ cleaning recommendation, which was about the max that would fit in the soap compartment without spilling over. I waited until the rinse cycle to put the ‘rinse’ product in because it surely would have spilled out in to the wash cycle with both compartments filled to the brim.
I put it on delicate and cold water settings. I also did a pre-soak since my washer was ‘energy efficient’ and doesn’t add the maximum amount of water for smaller loads. The pre-soak phase allowed me swish the leathers around insuring they were fully saturated. I was surprised the water was not completely black from the dye bleeding out as I heard this was what was going to happen. I don’t know if that’s a testament to Alpinestars, or due to the fact that my suit is 2 years old and had probably done all the bleeding they were going to do.
Just before the rinse cycle started, I added the Rinse product to the fabric softener compartment to ensure it came out during the rinse cycle and not the wash cycle due to overflow reasons noted above.
When I pulled the leathers out, I assumed they would be dripping wet but they weren’t. I attributed that to the fancy new washer being water efficient and having really fast spin cycle.
Drying – here comes the hard part
1. I laid the suit out on the towels on my table, taking care to position the arms and legs in a way to maximize dryness (smoothing out folds, making sure the liner pockets weren’t all knotted up, etc). At this point I gave the suit a good inspection, and I have to say I was fairly impressed with the condition. The dirt and crud packed in to the seams and perforations were gone, and so were all the bug splatters and sweat marks around the neck. The color had seemed to hold pretty well and the leather itself was very soft and pliable.
2. Unnecessary step; I stuffed the arms and legs with rolled up towels as I had read this would help sop up moisture and hold shape, but I don’t think this is necessary when using a washing machine since the suit didn’t have puddles and wasn’t dripping wet.
3. I set the fan on a barstool blowing from the bottom of my suit. After 15 minutes, I flipped the suit over, and after another 15 minutes I moved the fan to the other end and flipped the suit over again. 15 more minutes there and one last flip of the suit to make it a full hour (in other words, 15 min per side with the fan at the feet, and another 15 minutes per side with the fan at the head).
Applying the Conditioner / Restorer
1.The outside of the suit started to look like it was drying (getting lighter in color), so I thought that would be a good time to apply the conditioner. (Instructions said to apply while it was drying).
2. Saturating my sock mitt with conditioner, I worked it in to the leather creases and seams first, and the big flat parts second, and the suit started looking nice and shiny.
3. For the knee areas with lots of folds, I slide one hand inside the pant leg to flatten out the folds, and that’s when I noticed the suit was still very wet (my hand came out wet). Same with the gloves; when I put one on to apply the conditioner to the outside, it was completely wet inside. So I quickly finished applying the conditioner to everything anyway, then put the fan back on them for another hour just as I had done before, rotating everything every 15 minutes.
4. In hindsight, I probably should have just dried the suit for a full 2 hours prior to putting on the conditioner, as the fan seemed to dry out spots of the conditioner where it was blowing directly, requiring more conditioner to be applied.
5. I didn’t apply conditioner to the gloves as they still felt pretty wet inside.
Fitment – another unnecessary step
1. After 2 hours under the fan, the suit still felt a little damp in spots but dry enough to try on. I read others doing this when washing their suits to make sure it shrinks to the right fit, and since I have a particular athletic build (ah hem), I wanted to make sure it hasn’t shrunk too much in key areas like the my big guns or legs. Though without the pads, the suit was ginormous and I didn’t feel tight at all.
2. What putting the suit on did reveal was that it was still very wet. I suppose if I had just paid attention to how heavy the suit was, I probably would have realized it wasn’t fully dry.
… and more drying
1. I proceeded to stuff all the pads back in, figuring its probably best to have it dry and shrink around the pads instead of waiting until its fully dry to try putting them in their pockets (a smart move).
2. At this point, we were getting ready to go out to dinner, so I hung the jacket and pants in my basement with the fan blowing on everything directly.
3. We came home and I immediately checked progress; Five hours later and finally everything was completely dry!
…and more conditioner
1. I applied the conditioner to the gloves right away and was amazed at how well they turned out; they just felt incredible and looked perfectly new. I didn’t do the suit that night because, well, I had a lot to drink at dinner and I was in no condition to be conditioning anything else.
2. The next day, I took the suit back outside and applied another coat of conditioner. While doing so, I noticed the leather had returned to the same stiffness as before washing. Again, I think this had more to do with the fact that they had a coat of conditioner on them before the 5 hours of additional drying, or maybe with the fan they dried too fast, but regardless, the leather got pretty soft again once the new coat of conditioner was thoroughly worked in.
3. Happy with my work, I tried everything on again, showed it off to my wife by wearing the leathers around the house a while, then finally hung everything up and put everything away.
Finally, the results
Now that I know what I’m doing, particularly with how to dry the leathers, I intend to use this product going forward and would recommend it to others.
Hope this was helpful, happy riding and leather cleaning!
Corky of the Coker Tire Company invited Leather Therapy to their incredible antique car & motorcycle museum in Chattanooga, TN. Pino (our CEO) met with their detailers to discuss how the Leather Therapy Wash and Restorer / Conditioner could solve the fading, mold and odor problems in their priceless 1913 American Tourist Model 34-A Four-Passenger Touring car.
The results? The leather regained suppleness -- the mold and associate odors are gone -- the red pigment brightened up considerably and everyone is happy.