1. Background information
2. Looking after the cockpit
3. Cleaning upholstery
3.1 What you should pay attention to
3.2 Choosing the right product
3.3 Correct application
4. Caring for leather trim
4.1 Not all leather is the same
4.2 Why is leather care important?
4.3 What is the ideal way to care for leather?
4.4 Correct application
5. Caring for headlining, side trim, carpets and floor mats
6. Cleaning windows & mirrors
7. Caring for monitors & navigation devices
Plastics, textiles and leather predominate in the interior of a vehicle. Even if they appear insensitive at first glance, they are nevertheless exposed to dirt and environmental influences. Plastics, for example, become brittle and cracked over time, and the colour fades unattractively. In textiles, dirt can adhere intensely and – in the long run – form unpleasant odours that are difficult to get rid of. How well the interior of a car is “in good shape” contributes a great deal to the feeling of well-being and thus to driving pleasure. The appearance and value retention of your car are also determined by this.
Please refer to the chapter: Plastic Care
Seat upholstery gets dirty one step at a time. Even if the soiling is almost imperceptible for a long time, once it becomes visible, cleaning is time-consuming. Added to this are stains caused by cola, coffee, ketchup and much more. Conventional cleaning agents have difficulty dealing with such dirt. Unfortunately, some only mask unpleasant odours temporarily. Soon they are back again. As a general rule: Do not leave stains on for a long time, remove them in the short term. Clean the upholstery before it looks really dirty. That way they will stay as good as new for longer.
In principle, any animal skin can be used for the production of leather. The quality of the raw material is decisive for the quality of the leather. It is usually obtained from the layer of skin called the hide. Leather is an enormously tough, supple and durable material. Leather is relatively impermeable to water, yet it is breathable and pleasant on the skin. It is not for nothing that it is used in a variety of ways.
Around 95% of the leather produced worldwide comes from cattle, calves, sheep, goats and pigs. Different surface treatments create a wide variety of leather materials. Here are just a few examples:
A very soft, stretchy leather. The famous glacé glove owes its name to this leather. Made from lamb or goatskin.
A highly shiny, grain-free leather that is varnished on the surface or covered with a mirror-smooth film. Patent leather is often offered in bright colours.
Nappa is the generic term for leather from various animals that is processed with the hair side facing out, i.e. on the grain side. The result is a leather material with a good grip and elasticity. Originally, the term comes from the production of gloves, as they were made in Napa Valley, USA.
The smooth, grain-side surface of the leather – usually from cattle or calves – is roughened with an abrasive to such an extent that the characteristic velvety surface is created. Nubuck is even more breathable than other leathers, but is also more susceptible to stains and “spotting”.
Designates all leathers whose surface has been sanded. Colloquially, these leathers are also called “suede”. A well-known representative is also velour leather.
Actually refers to the leather of animals that live in the wild. So from deer or elk as well as from chamois or antelopes etc. They are soft, absorbent, easy to clean and temperature-resistant up to approx. 70°C.
The production of real leather is expensive. Therefore, early attempts were made to develop a material that imitates the leather surface. Today, imitation leather is used in the same areas as real leather. Properties such as breathability or water vapour permeability are not achieved – nor are the typical leather feel and smell of fine leather.
Artificial leather usually consists of a textile backing to which a plastic layer is applied. This layer is embossed by machine. This gives the impression of a leather grain. However, this is more regular than with real leather.
Grained surfaces are often used in cars. For example, as hard plastic parts in the dashboard, on the steering wheel or handles. Imitation leather-covered door panels or the backs of car seats are often used by car manufacturers.
The most important properties of leather such as its tensile strength, elasticity and weight are influenced by the balance of water content and fat content of the leather.
Leather should have a water content of 14-18%. However, if the fat content in the leather increases due to the use of one of the e.g. car seats, the water content decreases.
Other external influences such as heat, moisture, UV radiation or dirt also take their toll on the leather. The dirt penetrates the leather’s natural weave fabric and blocks its pores. The result: The leather becomes brittle and cracked.
The deep-seated dirt in the leather pores should be removed thoroughly and gently without changing the original colouring. A1 Leather Cleaner ensures a pore-deep cleaning and thus prepares the leather ideally for a subsequent treatment with A1 Leather Care.
To slow down the ageing process of leather and to keep clothing valuable and elastic for a long time, we recommend A1 Leather Care. Besides providing excellent protection against moisture, it keeps the leather supple and resilient and provides lasting protection against fading.
Refer to the chapter: Window cleaning
The same dirt particles are found on monitors and navigation devices as on car windscreens. The surfaces of these devices are also similar (car windows = glass, monitor = plastic, navigation devices = plastic). Therefore, the same recommendations apply here as for cleaning the interior windows.
Tip: Scratched plastic windows can be treated excellently with A1Scratch Polish. It removes fine scratches and blind spots without causing further scratches on the surface.
A1 Scratch Polish: Download product information