Discussion in 'Interior Car Care' started by Antz_Marchin, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Antz_Marchin

    Antz_Marchin Virgin Detailer

    I keep hearing positive things about using diluted Woolite to get dirty leather clean. I went to pick some up today but there are so many versions....Deep, Oxy Clean, Heavy Traffic, etc. Are any of the above fine or is there some sort of original formula that I should be looking for?

  2. Cooter

    Cooter Guest

    Original formula iirc
  3. togwt

    togwt Nuba Guru

    Rickett Benkiser Woolite® - (pH 7.5) has a number of issues that do not lend themselves to the long-term quality care of leather upholstery and interior components. It's not made for carpets, upholstery fabrics or leather as it contains far too much detergent even at a 60:1 dilution ratio. Using a detergent that is meant to be flush rinsed (i.e. rinsed until it runs clear) in a situation where this is not possible, is not recommended as when it dries it will attract dirt and contribute to re-soiling; it will also dry out the surface due to dried soaps capillary action with moisture.

    MSDS - http://msds.reckittprofessional.com/customer_services/msds/dist/003291_r.pdf

    This product contains alkalis (sodium hydroxide), which forms a strong alkaline solution when dissolved in a solvent such as water and provide foaming, and a solvent (alcohol) as an aid to cleaning; these will further aggravate the drying out process due to their affinity with moisture.
    It also contain optical brighteners (Stilbenes) which are dyes that absorb energy in the UV portion of the spectrum thereby accelerating UV degradation and also tend to dry out the upholstery

    A response from a company representative – on cleaning car interior parts with Woolite®

    To fully remove the soap requires a large volume of water to flush it away, simply wiping off would leave a large amount of residue behind that could attract more dirt. The second problem they alluded to was that Woolite® is formulated as a gentle fabric cleaner and was never intended to clean materials other then fabric so they have never tested it as such.
    [Asked specifically about Cadillac and Lexus (as well as all other car manufacturers) recommendation for using Woolite® to clean leather, they stated that Woolite® have never recommend their product for cleaning leather] Reckitt Benckiser

    Let me know if I can be of further assistance. JonM

    An extract from “Automotive Detailing, Inside & Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist © TOGWT ™ Ltd Copyright 2002-2009, all rights reserved
  4. junebug

    junebug Jedi Nuba

    In this sue happy society - it would probably be in Woolite's best interest not to say that yes it does clean leather (and very well I may add).

    When you really look at leather cleaners, they are nothing more than a soap, water, fragance, coloring etc. Look more into owners manuals will also tell you to "clean with mild soap".
    I've been using Woolite for a very long time, prior I used saddle soap as it always works well cleaning leather, but needed something less of a PITA.
    Todays leathers are coated, so Woolite is very harmless. It's when you start conditioning leather is whee people run into trouble. Mostly, way over application figuring more is better. Less is best unless it's really abused.
    I find it odd people still use Leatherique on coated leather. It's very messy and gives moderate results and can also take off some of the natural coating. Leatherique works very well for "natural" leathers or old distressed leather.
  5. P1et

    P1et Official DB Moderator

    If you are willing to use it, use the Original. It cleans leather like a bastard, but the worst problem is indeed that it's almost impossible to remove all the soaps and cleaners once on the leather, and it does dry it out a lot. I'd use it on an old Suburban, but probably not on a brand new Mercedes.
  6. billyblooshoes

    billyblooshoes DB Forum Supporter

    I'm glad this thread popped up. I've been pondering this issues for a couple weeks now...
  7. Bunky

    Bunky Guest

    Oh boy. The woolite and leather discussion again.
  8. richy

    richy Guest

    Woolite and Dawn need to stay the hell away from vehicles and be used for what they are intended.
  9. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    I agree with Richy. There are plenty of different leather cleaners out there, and you will be better off using them rather then Woolite...
  10. GDAL

    GDAL Guest

    I have had issues with Leatherique and old coated leather. It weakened the leather coating in some areas on my leather interior and left it really sticky. I followed the instructions and it was done during a really hot summer day.

    On the other hand, I have used woolite (10:1) and a magic easer on Audi leather that was never treated since new. I couldn't get the stains out without anything else and the owner just wanted it cleaned. I tried this as a last resource and it worked out great.

    I wouldn't use woolite as a maintenance cleaner, but I would use it again for those impossible tasks.

    I have yet to find a really good leather cleaner that is safe and non-greasy.
  11. togwt

    togwt Nuba Guru

    +1 Woolite is intended for delicate fabrics and fine washables such as lingerie and cashmere sweaters, so it won’t remove soil from urathane, polish or car care products from pads or microfiber

    Magic Eraser is an abrasive, using it with Woolite is similar to wet-sanding, insofar as the Woolite acts as a surface lubrication and the Magic Eraser as the abrasive (sandpaper)
  12. Bunky

    Bunky Guest

    Woolite will remove polishes and car products from microfiber in a washing washer. I have done it and many others have done it. It cleans leather too. If in doubt, I suggest to buy some cheap microfiber and do a test for yourself.

    If there is an issue for microfiber, it would be similar to other laundry detergents in that it may not rinse out as easily as products like Microrestore. Is it the best product for microfiber and leather, no. But, the leather or microfiber does not dissolve instantly.

    Like those that rant against petroluem distillates, sodium hydroxide is found in many personal care products such as toothpastes, lotions, hair soaps, etc so its existence is not a reason to declare it bad. It sounds bad and used to scare people.
  13. togwt

    togwt Nuba Guru

    No one is trying to persuade you to use anything you don’t want to if you found something that works for you use it. I’m only offering advice on what the manufacture clams for their product and what the contained chemicals are capable of.

    And your right Sodium hydroxide (pH 13.5) also known as lye and caustic soda is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of drinking water, soaps and detergents and as a drain cleaner, used with a chemical buffer it shouldn’t scare people.
  14. Bunky

    Bunky Guest

    I was challenging your statement about not being able to clean microfiber. Woolite is all fabric cleaner (natural and synthetic) and microfiber would fall under that category.

    Microfiber is a polyester / polyamide blend so it would be similar to pants that are say a polyester/nylon (common) so cleaning these is no different than trying to clean these types of clothings all within Woolite's stated purpose.

    I have used Woolite (He version) to clean mf but prefer products like microrestore since they work better. I have only used it on a leather steering wheel once.
  15. junebug

    junebug Jedi Nuba

    The woolite 10:1 solution in my spray bottle gets used the most of any interior cleaning product I have tried and I've tried a bunch. It's cheap, it works and if it caused any problems, then guys like Scott Wax from autopia would have noticed in all the years and cars he's done.

    Anybody that wants to pay more for something else, doesn't hurt my feelings and damn sure doesn't impress me either.
  16. togwt

    togwt Nuba Guru

    Like I said, no one is trying to persuade you to use anything you don’t want to, if you found something that works for you use it. It’s not serious enough to cause a cataclysmic rift in the space time continuum. :)
  17. junebug

    junebug Jedi Nuba

    Try this, find a dirty leather or pleather seat, on 1 side use Lexol leather cleaner, the other use woolite/water. Use 2 different buckets and white terry cloth towels, now try to use the same amout and same technique cleaning - rinsing.

    I ask ya'll try this cause it's a cheap test to see for yourself something I've already discovered, like Lexol soaps far more and that's a big fear from the anti woolite crowd - soap and rinsing. Of course, the scientist here will come back and say to ignor your lying eyes cause woolite can't be rinsed out of leather.

    Ain't no skin off my ass if you don't try, I'm just trying to be helpful and save ya'll a few bucks in these trying times.
  18. Bunky

    Bunky Guest

    This discussion reminds me of the joke about the difference between an engineer and a physicist. A ,male engineer and male physicist are the same difference from equally attractive women. They are allowed to take a step and each step is 1/2 the distance of the prior step.

    The physicist gives up since he knows he will never get there..the engineer knows he will get close enough.

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