Leather seat issue - anyone else?

griffinm

Active Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
67
Location
Raleigh, NC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
I've got something strange happening to a section of my drivers seat. It looks like something has stained the leather. See pictures. It kind of looks like the spots are faded in the pictures but in person it just looks like the spots are slick ... almost like something oily (sweat, sunscreen, etc) is on the seat. However, the spots do not feel oily or any different than the rest of the seat. The issue is only on one section of the seat and only on the driver's seat. I started noticing the issue around the 700 to 1000 mile mark. (I have a 2021 JLUR .... built April 2021 ... currently at 2100 miles). I've tried "cleaning" the area with a damp cloth with a very small amount of soap ... no luck. (When the seats are damp, the spots disappear, but as soon as the seat is dry, the spots reappear.). I've reapplied Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner. Also, no luck. (Again, the spots disappear when the wet cleaner and conditioner are applied, but reappear when the seat is dried.). I'm stumped. I've wondered if the issue could be a result of back sweat. I seriously doubt that's the issue. I've gotten in my Jeep a few times on hot days and I'm sure I've been a tad sweaty on occasion, but that was short lived as I keep my AC pumping and I'm usually cooled off within a few minutes. I know it's not sunscreen. I haven't put sunscreen on at all yet this year. At around 1300 miles, I put a waterproof seat cover on the seat just to see if the problem would magically go away. Again, no luck...and the seat cover stays on for now. Has anyone else seen this issue? Any recommendations on how to address the problem?

A little more background:
- No one else has driven my Jeep so I don't think there's a chance that someone else caused the issue. Also, I have not had any service performed on the Jeep, so there's no chance that the dealer or a mechanic has caused the issue.
- I applied Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner within the first 100 miles of owning the Jeep. I applied it to ALL seats of my Jeep ... driver, passenger, and rear seats...as well as to the steering wheel, and leather trim on the shifters. Again, the issue is only on the driver's seat and only on the one section I've pictured. I've used Lexol leather cleaner/conditioner on all my previous vehicles with leather seats and have never had an issue. I know the owners manual says leather conditioners aren't needed and that if you use something, it should be Mopar Total Clean. That's just FCA trying to increase their revenue stream and wanting you to buy their cleaning product vs. a competitor. I've read posts on this forum where many Jeep owners use various products on their leather seats: Chemical Guys, 303, etc.
- Just for kicks, I figured I'd give Mopar Total Clean a chance. I can't find it online (from a site that looks legit or doesn't charge a boat load for shipping). I called my 2 closest dealers yesterday to see if it was in stock before I drove to pick it up. The first dealer said they threw all of their supply away last year because it never sold. The second dealer said they no longer carry it in stock because it never sold. My search for Mopar Total Clean is now over. It doesn't appear anyone uses it anyhow.

Again, just looking to see if anyone else has experienced something similar or if a detailing guru has some magic advice for me.

Thanks in advance!

IMG_1690.jpg


IMG_1692.jpg
Advertisement

 

Mikester86

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
946
Reaction score
1,794
Location
Michigan wishing I was on a trail...
Website
www.jlwranglerforums.com
Vehicle(s)
2020 Jeep JLU Rubicon
Vehicle Showcase
1
From the user manual:

Mopar Total Clean is specifically recommended
for leather upholstery.
Your leather upholstery can be best preserved
by regular cleaning with a damp soft cloth.
Small particles of dirt can act as an abrasive
and damage the leather upholstery and should
be removed promptly with a damp cloth.
Stubborn soils can be removed easily with a soft
cloth and Mopar Total Clean. Care should be
taken to avoid soaking your leather upholstery
with any liquid. Please do not use polishes, oils,
cleaning fluids, solvents, detergents, or
ammonia-based cleaners to clean your leather
upholstery. Application of a leather conditioner
is not required to maintain the original
condition.

NOTE:
If equipped with light colored leather, it tends to
show any foreign material, dirt, and fabric dye
transfer more so than darker colors. The leather
is designed for easy cleaning, and FCA recommends
Mopar total care leather cleaner applied
on a cloth to clean the leather seats as needed.

CAUTION!
Do not use Alcohol and Alcohol-based and/or
Ketone based cleaning products to clean
leather upholstery, as damage to the
upholstery may result.

I have only wiped my leather seats down with a damp cloth, and they look brand new again.
 
OP
OP
griffinm

griffinm

Active Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
67
Location
Raleigh, NC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
From the user manual:

Mopar Total Clean is specifically recommended
for leather upholstery.
Your leather upholstery can be best preserved
by regular cleaning with a damp soft cloth.
Small particles of dirt can act as an abrasive
and damage the leather upholstery and should
be removed promptly with a damp cloth.
Stubborn soils can be removed easily with a soft
cloth and Mopar Total Clean. Care should be
taken to avoid soaking your leather upholstery
with any liquid. Please do not use polishes, oils,
cleaning fluids, solvents, detergents, or
ammonia-based cleaners to clean your leather
upholstery. Application of a leather conditioner
is not required to maintain the original
condition.

NOTE:
If equipped with light colored leather, it tends to
show any foreign material, dirt, and fabric dye
transfer more so than darker colors. The leather
is designed for easy cleaning, and FCA recommends
Mopar total care leather cleaner applied
on a cloth to clean the leather seats as needed.

CAUTION!
Do not use Alcohol and Alcohol-based and/or
Ketone based cleaning products to clean
leather upholstery, as damage to the
upholstery may result.

I have only wiped my leather seats down with a damp cloth, and they look brand new again.
Yes - I know the owners manual says that...and like I said, I tried to find some Mopar Total Clean locally...but seems no one is using/buying it, so my local dealers don't even carry it. I haven't put anything on the seats other than 1) a damp cloth (w/ small amount of soap), and 2) Lexol leather conditioner/cleaner. I haven't put any Alcohol or alcohol-based cleaning products, etc. on the leather.
 
OP
OP
griffinm

griffinm

Active Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
67
Location
Raleigh, NC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Any chance you sat in them shirtless? Could this be sunscreen residue?
Nope - never shirtless. And I've not even used sunscreen this year ... so no chance that some even seeped thru a shirt. What's odd is that it's literally just the section pictured. The seat sections below and above (and even the headrest) don't have the same issue.
 

Mikester86

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
946
Reaction score
1,794
Location
Michigan wishing I was on a trail...
Website
www.jlwranglerforums.com
Vehicle(s)
2020 Jeep JLU Rubicon
Vehicle Showcase
1
Yes - I know the owners manual says that...and like I said, I tried to find some Mopar Total Clean locally...but seems no one is using/buying it, so my local dealers don't even carry it. I haven't put anything on the seats other than 1) a damp cloth (w/ small amount of soap), and 2) Lexol leather conditioner/cleaner. I haven't put any Alcohol or alcohol-based cleaning products, etc. on the leather.
Sorry to see that. I only use a damp cloth, water only. My seats have been filthy and dusty, and the damp cloth does the trick every time.

If really dusty though, air hose or light vacuum first to get most of it removed, then damp cloth.
 

TheRaven

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
436
Reaction score
544
Location
Reading, Pennsylvania
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU 80th, 2020 Challenger Scat Pack, 2010 Tahoe Z71
FYI a "damp cloth and water" is not going to clean the seats. If you have black leather, you'll never know this because you can't see the staining that clothing dye causes, but it's obvious on lighter colored leathers, and water ain't taking that out. Good quality cleaners (like Lexol) can. Also, water cannot properly condition the leather. You need oil for that. I've spent a lifetime caring for automotive leather and i've adopted techniques from pros in the business...there are lots of products that are more than adequate (i.e. you do not need $50 per treatment wonder products) but you absolutely SHOULD be conditioning your leather at least a couple times a year or else you will have a cracked ugly mess by the time you hit 100k miles.

To the OP - when you apply the cleaner, do you brush? I use a horsehair brush to scrub the leather, and I am currently using the exact same cleaner. I have yet to find anything that it won't take out...but there's a first time for everything so who knows.
 
OP
OP
griffinm

griffinm

Active Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
67
Location
Raleigh, NC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Sorry to see that. I only use a damp cloth, water only. My seats have been filthy and dusty, and the damp cloth does the trick every time.

If really dusty though, air hose or light vacuum first to get most of it removed, then damp cloth.
Yep - a damp cloth is all that should be needed. (That’s all I’ve ever needed on all my other vehicles.) I’m a neat freak that takes immaculate care of my vehicles so this issue is driving me nuts. The 6 year old F-150 I sold to buy this Jeep looked like it had never been sat in (56k miles).
 

Mikester86

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
946
Reaction score
1,794
Location
Michigan wishing I was on a trail...
Website
www.jlwranglerforums.com
Vehicle(s)
2020 Jeep JLU Rubicon
Vehicle Showcase
1
FYI a "damp cloth and water" is not going to clean the seats. If you have black leather, you'll never know this because you can't see the staining that clothing dye causes, but it's obvious on lighter colored leathers, and water ain't taking that out. Good quality cleaners (like Lexol) can. Also, water cannot properly condition the leather. You need oil for that. I've spent a lifetime caring for automotive leather and i've adopted techniques from pros in the business...there are lots of products that are more than adequate (i.e. you do not need $50 per treatment wonder products) but you absolutely SHOULD be conditioning your leather at least a couple times a year or else you will have a cracked ugly mess by the time you hit 100k miles.

To the OP - when you apply the cleaner, do you brush? I use a horsehair brush to scrub the leather, and I am currently using the exact same cleaner. I have yet to find anything that it won't take out...but there's a first time for everything so who knows.
I will stick with what the manual states. Are the leather seats in the JL's 100% leather, or some combo of materials?
 

WXman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
2,591
Location
Central Kentucky
Vehicle(s)
2018 Wrangler Unlimited
Occupation
Meteorology and Transportation
Every time I see one of these "problem with my leather seats" threads, which happens often, it makes me thankful I saved that $1,500 and kept the cloth seats which are virtually bulletproof for years.
 
OP
OP
griffinm

griffinm

Active Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
67
Location
Raleigh, NC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
I will stick with what the manual states. Are the leather seats in the JL's 100% leather, or some combo of materials?
They’re supposed to be leather but to be honest, they feel less like leather than any other leather seats I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong. I still think they’re nice. I’ve seen other threads where people say it could be a mixture of other materials.
 

TheRaven

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
436
Reaction score
544
Location
Reading, Pennsylvania
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU 80th, 2020 Challenger Scat Pack, 2010 Tahoe Z71
I will stick with what the manual states. Are the leather seats in the JL's 100% leather, or some combo of materials?
It's complicated. On the front seats you get leather out to the top french seams, and it is "real" leather (Napa). The sides and backs (and headrest) are all "leatherette" (vinyl). On the back bench there are only four panels of leather - the lowest insert panels on both the driver and passenger side are Napa. Everything else is vinyl. This is why FCA can get away with telling you to use water...it will be no problem for the vinyl. But especially on a Wrangler, assuming you take the top off in the summer like most, you'll be replacing your front seat bases by 100k if you follow those directions.
 
Advertisement

ATO4x4
 
Advertisement
Top