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Thread: Nubuck - I am hoping you can help me with a leather (nubuck) ottoman I am cleaning.

  1. #1
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    Default Nubuck - I am hoping you can help me with a leather (nubuck) ottoman I am cleaning.

    Hello Roger -

    I've attached two pictures to this email, a before and after. In the before picture, you can see the condition of the ottoman including a water ring from a glass, plenty of spills and spots, and heavy soiling along the edges/foot rest areas. In the after picture, you can still see the outline of the water ring and the most heavily soiled foot rest area is still stands out.

    Although the owner said the piece was suede, I believe it is aniline.

    This is what I have done so far.
    1. I used Leather Master Strong Cleaner (I know, not your product) to clean the piece to achieve the results you see in the after picture.
    2. I used Leather Master Soft Remove to work on the water ring.
    3. I have NOT yet applied any protection cream.

    I have available a Leather Master kit that includes Strong Cleaner, Soft Remover, Leather Vital, Oleosa, Leather Degreaser, Leather Protection Cream, and Nubuck Protection Cream.

    I believe the heavily soiled foot rest areas may be a result of oils from skin (legs resting on the ottoman) so my thought is to use the Leather Degreaser in those areas.

    What suggestions might you have for better results? Any direction/advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    David


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  2. #2
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    I've attached another picture to help identify the type of leather. Hopefully, the picture gives you a better look at the grain. I also made a small 'scratch' and used my finger to apply water to the leather. The scratch mark was easily corrected by using my thumb to rub the grain in the opposite direction. In the picture, the water has been on the piece for about 30 seconds. After it had completely dried, the spot was ever-so-slightly darker than the surrounding area. Also, I could 'write' my name using my fingernail.
    I initially thought the leather was nubuck. But, to me anyway, the leather does not have a 'velvety' feel and there is no appreciable shading or change to surface when moving a flat hand across the piece. That was the reason for reconsidering my initial identification and now believing the leather is aniline.

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    There are no loose pieces on the ottoman so there is no way to see the reverse side of the material. The only other picture I can provide, attached, is the underside of the cushion. However, I don't believe this provides any useful information.

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    Here is a picture of the reverse side showing the suede.

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    We have positively identified that the leather is "nubuck".
    Nubuck is aniline dyed but has its surface sanded or buffed to produce a very fine velvety nap. It is difficult to recognize the nap if they are worn away and may look like a smooth aniline leather. The latest picture confirms that this is nubuck with a reverse suede side with all the characteristic already described by you.

    When we have positively identified the leather type, the next step is to refer to the Nubuck Problem Solving Guide you find here to solve our problem in question.

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    Last edited by Roger Koh; 07-02-2013 at 10:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questions! View Post

    I believe the heavily soiled foot rest areas may be a result of oils from skin (legs resting on the ottoman) so my thought is to use the Leather Degreaser in those areas.

    What suggestions might you have for better results? Any direction/advice will be greatly appreciated.
    A leather degreaser is the right choice to remove the penetrated body oil, grease and sweat stains.

    However, there are 2 version to choose from, the solvent based or the water based.

    The solvent based comes in two forms, the gel or from a spray can that is propel by propane. Both these solvent degreaser absorb the stain and the solid residue need to be removed when dry and follows with cleaning up. However these solvent cleaner further dries the surrounding original fat and oil as well making the leather shrink and dry with loss of suppleness.

    The water-based degreaser is hydrocarbon formulation that is pH specific with a pH 2.2 that controls the leather composition or constituents as it degrease the foreign contamination.

    One of the leather constituent is the dyestuff and at pH 2.2 controls potential bleeding.

    The other constituent that impart suppleness to the leather is the fat and oil content and with a pH of 2.2, it increases the ionic positive (+ve) of the protein fiber with the ionic negative (-ve) bond of the fat and oil (fat liquor), thus maintaining the leather suppleness when dry.

    The basic ingredient that is essential to preserve the leather from reverting to rawhide is the tanning agent and most likely this nubuck is "chrome-tanned". With a pH of 2.2 it strengthen the ionic attraction between the leather protein fiber with tanning agent and one clear sign is that the leather chemistry integrity is rejuvenated with a squeaky feel instead of a slimy feel that indicates that the leather is denaturing and reverting to rawhide or pre-tanning condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questions! View Post
    In the picture, the water has been on the piece for about 30 seconds. After it had completely dried, the spot was ever-so-slightly darker than the surrounding area.

    Refer to above Picture #3,

    The pH value of leather (nubuck) averages 4, tap water pH value averages 7. So we have 1000times in pH difference that cause the slightly darker effect. When a solution with a pH value higher than 7 is put to the test, the test spot will increase in in the darkening effect. On the reverse if a lower pH value of 2 is put to the test you may have a lightening spot, if the leather have already been darkening with previous alkaline solution.

    So, some of the watermarks or shadow of the stains that you see is in fact the result of pH phenomenal. Working with acidic solution will result will eliminate the browning problems.

    Always check the pH of your solution prior to application onto leather.
    Leather-safe pH range is from 2 to 5, pH above 7 when used will require a pH 2.0 or 3.0 to neutralize it from "ever-so-slightly darker than the surrounding area."

    Roger
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 07-02-2013 at 11:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questions! View Post

    What suggestions might you have for better results? Any direction/advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Try this leather-safe system

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    Leather Doctor Kit N5.dr – Nubuck Degreaser Kit

    Leather Doctor® Kit N5.dr, nubuck leather degreaser kit is designed for degreasing especially to the headrest and armrest areas with most bare body contacts. Preventive regular surface degreasing is preferred over corrective penetrated degreasing as in severe cases, the dyestuff breaks bond and bleeds. Degreaser-2.2 is a waterbased (pH 2.2) multifunctional degreaser that besides emulsifying the greasy contamination, it controls dye bleeding and charging the protein fiber ionic positive for strengthening the ionic attraction between the ionic negative tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor. Deflocculated and suspended soiling is towel extracted, thereafter rinse and pH balanced with Acidifier-2.0 to prevent the leather from reverting to rawhide. When leather feels sticky or slimy it is a sign of leather denaturing, a squeaky feel when wet is a sign of healthy leather. Hydrator-3.3 relaxes stiff leathers and removes surface tension free from surface blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing. Fat and oil is replenished with Fatliquor-5.0 to rejuvenate the leather for the desired suppleness when dry. Dye refinishing is a consideration prior to a non-stick rub-resistant protection found in Kit N7.cl. Protector-S+ enhances a non-stick silky-feel to shield against sticky soiling. Note that the mentioned cleaning product suffix number denotes its pH value in this holistic leather-safe nubuck leathers degreasing system.

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    Roger -

    I need to complete cleaning the ottoman that is the subject of this email thread and have some questions.

    Because there is no real certainty regarding the primary type of soiling, I intend to perform a cleaning for accumulated soiling conditions using the six products identified in the problem solving guide for Nubuck. I will also treat the piece for oil, grease, and sweat using Degreaser 2.2/Rinse 3.0 and protein based stains using d'protein-10/Acidifier-2.0.

    My questions are:

    1. How are the following products used and/or applied to the piece?
    a. Prep-4.4
    b. Cleaner-3.8
    c. Rinse-3.0
    d. Hydrator-3.3
    e. Fatliquor-5.0
    f. Protector-S+
    g. Degreaser 2.2
    h. d'protein-10
    i. Acidifier-2.0

    2. In what order should the cleaning products be used? Especially the products that are identified in the problem solving guide as being used twice?

  10. #10
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    >>> How are the following products used and/or applied to the piece?
    a. Prep-4.4
    b. Cleaner-3.8
    c. Rinse-3.0
    d. Hydrator-3.3
    e. Fatliquor-5.0
    f. Protector-S+
    g. Degreaser 2.2
    h. d'protein-10
    i. Acidifier-2.0



    Here are the Products Description and General Instructions (information taken from - http://www.leatherdoctor.com/servlet/StoreFront):

    a. Prep-4.4:

    Leather Doctor® Prep-4.4 is the leather-safe milder version of Prep-7.7 with a pH value of 4.4 for pH sensitive leathers. This prep cleaner works by allowing sufficient dwell-time to penetrate, lubricate and suspense prior to towel extraction. It is design to remove: a) dye transfer stains like blue jeans, leather, ink print and newsprint, b) grease based ink stains like ballpoint ink, c) water based ink stains like stamp pad ink and d) strip foreign soil accumulation including silicone shine to its original finish. It is highly recommended that the remaining sticky residue be thereafter remove in conjunction with Cleaner-3.8 and Rinse-3.0 as a holistic leather-safe system. This universal prep heavy-duty cleaner is for all leather types including the common vachetta, nubuck, suede, wet-white and all aniline leather types.
    Instruction:
    Inspect the condition of leather finishes comparing the unused with the heavy used areas. If there is sign of wear refinishing is a mandatory recommendation as deteriorated camouflaged finishes is removes during the cleaning process.
    1. Apply, spread and agitate with horsehair brush.
    2. Allow 10 to 30mins dwell-time or a longer overnight dwell follows with towel extraction.
    3. Remove remaining sticky residue with Cleaner-3.8.
    4. Then rinse until towel shows clean to a healthy squeak with Rinse-3.0.

    b. Clean-3.8
    Leather Doctor® Cleaner-3.8 is a pH 3.8 all purpose leather-safe anionic universal cleaner for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck and suede. It is particularly effective in emulsifying oily soils and in suspending particulates. It works by penetrating, lubricating and suspending soiling safely and effectively through gentle chemical reaction working in perfect harmony with all leather constituents that include the tanning agent, preservative, dyestuff and especially the fatliquor.
    Instruction:
    Appropriate Brushes:
    Use Brush-1 (horsehair) for all smooth leathers.
    Use Brush-2 (nylon) for nubuck.
    Use Brush-3 (brass) for suede (always use this sharp brass brush at a slant angle to avoid scratches to fine suede).
    Appropriate Erasers:
    Use Eraser-4 for all smooth leathers, nubuck and kid/lamb suede.
    Use Eraser-5 for all split suede
    Application:
    1. Identify, inspect, test and dry soil removal prior to application.
    2. Shake well, spray and agitate with appropriate brush.
    3. Dwell 10 to 30 minutes or before it dries for complete soil deflocculation to occur.
    4. Extract suspended soiling – use dry absorbent towel.
    Rinse Remaining Residue:
    1. Rinse to a healthy squeaky clean until towel shows clean – use Rinse-3.0.
    Note:
    For stubborn soiling, use either Prep-7.7 for pigmented leathers or Prep-4.4 for all other aniline leathers including nubuck and suede.
    Recommend:
    1. To reduce stickiness when necessary – use Acidifier-2.0.
    2. To hydrate stiff leathers – use Hydrator-3.3.
    3. To soften and strengthen leather – use Fatliquor-5.0.
    4. To impart a non-stick rub-resistant protection – use scented Protector-B+, D+, S+, W+ or scentless B, D, S or W.

    c. Rinse-3.0
    Leather Doctor® Rinse-3.0 is a pH 3.0 waterbased leather-safe universal rinse for all leather types that include pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck and suede. It is to removes suspended soiling by towel extraction while neutralizing harmful alkaline residues and charging the protein fiber ionic positive to increase the attraction between the ionic negative leather constituent like the tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor.
    Instruction:
    Appropriate Brushes:
    Use Brush-1 (horsehair) for all smooth leathers.
    Use Brush-2 (nylon) for nubuck.
    Use Brush-3 (brass) for suede (always use this sharp brass brush at a slant angle to avoid scratches to fine suede).
    Appropriate Erasers:
    Use Eraser-4 for all smooth leathers, nubuck and kid/lamb suede.
    Use Eraser-5 for all split suede
    Application:
    1. Identify, inspect, test and dry soil removal prior to application.
    2. Shake well, spray and agitate with appropriate brush. 3. Extract suspended soiling – use dry absorbent towel.

    d. Hydrator-3.3
    Leather Doctor® Hydrator-3.3 is a waterbased pH 3.3 leather-safe hydrator. It is a fatliquor preconditioner with multi functional abilities. Surface application is primary to check for even surface tension free of blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing. Structural application will require saturating to an optimum level with moisture oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    The multi functional abilities include:
    a) to check for surface tension for an even appearance free from blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    b) To plumps, relaxes and separates crushed, shrunk and stick together fibrils for manipulating away-unwanted creases and wrinkles.
    c) To rectify alkaline overexposure areas by facilitating colloidal water movement to redistribute the leather constituents from surrounding areas.
    d) To activate the dormant dyestuff within the leather structure for color refreshing.
    e) To facilitates colloidal water movement within the inter-fibrillary spaces for wicking foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    f) To stabilize, pH balance and charge the protein fiber below its iso-electric point (pI) ionic positive to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively. This universal Hydrator-3.3 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.
    Instruction:
    A. Surface Tension Inspection:
    A1. Spray Hydrator-3.3 evenly and wipe with lint free towel to free of surface tension for an even appearance prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    B. Stiffness, Creases and Wrinkles:
    B1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    B2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell for softness.
    B3. Manipulate by stretching and cross flexing to relax the leather prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    C. Rectify Alkaline Overexposure:
    C1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    C2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell for redistributing of the leather constituents from surrounding area.
    C3. Observe for appearance and test by finger for tactile squeaky feel prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    D. Activating Dormant Dyestuff to Resurface:
    D1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    D2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for excess dyestuff to resurface.
    D3. Remove plastic cover and let it natural dry to observe color improvement prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    E. Removing Penetrated Stains:
    E1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    E2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    E3. Remove plastic wrapping, replace with tissue paper without airspace to trap stains as it dries instead of remaining on the surface.
    E4. Peel tissue paper when crispy dry and erase with Eraser-4 or Eraser-5 for suede accordingly prior to fatliquor replenishing.

    e. Fatliquor-5.0
    Leather Doctor® Fatliquor-5.0, a micro emulsion of fat, oil and water is an anionic charged pH 5.0 fatliquor for rejuvenating all leather types. It relaxes coarse breaks, creases and wrinkles enhance suppleness and prevent cracking. It softens the leather with stretchability, compressibility and flexibility, while enhancing its rip tensile strength greatly. It is for replenishing the original fat and oil that diminishes thru sun-bleaching, ageing, heat and alkaline overexposure or cleaning. On application, the water-encased molecule breaks free when hydrogen bond attraction takes place between the fat and oil with the protein fiber. The excess free water content wicks out leaving a breathing space behind for leather natural transpiration. The fat plumps the leather with fullness from easily collapsing into creases and wrinkles during stress or flex, while the oil lubricates the fibers so that they slide over one another smoothly like millions of inter-connecting hinges. Thus helps to keep leather at its optimum physical performance and prevent premature ageing. This universal Fatliquor-5.0 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.
    Instruction:
    1. Apply Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    2. Repeat application each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    3. Drive remaining surface remnants free of milky fat and oil until it turns clear with Hydrator-3.3.
    4. Allow natural drying for extra softness.
    Tips:
    1. When crispy dry, prior surface contaminations/damages may darkens as soiling particulates resurface.
    2. Removes soiling particulates with Eraser-4 for all leathers including nubuck and Eraser-5 for suede.
    3. Stretching the darken areas lightly will also lightens the appearance.

    f. Protector-S+
    Leather Doctor® Protector-S+ is a non-film forming, non-stick, rub-resistant protector that enhances a natural silky-feel, with a classic leather scent for pure-aniline, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin leather types. It imparts a non-stick, breathable barrier, essentially to shield the detrimental effects of sticky soiling. Its natural silky-feel protection increases the leather resistance to wet and dry rubs, thus reduce stretch, scuff and abrasion. In addition, it reduces friction squeaks that wear the finishes when leather is rubbed during movement. Instruction:
    1. Identify, inspect and dry soil removal prior to application.
    2. Shake well, fine mists spray on cleaned surface.
    3. Groom nubuck with nubuck Brush-2 for a “finger writing effect”.

    g. Degreaser-2.2
    Leather Doctor® Degreaser-2.2 is a pH 2.2 leather-safe waterbased degreaser with dye bleeding control. It is design for degreasing leather of penetrated oil, grease and sweat stains from skin, and hair contact, especially the headrest and armrest of upholstery, collar and cuffs of garment, handles of bag including steering wheel. It works best in conjunction with Rinse-3.0 to rinse emulsified soiling or Acidifier-2.0 for rinsing, bleeding control and pH balancing sweaty contamination from leather denaturing into rawhide. This universal leather degreaser is for all leather types including the common pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck and suede.
    Instruction:
    1. Identify leather types and dry soil removal prior to application.
    2. Shake until cloudy gel, apply and agitate with leather, nubuck or suede brush and or leather Eraser-4.
    3. Allow dwelling 5 to 30 minutes or before it dries for a complete soiling suspension to occur.
    4. Extract suspended soiling with dry towel.
    5. Then remove remaining residue with Rinse-3.0 to a squeaky-clean, for reduce bleeding use Acidifier-2.0 instead.

    h. d”protein-10
    Leather Doctor® d’Protein-10 is a pH 10 aqueous leather protein stain remover for removing blood, body-discharge, milk, cream, ice cream, egg, meat juices, vomit, perspiration, urine and other protein based stains. In addition, any staining that comes from a living animal or person will probably need this product in the removing process. It is mandatory to follow with Acidifier-2.0 to rinse and pH balance the alkalinity from denaturing the leather. Compound stains are further treated with d’Urine-2.2 for urine stains, d'Tarnish-1.3 for bloodstains and d'Tannin-3.5 for plants and vegetable related coloring. It is for all leather types including pigmented, Aniline, Vachetta, Nubuck, Suede, Hair-on-Hide and Woolskin.
    Instruction:
    1. Inspect and remove all caked and surface deposit prior to application.
    2. Apply, agitate and extract with repetition until the stain is removed.
    3. Neutralize appropriately to suite stain-removal system with d’Urine-2.1, d’Tarnish-1.3 or d’Tannin-3.5 to a squeaky feel.
    4. Rinse until towel shows clean to a healthy squeak – use Rinse-3.0.

    i. Acidifier-2.0
    Leather Doctor® Acidifier-2.0 is a waterbased pH 2.0 leather acidifier designs for controlling dye bleeding in conjunction with Degreaser-2.2 in extreme prolong oil, grease and sweat decontamination system. As a standalone, it is for pH balancing alkaline overexposure that manifest as marks, streaks, brightness and tackiness. This universal acidifier is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin leather types.
    Instructions:
    Degreasing-Rinse System:
    1. Spray direct sufficiently and agitate with appropriate leather horsehair brush-1, nubuck nylon brush-2 or suede brass brush-3.
    2. Towel extract suspended soiling until it shows clean.
    Standalone for Rectifying Alkaline Overexposure:
    1. Spray direct sufficiently and agitate with appropriate leather horsehair brush-1, nubuck nylon brush-2 or suede brass brush-3.
    2. Dwell 10 to 30 minutes depending on exposure severity.
    3. Extract residues with dry absorbent towel.
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 10-28-2013 at 10:56 AM.

  11. #11
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    >>> 2. In what order should the cleaning products be used? Especially the products that are identified in the problem-solving guide as being used twice?

    It is always the products that have the highest pH value that is to be used first (tips: the suffix numbers of the products denotes its pH value).
    So from the list of products mentioned above it is noted that d’Protein-10 has the highest pH value to be used first in the Protein-Based: Milk, Vomit & Body-Fluids (except fermented sweat) in this manner – d’Protein-10 > Acidifier-2.0 (as the stain removing and pH balancing phase) follows with leather rejuvenating with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 as the second phase and the last phase is Protector-S+.

    When multiple application is used for different soiling example degreasing with Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 / Rinse-3.0 according to the Problem Solving Guide again we have three phase of process. Degreasing with Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 / Rinse-3.0 as the first phase and the Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 as the second phase and follow with Protector-S+ as the last phase. Simply said, when multiple process is to be done, combine the steps into phases.

    Combine the phases for both stain types as a process with the higher pH value to begin first, thus we should start and combine as one continuous phase as avoiding any unnecessary repetition, so the cleaning first phase should follows in this simplified process (condense into 6 steps into a 3 phases sequence):

    d’Protein-10 > Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0.

    Combine second phase as:
    Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0

    And the final phase as:
    Protector-S+.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 10-28-2013 at 11:29 AM.

  12. #12
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    Hi Roger -

    I've cleaned the ottoman following the guide for nubuck leather but the top (foot rest area) has significant streaking. To this point I have used the following products in accordance with the guide: Prep 4.4; Cleaner 3.8; Rinse 3.0; Hydrator 3.3. Because the sides were not as soiled as the top, I used Strong Cleaner 4.3 instead of prep 4.4. The other products were used in the same sequence. There is no streaking on the sides, just the top.

    What can I do to remove the streaks?

    Thank you.

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  13. #13
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    These streaks are not found in the before cleaning.

    It is most probably your uneven application with Prep-4.4 that cause such a problem, am I right?

    If so the streaking residue has to be remove with Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0.

  14. #14
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    Roger - Yes, the streaks were caused by the Prep 4.4. I followed the Prep 4.4 application with Cleaner 3.8 and Rinse 3.0. Should I continue using these two products until the surface is free of the streaks?

    Where did I go wrong in applying the Prep 4.4 to cause the streaks?

    Thank you.

  15. #15
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    Airbrushing is a better alternative when comes to some product application like the Prep-4.4 - because of its viscosity, it may be cut with distilled water 1: 1 - 2 depends on severity of soiling for a better coverage.

    The next alternative is to use Super Clean-4.9 and only leave the obvious stains that can be touch up with a cotton swab or painting brush with Prep-4.4.

    When using such combination, with different strength (Prep-4.4 is about 20 times stronger than Super Clean-4.9), always go over with Super Clean-4.9 to feather out the Prep-4.4 to avoid streaks.

  16. #16
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    Caution when using Prep-4.4 - as it can remove some dyestuff as well.


    Leather Doctor® Prep-4.4 is the leather-safe milder version of Prep-7.7 with a pH value of 4.4 for pH sensitive leathers. This prep cleaner works by allowing sufficient dwell-time to penetrate, lubricate and suspense prior to towel extraction.
    It is design to remove:
    a) dye transfer stains like blue jeans, leather, ink print and newsprint,
    b) grease based ink stains like ballpoint ink,
    c) water based ink stains like stamp pad ink and
    d) strip foreign soil accumulation including silicone shine to its original finish.
    It is highly recommended that the remaining sticky residue be thereafter remove in conjunction with Cleaner-3.8 and Rinse-3.0 as a holistic leather-safe system. This universal prep heavy-duty cleaner is for all leather types including the common vachetta, nubuck, suede, wet-white and all aniline leather types.

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