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Thread: 2010 Honda Civic - Water Damage to Leather Seat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default 2010 Honda Civic - Water Damage to Leather Seat

    Hey... I read your post on a forum about water damaged seats. I just bought a 2010 Honda Civic and I didn't notice till after I got it home that the leather in the back of the car is tough and a bit shriveled. I was wondering if you have any recommendations for restoring the softness of the leather?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Reference to picture #2 this leather looks non-absorbent.
    The possible point of water entry is by the stitching rows and seams.
    It seeps in and moves horizontal.
    I believe that the leather was then exposed to heat that causes the temperature to rise that result in shrinkage.
    The heat has cause the fatliquor to leach out.
    And as it dries the leather fibrils within the structure becomes stick-together as the result.
    And pressure or stress put to it at this point is likely to crack or rip the leather.

    In order to restore the leather suppleness with softness and strength the fatliquor has to be reverse back in place.
    First the stick together fiber need to be relaxed and inter-fibrillary spaces open up prior to hydrogen bonding with the fatliquor again. While the below finishes strata leather structure stretch back to original dimension the finishes may not be able to follow accordingly. The shriveled or ripple finishes has already delaminated from the leather crust and by manipulating and staking the leather structure from the surface is likely to do some damages to the leather finishes as well. Thus a color refinishing with Micro-54 system is the likely plan B to both restore the leather structure and the finishes.

    In practice, The Hydrator-3.3 is apply along the stitching rows directly or by use of paper towel acting as reservoir to allow the slow sipping of the hydrator following the same route as the original water damages. With control evaporation using plastic cling-wrapper the leather is left to dwell up to 72hrs. And as the moisture content increases with softness and plumpness the leather is stretch back gently and firmly without delaminating the finishes while doing it. If damages are evident and immediate the finishes have to go first to ease the stretching back of the leather structure to original dimension. Color refinishing is the second follow-up.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    [email protected]

    For further readings:

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    Leather Doctor® : Auto Pigmented & Perforated Leather - Color Refinishing Kit

    Leather Doctor®, auto pigmented (perforated) leather color refinishing kit is design for abrasion damages especially from friction rubs while getting in and out of seat. Most of these repairs may range from missing finishes to abrading damages into the leather structure. Some expose areas may be contaminated with foreign soiling that includes conditioners, protectors, body oil, grease and sweat or alkaline overexposure with all-purpose cleaners. A comprehensive repair for a long-term lasting solution will require a holistic approach to deal with both the exposed structure and surface finishes. The practical and functional softness and strength of the leather depends on the health of the structure with average thickness between 0.9 to 1.2mm from stiffness and cracking. The aesthetic aspect of the leather finishes averages 0.02mm (or 20 micron) in thickness for practical compressing and flexing from cracking. A preview of a leather-safe restoration system begins by stripping with Stripper-2.3 and rinsing with Rinse-3.0. Degreasing with Degreaser-2.2 follows with Acidifier-2.0. The suffix numbers of these four products denotes it pH value for recharging the protein fiber ionic positive besides the act of decontamination. The leather integrity is revitalized once the ionic attraction between the positive protein fiber and its negative leather constituents like the tanning agent and fatliquor (fat, oil and water) is activated. Leather rejuvenating system for softness and strength is accomplished with Hydrator-3.3 follows with Fatliquor-5.0. Structural weakness from overstretching is re-strengthened with Impregnator-26, while surface uneven absorption is sealed with Adhesor-73. These repair and auxiliary products where necessary reduces the need for color over-coating thus increase its flexibility and stretchability from premature cracking. Protector-B+ imparts a non-stick rub-resistant surface with a buttery feel, reduces noises that translate into less friction wear. As the leather surface is well lubricated it reduces compression when comes to heavy body contact thus reduces compressed creases and wrinkles.

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    Leather Doctor Kit – Auto Leather Water Stain Removal Kit

    Leather Doctor® Kit, auto leather water-stain remover kit is design to remove water stains as the results of destabilizing the leather pH equilibrium. The side effect of alkaline overexposure manifests as marks and rings behaving like litmus paper. The darkening rings are leather constituents that breaks bond with the protein fiber and migrate forming the outer ring. Stains are clean with Clean-3.8 to remove surface residue prior to Acidifier-2.0. Acidifier-2.0 neutralizes the alkaline overexposure recharging the protein fiber ionic positive to re-attracts the ionic negative leather constituents. The leather is saturated and dwell up to 72 hours for extreme cases to facilitate redistribution and wicking up foreign contamination. A paper tissue covering without airspace helps trapped stains instead of remaining on the leather surface when dry. Hydrator-3.3 helps to redistributes the inter-fibrillary colloidal water movement; bringing the remaining stain to surface prior to fat and oil replenishing. Fatliquor-5.0 rejuvenates and imparts leather with softness and suppleness when dry. Protector-B+ enhances a non-stick rub-resistant protection with a buttery-feel that shield against sticky soiling. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this holistic leather-safe aniline leathers pH stabilizing system to eliminate water stains. Leather protein fiber is an amphoteric material while the other leather constituents like the tanning agents, dyestuffs and fatliquor are not. The iso-electric point (pI) of leather averages pH 4, water averages pH 7. Between pH 7 and pH 4 there is an ionic difference of 1000 (one thousand) times. Foreign pH influences below the pI charges the protein fiber ionic positive while above the pI causes the protein fiber to shift ionic negative. The ionic leather constituents and the protein fibers behave like magnets, unlike poles attracts.

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