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Thread: 1988 C4 Corvette Leather Seat Restoration help

  1. #1
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    Apr 2021
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    Default 1988 C4 Corvette Leather Seat Restoration help

    Hi, Iím new to the forum. I came across this site looking for how to care for Ford King Ranch leather seats and read the sticky about pulling out a stain by spraying cleaner, leaving a tissue on the stain and covering with plastic to draw it out. I was wondering if this process may work on a corvette seat I am restoring.

    Iím helping a friend repair and restore her 1988 Corvette interior. I am starting with the worst seat cushion. I have cleaned it and am at the point now where a few dark stains will not come out. I have used baking soda and water as well as a 2:1 woolite solution to clean the seat. I am looking for some advice on what to do next? Iíve attached pictures of the dirty seat before cleaning and its present condition after cleaning. There are several black areas that are not responding to the cleaner.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Attached Images Attached Images         

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    >>> Hi, I’m new to the forum. I came across this site looking for how to care for Ford King Ranch leather seats and read the sticky about pulling out a stain by spraying cleaner, leaving a tissue on the stain and covering with plastic to draw it out. I was wondering if this process may work on a corvette seat I am restoring.

    Yes, this process is known as “reverse-transfer” when a known stain is worked by penetration, suspension and reverse transfer to an absorbent towel. A stain is easier to remove from the finishes, then from the thickness of the leather crust.


    >>> I’m helping a friend repair and restore her 1988 Corvette interior. I am starting with the worst seat cushion. I have cleaned it and am at the point now where a few dark stains will not come out. I have used baking soda and water as well as a 2:1 woolite solution to clean the seat. I am looking for some advice on what to do next?

    Baking Soda and Woolite denatures or breaks down the leather constituents such as the tanning agent and fatliquor from the leather structure. The leather when dried will become stiff and when flexed will crack easily. You will also notice the leather finishes become tackier too.


    >>> Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Please ask as many questions as you want.
    Or, you prefer me to tell you exactly what to do?
    Or, you want to be educated about the science and logic of leather structure cleaning and conditioning?
    Or, you prefer to have online coaching?

    Name:  rogerIcon.jpg
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    Roger Koh
    Leather, Skin, Hair, Eye & Acne Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Coach
    web: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: [email protected]
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 5 Days Ago at 02:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Roger, thanks for the reply. Please tell me what you recommend I do next to properly treat and restore the seats. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    There are a few phases of restorative work you need done.

    First is to pH neutralize the Baking Soda which in diluted form has a pH value starts from 8.8, it depends on the concentration you have used.

    The woolite has a pH value of 8.0, it will depend on the concentration you used.

    Leather has a pH value of 3 to 5.

    Leather is an amphoteric material.

    The high pH value of both the baking soda and woolite have reversed the protein leather fiber from ionic positive (+ve) to ionic (-ve) negative.

    What this means is that the tanning agents have break hydrogen bond with the leather protein fiber and leached out, turns the leather structure sticky or reverting to rawhide.

    The fatliquor (fat and oil) has also leached out breaking its hydrogen bond with the leather protein fiber and the leather becomes stiff and when flex will crack.

    So, to combine the unknown stain that you wish to removed with “reverse-transfer” technique, the recommended process is as follows:

    Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 + Prep-4.4 > Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 + Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3. This combination system is the wet process. And its purpose is to remove stains, pH neutralized, ionic positive (+ve) charged the leather protein fiber to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative (-ve) fatliquor. Here we are dealing with leather integrity as the priority before dealing with appearance.

    Let me know if you have questions about the above recommendation.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Koh View Post
    There are a few phases of restorative work you need done.

    First is to pH neutralize the Baking Soda which in diluted form has a pH value starts from 8.8, it depends on the concentration you have used.


    So, to combine the unknown stain that you wish to removed with ďreverse-transferĒ technique, the recommended process is as follows:

    Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 + Prep-4.4 > Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 + Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3. This combination system is the wet process. And its purpose is to remove stains, pH neutralized, ionic positive (+ve) charged the leather protein fiber to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative (-ve) fatliquor. Here we are dealing with leather integrity as the priority before dealing with appearance.

    Let me know if you have questions about the above recommendation.
    Thank you for that knowledge and education. Do you have a kit that includes those products? Could you explain step-by-step how to complete the combination system wet process? If this successfully removes the stain, what is the next process to continue restoring the seat?

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