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How to remove blue-jean stains from leather seats?


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#1 OFFLINE   TomServo92

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:24 PM

I swear I'm not buying another car with tan leather! My Fusion has blue jean stains on the driver's seat. Does have any know of a good way to remove them? I've tried Lexol with no luck.

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#2 OFFLINE   harddrive747

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:35 PM

I swear I'm not buying another car with tan leather! My Fusion has blue jean stains on the driver's seat. Does have any know of a good way to remove them? I've tried Lexol with no luck.


I don't have any suggestion on how to clean it. However, how did you get the stains on the driver's seat. I assume that it is just because you have been sitting in them. The reason that I ask is because I have an Explorer with Camel (tan) leather. Thanks for letting me know.

Thanks for letting me know.
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#3 OFFLINE   TomServo92

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:08 PM

I don't have any suggestion on how to clean it. However, how did you get the stains on the driver's seat. I assume that it is just because you have been sitting in them. The reason that I ask is because I have an Explorer with Camel (tan) leather. Thanks for letting me know.

Thanks for letting me know.


Yeah, just sitting in them. I'm sure sweating in the Texas summer heat has something to do with it as well.

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#4 OFFLINE   placebos

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:03 AM

Yeah, just sitting in them. I'm sure sweating in the Texas summer heat has something to do with it as well.


Well to state the obvious choice, you could have your interior detailed. Or pick up some quality leather cleaner and try it out yourself. I am actually going to be picking up Zaino Z9 Leather spray cleaner, heard only good things about it.

Good luck,

#5 OFFLINE   TomServo92

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:30 AM

Well to state the obvious choice, you could have your interior detailed. Or pick up some quality leather cleaner and try it out yourself. I am actually going to be picking up Zaino Z9 Leather spray cleaner, heard only good things about it.

Good luck,


I'll try the Zaino Z9 and if that doesn't work I'll see about getting it detailed.

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#6 OFFLINE   bbf2530

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:05 AM

I swear I'm not buying another car with tan leather! My Fusion has blue jean stains on the driver's seat. Does have any know of a good way to remove them? I've tried Lexol with no luck.



Hi TomServo (loved that show)! :hysterical: I answered a similar question in another forum, so please forgive me for taking the easy way out and copying and pasting my answer:

I have a pair of black Levi's that causes the same problem. They leave black dye transfer on my Light Stone leather seats (very light gray, almost white in color). They are the only pants that cause that problem for me.

I use "Meguiar's Leather Cleaner and Conditioner" (a one step product), and it always takes out the dye transfer. The secret I have found is to patiently rub in the leather cleaner with my fingers and hand (I read this, so can not take credit for it). You need to work the Leather Cleaner in very well, and use plenty of cleaner.

Rub it in as though you were gently massaging the seats. You will begin to see the dye transfer, dirt etc slowly dissolve. Then let it sit for a minute and gently buff the excess off with a soft, clean cloth.

Essentially, any leather cleaning product will need a good amount of gentle hand massaging of the seats, followed by a gentle buffing.

Nothing for leather will be a simple "wipe on, wipe off" type of application. No matter what you use, it takes patience and some gentle elbow grease.

Also, keep in mind that the leather seating surfaces on most modern cars (and all recent Ford's) is a coated type of leather. It has a microscopically thin "plastic" coating to protect the leather from wear and staining (ironic isn't it?). So the staining is actually just a dye transfer to the coating and not an actual stain on the leather. But again, the key is to patiently rub in (with your fingers) the leather cleaner/conditioner and give it time to do it's work (emulsifying the stain). Nothing will work if it is only used in a wipe on/wipe off fashion.

I also have "Tanners Preserve Leather Cleaner" and "Tanners Preserve Leather Conditioner" for tougher jobs. However, I have not needed to use it yet. Lexol and Mother's also make good automotive leather-care products.

Hope this information helps.

Good luck.
:beerchug:

Edited by bbf2530, 08 August 2009 - 11:06 AM.


#7 OFFLINE   placebos

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 01:29 AM

Also, keep in mind that the leather seating surfaces on most modern cars (and all recent Ford's) is a coated type of leather. It has a microscopically thin "plastic" coating to protect the leather from wear and staining (ironic isn't it?). So the staining is actually just a dye transfer to the coating and not an actual stain on the leather. But again, the key is to patiently rub in (with your fingers) the leather cleaner/conditioner and give it time to do it's work (emulsifying the stain). Nothing will work if it is only used in a wipe on/wipe off fashion



So if it is coated with a thin plastic cover, how does a conditioner affect the leather if it can not get past the cover? Is conditioning leather completely pointless then?

#8 OFFLINE   bbf2530

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:53 AM

So if it is coated with a thin plastic cover, how does a conditioner affect the leather if it can not get past the cover? Is conditioning leather completely pointless then?


Hi Placebos. :D No, it is not pointless. To try and answer your question: As I always recommend to people when they purchase a car, it is a very good idea to read the Owners Manual. So, copied and pasted from the Interior Care section of the Owners Manual:

LEATHER SEATS
Your leather seating surfaces have a clear, protective coating over the
leather.
• To clean, use a soft cloth with Motorcraft Deluxe Leather and Vinyl
Cleaner (ZC-11-A). Dry the area with a soft cloth.
• To help maintain its resiliency and color, use the Motorcraft Deluxe
Leather Care Kit (ZC-11-D), available from your authorized dealer.
• Do not use household cleaning products, alcohol solutions, solvents or
cleaners intended for rubber, vinyl and plastics, or oil/petroleum-based
leather conditioners. These products may cause premature wearing of
the clear, protective coating.
Note: In some instances, color or dye transfer can occur when wet
clothing comes in contact with leather upholstery. If this occurs, the
leather should be cleaned immediately to avoid permanent staining.


I am not a leather care expert, but I know where to find expert leather care advice (and I slept in a Holiday Inn Express last night :hysterical: ). You will notice that I used the word "plastic" in quotes, to try and highlight the fact that I was using it for lack of a better word. I am not sure what the exact composition of the coating is, and Ford does not specify in the Owners Manual. However, as you can see, use of a leather conditioner/care product (a non-oil-petroleum based one) is still highly advised by Ford.

And the leather care products I have recommended (among others) have kept my leather seats clean and looking good over the years.

Hope this clears up any confusion.

Good luck. :beerchug:

Edited by bbf2530, 09 August 2009 - 09:02 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   transitman

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:20 AM

...it is a very good idea to read the Owners Manual.

Thank You. :read:

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#10 OFFLINE   TomServo92

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 02:42 PM

Thanks bbf2530!

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#11 OFFLINE   2010SEL

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:00 AM

Were these brand new jeans? If so, I'd suggest washing them a few times before wearing them. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, I don't know. But it's a good idea.

#12 OFFLINE   TomServo92

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:38 AM

Were these brand new jeans? If so, I'd suggest washing them a few times before wearing them. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, I don't know. But it's a good idea.


I usually buy the pre-washed/pre-faded jeans.

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#13 OFFLINE   courtneynate

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 06:23 PM

I have a 2011 Ford Escape and I have the same issue. I live in PA so there was no "sweating" involved. The issue started in November and then reported to Ford Corporate in January. I do not have new jeans, the seats were not wet neother were my jeans. They did replace the seat cover but the issue has returned. They said that since it is a cosmetic defect they will not fix it. They actuall advised that I should contact the BBB..

#14 OFFLINE   bbf2530

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:32 PM

I have a 2011 Ford Escape and I have the same issue. I live in PA so there was no "sweating" involved. The issue started in November and then reported to Ford Corporate in January. I do not have new jeans, the seats were not wet neother were my jeans. They did replace the seat cover but the issue has returned. They said that since it is a cosmetic defect they will not fix it. They actuall advised that I should contact the BBB..


Hi courtneynate.:D How often do you clean the seats and what products do you use?

Instead of contacingt the BBB, have you tried using the cleaning products and techniques which have been described in detail in this thread? They have worked for multiple people and will work for you if performed properly.

This issue is not the fault of Ford or the seats, As I mentioned in one of my replies here, I have the same problem. Black jeans. Not new, not damp etc etc.. Happens whenever they are worn and I drive a few times. At no time have I ever felt it was the fault of my seats, the car or Ford. It is the jeans, not the seats. Same case in your situation. You simply need to clean your seats more often. And yes, if cleaned properly, the "stain" will come off.

And I am just curious...since it certainly does get hot enough there, why don't people sweat in Pennsylvania?:hysterical:

Good luck.:beerchug:

#15 OFFLINE   courtneynate

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:02 PM

bbf2530 when I contacted Ford in the very beginning, in the middle of Winter in PA, they tried to say that it was due to sweating on the seats.. I am sorry but someone is not going to sweat in the middle of winter in PA...

Also, when you buy a vehicle that is intended for every day use, you should not have to clean the seats every 2000 miles... I could understand 20,000 miles.... but not more than what you would need to change the oil in the engine!!

#16 OFFLINE   NickF1011

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:12 PM

Weird. I never had any discoloration of the tan leather seats in my Mazda6 after 130,000 miles...and I'm a blue jeans kinda guy. That said, given how much more they show spider webbing and how horrible the shift boot and knob looked after some mileage, I'm likely going to stick with darker interiors from now on.


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#17 OFFLINE   NickF1011

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

bbf2530 when I contacted Ford in the very beginning, in the middle of Winter in PA, they tried to say that it was due to sweating on the seats.. I am sorry but someone is not going to sweat in the middle of winter in PA...


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#18 OFFLINE   elmy311

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:13 PM

I own a car detailing business (in my 12th year now) and this is the number one complaint of most leather seat owners. I only use Zaino leather cleaner followed by their leather conditioner. Like someone mentioned above, you have to have PATIENCE when cleaning the seats otherwise you can risk ruining the leather. I also use a Mr. Clean Magic eraser and super hot water along with the Zaino and i've gotten some of the worst seats to come clean. It doesn't matter what kind of car you have, i've had people show up with brand new cars with just a few hundred miles that are covered with blue jean stains. That's why every car in my driveway has a black interior :shades:

#19 OFFLINE   theoldwizard

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:19 AM

I know someone who did "durability testing" on leather seats for Ford. Brand new "stiff as a board" heavy duty (Carhart ?) blue jeans. Simply get in and out of an F150 as many time as possible in a 2 day period (well over 1,000).

I don't know if it was "production" leather seating, but after the test, the seats were stained and showed quite a bit of wear.