Caring For Leather Upholstery – An Investment Worth the Effort

Over the last several years, leather upholstery has become a mainstream choice in automobiles, and a preferred element in households and many offices. There’s nothing like the feel of fine leather against your body, but it takes a little effort to maintain that luxurious touch.

Let’s start with the most obvious. Due to the adverse conditions leather covered automobile seats exist in-exposure to UV rays, fluctuating temperatures, food and drink spills, perspiration and other bodily excretions-special care should be taken to maintain an automobiles leather interior. Without proper treatment, the leather-covered seats will lose their suppleness, luster, and durability. In time, the leather upholstery will become hard and brittle, eventually cracking and tearing, a feature affecting the resale value of the automobile, especially if the car is being inspected for damage inside and outside – the car inspector will catch and see that their is significant damage to the leather seating.

Keeping your Leather Clean

Like any leather-made product, leather upholstery needs to be cleaned periodically to lift embedded dirt, allowing the leather to breathe-personally, I like the pH balanced cleaners-but leather seats should be reconditioned more often, than say a leather jacket, due to the migration of lubricants caused by the UV rays and erratic temperatures.

Several companies, among them Summit Industries, Inc. (manufacturers of Lexol) and 3M Corporation, have been trying to formulate a sun screen protector made specifically for leather. Thus far, only a vinyl UV screen product is on the market, and dont try applying this product to leather. It may cause a chemical breakdown of the material’s fibers

Taking care of leather covered furniture at home or in the office should be treated in almost the same manner. As mentioned, the leather will need periodic cleaning, but choosing when to recondition the material will depend solely on the environment the furniture is arranged in. Just remember to place the leather furniture in an area that isn’t close to a source of heat or intense light. These factors affect the material in much the same way as leather seats endure when roasting in the hot sun, except with one difference. An automobile isn’t always stationary.

Whether in the vehicle or situated indoors, all types of leather upholstery require year-around protection from stains and spills. This step in leather care should be administered as soon as you acquire the product, and repeated once a month. And the best choice in protection are water and stain repellents. Offered in pump and aerosol spray only, these protectors are silicone free and are guaranteed not to darken leather.

Leather Fading?

If the color of the leather upholstery begins to fade, it’s better to allow the natural characteristics of age to show. Leather polishes and leather spray dyes have a tendency to nib off-on the wrong outfit at wrong time, no less! if you still wish to upgrade the color of your leather, any qualified upholsterer should be able to offer advice on the subject of color enhancement, as well as repair damaged seams or tears.

Or, you can try utilizing a leather repair kit (leatherrepairkits.com), of which contain water-based repair compounds that won’t crack and an assortment of specialty finishes. These kits offer a means of enhancing colors, as well as re pairing small tears, scratches or bums. The repair kits can also be used on other types of leather-made products, and the key to their success is patience.

There are also a variety of books on leather upholstery care for the do-it-yourselfer, available at automotive part stores, some libraries, through mail order catalogues, or at any of the fine book stores. Here’s a great little video about cleaning your leather seats yourself:

 

16 Easy Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

Imagine yourself waiting in line at the gas station. You’re running late for work and now you’re just sitting there, idling, waiting for your turn at the pump. You grumble with frustration at the thought of pouring yet more money into your car. What can you do, though? You need to drive to get around.

There’s no avoiding gas prices. Here are ways, however, to make your trip to the gas pump a little bit less distressing! Follow these 16 easy tips to increase your gas mileage, while decreasing your spending and stress.

Take care of your car

1. Keeping your car in good running condition can have a huge impact on gas mileage. Schedule regular maintenance appointments Simple things like changing the air filter, replacing spark plugs and fixing the alignment can all improve your car’s gas consumption.

2. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires can increase gas consumption by up to 25mpg!

3 Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations to choose the grade of motor oil and the octane gas rating that are best for your car.

4. Don’t overload your car. A heavier load will lead to higher gas consumption. Take a look at what you’re carrying in your trunk to see if you can reduce the weight. Don’t forget to consider what’s on the outside of your vehicle – a roof rack can add a lot to your load!

Watch your driving

5. Maintaining a constant speed is one of the easiest and most effective ways of increasing your gas mileage. Accelerate and brake slowly and evenly. Sudden stops and quick accelerations use more gas than moderate changes in speed.

6. Use cruise control when driving on the highway. It’s easy to speed up without even noticing when you’re driving on a long empty road. Cruise control can help you moderate your speed.

7. Don’t allow your car to idle. If you’re waiting for someone, turn the car off until they get there. Allowing your car to idle wastes gas – not to mention adds to noise and air pollution in the area.

8. Don’t be an aggressive driver. the higher your speed, the higher your gas consumption. Aggressive drivers tend to brake and accelerate more quickly. So when you’re driving take a deep breathe, put on some muscles and relax

Plan your gas purchases

9. Pay attention to gas prices in your area. Some gas stations are cheaper than others Others have reward plans or cards that can lead to reduced prices or free gas.

10. Plan ahead when filling up. Some people notice that gas prices tend to go up a little bit before weekends or holidays. Over time, you might find that a mid-week fill-up gives you money.

11. Make sure that you properly close and tighten your gas cap. You don’t want any of that precious fuel evaporating!

12. Buy gas when it’s coolest – usually early in the morning or later in the evening. Gas is sold by volume. It’s denser at cooler temperatures, so you get more bang for your buck.

Change your lifestyle

13. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, buy a more gas efficient car. Research and read up on gas mileage before you commit to a new vehicle.

14. Find ways to minimize gas consumption to and from work. If you can, carpool, telecommute or time your commute to avoid the busiest times in the morning or the afternoon. More traffic means more idling and more braking, which means using more gas.

15. Plan and group your errands so that you’re driving fewer miles. Rather than going home after work and then going out to the grocery store in the evening, stop on the way home. lfyou have to go to the post office on Monday, the library on Tuesday and the doctor’s office on Wednesday, rearrange your schedule so that you can take care of all three of these chores at once.

16. Drive less. This is by far the easiest and most effective way to limit your gas consumption! Whenever you can, use your feet, a bicycle or public transportation to get around. Your body and your wallet will both thank you!

While completely dropping out of the car culture so that you never have to buy gas again isn’t a reasonable goal for most people, there are definitely some easy ways to lessen the strain of buying gas If you follow these tips, you’ll find yourself a little bit happier behind the wheel -and at the pump!