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From digest.v7.n36 Sat Aug 2 06:04:05 1997
From: Duane Collie <>
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 1997 18:31:17 -0400
Subject: Leather Stain

> From: Paul Smith <>
> Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 08:49:01 -0500
> Subject: Leather stain - help please
> I have the light gray leather in my E36. It is great when clean. I
> (being stupid) had a vacuum cleaner belt on the front seat that I told
> the wife I would replace. Well, this not being top priority to me, it
> sat there days. Now there is a light yellow cast on the leather. I tried
> water, but no good. I tried water and a little soap, no good. What can I
> do????????
> The belt is rubber like car belts and could have had oil or something on
> it. I just do not know.


As Bill Clinton would say "....I Feel Your Pain". I made the mistake of carrying a new tire in the seat of my car last week from O'Fest (back was full) and now have tread marks imprinted into the light gray "buffalo" leather that is standard in the M3's. I tried everything to get it out. Lexol cleaner (very mild), Simple Green (not too severe), Wurth Solvent (a serious cleaner), Brake Cleaner (getting drastic), and finally a German Organic Solvent designed to remove blood from upholstery (out of desperation). The stain is still there..and its a BIG one. Only thing I have not tried is a propane torch.

All is not lost, however. I sell leather furniture in my business (<< Moderator, this is NOT a commercial plug!) and have recreated the stain on a 4" x 4" swatch of the leather. I'm sending it to my leather supplier in North Carolina to see if he can mix up a batch of dye to match.

The BMW buffalo leather (which yours probably is, too) is a high-end, full analine leather. Its rather an expensive leather and BMW could have used something much cheaper. It has virtually no topcoat on it (if any at all) and absorbs everything, including the residue off the rubber that you and I are dealing with. I think at this point the only thing that can be done with these stains is to re-dye the leather - which is not a big deal if you can get a good dye lot match. Failing that, most full analine leathers will eventually "bleed-out" the stain over time and it will slowly dissapate as the months roll by, but it will never fully go away.

Bear with me a week or two and I'll let you know how I make out.

Duane Collie
'95 M3
National Capital Chapter

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