slippery leather seats

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MB Enthusiast
Oct 2, 2002
Woodford Green
W140 S-Class, Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Boxster

I debated if this was an interior or detail question and decided on the latter, so forgive me if its in the wrong section.

I was driving my father-in-law's Volvo XC90 and noticed that the leather seats are very slippery. Would this be down to the type of leather or the way that it may have been cleaned.

If so, what would the recommended procedure to clean the seats and make them less slippery?


I would think it's down to the product used to clean them.

Funnily enough I encountered the same problem with my last car, a Volvo V70 and it was my own fault!! I was given a couple of packs of leather cleaning/conditioning wipes so tried them out............ I knew as soon as I sat in the car I'd made a big mistake!!! :doh: As you say....slippery! I immediately did them again with the product I usually use.

I use Halfords Meguiars Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Customer Ratings & Reviews - Top & Best Rated Products but there are plenty of other similar products available. It returned the leather to a lovely matt finish. I suppose it depends on how slippery your dad's seats are as to how many applications it will take.

P.S. I've used the Meguiars on my Merc seats and it removed a couple of small marks which were there when I bought it and brought them up a treat.
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I was told that a lot of products contain silicon which makes the leather shiny and slippery. I used a leather cleaner supplied by my local Connolly Leather company which they advised me might need using twice if silicon based products had been used previously. It worked a treat. I then conditioned it with their conditioner.
Well it may well be the materials used to treat the seats, however Volvo leather is known to bit quite slippery (not sure why). My sister had an XC90 and we found the same with that, most noticeable with the rear (middle) bench seat.

My Dad had a number of 740's and they were similar.
Take a look at Dr Leather wipes.

The guy who formulated them has developed automotive leathers with car manufacturers. So he knows his stuff!!! Newer automotive leather due how it has been finished does not need "conditioning" as most people put it, as products cannot penetrate the finish on the leather. Meaning they just sit on the surface and in most cases leave a shine.

Modern car leather just needs to be cleaned regularly.
Soapy water is best as the surface is impermeable PVC paint and the sub surface is aniline, so is also impervious.

This is why modern leather seats are so "sweaty".
The Zaino leather conditioner is great stuff. Smells really good and leaves the seats looking and smelling like new.
Not sure it'll solve the issue on a Volvo though as they see to coat their leather with something that makes them slippery and seems difficult to break down with product... a detailer would probably be the best one to answer the question.

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