Natural Leather Chamois for Vehicle Cleaning and Detailing
As with any drying product, it is extremely important that the vehicle be dried with a natural leather chamois that has been thoroughly cleaned in the “wash” process. This ensures that the amount of residual dirt and grit that will need to be safely removed by the drying towel is minimized. A proper wash process first rinses the vehicle with clean water sprayed over the entire surface to remove larger particles and saturating and loosening and other dirt and grit. Once the vehicle has been sprayed down, a two-bucket system with a soap bucket and a rinse bucket (with a grit guard) is then used, where the rinse water is changed as often as necessary to keep the water in the soap bucket clear. We highly recommend one of our Natural Wool sea sponges for the washing process. They are extremely soft, hold lots of soapy water and have lots of natural pores to pull the dirt and grit away from the surface of the finish to protect against marring or scratching the finish.
How to Use a Natural Leather Chamois
Before using a chamois for the first time the chamois should be properly prepared for use (refer to the page titled “Chamois Care and Maintenance” or the back of the product packaging for instructions on preparing a chamois for use). Once the vehicle is ready to be dried, a rinse bucket, with clean water, should be prepared and the natural leather chamois drying cloth wetted and completely wrung out. The chamois should then be shaken out or unfolded, gripped by two adjacent corners and drawn across the area to be dried. After the chamois drying cloth becomes saturated, it should be thoroughly wrung out, rinsed in bucket of clean water, wrung out again and the process repeated until the vehicle is dry. Not only will the chamois dry the vehicle, but it will safely remove (provided the vehicle has been properly washed) any residual dirt missed in the washing process. Special care should be given to areas in which grease or other oil-based grime may collect (such as brake dust on the rims or road tar on the under the door jams), as oil-based contaminants may stain the chamois cloth; although stains on the cloth do not effect performance A properly prepared and maintained natural leather chamois drying cloth will shine as it dries a finish leaving the vehicle’s finish clear and bright.
Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Interior with a Natural Leather Chamois
A natural leather chamois also offers a great option for cleaning your vehicles interior without the use of solvents and chemicals. A chamois is a chemical and lint free solution for removing built up grime, smudges, fingerprints, dust, etc…from windows, instruments, dashes, seats, consoles regardless of whether they are made of wood, aluminum, steel, leather, glass or plastic. Using a chamois to clean the dash also keeps it from becoming too shiny and reflecting up on the windshield, making it harder to see the road through the glare. A chamois is also safe for use on motorcycle, ATV windshields and boat dodgers (canvas with built in see-through plastic window) and port lights and Plexiglas hatches.
Special Instructions and Troubleshooting Chamois Use
There are several common complaints about chamois use, all of which are easily avoided by simply reading and following the care and use instructions on the package. Many of these issues are the direct results of improperly cleaning or drying of the chamois cloth. Should the chamois cloth become stained, do not attempt to clean the chamois with harsh chemicals or degreasers. In almost every case the stains are on the hide itself and will not affect the chamois performance. Some of the most common issues include:
- Chamois leaves streaks on the finish – If the chamois is leaving streaks on the finish it is from the excess tanning oils that have not been washed as part of the process of preparing the chamois for use, as per the instructions (see “Chamois Care and Maintenance” page or instructions on the back of packaging). Simply follow the “Before Use” instructions on the packaging to avoid this issue, even if the chamois has already been used several times.
- Chamois leaves lint on the finish – If a chamois cloth is leaving lint on the finish, it is because the tanning oils (or marine oils) used to protect the leather have been removed (either partly or completely) by washing the chamois in a de-greasing soap such as Dawn, Simple Green, etc…, washed in the washing machine with laundry soap (also degreasing) and/or tumbled dry with heat, or dried in direct sunlight. Once the tanning oils have been broken down or washed out the hide, it becomes un-treated leather and, like any other untreated leather, will start to fall apart and/or rot. Drying a chamois in a laundry dryer, with heat, or in direct sunlight will also break down the protective oils and leave the leather un-protected.
- Chamois is no longer absorbent – (see previous)
- Chamois has holes in it and is falling apart – (see previous) It may also be that the chamois has been bleached to remove a stain. Bleach will dramatically affect the protective oils and the leather itself causing the chamois to fall apart very quickly.
- Chamois is too rough or stiff – If the chamois appears to be too rough or stiff, try re-wetting the chamois and it should become soft again; if it does not then see previous. To re-soften a chamois without rewetting, simply fold the chamois over itself several times and wring as you would when wringing out water. Do this several times and the chamois should become as soft and pliable as it was when first purchased; if not then see previous because the chamois has been damaged.
- Chamois will not re-soften – (see previous)
Each and every one of these common complaints is a result of improper care and maintenance of the chamois and can easily be avoided by simply following the instructions on the packaging. With proper care, a chamois can last for years.