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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I do, because it looks absolutely stunning and I let that effect my better judgment. So now 6 months later I am having a difficult time keeping it look like it did upon delivery. I have no small kids...my wife and I are the only occupants 95% of the time and we are VERY careful. Yet, as each week goes by I notice that the front seats (especially the drivers seat) white color is looking just a little more off-white as time goes by. I use a leather cleaner about once a month but I am just beginning to see the difference between the brightness of the white in the front vs the back.


Let me clarify - I am anal about my cars...they are garage kept, washed weekly and waxed every 8 weeks. The interior is spotless as well, but no matter how careful I am, those white seats are slowly but surely losing their bright white luster/appearance. My wife thinks I'm crazy (she's right) because she doesn't see what I do, but I am positive about this and want to stop it before it gets out of hand.


I'm a fan of Meguiars and use the best leather products that they sell. Anyone care to share their leather cleaning and protection secrets? I'd also appreciate any comments from fellow White Sand MKC owners who have had their cars for at least 6 months...how does yours compare to the day you drove it off the lot?


Although the white is stunning, I can only imagine what it will look like in 2, 3 or 4 years no matter what I do. Did I make a mistake in choosing this color? YES, I think I will be very sorry just a few years down the line.
I really wanted the Hazelnut but I bought in July and the few cars available with that interior did not have the options I wanted and once my wife saw the Sapphire Metallic Blue with the white interior gleaming in the bright sun, I was a goner...ya know, the wife has to be happy :)
 

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Well I do, because it looks absolutely stunning and I let that effect my better judgment. So now 6 months later I am having a difficult time keeping it look like it did upon delivery. I have no small kids...my wife and I are the only occupants 95% of the time and we are VERY careful. Yet, as each week goes by I notice that the front seats (especially the drivers seat) white color is looking just a little more off-white as time goes by. I use a leather cleaner about once a month but I am just beginning to see the difference between the brightness of the white in the front vs the back.


Let me clarify - I am anal about my cars...they are garage kept, washed weekly and waxed every 8 weeks. The interior is spotless as well, but no matter how careful I am, those white seats are slowly but surely losing their bright white luster/appearance. My wife thinks I'm crazy (she's right) because she doesn't see what I do, but I am positive about this and want to stop it before it gets out of hand.


I'm a fan of Meguiars and use the best leather products that they sell. Anyone care to share their leather cleaning and protection secrets? I'd also appreciate any comments from fellow White Sand MKC owners who have had their cars for at least 6 months...how does yours compare to the day you drove it off the lot?


Although the white is stunning, I can only imagine what it will look like in 2, 3 or 4 years no matter what I do. Did I make a mistake in choosing this color? YES, I think I will be very sorry just a few years down the line.
I really wanted the Hazelnut but I bought in July and the few cars available with that interior did not have the options I wanted and once my wife saw the Sapphire Metallic Blue with the white interior gleaming in the bright sun, I was a goner...ya know, the wife has to be happy :)
Dk I was so close to feeling your pain. I too am fanatical about keeping my cars clean/perfect. When I first started looking at cars I wanted a light interior, I like bright, light...

When I saw the white sands I instantly wanted it and thought well I keep my car very clean anyway..thankfully my husband brought me to my senses. I have had a couple loaner cars with it and I know exactly what you are talking about. The first loaner with it I noticed seats showed even a little dirt. I thought, well it's a loaner and they don't clean like me. The next one was completely filthy. In fact I complained to dealer the loaner was disgusting. Not only food stains on the seat but the black dirt and discoloration. Car only had 3K on it.

I used my own stuff to clean it as I couldn't sit on that filthy seat. There's two things I use for leather. Leather honey and chamberlains leather milk. I used the milk on the loaner seats and they did clean nicely and seemed to match the other seats when I was done.

It's too bad they don't have more options to get the hazelnut. I truly love mine. Wish the headliner was lighter to brighten the cabin a bit more but the pano roof helps.
 

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On a slightly different note (not to hijack thread) but anyone on here have/had the Lincoln light stone interior? I know it's not offered on MKC but am assuming it's a light grey and was wondering how that holds up compared to white sands.

Black is always going to look cleanest for obvious reasons but can be too much dark for a lot of people. They should offer a compromise like a light grey or charcoal(darker grey) color.

Seeing a lot of Browns in cars now which is another one that is easy to keep looking great. That's what I wanted. All were darker. Lincolns hazelnut is the lightest brown I've seen that doesn't look too orange-ish...
 

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Dk I was so close to feeling your pain. I too am fanatical about keeping my cars clean/perfect. When I first started looking at cars I wanted a light interior, I like bright, light...

When I saw the white sands I instantly wanted it and thought well I keep my car very clean anyway..thankfully my husband brought me to my senses. I have had a couple loaner cars with it and I know exactly what you are talking about. The first loaner with it I noticed seats showed even a little dirt. I thought, well it's a loaner and they don't clean like me. The next one was completely filthy. In fact I complained to dealer the loaner was disgusting. Not only food stains on the seat but the black dirt and discoloration. Car only had 3K on it.

I used my own stuff to clean it as I couldn't sit on that filthy seat. There's two things I use for leather. Leather honey and chamberlains leather milk. I used the milk on the loaner seats and they did clean nicely and seemed to match the other seats when I was done.

It's too bad they don't have more options to get the hazelnut. I truly love mine. Wish the headliner was lighter to brighten the cabin a bit more but the pano roof helps.

DK I mixed up what I used on the white seats, I used the leather honey product because the leather milk can darken light leather over time..DO NOT use the milk :)

Also, when I cleaned I didn't rub hard but kept doing it lightly multiple times and wiped off very good in between. Stressing the leather too much by rubbing can break it down and cause discoloration too.

They recommend never used any silicone based products on your leather, it will ruin it...

Good luck..
 

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I was in the textile business, so I have had experiences with light leather....and to say it's PITA is an understatement! We have made a lot of custom speciality area rugs at my shop for effluent clients, through their designers over the years...
I have a clause that MUST be signed by both design firm, designer that is in charge of the contract AND the client themselves....The reason is ,hate to state the obvious...colour wear!
From a flooring point of view, we used to import a Scandinavian hide, that was specifically designed for border work in custom area rugs....the L line, was essentially light dyes....anything from pure white, to light beige...These hides are especially dyed and sealed before the full tanning process; 3 times, and the dyes themselves are hot waxed for stability and long wear.
Each layer of dye, when applied goes through a vacuum process to "pull" the light dye deep into the hide....hides are stripped of their natural colour prior to processing,which is usually a deeper beige, before lighter dyes are applied....
The manufacturer warrants the dye stability and colour to a certain point,usually 1 year, beyond that we were on OUR own....
70% of complaints were logged on fade, or "wear" even tho these hides are UV protected.Basic wear & tear contributed to most complaints, the remaining complaints stemmed from the underlying product, usually a quality broadloom ( wool OR silk) telescoping the backing pattern through to the leather....basically after the area rug is made with whatever border work or carving,the outside edges are "bound" with leather, anywhere from a basic 2" wide (top) up to 6", with corners being miter'd all around....
Colour wear was our biggest concern,foot traffic, vacuuming, and UV fade were the worst culprits,especially if sun hit these rugs during the day..."nubbing" as it's called in the industry, is when the top hide settles over the material creating peaks and ridges that alter the colour density.
None of these elements happen with medium to dark dyes.
We had the same issues with textiles themselves,designers spec white or off white broadloom on stairs.....ON STAIRS!!!! and I always get "These clients are extremely clean people Mario, and they have house maids maintaining their houses.
Within a couple of months,the nosing of each and every stair, start to show a"dirt" line or edge, turning a darker colour than the rest of the stair,usually the culprit is foot/sock oils being spread over the pile formation, as time goes on, ambient dust,floating in the air within the room settles OVER the furniture ,floors...when it settles over the stair nosing it becomes attached to the foot oils, resulting in colour shifts....the ONLY warranty we offered for light coloured stair broadloom is the installations, and those warranties are lifetime, in writing....Wilton, Axminster, lines are extremely pricy textiles, usually 100% pure virgin wool or blends of wool and silk...just to give an idea of the quality of these lines, Wilton has been the product of choice at Buckingham palace since it was built,usually ranging anywhere between $150/$300 sq yd....but again when it comes to warranty on light coloured dyes, there are none, wool has natural blockers and usually is also treated with Scotchguard....to NO avail.
The point I am making is: ALL light coloured dyes, weather in leather, or broadloom will alter in next to no time and colour shift is just a natural phenomena!
My suggestion to you dk4500 IS not a solution,but a way to prolong the colour dexterity ;

*Buy some after market seat covers, preferably in a light material blend, make sure the inside of the seat cover is of a light coloured nature, or dye transfer might occur.

*Leather cleaners do more damage than good....they help weaken embedded dyes within the hide by making it more supple, not necessarily a good thing.

*Dark clothing, especially blue jeans even after they have been washed a few times still carry a blue dye within them, not a good thing to wear over light coloured leather upholstery...If you must wear jeans, a light coloured cushion or towel should be put on the seat.

Sorry about the LONG reply, but I just wanted to detail my experiences with light coloured upholstery with the hope it will offer you some insight into the causes of your concerns.....bottom line, there is NO magic miracle waiting to happen.....IT is why I chose a black interior over the lighter offerings by Lincoln.
 
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On my 2016, Lincoln provided a leather cleaner in the glove box. There may be a part number that I can provide someone if they want to get it. Regarding the white sand interior, I too am very anal and my wife suggested getting white sands/expresso.. We actually passed on a MKC that was in stock because of the white interior. Glad I listened too my wife! You may also want to contact these guys (who actually make the seat covers) for their recommendation - http://www.bowleather.co.uk/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies and I'm certainly still open to any and all suggestions.


5.0 Candy, I appreciate the explanation and I absolutely did consider seat covers, but for now I could not cover these still beautiful seats because they played an integral part in me buying this car. It would be like never using any of the Sync or any high tech/safety features, I just can't do that....yet :)


Blankster, I did use the leather cleaner that Lincoln provided and it worked ok, I will have to get some more. I was struck by the lack of info on the cleaner & instructions. When I opened the pouch I was expecting leather cleaner soaked clothes, but as you know it's just a liquid.


Ms. Moretti, I have never heard of "leather honey", where can I find this - what is the specific brand you recommend?
I absolutely agree about not rubbing it too hard and I always have to remind myself of this. If the cleaner is good, it should not need elbow grease.


My wife has a simple solution - when cleaners no longer can clean it - SELL IT...and I may have too. I've only had the car for 6 months and I'm fairly certain I can keep it looking good...at least at about 85-90% of it's original look for another 2 or 3 years, but I normally keep my cars for around 8 years - oh well, it will be interesting to see what the 2018 C will look like, but NOT in White Sands :)
 

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Stinks to have to consider seat covers when you pay $$$ to have the nice leather seats..

Agree no matter what you do those seats will eventually discolor due to the basics things like simple wear and normal breakdown of the leather/coloring (less technical than Candy - thanks for teaching me more about textiles!).

To a new buyer not knowing what they looked like before not might be as noticeable. As long as they are still in good shape I don't think some discoloration will deter someone buying a used car. Interesting to note Lincoln provided you guys with a cleaner for it...I didn't get any cleaner with my car.
 

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Mine also came with the cleaner right in the front passenger bin....when I started to gain interest in the MKC and took the time to explore the many options offered, I was captivated by the array of colours Lincoln offered,especially the lighter hues....but I knew it would eventually drive me crazy, so I bypassed that initial idea and went with a black interior.
It's a lil too dark and engulfing for my taste, and DOES "shrink" the entire interior,but I liked the plus side of that equation.
There's just something that is VERY practical with a black interior...other than White crystal salt stains (easily removed with a decent steam cleaner) it's almost impossible to show staining or wear!
In a perfect world, I would choose white sand in a heartbeat...Now if they came out with a plasticized faux leather that repeal most staining and excess wear, I would most definitely consider it.
Dk....I agree with your thoughts not wanting to cover your seats, I would feel the same way, I was simply suggesting the options you have in prolonging that "new" look overall....none of those options are really appealing in reality to ANYONE! I guess do your best and try and maintain it as well as you possibly can,and most of all....ENJOY IT'S BEAUTY.
Some further suggestions in applying cleaners to light coloured leather:

Where possible, purchase manufacturer's recommended cleaners, as blankster suggested.
Generally speaking, apply with minimal pressure, move with the grain,less is usually more in this case, do not over saturate the seat with product.

I usually warm both car interior AND product prior to applying,a thinner cleaner will absorb into the hide a lot better than an overly thick product.

Believe it or not, when I do my seats in my Mustang I use my fingers to message it in....then give it some time to penetrate, then finish it off with a light buffing with a soft terry cloth, (usually white) because it shows easily if you are pulling off dirt or dark residual...in that case use a new section of "clean" cloth to continue and finish.
It's amazing what a rough environment a car's interior is subjected to: extreme heat in summer, extreme cold during winter months, moisture, damaging sun rays, pets, kids, sand grit (through open windows while driving)....and the added pressures of sliding contact (pants, skirts, gloves etc) It's all pretty tough on interiors!
In my books, the opposite polar reversal applies to exterior high gloss black coats....if you ever owned a black car, you'll instantly understand what I mean by that....heck of a continuous battle in keeping that sexy black exterior finish looking good, swirl free and clean!!!
 

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mmoretti..... "Interesting to note Lincoln provided you guys with a cleaner for it...I didn't get any cleaner with my car".
If it's not a huge hassle for you,mention to your selling dealer why the MKC you bought from them did not come with the leather care product? I'm sure they will rectify that little omission for you!
 

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Note the section on reserve leather that advises damp rag with a mild soap. My corvette had similar recommendations.


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Lincoln Electric NAVIGATOR 2015 Owner's Manual: Cleaning Leather Seats
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288CLEANING LEATHER SEATS (IF EQUIPPED)Note: Follow the same procedure as cleaning leather seats for cleaningleather instrument panels and leather interior trim surfaces.For routine cleaning, wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth and a mildsoap and water solution. Dry the area with a clean, soft cloth.For cleaning and removing spots and stains such as dye transfer, useMotorcraft Premium Leather and Vinyl Cleaner or a commerciallyavailable leather cleaning product for automotive interiors.Note: Test any cleaner or stain remover on an inconspicuous area.You should:• Remove dust and loose dirt with a vacuum cleaner.• Clean and treat spills and stains as soon as possible.Do not use the following products as these may damage the leather:• Oil and petroleum or silicone-based leather conditioners.• Household cleaners.• Alcohol solutions.• Solvents or cleaners intended specifically for rubber, vinyl andplastics.MotorcraftNote: Do not use Motorcraft Premium Leather and Vinyl Cleaner ZC-56on Lincoln Black Label, Presidential or Reserve Leathers because it candamage these and other semi-aniline leather seating fabrics. It can alsodamage surrounding microfiber accent surfaces. To clean Lincoln BlackLabel, Presidential or Reserve Leather, first vacuum the seats to removeloose dirt. Then wipe the leather with a clean soft cloth dampened withlukewarm water and a mild soap. Wipe the leather again with a slightlydamp cloth to remove soap residue, and dry with a soft cloth. Tomaintain the leather's resiliency, it should be cleaned whenever soiled.CLEANING THE ALLOY WHEELSNote: Do not use chrome cleaner, metal cleaner or polish on wheels andwheel covers.A clearcoat paint finish coats aluminum wheels and wheel covers. Inorder to maintain their condition:• Clean weekly with Motorcraft Wheel and Tire Cleaner. Use a sponge toremove heavy deposits of dirt and brake dust accumulation. Rinsethoroughly with a strong stream of water when you have completedthe cleaning process.Vehicle Care
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My wife did the opposite and turned me to the 'white side'. I ticked off the White Sands box somewhat under protest because I knew days of discoloration were ahead (also in the textile business, but machinery side).
Nevertheless I did it instead of the WS/ Expresso that I wanted. In the back of my mind I was fairly convinced she would 'take over' the MKC anyway.

I think the MKC benefits greatly from a light headliner- I see NO reason Lincoln could not go more 'euro' and put in light headliners in more interiors.

Leather is natural and it is perfectly unnatural to expect zero 'patina' over time. I do think uniformly cleaning all the seating surfaces can keep the differences to a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sent an email to Bridge of Weir Leather in England and will let you all know what they recommend. A few additional comments - I am a snowbird and always live in warm/hot climates, so I just can't imagine black on black. It certainly looks great when cleaned and waxed, and everyone is right about never having to worry about dirty seats. However, when I go home to MD in the spring, the pollen is unbelievable for the first couple of months, and here in Tampa during the winter it's always breezy to windy and I'm constantly getting the dust off my clean car. Black exterior would be a constant battle.


When I bought, I was in MD and did a search including MD, DC, VA, PA, West VA and even North Carolina for the White Sand/Espresso (best of both worlds) and could not find a one! Shoulda just ordered a 16.


5.0 Candy, I really got a kick out of how you use your leather conditioner, because many years ago a detailer taught me the same thing...I pour a bit of the conditioner in my hands, rub them together and then massage the conditioner with my hands into the seat. Your hands get gooey, but it really works great!


Great comments and ideas from all, but I'm surprised that I have not heard from another White Sands owner. Am I the only fool? Probably.........
 

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Thanks. I wipe my interior down with just a damp cloth. Never any type of cleaner or dressing. I do use leather cleaner then conditioner (natural based like I mentioned) on my leather sofas and bags. My car seats generally do not get dirty (beyond normal things like candy mentioned in his long post). I do use a light natural cleaner on my driver seat infrequently to prevent build up of the unpreventable stuff. Then use a light conditioner after to retain the oils in the hide to keep it soft and from "creasing and cracking".

I use both chamberlain's and leather honey products.

Home - Chamberlain's Leather Milk, The Best Leather Conditioner - Chamberlains Leather MilkChamberlains Leather Milk | Premium care for your valued leather

Best Leather Conditioner & Cleaner | Leather Honey

I actually vacuum my seats lightly with a soft brush attachment particularly because of the perforations to keep the dust out. I conveniently have a vacuum hanging on my wall in the garage and pretty much vacuum my car every couple days quickly to keep any dust build up off the interior and minimize need for cleaners.
 

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I have the white sands interior also and so far have not noticed any real discoloration. I've had the car since June/2015. Rarely do I ever have passengers so it is only the driver's seat that takes the worst beating. I do use a leather cleaner not only to clean but I like the smell it leaves behind....kind of maintains the fresh new car smell.
 

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All good points you guys...My ONLY real concern is all the micro holes in the seats,so I tend to be VERY careful "massaging" leather clearer or conditioner into them, very light application after I have spread the product over my CLEAN hands....
I also vacuum the interior at least twice weekly with a vacuum camel hair brush (it's NOT real camel hair lol), then switch to a flat vacuum head for the floors,usually wash out the liners while at it.... My wife was commenting to me how through I am with cleaning the interior of my rides....and if I could apply my cleaning ways to maintaining the house she'd be happy.....What a fantasy! lol
Generally speaking, after I go over the seats with a damp cloth (lint free) I let the seating "dry" before I move on to the product.....it's a good call to let the moisture dry out,you can easily tell they are dry if you run your hands over them, if there still is moisture they tend to feel tacky,not smooth!
LOL my cousin dropped by for a visit the other day as I was messing with the interior, all doors were wide open, including the hatch....and he reaches in his shirt pocket and pulls out a cigarette!!
I guess the "million cut death threat" was quite evident on my face...he got out of the car AND garage and smoked outside! hehehe!
 

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mmoretti, those product names you listed sound good enough to apply to my OWN body hehehe,do they remove wrinkles too!!!!!!! (laughing here).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the links Moretti, and just to clarify - you recommend the Leather Honey products (they have a conditioner and a separate cleaner) vs the Milk because the Milk darkens the leather? Thanks!
 

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All good points you guys...My ONLY real concern is all the micro holes in the seats,so I tend to be VERY careful "massaging" leather clearer or conditioner into them, very light application after I have spread the product over my CLEAN hands....
I also vacuum the interior at least twice weekly with a vacuum camel hair brush (it's NOT real camel hair lol), then switch to a flat vacuum head for the floors,usually wash out the liners while at it.... My wife was commenting to me how through I am with cleaning the interior of my rides....and if I could apply my cleaning ways to maintaining the house she'd be happy.....What a fantasy! lol
Generally speaking, after I go over the seats with a damp cloth (lint free) I let the seating "dry" before I move on to the product.....it's a good call to let the moisture dry out,you can easily tell they are dry if you run your hands over them, if there still is moisture they tend to feel tacky,not smooth!
LOL my cousin dropped by for a visit the other day as I was messing with the interior, all doors were wide open, including the hatch....and he reaches in his shirt pocket and pulls out a cigarette!!
I guess the "million cut death threat" was quite evident on my face...he got out of the car AND garage and smoked outside! hehehe!
Yes those **** perforations! I've been stumped on how to handle that from the beginning. First time I've had seats like this. At first I "skipped those areas" LOL. All I could see is getting stuff gunked in there. I just wiped down with damp cloth. Now I take a towel and put some of the chamberlain milk on it to make it damp (it's a thin conditioner unlike the leather honey) then instead of wiping I gently blot the conditioner on. After it soaks in some I buff with clean towel and nothing has gotten in there. Again I do this only when necessary. Seems to be working out ok so far.
 
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