Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Defining dressings, fabric protectants and conditioners

July 11, 2012

Dressings

Used for rubber, plastic, vinyl and leather, they are available in either solvent base or water base. Simply speaking, the solvent base has a petroleum distillate as the main ingredient with a quantity of silicone to slick and shiny for interiors. The solvents break down rubber and the residual sling off tires onto the paint can cause permanent paint damage. The water base product is water and silicone that will leave a higher shine. It is recommended to use the water base as a single product for all applications. There is no need to use one product for tires, engines and interiors.

Fabric protectant

This product was originally introduced by 3M under the trademark name of SCOTCHGARD, a product designed to put a protective shield on fabric materials (carpet and upholstery) to retard the absorption of moisture to prevent staining. There are two types of fabric protectants available: Water base and solvent base. Which is better is a matter of opinion. Some like the solvent base because it dries faster, but the material must be dry to apply.

Leather conditioners

These products can be called conditioners, moisturizers or cleaner/conditioners. They are usually for leather and their purpose is to replace the oils in the leather lost through evaporation. The base elements in the product can be beeswax, mink oil or other natural moisturizing oils. The products we have had the best results with are those with mink oil, a product long used by the shoe industry to waterproof and condition leather.