That's because "The magic eraser is not taking the leather back to its new state but is degrading it.":I did this to my steering wheel a while ago, but it just went back to being glossy within a week or so
The glossy appearance of leather after wear is caused by the build up of dirt together with abrassion and can also be the build up of wrong product use which adds to the problem.
Magic Erasers are made from melamine resin that has been ground up and reformed and acts as a very fine sandpaper. They work by removing the top layer of the finish on the leather which will remove the shine but as you can see on the picture it is also removing colour (that is not dirt) which means that once you have cleaned you have removed some if not all of the finish.
This is fine during a restoration process as you will be refinishing over the top but not ok as a cleaning process.
Leaving the leather unfinished will leave the leather itself open to dirt and body oils which will start to deteriorate the leather itself (this is then unfixable - finish can be fixed and repaired but the leather itself can't).
The damage that is done is not always visible to the naked eye but can be seen very clearly with a microscope.
The tests we have done with these sponges have always removed finish and/or pigment.
The magic eraser is not taking the leather back to its new state but is degrading it.
The first time you use a magic eraser may not do too much damage but you have started a process that if continued will only get worse and worse.
As consultants we recommend that these are not used to clean leather (even if they say they can be) as the manufacturers do not have to deal with the problems they cause.
Thanks for posting this OP! I just used the magic eraser this morning and my M sport wheel looks brand new now and it only took about 10 minutes!UPDATED: See images/text below
I bought a used m3 with 48k miles and the leather on the steering wheel is pretty worn out. It looks like some combination of the use of bad products, lots of sun, and maybe heavy use?
Any recovery possible? Tips or tricks? should/can I re-dye the wheel?
I tried LOTS of Lexol leather conditioner, but it didn't do a whole lot. And when applying it, it made the leather wear out a little more (because it was softer until dry)... but not noticeably different
I was debating getting a new steering wheel, but the M3 SMG wheels cost way more than a regular non-SMG (I actually have a non-SMG wheel from my previous 330).
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
All I have to say is WOW!
I had read a previous thread about a product called Mr. Clean Magic Eraser... and I didn't think it would work until stolidog brought it up again in this thread. It is basically a specialized sponge with no chemicals... that you get wet/damp... and just wipe down your steering wheel as if you were trying to remove some dried lotion from leather (hint hint).
Just dunk it in a bucket of water after a handful of wipes and then squeeze it out so it is damp again (the bucket of water was brown after I was done). My only guess is that the previous owner (or his girlfriend) used hand-lotion frequently... along with maybe some bad leather product (maybe armorall). So basically, I took about 15 minutes to obsessively wipe down every bit of the steering wheel including the stitching... and the steer wheel was like FRIGGIN NEW!!!
I actually liked the way it felt and looked after the cleaning (felt like the brand new matte finish of a new wheel)... but decided for longevity and applied some lexol leather conditioner after about 30 minutes of drying. Since the cleaning was done with water and the magic eraser sponge I feared the water might dry out the fresh leather. It still feels and looks AWESOME after the leather conditioner.
Anyways, I am so stoked and blown away by the results. A four pack set me back about $3.00 at target and would recommend you use them on even just a barely dirty steering wheel. I don't know how these things work sooo well.. but Im glad I can share the results.
If I had to compare the steering wheel to a brand new one, I'd say it looks and feels about 90% new. Obviously can't get away from wear that occurs over time, but my steering wheel looked beat... as you all concluded