Seeing as how we no longer offer Mothers® products in Canada and are not currently offering a leather/rubber/vinyl/plastic protectant, we would like to post a hearty endorsement for a product we have really come to appreciate.

303 Aerospace Protectant really is one of those premium products that performs as well or better than advertised. If you are looking for the ultimate UV and water repellency protection for tires, finished leather, door seals, plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber. 303 claims that this product delivers “SPF 40” UV protection and limits fade from sunlight when applied every 30-45 days. Unlike other protectants, 303 does not attract dust and dirt. We really like this benefit!

We first discovered this product while perusing the owners manual for a tonneau truck bed cover. The manufacturer strongly urged users to apply only 303 Aerospace Protectant to protect the vinyl cover and to lubricate the side rails of the retractable cover. They suggested that most all other protectants contained petroleum distillates which would dry to a wax and actually harm the vinyl surface over time.

Apparently 303 Aerospace Protectant is the most manufacturer-recommended protectant on the market. Several manufacturers of vinyl convertible tops, clear vinyl, tonneau covers, car bras, vinyl RV awnings and spa covers recommend using this product exclusively.

The finish left by 303 isn’t quite as glossy as some protectants, but the surface certainly does look clean, shiny and new.

One of main features of 303 Protectant is the ability to protect and condition “finished” automotive leather seating surfaces. What is a “finished” leather surface? According to 303 Products, “virtually 100% of leather upholstery in American and Asian-made cars is plastic coated.” From a 303 Products Article on Leather Protection:

“Most of the leather upholstery in domestic cars of recent vintage is plastic coated. The upper surface of such leather is ‘vinyl’.”

“Leather upholstery in most European cars is ‘naked’ leather which has no protective finish. The surface is that of the original hide. This leather ‘breathes’ and accepts conditioners applied to its surface.”

Dr. Jenkins explains how to tell the difference between “coated” and “naked” leather. Referring to coated leather he states, “Such leather can be identified by the failure of a drop of water applied to its surface to be absorbed into the leather after a few minutes.”

Contrasting the ability of naked leather to absorb conditioners (and water) with coated leather, Dr. Jenkins states: “While vinyl-coated leather is care free by virtue of its protective plastic surface, it is also inaccessible for purposes of maintenance.” Meaning, of course, there is absolutely no point to using leather conditioners on plastic coated leather.
So, how should plastic coated leather be maintained? According to Dr. Jenkins, “Such leather should be maintained exactly like vinyl upholstery.”

Seeing as how most domestic and Asian leather surfaces are vinyl coated, one should protect them like vinyl and from what we see, nothing works better than 303. Again perform the “water drop” test before treating. We do not sell this product and have no relationship with 303 Products Inc.