Best Leather Conditioners: Keep Your Leather Looking Show Ready
These top leather conditioners will restore your weathered leather to practically pristine in no time.
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Leather upholstery has been the top choice for high-quality automobile seating since the beginning of the auto industry. Even with major advances in modern technology that have revolutionized performance and reliability, leather has remained one of the best options when it comes to upholstery choices for your ride.
Sure, it’s durable, long-lasting, and luxurious, but as with most things that are subjected to frequent use, it can start to show lots of wear and tear over time. Restore your leather upholstery to like new condition with these tried and tested leather conditioners. It’s a far more economical option than having to replace your leather seats altogether. As an added bonus, many of these leather conditioners can also be used on leather furniture, boots, purses, jackets, and more.
- Outstanding performance on multiple surfaces
- Excellent cleaning power
- Perfect for combination leather and vinyl seats and upholstery
- Some prefer using a separate cleaner and conditioner
- Not compatible with hard plastics, painted trim, or window tint
Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
- Two-step cleaning and conditioning process
- Softens and conditions leather without excessive shine
- Separate cleaner and conditioner requires two steps
- Classic leather scent not for everybody
Armor All Leather Care
- All-in-one leather care on the go
- Compact package is easy to stow
- Not ideal for larger jobs
- Can dry out over long periods
- May need a separate cloth to remove excess
Best Overall: Mothers VLR
Best Budget: Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Honorable Mention: Armor All Leather Care
Best All-in-One: Meguiar’s Gold Class
Best Premium: Aero Cosmetics Leather Care
Best Creme Formula: Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Best Leather Conditioner Package: Aero Cosmetics Leather Care Kit
Best Fragrance-Free: Carfidant Ultimate Leather Conditioner
Best Leather Conditioner and Accessories: Mothers Leather Conditioner
When it comes to choosing the best leather conditioners available, I wanted to provide you with a well-rounded list that features a solid variety of reputable manufacturers with a history of providing high-quality, long-lasting products. I wanted to include a wide range of products from comprehensive all-in-ones to task-specific options. All products were tested on a 1987 Mitsubishi Starion. In fact, the seats were actually removed from the car and placed on sawhorses for a thorough and uniform review. The upholstery was a blend of pigmented leather and shade-matched vinyl. See which one you think out-performed the rest. For more info on our selection criteria, go to The Drive’s Gear About page, which explains our methodology further.
Best Leather Conditioner Reviews & Recommendations
Mothers VLRSEE IT
- Size: 24 ounces
- Formulated With: Neatsfoot oil and lanolin
- Protects Against: UV damage, dryness, fading, and cracks
- Works on leather, vinyl, and rubber
- Performs equally well on all seat materials
- Lifts away dirt
- Tackles cleaning and moisturizing simultaneously
- Can leave a light haze behind on some seats
- Has a matte finish—not glossy—if shine is desired
- Size: 8-ounce cleaner, 8-ounce conditioner
- Formulated With: Fine oil droplets
- Protects Against: Cracking, drying, and stiffness
- Softens and conditions
- Restores a natural, gloss-free finish to leather
- Comes with a gentle pH-balanced cleaner
- Pleasant scent
- Leather can absorb the conditioner very quickly
- More time consuming than an all-in-one product
Armor All Leather Care WipesSEE IT
- Size: 30 wipes per container; two containers per set
- Formulated With: Cleansing agents, conditioners, and blocking agents
- Protects Against: Stains, spills, cracking, discoloration, and premature aging
- Wipe-style application is easy to master
- Formulated with cleaning and conditioning agents
- Portable and sealed for long-term freshness
- Works on leather and vinyl
- Even with sealed canister lid, wipes can dry out
- Two wipes are needed for every use
- Can leave behind streaks on some leather and vinyl
Meguiar’s Gold ClassSEE IT
- Size: 15.2 ounces
- Formulated With: Premium conditioners and aloe
- Protects Against: Aging, drying, cracking, and color fading
- Works to clean, condition, and protect leather with every use
- One-step application process
- Softens leather
- Restores a moderate amount of shine
- Does leave behind a slightly greasy feel that disappears within days
Aero Cosmetics Leather CareSEE IT
- Size: 16 ounces
- Formulated With: Water-based, biodegradable ingredients
- Protects Against: UV damage, drying, and cracking
- Alcohol- and ammonia-free formula
- Creates a barrier that repels dirt and protects from UV rays
- Works on leather and vinyl
- Fragrance may be strong for some users
- Formula is a bit watery in consistency
Best Creme Formula
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and ConditionerSEE IT
- Size: 16-ounce cleaner, 16-ounce conditioner
- Formulated With: Vitamin E and aloe extracts
- Protects Against: UV damage, dirt, oils, and drying
- A little conditioner covers a lot of area
- Finishes leather so it’s soft to the touch
- Creates a satin finish
- Does take time to penetrate leather
- Can require multiple applications for a quality final result
Best Leather Conditioner Package
Aero Cosmetics Leather Care KitSEE IT
- Size: 4 ounces Wash Wax All, 16 ounces soap, 16 ounces conditioner
- Formulated With: Water-based, biodegradable ingredients
- Protects Against: Cracking, drying, stiffness, and dirt
- Gets rid of even stubborn dirt and grime
- Waterless cleaner is easy to apply
- Leather conditioner restores softness, suppleness
- Includes all of the detailing products you need
- Doesn’t offer the UV protection that competing products do
Carfidant Ultimate Leather ConditionerSEE IT
- Size: 18 ounces
- Formulated With: Professional-grade cleaning and conditioning chemicals, including cutting polishing compound
- Protects Against: Creases, damage, and signs of wear
- Fragrance- and dye-free
- Restores suppleness and softness to leather
- Formulated with top-tier ingredients for premium results
- Leaves behind a moderate satin finish
- Does need to be left alone to soak into leather
- Included applicator sponge is small and may need to be upgraded
Best Leather Conditioner and Accessories
Mothers Leather ConditionerSEE IT
- Size: 12 ounces
- Formulated With: Lanolin and neatsfoot oil
- Protects Against: Sunlight, wear and tear, and stains
- Brushes make getting into nooks and crannies easy
- Cleaner pulls and loosens dirt embedded in leather
- Conditioner is easy to manage once applied
- Leather can feel a bit slick or slippery after use
When it comes to the ideal combination of product reliability, ease-of-use, and price point, the top overall pick has to be Mothers VLR. This all-in-one cleans, conditions, and protects leather, vinyl, and rubber and offers an excellent balance between cleaning and conditioning power.
For a more budget-friendly, but still high-quality option, check out the Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. This product is a two-step kit, and it includes Lexol’s All Leather Deep Cleaner and All Leather Deep Conditioner plus two applicator sponges, all at an affordable price.
Things to Consider Before Buying Leather Conditioners
Leather conditioner sure might seem simple at first glance, but you can’t just wipe any old conditioning product on your precious leather seats and get flawless results. You’ve got to choose the right kind of conditioner — one with quality features and benefits suited for your leather’s needs.
Type of Leather Condtioner
Oil: Typically made from lanolin or neatsfoot, oil-based leather conditioners penetrate leather materials deeply so that the oils actually soak into and moisturize the leather from the inside out. Using this type of product too judiciously can run the risk of actually weakening the leather over time, so be prudent with how often you condition your leather with oils.They can also darken the leather and leave a greasy finish if not rubbed in all the way. However, if you have dry, cracking, or stiffened leather, this product is your best choice.
Cream: Cream leather conditioners are similar to applying lotion to your skin. They can moisturize and soften leather’s surface without penetrating too deeply into the fabric. Cream leather conditioners are ideal for keeping leather pliable and supple. The downside? Cream conditioners can evaporate faster than oils, so you will need to apply them more frequently. They can also leave a greasy residue if you use too much and don’t rub it in all the way.
Wax: Formulated with natural waxes, wax leather conditioners are less common than oils and creams. They provide a great protective barrier against spills and stains. Wax leather conditioners are a bit more finicky to use, however, since the wax tends to sit on the surface and not penetrate into the leather as well as the other choices.
Try to select a leather conditioner that you’re comfortable working with and can apply efficiently and thoroughly without taking all day to do it. If you’re pressed for time, choose a handy all-in-one product, spray-on, or disposable wipe. However, if you want to give a thorough and protective application, it’s tough to beat a good hand job that requires liberal amounts of elbow grease. Consider the amount of time you want to spend conditioning your leather and choose your product accordingly.
Versatility is another key feature of any leather conditioner. The more versatile a conditioner is, the more benefits it can potentially offer. Some leather conditioners are only designed for one job: conditioning. However, others can do more. You’ll find combination cleaner and conditioner products (or product sets), along with all-in-one products that’ll do your cleaning, conditioning, and protecting all at once.
Leather Conditioner Pricing
You can find plenty of great-quality leather conditioners priced under $10. In fact, most single bottles, along with quick-use wipes, fall within this price range. If you’re looking for mult-step products or kits that include application tools, expect to spend closer to $15 to $25.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What if my leather is cracked, discolored, or peeling?
A. An extensive cleaning and conditioning can salvage dried-out or dirty leather, but it won’t fix tears, delamination, pigment loss, large cracks, heavy abrasion, or punctures. Look into a leather repair and pigment kit for minor pigment loss, abrasion, or peeling. Consult a professional upholsterer for more severe damage.
Q: Can I use a household furniture leather conditioner in my car?
A. Your car seats are not the same as your sofa. Automotive leather upholstery and conditioners have to stand up to searing heat, sub-zero cold, relentless direct sunlight, flying fast food, and miles of road grime. They won’t work the same and you could damage your car’s interior if you use the wrong product.
Q: Can I use a leather conditioner on vinyl?
A. Yes, automotive leather conditioners will not harm vinyl, and most all-in-one conditioners are formulated for use on leather and vinyl. The ever-increasing demand for leather upholstery means automakers use vinyl and leather together on the same seat. Avoid overspray. That said, leather conditioners can cause spotting on hard plastic and painted surfaces.
Q: How often should I condition leather?
A. If you’re using a cream or wax leather conditioner, applying once a month is a great schedule. If you’re using an oil conditioner that penetrates deeply and can weaken your leather over time, consider using it just a couple of times per year and supplementing with a cream or wax conditioner in between.
Q: Does leather conditioner permanently darken leather?
A: Oil-based leather conditioners can definitely darken your car’s leather, so be sure to test them in an inconspicuous spot before committing to completely covering your entire front seat in an oil conditioner. Wax or cream leather conditioners are far less likely to permanently darken your leather.
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