Best Leather Conditioners and Cleaners: Keep Your Car’s Interior Clean and Protected
Keep your car’s interior looking moisturized and sparkling clean with these top leather conditioners and cleaners
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON April 16, 2019
Many of today’s high-end cars come with an elegant leather-finished interior that feels good against your skin. Although leather is naturally a durable material, over time it will still crack, fade, or otherwise age. That's why it is important to use the best leather conditioner to restore the leather’s sheen. Here are our top picks to make your car’s seats look new.
- Best OverallLeather Honey Leather ConditionerSummarySummary
This is a conditioner that smooths cracks on old leather and protects new leather from drying or aging.ProsPros
It is non-toxic and can be used on all types of leather. A single application lasts for six months. Its unique formula deeply penetrates into the leather’s pores. It comes with a satisfaction guarantee.ConsCons
It can significantly darken light-colored leather surfaces and doesn't work on suede or vinyl. It also can discolor fabric.
- Best ValueChemical Guys Leather Cleaner and ConditionerSummarySummary
It lifts and suspends dirt and oil from leather for deep cleaning and restoration.ProsPros
It comes in a complete kit with a conditioner that has a good odor. It also works well on light-colored leather.ConsCons
It leaves a shiny finish if you apply too much or may leave white streaks when applied on dark leather. It is not effective in cleaning leather stitches.
- Honorable MentionWeiman Leather Cleaner and ConditionerSummarySummary
It has a simple formula that removes dirt and residue while softening and moisturizing old leather.ProsPros
It contains natural oils for effective cleaning and restoration. The conditioner works on both blended and smooth leather. It preserves the color of synthetic and natural leather as well.ConsCons
The nozzle has a wide spray pattern. The conditioner also leaves a white residue when cleaning a dark cherry or black leather.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy Leather Conditioner
- Prolong the leather’s life span. Leather products need to be moisturized, similar to the way you condition your skin. A conditioner brings back the lost moisture and rejuvenates it.
- Do more than just conventional cleaning. Occasional spills and leaks result in unsightly dirt and debris. These products effectively remove such grime, making them look new again.
- Make the leather water-repellent. Most conditioners have protective sealants that resist moisture in wet conditions. The leather surfaces will also be protected against UV rays.
- Reduce or remove discoloration. Constant friction and your body’s natural oils can cause grime and dirt to get trapped in the pores of the leather, making it look dull and aged. The best leather softener deepens the color, keeping the fiber supple and nourished.
- Restore the beauty of the seats. Extreme weather conditions can cause the leather to look broken, blurred, and hard. A conditioner restores the sheen and leaves you with a clean surface.
Types of Leather Conditioners and Cleaners
Pigmented or Protected Leather Conditioners
These conditioners have unique characteristics that make them a top choice for most car owners. They come with a silicone top coating to give the leather excellent dirt and water resistance. These are often used on the interiors of high-end automobiles.
Aniline and Nubuck Leather Conditioners
Aniline and nubuck leather conditioners are quite similar. Aniline leather conditioners protect the leather from stains, making them one of the best leather cleaners and conditioners. They ensure your leather looks and feels sparkling clean, the same way car polishes work. Nubuck conditioners, on the other hand, also have protective sealants.
Leather Conditioner Top Brands
This US-based company was founded in 1968. It is a family-owned firm that is known for producing top leather conditioners. All of its products have a non-toxic formula to recondition old leather. One of its top products is the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner.
This company was founded in 1954, and it provides high-quality products for both suppliers and customers. It also manufactures air compressors, chemical feed, and display instruments, in addition to leather care products. A popular product from this company is the Trinova Leather Cleaner.
KevianClean is a small family business in Tennessee that provides eco-friendly car care products at a competitive price. Wheel cleaners, car shampoos, and other cleaning accessories are just some of the products they offer. One of its top products is the KevianClean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.
Chemical Guys is a company based in California that focuses on manufacturing the best-quality chemicals. The company specializes in hybrid coatings, small-batch waxes, and nano polishes. One of its top products is the Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.
Weiman dates back to the early 1940s, starting off as a company providing home cleaning products. One of its top products is the Weiman Leather Car Cleaner and Conditioner.
The company was founded in 1983 and is famously known for producing cleaning and air freshening products. The Lexol brand provides leather and surface care solutions. The Lexol Leather Cleaner and Sponge Kit is one of its popular products.
Leather Conditioner and Cleaner Pricing
- $9-$15: Leather conditioners and cleaners within this price range come mostly in a wax form. Most car care first-timers find this an affordable price range to consider to keep their car seats clean.
- $15-$21: At the mid range, conditioners and cleaners offer many improved features. You can get a conditioner that is easy to apply to give your leather a soft and new look. Some brands offer cleaning products that are water-resistant as well.
- $21 and up: This price range is where you will find the best leather conditioners for cars. These higher-priced options have upscale features to protect and clean your leather. You can find conditioners that are pH-balanced, come in a complete kit, and dry quickly.
This is an important feature to look for in the best leather conditioners. The integrity of leather is best maintained when the solution has a neutral pH balance. Such a product will clean faster without damaging the leather.
Dust, dirt, grime, and body sweat can get trapped in the crevices or pores of the leather. It is, therefore, important to use a product that has a non-greasy formula to achieve a smooth, finished look.
Ease of Application
Leather conditioners are often available in either a spray, wax or liquid form. The best leather moisturizer is easy to apply without having to exert a lot of force. The spray option ensures a fast cleaning process.
- Included Chemicals: If you are sensitive to chemicals, you might want to choose a conditioner that is non-toxic, preferably one that contains natural ingredients.
Best Leather Conditioner and Cleaner Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Leather Honey Leather Conditioner
This is our top pick for the best-rated leather conditioner since a single application can last around six months. The highly-acclaimed Leather Honey formula penetrates into the pores and hydrates individual fibers. This rejuvenates old leather, making it soft and flexible while smoothing the cracks and other scratches.
It comes with a satisfaction guarantee; you can always get a full refund if you don’t like it. There is no odor after application and the final result is water-repellent. The conditioner easily absorbs into worn leather and conceals cracks on old and dry leather.
The biggest downside is that it can significantly darken lighter-color leather surfaces. Its usefulness on other seat types is also limited since it does not work on suede or vinyl. It can also discolor fabric, so make sure it fully absorbs into the surface before sitting on the seat.
Best Value: Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
This conditioner comes as a complete kit. The vitamin E-enriched formula deeply penetrates into the pores to suspend dirt/oils and wipe away any contaminants. It is pH-balanced for an efficient cleaning process.
A great feature of the Chemical Guys conditioner is its spray bottle that makes application easy. A single application is usually enough to notice the difference. The conditioner also has a nice subtle smell and works well on light-colored surfaces. It absorbs into the leather and dries with a matte feel.
The main drawback is that it does not last long before needing reapplication. If you use a lot of the conditioner, it may leave an unnatural, shiny finish. It can also leave light-colored streaks behind when used on dark leather.
Honorable Mention: Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
This conditioner is great for restoring neglected leather, moisturizing the surface and making it soft again. The Weiman Cleaner and Conditioner contains six natural oils that make it safe to use on a car’s interior to remove dirt and residue build-up. It comes in a spray bottle that requires only a single application.
This option is one of the few conditioners with a pleasant smell that lasts for quite a long time. Application wise, there is usually no need for buffing or rubbing; you can just wipe the conditioner over the leather directly. It also preserves the color of synthetic and genuine leather surfaces alike.
A major drawback is the spray nozzle pattern since it’s too wide to control the aim with a good amount of accuracy. The wide pattern makes it more likely to hit other surfaces in addition to the leather itself. The conditioner can leave a white residue behind, especially on dark cherry or black leather surfaces.
Tips and Advice
- Park your vehicle in the shade when possible. Direct heat and sunlight cause fading, cracking, and drying on the leather surface. Invest in a good sunshade if possible.
- Test a conditioner first before using it. The various chemicals present in cleaners and conditioners may change the natural characteristics of your car’s interior. Test the product on a small section and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
- Choose cleaning products with neutral colors. There are certain conditioners that come with added dyes. If your car’s interior has a different hue, you might end up with a combination of colors.
- A little goes a long way in applying conditioners. When using a conditioner after cleaning, apply it in very small quantities. Too much conditioner can be detrimental since it prevents the leather from breathing, causing the fibers to rot.
Q. Will leather stain when it gets wet?
A. Rainwater will normally stain the leather. The extent of staining will depend on the type of leather and its finish. Aniline leather is porous and is susceptible to staining.
Q. Why does leather peel?
A. Leather peels when it is dry and lacks natural oils. Lower-grade leather or bonded leather is likely to peel.
Q. How can I identify the type of leather in my car?
A. You can usually identify the leather type by its feel. For example, aniline leathers are light and flexible. They almost feel like real skin. Protected or pigmented leathers, on the other hand, feel more like plastic to the touch.
Our top pick for the best leather conditioner is the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner. It is non-toxic, and one application lasts for six months so your leather will stay nourished and protected.
A less pricey alternative is the Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.