Keep your leather looking great for years on end by using the best leather conditioner and cleaner you can afford.
If you own a car with any type of leather inside, you will need to apply leather conditioner sooner than later to keep it in good condition. After all, no one, and I mean absolutely no one, likes seeing and touching worn, dry, or cracked leather upholstery.
Our review catalog and buying guide will help you find the best leather cleaner and conditioner for your car seats and interior surfaces, as well any other leather products you might own. Here’s a quick rundown of our top 5:
|Top||Leather Honey Leather Conditioner||Prime||Buy Now|
|Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Complete Leather Care Kit||Prime||Buy Now|
|Meguiar's G10916 Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner & Conditioner||Prime||Buy Now|
|Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner - Cleaner & Conditioner||Prime||Buy Now|
|Chamberlain's Leather Milk Auto Leather Conditioner and Cleaner||Prime||Buy Now|
The Best Leather Conditioner
As important as leather conditioners are to keeping your leather soft and supple, they are just one of many essential car detailing products you should be using on a regular basis. Make sure to check out these other car product guides after completing this one.
First introduced in 1968, the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is a tried-and-test fan favorite and our top pick.
It’s an extremely effective deep-conditioning oil that’s free of solvents or toxic ingredients, making it safe to use on all compatible leather surfaces and unlikely to cause skin irritations.
Leather Honey also doesn’t leave behind any unpleasant odor or stickiness when applied. And while not waterproof, it has water-repellent properties that protect against spills, rain, snow, and sweat.
Finally, whereas some leather conditioners need to be applied on a monthly basis, you only need to apply this one every six months.
Leather Honey is intended for use on pigmented, semi-aniline, or nubuck leather, and not on aniline or suede leather.
Things We Like
- Protects new leather, rejuvenates old leather
- Works on many types of leather
- Lasts very long
- No unpleasant smell or odor
What We Don’t Like
- Takes a day or two to work
The reason Leather Honey has been around for decades is because it works spectacularly well on almost all types of leather. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Chemical Guys is a reputable name in the car detailing world. In addition to making some of the best car wax solutions, they also know a thing or two about quality leather conditioners.
Instead of giving you a single solution that contains both a cleaner and conditioner like some companies do, the chemist at Chemical Guys are of the belief that the two processes deliver the most effective results when undertaken separately.
Their kit includes a clear and odorless cleaning spray that’s used to remove dirt, grime, and stains, and a conditioning lotion that you rub into the leather after it’s been cleaned. What you end up with is well-nourished, water-repelling leather with a glossy protective sheen and a faint leather-like aroma.
Like the Leather Honey, neither the cleaner or conditioner contain toxic chemicals. On the contrary, the list of ingredients includes aloe, vitamin E, glycerin, and an emulsifier, all of which help nourish and enrich leather.
They are pH-balanced and, therefore, can be used on any type of leather or faux leather.
Things we like
- Complete kit with cleaner and conditioner
- Works on any type of leather, including faux leather
- No toxic chemicals
- Enriched with Aloe and Vitamin E
What we don’t like
- May damage non-leather car parts
The Chemical Guys Complete Leather Care Kit is an effective combo that will help revive and preserve the luster of your car seats and leather upholstery. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Meguiar is one of the best known car accessories and cleaning agent manufacturers, and their G10916 Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner is possibly their best leather conditioner.
This all-in-one solution contains nutrients and moisturizers that clean most stains and leave your leather moisturized and protected from water, UV rays, and other potential damages.
It takes a little while to dry, but you won’t be left with unsightly greasy surfaces.
Unfortunately, the formula contains one toxic ingredient that can potentially irritate skin (2- Aminoisobutanol), so wear gloves or use a cloth when applying it.
The fact that Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner is an all-in-one solution probably makes it less effective than products made specifically for each task; however, as an all-in-one, it’s among the best leather cleaner and conditioning solutions out there.
Things we like
- Quality all-in-one treatment
- Removes dirt and grime effectively
- Protects against spills and UV rays
- Non-greasy results
What we don’t like
- Takes a little while to dry
- Contains skin irritant
Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner will effectively treat and protect your car’s leather, nourishing it and preventing damage from water and UV rays. CHECK LATEST PRICE
The Bickmore Bick 4 leather conditioner makes our list due to its quality results and simple application process. It’s capable of cleaning, polishing, and protecting a wide variety of leathers besides those upholstering car seats and interior surfaces, such as leather jackets, shoes, furniture, etc.
This effective leather conditioner will not darken your car’s leather upholstery like many competing products do. Rather, it polishes and keeps your leather smooth without compromising its appearance and breathability and provides some protection against the elements.
The fact that it’s wax-free also means it won’t seal the leather’s pores or leave behind sticky residues.
You can apply the Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner in one easy step, but to ensure you get the best results, pair it with the Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner.
Things we like
- Does a good job conditioning and preserving leather
- Works on a wide variety of leathers
- Simple application
- Does not darken leather
What we don’t like
- Doesn’t work well on pre-treated and suede leathers
The Bickmore Bick 4 is a versatile, wax-free leather conditioner that’s easy-to-use and suitable for a wide variety of leather. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Chamberlain’s Leather Milk works wonders for small to heavy-duty cleaning on literally any type of leather, from the cheap to the super expensive.
We especially love that it’s an all-natural product that deep conditions leather to keep it clean, soft, and newer-looking. Its cleaning agent removes dirt, grime and oils with relative ease, while the overall smell is nice and pleasant.
It even comes with a premium applicator pad for easy application.
Unfortunately, Chamberlain’s best leather cleaner and conditioning solution only comes in a small 8 oz bottle. Fortunately, a small amount goes a long way.
Things we like
- Effectively rejuvenates leather
- All-natural, no chemicals
- Comes with application sponge
- Pleasant smell
What we don’t like
- Comes in a small 8-ounce bottle
Chamberlain’s Leather Milk provides an easy, highly-effective way to restore your old leather goods. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Need a solution that does a superb job at restoring neglected leather? Give the Weiman Cleaner and Conditioner a try.
Weiman’s special formula consists of six natural oils that work together to remove dirt and residue build-up, as well as moisturize, rejuvenate, restore, and protect both synthetic and genuine leather from the elements, especially UV rays.
It’s safe to use and has a pleasant, long-lasting smell. The fact that it comes in a spray bottle also makes it very easy to use, requiring only a single application, with no need for buffing or rubbing.
Some users have complained that the nozzle sprays too wide, making it difficult to aim and control, and that the conditioner can leave a white residue behind when cleaning dark cherry or black leather.
Things we like
- Contains natural oils for effective cleaning and restoration
- Works on all leather types
- Preserves color of both synthetic and natural leather
What we don’t like
- Wide nozzle makes aiming the spray difficult
- May leave behind white residue on certain dark colors
The Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is very effective at removing dirt and residues, as well as softening and moisturizing old leather. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Although not our pick for the best leather conditioner, the TriNova Leather Cleaner and Restorer provides an easy but effective way to enhance the appearance of leather surfaces.
Not only does this formula gently clean leather and restore its color for a more pleasant look, but as part conditioner, it also enriches the leather fibers to achieve a softer, more supple feel and protects it from cracking, drying, spills, and damage from UV rays.
TriNova’s conditioner is pH-neutral and very easy to apply, making it a convenient and safe treatment for many types of leathers. However, it contains a skin irritant (2-Butoxyethanol), so use protective gear when applying it.
Things we like
- Restore worn out leather
- Softens, strengthens, and moisturizes
- Protects against spills, UV rays
- Works on vinyl
What we don’t like
- Contains skin irritant
If you want to enhance the appearance of your leather and prevent premature aging, the TriNova Leather Cleaner and Restorer is a good bet. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Lexol is a brand that has been in the leather treatment business for a very long time, and its leather care kit essentially gives you everything you need to clean, condition, and protect your leather surfaces.
The package includes a cleaner that you spray to remove dirt, grime and stains; a spray-on conditioner that ensures that the leather doesn’t become dry and brittle; and two premium applicators.
Both the conditioner and cleaner are pH-balanced, don’t contain chemical solvents, and boast protectants that shields against spills, UV rays, and other risk factors. In addition to your car’s leather upholstery, they can be used on sporting equipment, furniture, leather jackets and boots, saddles, etc.
The whole process is simple, straightforward, and shouldn’t take long to complete. If there is one complaint, it would be that the kit comes with only 8-ounce bottles.
Things we like
- Complete kit with cleaner, conditioner, and applicator
- Works on all leather products
- No chemical solvents
What we don’t like
- Solutions come in small bottles
The Lexol Leather Conditioner Cleaner Kit is effective, affordable, and highly recommended for those starting out with only a few leather products. CHECK LATEST PRICE
The KevianClean Complete Leather Conditioner and Cleaner is a premium, all-in-one leather treatment that rejuvenates various types of finished leather and vinyl surfaces.
The formula uses high-grade, pH-balanced natural ingredients, ensuring that it’s safe for your leather and anyone who comes into contact with it.
It conditions, cleans, protects, and extends the life of your leather, penetrating deep into the fibers to pull out embedded debris.
It also moisturizes the leather, and you only need a small amount to achieve good results.
In addition to your car’s leather interior, KevianClean’s best leather conditioner and cleaner can be used on leather furniture, jackets and shoes, saddles, motorcycle gear, sports gear, etc. It’s not the best for removing tough marks and stains, however.
Things we like
- All-natural, non-toxic
- Rejuvenates and protects various types of leather
- A small amount goes a long way
What we don’t like
- Not suited for tough marks and stains
The KevianClean Complete Leather Cleaner and Conditioner wins big points for its safe, versatile, and eco-friendly formula. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Last but not least, the Leather Rescue Conditioner and Restorer is one of the best options for treating all types of leather, be it your leather jacket, shoes, car interior, furniture, or handbags.
It removes dirt, debris, grime, and stains with relative ease, while conditioning to leave your leather softer and more supple and protecting it against cracking, water and spills, the sun’s UV rays, and other hazards.
As a pH-balanced, non-toxic spray solution, it’s easy-to-apply and can be used safely on even the finest leather without irritating the skin. It dries in less than an hour, making it convenient to use on a regular basis.
If there is one downside, it would be that the Leather Rescue Conditioner and Cleaner has a synthetic fragrance that some users may not like.
Things we like
- Non-toxic formula, safe-to-use
- Works on various types of leather, including suede and faux leather
- Protects against drying, cracking, water, UV rays
- Dries quickly
What we don’t like
- You might not like its synthetic fragrance
The Leather Rescue Conditioner and Restorer is an effective, versatile, easy-to-use and fast-acting solution for the masses. CHECK LATEST PRICE
Leather Conditioner Buying Guide
This buyer’s guide is a compilation of well-researched facts and practical tips that will help you determine the best leather cleaner and conditioner for your leather car seats and interior upholstery, as well as any other leather products you might own.
What Is A Leather Conditioner?
Leather conditioners come in many different shapes and forms, but they can be broadly defined as products designed to keep various leather materials from drying out and deteriorating.
Despite being a durable and flexible material, leather deteriorates and degrades over time. It becomes less flexible and begins to crack once it loses its natural oils and moisture.
Conditioners and other restorative solutions are formulated to be easily absorbed by the leather’s pores, nourishing the fibers to restore and prolong the leather’s suppleness and natural flexibility.
Benefits Of Using A Leather Conditioner
The benefits of applying a leather conditioner are fairly obvious. Let’s go over the five main ones.
1. Prolong life of leather: Similar to how you must condition your skin to prevent dryness, wrinkles, cracks, and premature aging, leather must be moisturized for the same reasons. A high-quality leather conditioner will help keep your leather from looking like a wrinkled, cracked mess.
2. Keeps leather clean: Occasional spills and leaks are almost unavoidable. Fortunately, many leather cleaners and conditioners are designed to remove dirt, debris, and oils that conventional cleaning methods simply can’t.
3. Protects leather from spills, UV rays: Most conditioners — the best ones, at least — have protective sealants that repel water and protect against UV rays and other hazards.
4. Remove discoloration: The pores of leather can become clogged with grime and dirt from constant friction and your body’s natural oils, creating a dull, faded, and aged look. The best leather conditioners deepen the color by keeping the fibers supple and nourished.
5. Restore beauty of leather: Extreme weather conditions, in addition to the aforementioned factors, can cause leather to look dry, broken, and hard. A conditioner breathes life back into it, helping restore its sheen and dexterity.
Types Of Leather Conditioners And Cleaners
There are several types of leather cleaners and conditioners, each corresponding to different types of leather. The following are the most common.
Pigmented / Protected Leather Conditioners
A top choice for most car owners, these conditioners are intended for pigmented and protected leathers. These leathers feature a silicone top coating that gives them excellent waterproofing and dirt-resistance.
Anline Leather Conditioners
This type of leather conditioner and cleaner is made specifically for anline and semianline leather, which are generally more elegant and delicate than pigmented leather. Often formulated with protective sealants, it protects delicate and fragile leather from stains.
Nubuck Leather Conditioners
Nubuck leather conditioners and cleaners are very similar to their airline counterparts, and that’s because nubuck leather is technically a type of full anline leather. As such, they contain protective sealants.
Top Leather Conditioner Brands
Of the multitude of leather conditioner brands on the market, the following six stand out with the depth and quality of their offerings:
Founded in the 1960s, Chemical Guys is a company that offers a wide variety of detailing products in 50 countries worldwide, specializing in hybrid coatings, nano polishes, and small-batch waxes. The Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is one of their more popular products.
Leather Honey is a family-owned, US-based company that has been producing some of the best leather cleaners and conditioners since 1968. None of their products, including the best-selling Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, contain toxic chemicals.
Having been in business for well over 100 years, Meguiar’s is a household name in the world of car detailing, offering just about everything you need to keep your car looking fresh and new. The Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner is a top-rate leather treatment solution.
This small family-owned establishment takes pride in its wide selection of competitively-priced, eco-friendly car care products, which include car wash soaps and shampoos, wheel cleaners, and cleaning accessories. The KevianClean Leather Conditioner and Cleaner is well suited for leather car seats and interior upholstery.
In business since 1954, Trinova manufactures a wide array of high-quality leather care products, including the popular Trinova Leather Cleaner, for both customers and suppliers. The company also produces air compressors, display instruments, and chemical feed.
Lexol is an experienced company that has been specializing in leather and surface care solutions since 1983. The well-packaged Lexol Leather Conditioner Cleaner Kit has a strong following in the car detailing community.
Weiman was founded in the 1940s, making it one of the oldest names on the market. Originally a manufacturer of home cleaning products, the company has since expanded its offerings to include a selection of leather treatments for cars. The Weiman Leather Car Cleaner and Conditioner is one of their best-sellers.
How To Choose The Best Leather Conditioner
Finding the right leather conditioner for your car requires taking into consideration the following five factors:
1. Your car’s leather: There are several different types of leather and many different leather colors, each with unique properties. Determining the type of leather you have is essential to selecting the right conditioner.
2. pH-Balanced formulation: It’s important that the conditioner maintains the integrity of your leather when applied. pH balanced (neutral) solutions are the safest because they have the correct balance of acidity and alkalinity.
3. Additives, harsh chemicals: Additives and other chemicals are sometimes included in leather conditioners to improve their capabilities. These substances may cause adverse reactions to both you and your leather, so keep an eye out for them.
4. Product limitations: Most manufacturers explicitly disallow you from using their products on certain surfaces (e.g. faux leather and suede). Double check to make sure the conditioner is compatible with your leather.
5. Ease-of-application: Cleaning and conditioning your car should be easy. Generally speaking, the best leather conditioners are easy to apply and don’t require exerting a lot of effort. User reviews often provide valuable insight into a product’s ease-of-application.
Using A Leather Conditioner
Cleaning and conditioning your leather is integral to maintaining its look and feel. Not only must you know when to use a leather conditioner, but you must also know how to properly apply one.
When To Use A Leather Conditioner
How often you should use a leather conditioner will largely depend on climate. If your climate is temperate, conditioning the leather every 6 months to a year will suffice.
On the other hand, living in an arid environment or in an area where your leather is often exposed to the sun will require you to apply a conditioner at least three to four times a year. That’s because direct heat and sunlight accelerate the deterioration of leather, causing it to quickly fade, crack, and dry out.
How To Use A Leather Conditioner
Assuming you have determined the type of leather you have and have chosen the appropriate cleaner and conditioner for it, here’s how to properly apply the solution to your car’s leather upholstery.
Step 1. Clean the leather surface by removing any larger debris or particles you see, vacuuming, and wiping it with a damp cloth. Use paper towels or a clean piece of cloth to dry.
Step 2. Apply the cleaner and conditioner to a lint-free cloth. To ensure that it’s safe to use and delivers the desired results, spot-test it by rubbing it on an inconspicuous part of your leather and leaving it for at least 24 hours.
Step 3. If you’re pleased with the results, wipe the solution-doused cloth over the leather surface using a circular motion. Be methodical — work on a single panel or small section at a time.
Step 4. Clean stubborn spots with a soft bristled brush and use a microfiber cloth to remove residue.
Step 5. Allow the leather to air-dry before interacting with it like you normally would.
Note: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if they differ in any way from these steps.
7 Ways To Protect Your Car’s Leather Interior
Take care of your car’s leather interior and seats like a pro. Keep these important tips in mind when buying and using leather cleaners and conditioners.
1. Avoid direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and sunlight causes leather to quickly deteriorate, so park your vehicle in the shade when possible. Also consider investing in a quality sunshade.
2. Protect against moisture. Leather, like human skin, has pores and needs to breathe. Extreme humidity can cause it to rot, while aridness can lead to drying and cracking. You can prevent things like these from ruining your leather by always quickly cleaning up spills and leaks.
3. Always spot-test. You can never be completely sure how your leather will react to the various chemicals present in a particular conditioner, so test the product on a small, inconspicuous section first and let it sit for at least 24 hours to determine its efficacy.
4. Buy cleaner with neutral or no colors. Some solutions contain dyes intended to brighten faded sections of leather. If your car’s leather upholstery has a different color, you might end up with a patchy appearance.
5. Don’t use too much. With the best leather conditioners and cleaners, a little goes a long way. Applying too much can oversaturate your leather, preventing it from breathing and causing its fibers to rot.
6. Clean regularly with damp cloth. Regularly wiping down your leather with a dampened (not soaked) cloth to remove dirt, debris and other substances is one of the best and easiest ways to keep it clean between periods of full cleaning and conditioning. Make sure to wipe the leather dry before using it.
7. Consider waterproofing. Although using a quality cleaning and conditioning product might be sufficient, applying a coat of waterproofing material can provide your leather with an extra layer of protection against the damaging effects of moisture, spills, and leaks, etc. Make sure the waterproofing product is specifically-made for leather.
How To Make Homemade Leather Conditioner
While we recommend that you treat your leather upholstery with a specifically-formulated leather conditioner, you can easily make your own using some rather basic materials. Here are three of the most popular and effective homemade leather conditioner recipes:
Natural Baby Soap Recipe
Most soaps are unsuitable for making homemade leather conditioners. Natural baby soap is an exception, however, because it’s less abrasive and harsh. Just make sure to use one that doesn’t contain stain-causing additives.
- With an appropriately-sized bucket or container, mix a liter of warm water, one tablespoon of natural baby soap, and a couple drops of vinegar.
- Dip a wipe cloth into the solution, dampen the cloth, and wipe down the leather surface.
If you prefer working with wax instead of liquids, this beeswax-based leather conditioner will get the job done.
- Using a ratio of 1-1-2, combine 100% pure beeswax, sweet almond oil, and cocoa butter in a saucepan.
- Heat the saucepan on medium heat, making sure it doesn’t overheat.
- Remove the pan and let it cool once the solid fats melt into the oil. You should be left with a thick balm — your leather conditioner — after 30 or 40 minutes of cooling.
- Use your fingers to apply the balm onto the leather surfaces, gently massaging it in and wiping away any excess.
- Once you finish applying the wax, use a dry cloth to buff the leather and make it shine.
Lemon Oil Recipe
Using oil to condition leather is a controversial topic. Many homemade leather conditioner recipes incorporate olive oil, a substance that some expert detailers warn can damage leather.
Lemon essential oil is a better alternative. Not only is it comparatively safer than other household oils while providing the conditioning qualities your leather needs, but it also leaves behind a fresh lemon scent.
- Dab 10 to 15 drops of lemon essential oil on a lint-free soft cloth.
- Apply the oil by gently rubbing and massaging it all over the leather.
Don’t Use Olive Oil As A Leather Conditioner
It’s a myth that olive oil is a cure-all for every leather ailment. Not only will using olive oil or most other edible oils not “nourish” your leather, but they will actually accelerate its deterioration.
Because leather is extremely permeable, it soaks up any oil that’s applied to it.The oil saturates the leather, seeps to the back, and ends up spreading throughout before eventually resurfacing to create unsightly spots.
To make matters worse, oil reacts with leather to emit an unpleasant, salad-like scent. So instead of eliminating existing odors, it creates new ones.
In all, olive oil-based home remedies are not a good substitute for purposely-developed leather conditioners.
Leather Conditioner FAQs And Answers
The answers to the following frequently-asked questions about leather conditioners provide more insight into finding and using the right product for your leather products, including your car’s leather seats.
Why Use A Leather Conditioner?
A high-quality leather conditioner will not only lubricate your leather to keep it supple and pliable, but it will also help deepen its color; protect it against spills, stains, and UV rays; and ultimately prolong its life.
How Do Leather Conditioners Work?
Leather tends to dry out and crack over time. High-quality leather conditioners are specifically-formulated to be easily absorbed by the leather’s pores to nourish the fibers and restore the leather’s natural look and feel.
What Is The Best Leather Conditioner For Car Seats?
There are many excellent choices out there, so you’re spoiled for choice. Not only do reputable companies like Leather Honey, Meguiar’s, and Chemical Guys offer some of the best leather conditioners on the market, but you can also find some truly high-quality products from lesser-known brands such as Leather CPR and Furniture Clinic.
Does Leather Conditioner Change The Color Of Leather?
Most, if not all, well-made leather conditioners will slightly alter the color of naturally-tanned leather because they fully penetrate the leather’s pores. However, with many products, the color eventually returns to its natural color.
To avoid any surprises, always spot-test the conditioner by applying a small amount to an inconspicuous area of the leather.
How Can I Identify The Type Of Leather Of My Car?
It’s possible to identify the leather type by its feel. Aniline leather, for example, has a light and flexible feel that’s reminiscent of real skin, while protected or pigmented leathers have a more plasticy feel to the touch.
Can Leather Conditioners Be Used On Suede?
Unfortunately, most leather conditioners are not recommended for suede. They can irreversibly damage the material.
Are Leather Conditioners Toxic To Children And Pets?
Some leather conditioners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to both people and animals, so read the product label to ascertain the safeness of the ingredients. Definitely keep leather conditioners that contain toxic byproducts away from children and pets.
Is It Possible To Use Too Much Leather Conditioner?
Yes, it is possible to apply too much conditioner to your leather. Over-saturating the leather can block the pores, causing them to excrete the conditioner and prevent any more conditioner from passing through.
What Should I Use To Apply Leather Conditioner?
The conditioner should be applied to a soft, lint free cloth and never directly onto the leather. Dampen the cloth and wipe the leather surface with a circular motion one section at a time. Buff using a soft, dry cloth, and air-dry before use.
We put together this review catalog and buying guide to provide you with everything you need to find the best leather cleaner and conditioner for your car seats and other interior surfaces.
Although the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is our pick for the best leather conditioner, it is by no means the only good option out there. For a more affordable solution, consider the Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.