Buying Guide for Car Leather Conditioners
Why buy a car leather conditioner?
Leather can far outlast your typical synthetic car seat covers—if it’s taken care of. When neglected, it cracks, its colors dull, its surface accumulates marks and scratches, and it loses its soft feel. In some cases, it may be too late to restore, but if it’s salvageable, then it’s worth your time. With a premium car leather conditioner, you can make the interior soft again, not to mention restore its beauty. If you have some conditioner left over, get to work on your leather boots, hats, belts, and purses.
What should you look for in car leather conditioners?
- Application: There’s an array of leather conditioner forms to choose from. Your decision should be based in part on the condition your leather is in but also on personal preference. We review conditioners made as liquids, spray-ons, and wipes. A reason to go for liquid conditioner is if you have a large surface area to cover. Typically, less product is required, so you won’t run out frequently. Sprays have advantages too. The conditioner has a thinner consistency and is easier to spread and polish. If you want an effortless approach, leather conditioner wipes might work. They’re also nice to keep around for cleaning leather furniture or apparel.
- Purpose: If it’s been a long time since you last worked on your leather interior, you or your auto restorer need to diagnose the state of deterioration. If the damage is repairable, you want to look for a thick conditioner that penetrates deep. Look for sun-damaged spots, too; some products contain UV-protecting ingredients to help prevent those. On the other hand, if your leather interior, couch, or apparel, looks just a bit worn out, you might try something lighter like a spray or wipe.
- Accessories: We review a couple of kits that come with sponges, brushes, towels, applicators, cleaners, and aftercare detailers. A full leather care kit makes a great gift for friends and family who own cars with leather interiors or own lots of leather-based items. Get one for yourself if you’re short on supplies or if you’ve recently become the owner of a luxury automobile with leather seats.
What should you know about applicators and brushes?
You should have applicators, sponges, microfiber towels, and a brush to polish your leather from start to finish. Ideally, you want to start by cleaning the leather first. Vacuum the area, apply a leather cleaner, then scrub the area with a brush. Microfiber towels make a handy after-cleaner way to remove any excess gunk. Rather than pour the conditioner straight onto the leather, apply it to an applicator first, then massage it into the grain. If you’re just freshening up the surface, a simple applicator or towel will do.
Our Picks for the Best Car Leather Conditioners
Leather Honey Car Leather Conditioner
This family business has been producing one of the best leather conditioners around.
Pros: Leather Honey will help make your leather last longer. Among its many qualities, the conditioner is non-toxic and has no silicone or animal products. It’s also scent-free and water-repellent. The bottle is affordable and can be used on any leather color and surface, from your car’s interior to gloves, boots, leather couches, and saddles. However, it can’t be used on suede, faux leather, and vinyl.
Cons: The product may not work as well as you’d hoped if your car’s leather interior has advanced signs of dryness.
Bottom Line: Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is well-reputed among car restorers and leather lovers. Fans appreciate that it’s made in the U.S. by a small family business.
Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Conditioner
A conditioner that moisturizes and protects leather tenderly and powerfully.
Pros: What skincare ingredient is known for its moisturizing, healing property? Aloe! This liquid spray car leather conditioner contains aloe along with synthetic moisturizing oils for the ultimate rub-down. It also protects leather from UV rays, which are infamous for their fading and aging effects. Use it regularly without worrying about build-up. The spray bottle makes application easy. Follow the step-by-step instructions, ensuring that the leather surface is cool and clean before you begin and that you shake the bottle well.
Cons: You may need to buy two bottles if your car’s interior leather is in bad shape. Meguiar’s doesn’t bring leather surfaces back from the dead but does a great job resuscitating them.
Bottom Line: The secret might be aloe, but who knows? The company’s been making car care products for over a century; maybe there’s a secret ingredient we’ll never find out about. We doubt it, though. This leather conditioner is simply high-quality.
Chemical Guys 9-Item Care Kit
This awesome set is a great introduction to the basic care of leather.
Pros: A premier company in leather care, Chemical Guys is popular worldwide for its fantastic interior and exterior car care products. This fabulous nine-piece kit includes everything you should need to care for your car’s leather. There’s a leather conditioner and cleaner, a detailer, a horsehair cleaning brush, three microfiber towels, and two tan microfiber applicators. Every item is specifically designed to work seamlessly with one another to deliver the best results. It works great on leather seats and other types of fine natural leather, durable sealed leather, and synthetic leather materials. It makes for a fantastic gift for any car enthusiast.
Cons: The only critical user feedback regards the horsehair cleaning brush. It may shed hair faster than you’d expect.
Bottom Line: To be honest, you can use this Chemical Guys kit to revitalize all kinds of leather products. It is a treasure whether you buy it for yourself or give it away. Another bonus: a little of the conditioner and cleaner goes a long way.
Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Wipes
These non-toxic, nine natural oil cleaner and conditioner wipes make leather maintenance trouble-free.
Pros: It really can’t get much easier to clean and condition car leather with Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Wipes on hand. Identify some dry-looking leather areas in your car’s interior, wipe, then buff. That’s it. The non-toxic wipes are practical and easy to use because Weiman concocted a superior moisturizer of six natural oils: mineral, castor, avocado, safflower, sesame, and D-limonene. They threw some UVX-15 sunscreen into the mix to prevent further damage to worn-out leather. Wipe and buff all your favorite leather belongings like boots, briefcases, leather furniture, purses, and motorcycle seats.
Cons: This product protects leather from cracking; it doesn’t mend cracked leather. You may want to consider a different product if you need some deep conditioning.
Bottom Line: We don’t recommend closing your eyes as you wipe and buff because you’re likely to miss a spot. It’s tempting, though, with such an effortless way to care for all things leather.
Lexol Leather Conditioner and Leather Cleaner Kit
This is an ideal set for anyone looking to take care of their leather seats at an affordable price.
Pros: This affordable kit contains an 8-ounce bottle of cleaner, an 8-ounce bottle of conditioner, and two premium applicator sponges, making it a great budget option for those looking for something simple. It’s recommended to use the cleaner to restore and revive the leather and then apply the conditioner to prevent cracking without leaving a greasy residue. It’s great for your car’s leather interior, but you can also use it on handbags, shoes, and briefcases.
Cons: If you have a sensitive nose, you may want to look for a different leather conditioner kit.
Bottom Line: This budget-friendly leather conditioner kit gets applause for its first-rate components. You may also appreciate that Lexol has been in the business since 1933, making its leather products in the U.S.
Maintaining the interior will be less of a chore with the right car leather conditioner. It’s relaxing and fulfilling to see the results of your work. These products can help you get the results you want.