Which leather cleaner is best?

Leather is one of the most durable, most attractive and most effective materials when it comes to all manner of items, such as car interiors, boots, bags and furniture. However, in order to last as long as it can, it needs to be properly cared for. Using a good-quality leather cleaner and a little elbow grease is the simplest way to keep your leather goods in premium condition.

The best leather cleaner is the TriNova Leather Cleaner. It’s effective on all leather and leather-like materials and includes a microfiber cloth.

What to know before you buy a leather cleaner

What it covers

Leather cleaners will be able to clean most kinds of leather. However, some specialty leather needs specific kinds of cleaning. Many leather cleaners can also clean faux leather, vinyl, rubber and plastic — or at least some combination of them. Always double-check whether your leather cleaner clearly states if it can clean a material before using it.

Spray vs. gel

Leather cleaners typically come in two forms: sprays and gels.

  • Sprays are typically easiest to use because you simply point and shoot the product on the leather before rubbing it in.
  • Gels are a little trickier as they’re thicker and need to be worked a little more. However, they make reaching and cleaning tight and otherwise hard-to-reach areas easier — just put a dab on your cloth and rub it in.

Cleaner vs. conditioner

Some leather cleaners are just that — a cleaner. Some are actually leather conditioners, and others are a combination of the two.

  • Cleaners remove grime but don’t protect the leather.
  • Conditioners do protect the leather. They also maintain your leather’s overall health, leading to softer and more supple leather.
  • Combo cleaners do both, but you need to use caution when purchasing a combo. Many sacrifice cleaning as well as conditioning quality to accomplish both.

Concentrate

Most leather cleaners come in a bottle and are ready to go. Just apply the product as directed, and you’re golden. However, some bottles are actually concentrated. Concentrated bottles are far more cost-effective as you can get double or more the amount of ready-made cleaner for the same price. You do need to properly mix it to use it, and failing to mix it at all can damage your leather goods.

What to look for in a quality leather cleaner

Coverage

Some leather cleaners don’t cover as much area as others when using the same amount of product. Few, if any, cleaners will explicitly state how much area they can cover with a certain amount of product. However, you can estimate how much coverage it has by what type of cloth is recommended. The higher the quality of cloth, the more coverage area a given cleaner is likely to have.

Ultraviolet protection

Leather is prone to drying out and cracking when subjected to prolonged UV exposure. The best leather cleaners have UV protection to help your goods last no matter how much sun they get.

How much you can expect to spend on a leather cleaner

Leather cleaners typically cost $10-$30, though the most basic cleaners can cost less than $10. Most cleaners cost $10-$15, with the biggest bottles and the best cleaners costing more than $15.

Leather cleaner FAQ

How often do I need to use leather cleaner?

A. That depends on multiple variables, but the overall count is three to 12 times a year. If your leather is light in color and is regularly exposed to the sun and to cold and dry weather, it should be cleaned once a month. If it’s dark in color it should be cleaned at least every four months with more frequent cleanings following the same sun and weather variables as light-colored leather.

What should I do if stains won’t come out of the leather?

A. If you’ve cleaned and buffed your leather as hard as you can and it still has stains, you need to get it professionally cleaned. Professional leather cleaning involves regulated equipment and products that you don’t have legal access to. It can be expensive, so try to clean your leather regularly enough that you don’t need such high-grade cleaning in the future.

What’s the best leather cleaner to buy?

Top leather cleaner 

 TriNova Leather Cleaner

TriNova Leather Cleaner

What you need to know: It’s perfect for anything leather or leather-like.

What you’ll love: It’s completely safe, thanks to using no harsh chemicals. It can be used on faux leathers such as durablend, leathers such as saffiano and vinyl. It includes a microfiber cloth for scrubbing. It doesn’t take pressure to apply — simply spray and wipe away.

What you should consider: It’s a little more expensive than most cleaners. It struggles to remove old stains, especially stains from inks or dyes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top leather cleaner for the money

Armor All Car Leather Conditioner Gel

Armor All Car Leather Conditioner Gel

What you need to know: It’s effective and affordable.

What you’ll love: It’s highly effective at ridding leather of deeply ingrained grime while conditioning leather and leather-like surfaces. It adds protection against heat, sunlight and humidity plus prevents cracking and discoloration in the future. It’s in gel form, but also comes in a spray and a beeswax-containing spray.

What you should consider: Some consumers had issues with the product leaving behind a cloudy residue or an odd, unpleasant smell. Others reported needing to use more than the amount directed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Leather Honey Leather Cleaner

Leather Honey Leather Cleaner

What you need to know: It’s concentrated, so one bottle goes a long way.

What you’ll love: It’s available in 4- or 8-ounce bottles that can make up to 32 or 64 ounces of cleaner once properly diluted. It can clean plastic, rubber and vinyl in addition to leather and faux leather. It’s made in the U.S. by a small family business.

What you should consider: As a concentrate, it requires mixing with water in a separate bottle. You need to use an undyed cloth — the formula is strong enough to remove the dye. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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