Maintaining your car's interior is essential, especially when it comes to preserving leather. The best car leather cleaner, therefore, isn't just about removing dirt; it's a vital tool for extending the lifespan of your vehicle.
Compared to the best car upholstery cleaner, leather cleaners often incorporate elements like beeswax and vitamin E. These ingredients serve a dual purpose: waterproofing the leather while hydrating it, effectively enhancing its durability and longevity. Overlooking this aspect of maintenance can lead to leather drying out, developing cracks, and premature aging, detracting from your car's overall appearance.
To simplify your search for the right leather cleaner, we've put together a list of top picks based on various factors like price, customer reviews, ingredients, and unique features that set these products apart. From sprayable solutions to easy-to-use wipes, we've rounded up some of the best car cleaning products around, and we've answered some commonly asked questions to help you make an informed decision if you decide you want to buy one. Here are our top picks...
Best car leather cleaner
- Leather Honey Leather Cleaner - best overall choice
- Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner - a top-tier spray solution
- Meguiar's Gold Class Wipes - easy-to-use wipes
- Armor All Leather Care - a great budget pick
- Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner - cleaner and conditioner in one
1. Leather Honey Leather Cleaner
Best car leather cleaner overall
Size: 8 fl oz.
We're kicking off with Leather Honey's pre-mixed leather cleaner, a product that sets itself apart from harsher alternatives due to its unique blend of non-toxic, all-natural ingredients. This versatile cleaner is designed for use on a variety of surfaces, including leather, vinyl, faux leather, plastic, and rubber.
Leather Honey's formula is not only safe but also user-friendly. It's remarkably easy to apply and works quickly and effectively to rid your car seats, interiors, as well as other leather items like sneakers and handbags, of dirt, oil, stubborn stains, and grime.
Upon application, it imparts up to six months of protection by penetrating deep into the material's pores and forming a water-repellent barrier. This protective layer not only enhances the longevity of your interior but also shields it from the elements.
In short, if you're in the market for a chemical-free solution, Leather Honey's Leather Cleaner comes highly recommended.
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2. Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Best car leather cleaner spray
Size: 22 fl oz.
Cleaning the interior of your car can often be a time-consuming task, but you can streamline the process with the help of a convenient spray solution.
An exceptional product in this category is the Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. It not only simplifies the cleaning process but also rejuvenates the allure of your leather interior.
It features a unique formula, which not only cleans but also revitalises and safeguards your leather. The incorporation of UVX-15 sunscreen offers protection against sun damage, preventing issues like fading, cracking, and drying out when exposed to intense heat.
Each package contains two 12 fluid-ounce bottles, delivering excellent value for your money. This product is the ideal choice to preserve the look and feel of your car's leather interior, making it a must-have for any car owner.
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3. Meguiar's Gold Class Wipes
Best car leather cleaner wipes
Size: 25 wipes
If you're aiming to speed up your cleaning process, opting for cleaning wipes can be a time-saving choice, eliminating the need for additional steps like buffing out cleaning solutions. Wipes are particularly effective when it comes to tackling substantial dirt or debris on various surfaces before they become stubborn.
For those interested in giving cleaning wipes a shot, we recommend considering Meguiar's Gold Class Wipes. These wipes are enriched with aloe-based moisturisers, allowing you to effortlessly clean, condition, and protect your leather, all in a single step.
Meguiar's proudly highlights that their wipes are designed to be non-greasy and won't leave any unsightly residue. Additionally, they provide UV protection to safeguard your leather against the effects of aging, such as cracking and drying, promoting healthier and longer-lasting leather.
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4. Armor All Leather Care
Best budget car leather cleaner
Size: 16 fl oz.
If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive leather cleaner, then Armor All's Leather Care spray-on formula might be your answer.
Its fairly low price tag is, in our opinion, pretty impressive considering you get 16 fl oz. per bottle. This should be more than enough to maintain your car's leather interior through several rounds of cleaning.
The formula itself contains beeswax to help nourish the material and waterproof it to help it stay silky and clean for longer, even if drinks are spilled or wet mud is brought in from outside.
It also comes in a spray-application bottle which should make applying just the right amount of the formula quick and easy, thus saving you time to work on your car's exterior or simply relax after ticking this job off your to-do list.
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5. Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner & Conditioner
Best car leather cleaner and conditioner
Size: 16 fl oz.
We're rounding things off with this cleaning and conditioning combo from Chemical Guys which, if you're looking to clean and nourish your leather interior at the same time, could be worth considering.
The formula is pH balanced, colourless, and odourless, so should be suitable to use on any shade of leather inside your vehicle.
Interestingly, one of the ingredients in the cleaner and conditioner is vitamin E which is often used in dermatology and, according to the NHS, is linked to maintaining healthy skin.
Chemical Guys argue treating leather is like treating your skin, so providing it with the nutrients to stay nourished and hydrated should help it stay shiny and supple for longer.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Finding the best leather cleaner can often lead to a ton of questions. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries right here.
How often should you clean car leather?
This will depend on how regularly you drive your car and how many passengers you typically have with you on each journey as the more full your vehicle is, the more dirt will likely get brought in.
Generally speaking, you should find you need to clean your leather interior once every few months.
We'd recommend checking out our list of the best car vacuums to start off with to remove any loose dirt before cleaning and conditioning the leather to restore moisture.
To minimise how often you need to clean the leather in your car, we'd advise cleaning any significant debris as soon as possible to avoid it digging into the leather and causing more damage.
This may include dried dirt, for example, which you can simply use a dustpan and brush to remove before it's stepped on and left to stain your leather interior.
Do you need to use a separate cleaner and conditioner for car leather?
Typically speaking, leather cleaners and conditioners will come separately; however, you can sometimes find them in one package.
As touched on above, we believe it's important to own both or something that does the two jobs in one as conditioning leather helps to reinvigorate the material with the necessary natural oils and, in turn, refresh its appearance.
Be wary that you can overdo it with the conditioner as applying too much can prevent the leather from breathing and may even result in rot forming.
So, our main advice would be to only condition the material when you notice the leather starting to dry out.
Can you use household leather cleaning products on car leather?
Generally speaking, most leather cleaning products should be safe to use on the interior of your car. Anything approved for automotive use especially should be perfectly okay for the job.
If you're unsure, you can always patch-test the product. Simply apply a small amount of the leather cleaner to an unnoticeable area. If it cleans the material without staining, then it will likely be safe to use to clean your car's interior.
Can a car leather cleaner remove scratches or scuffs from leather seats?
No, typically car leather cleaners are not designed to remove deep scratches or scuffs from leather seats. Car leather cleaners are primarily formulated to clean and condition the leather, removing dirt, stains, and light surface grime. They may help minimise the appearance of superficial scratches or scuffs by moisturising and softening the leather, but they cannot repair or completely eliminate deeper damage.
To address scratches or scuffs on leather seats, it is recommended to consult a professional leather repair specialist who can assess the extent of the damage and provide appropriate solutions. They may use specialised techniques and products to repair or minimise the appearance of scratches and scuffs on leather surfaces.
Can a leather cleaner protect car leather from future damage?
Most leather cleaners are primarily designed to clean and remove dirt, stains, and grime from leather surfaces. While they can help maintain the appearance of the leather, they typically do not offer long-term protection against future damage.
However, there are some leather cleaners available in the market that may have additional protective properties. These products may contain ingredients like UV inhibitors or conditioners that help nourish and moisturise the leather, thereby reducing the likelihood of cracking, fading, or drying out over time. They can provide some level of protection against environmental elements and everyday wear.
If you're specifically looking for leather cleaners with protective properties, we'd suggest looking at each product's labels or descriptions to see if they mention any added protection. Additionally, using a dedicated leather conditioner or protectant after cleaning can further enhance the leather's longevity and protect it from future damage.