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If your car has leather seats, you need to be using leather cleaner and conditioner on them. If you don’t, your leather seats can begin to crack and look worn.
For the best results for your leather seats, you should use a specially formulated cleaner and conditioner. If you’re wondering which one, then you’re in the right place as we’ve reviewed and compared the best ones available in the UK right now.
What’s the Difference Between Cleaner and Conditioner?
The differences between a leather cleaner and conditioner are pretty simple to understand:
A leather car seat cleaner will clean your seats and remove any dust, dirt and grime that is baked into the surface.
A leather car seat conditioner should then be used afterwards to protect your seats and moisturiser it again. A good conditioner makes the leather supple again and prevents it from cracking. It is an excellent tool and a must-have in any car owners cleaning kit if they have leather seats in their car.
When buying leather cleaner and conditioner, you can either buy your cleaner and conditioner separately or a 2-in-1 product that contain both. Occasionally, you’ll even stumble across a single bottle cleaner and conditioner that only needs applying once.
A good leather cleaner and conditioner should:
- PH neutral formula – Of course, the basic premise of a leather cleaner is that it gets rid of the dirt. But, you’ll want to ensure it’s a pH neutral formula as this will be much gentler on the leather. Both water-based and oil-based formulas are suitable, however water-based formulas tend to need more per clean and will need to be applied more frequently than oil-based.
- Have little or no odour – Believe it or not, a leather cleaner and conditioner shouldn’t have a strong smell. That’s because the leather itself has a natural odour, so a good cleaner will get rid of any nasty odours out of the leather and leave the natural smell.
- Not be sticky or greasy – A quick drying formula that doesn’t leave any sticky or greasy residue on the seats afterwards is essential.
- Moisturise the seats – This is where the conditioner comes in to play. It should leave the seats well moisturised which prevents them from cracking or drying out.
- Rejuvenate the leather – If you’re seats have not been cared for very well, or get exposed to direct sunlight frequently, they may start to look dull. That’s where a good conditioner comes in to bring them back to life. Look out for vitamin E in the formula, this is known for it’s anti-aging properties on skin and also works wonders on leather.
- Provide UV and water protection – A good conditioner will also provide lasting protection for your car seats from both the sun and against water.
The best cleaner and conditioners for your leather car seats are:
- Best Overall: Meguiars Ultimate Leather Barm
- Runner Up: Autoglym Clean and Protect
- Best for Cleaning Leather: Dodo Juice
- Best Leather Conditioner: Leather Honey
- Budget Pick: Turtle Wax
- Premium Pick: Furniture Clinic
Below are our full reviews of each products.
Best Overall: Meguiars Ultimate Leather Barm
A great all-round leather car seat cleaning kit that’s very affordable too.
This leather balm from Meguiars is some of the best stuff for leather that money can buy. It cleans leather fantastically, but protects and conditions it too.
The cleaning abilities are great against light dirt, remove any grime that might be in the fabric. It has rejuvenating properties that can bring your leather car seats back to life
As for conditioning, the formula has been developed using rich cocoa butter and jojoba oil which is a natural, deep penetrating oil that helps keep leather supple. The product will also provide some UV protection to help protect the fabric in future.
Meguiars have included a soft foam applicator in a ready to use kit that’s simple to use. Just wipe a small layer onto your leather seats and leave it to dry. That’s it!
Runner Up: Autoglym Clean and Protect
This kit has everything you need, including a cleaner, balm, chamois and applicator, all in a nice presentation box.
In at a close second is the Autoglym Leather Clean and Protect kit. In this complete kit you get their industry leading leather balm, 500ml of leather cleaner, and multiple applicators. It comes in a presentation box so it’s also suitable as a gift.
The product works wonders on your car seats, the only reason we put this in second is that it’s almost double the price of the Meguiars product so may put some people off.
The leather cleaner is a 500ml pH neutral spray that is gentle on your seats but will act deep to remove those dirt and grime particles that have accumulated over time.
But that’s not all, you also get 500ml of leather care balm. This has natural oils that will give your seats the moisture they need without feeling glossy or sticky afterwards. You can use this on any leather products, but it has been designed for the wear and tear and UV damage that particularly affects car seats.
Remember: no matter which leather cleaner or conditioner you are using, always test a small area first to ensure the product doesn’t damage the material.
Best for Cleaning Leather: Dodo Juice
A specially formulated cleaner for use on tough dirt and stains.
If you’ve not heard of Dodo Juice, they specialise in making high end car detailing products that don’t come with a high price tag. Their supernatural leather cleaner lives up to it’s name with supernatural results at cleaning leather.
This is just a leather cleaner and does not condition your leather do you’ll have to buy a separate product for that. But what it does, it does really well. It will even remove stubborn stains without the need for any harsh chemicals that can damage the leather.
The spray bottle makes it easy to apply and then you can use a soft bristled brush (not included) to work the product in to the leather seats. You don’t need to work the product too hard in order for it to be effective so the chances of any damage are extremely low.
The cleaner can be used on most leathers, including dashboards and steering wheels, and is even suitable for use on vinyl. Overall, this is a great cleaner for getting those seats super clean.
Best Leather Conditioner: Leather Honey
This leather cleaner uses a traditional oil-based formula so it will last alot longer between applications.
Leather cleaning and conditioning should be done together, however if you already have a favoured cleaner, then perhaps this conditioner will complete your toolkit.
Leather Honey was founded in 1968 and unlike any of the other brand shared here, they focus on one thing and one thing only; caring for leather.
We can highly recommend any of their leather care products, but the stand out product is their conditioner. It uses a traditional oil-based formula unlike the other recommendations here, this means you don’t need to apply as much and you don’t need to apply it as frequently. So the 225ml bottle will last a lot longer.
The formula has no smell or odour which is a good thing, this means that the natural odours will emit from the leather which is part of that new car smell that we all know and love.
Now, one of the best things about Leather Honey is that its made with natural ingredients that don’t harm the leather at all. In fact, Leather Honey almost heals leather. It provides a moisturising layer to your leather that soaks in and makes it really nice and supple. This layer also provides a barrier to water and protects your leather from stains.
Whilst the product works wonders on your leather car seats, it’s also suitable for use on all sorts of leather products from the sofa to shoes and bags. In fact, you’ll need to be careful that your family members don’t nab it for themselves!
Budget Pick: Turtle Wax
For those on a tight budget, this single bottle will clean and condition your leather with one use.
We love Turtle Wax products. Turtle Wax makes some really good value for money car care products, and their leather cleaner and conditioner is no exception to this.
The formula is creamy when applied, containing a blend of cocoa butter and aloe vera. It also uses vitamin E which is best known for it’s anti-aging effects on skin but has similar rejuvenating properties when used on leather.
This is a non-greasy leather cleaner that, once applied, doesn’t leave a sticky residue that attracts more dirt. This all in one leather cleaner and conditioner is good at protecting your leather car seats.
However, while this leather car care product is good, it doesn’t produce the shine that other leather car seat products do and doesn’t do a great job at bringing the colour back to life, especially when it comes to darker leathers.
Premium Pick: Furniture Clinic Leather Care Kit
Happy to splash out? This care kit is designed for all leather furniture, from car seats to sofas.
Our premium pick is this leather care kit from furniture clinic. It’s been designed for leather furniture but equally works wonders on your leather car seats too.
This furniture cleaning kit comes complete with everything you need to transform your leather car seats including 500ml or cleaner, 500ml of protection cream, plus a sponge and cloth that’s been designed for most effective application.
It makes car seats look brand new again, even if they are 20 years past being brand new. The Ultra Clean is proven to get rid of years of stains and grime from your leather seats, but the Protection Cream is where this kit takes it to the next level. It’s a water based conditioner that’s designed to nourish your car seats and prevent any cracking or fading.
It also offers protection to your leather seats and makes them feel supple and lovely once more.
Scott’s love for cars goes back as far as he can remember which is why he’s our go-to guy for all automotive product reviews. When Scott’s not at hotrod shows or drag racing events, he’s dreaming about that E-type drag that will hopefully appear on his drive one day.