Chances are high that you have furniture or clothing accessories made from leather materials. Over time, the hides will begin to blemish and fade, losing the rich and vibrant color they once had. Leather Cleaners help to restore back their initial beauty to an almost like-new quality. Here are five useful cleaning products that are dedicated to performing this task, along with a helpful guide on things to know in regards to the type of leather you’ll be cleaning.
Best Leather Cleaners of 2021
1. Leather Nova Cleaner – Best For King Ranch Seats
The Leather Nova Cleaner comes in a black plastic bottle that’s equipped with a spray nozzle. Since it’s not concentrated, you don’t have to worry about mixing with water to use. It works on most leather materials and leaves it looking clean and clear of debris that has built up over the years.
Helps Beautify Your Carrying Accessories
Unlike some leather cleaners, this product is safe to use. Just spray on the white towel (included with the cleaner) in small amounts, adding more near heavily soiled areas. As you go along, you’ll notice the leather becoming brighter in the areas that were treated. For first time users, don’t panic. It’s just the cleaner wiping away accumulated grime. Try to move the towel in circular motions when applying. When you’re finished, use a dry portion of the towel to clear away the soot lifted from the leather. You can repeat this process as many times as you like. The finish will smell great and is similar to the fragrance of new shoes.
What To Use With The Cleaner
Overall, Leather Nova is best for you if there are lots of purses or hand carrying pieces in your possession that have never been cleaned. It will bring out the colors in hues that you haven’t seen since they were taken off the shelf.
2. Weiman Leather Cleaner – Best Care Product for Furniture
In appearance, the Weiman Leather Cleaner is contained in a white bottle with a large black nozzle that has a safety lock to keep it from drying at the tip. If you want your leather to shine, this is the cleaner to get. It’s also a conditioner, so there’s no need for you to buy additional products to offset drying.
Let It Shine
Whether you apply to your upholstery, footwear, car interior, or jackets, the cleaner will take the dirt off and produce a bright shine that can take away the dingy look and feel of the material that’s never been wiped down before. The texture on top grain is most noticeable. The compacted fibers will maintain a soft replenished feel that’s pleasant to touch. And the smell is also unique but won’t overpower you after the cleaning job is done, even when cleaning large objects such as sofas.
Mild Scent That’s Easy On The Senses
However, there are some qualities that could be improved. Weiman Cleaner must be used repeatedly to retain the look. You’ll probably end up going through the bottle pretty quickly if you own furniture. On top of this, a white-colored residue can develop, particularly on corrected grains that have many ridges. Before you end the treatment, wipe away thoroughly with a cloth to prevent this film from showing. Or try out a brush, as explained further in the buyer’s section.
3. Bickmore Bick 4 – Best Leather Conditioner for Shoes
The Bickmore Bick 4 is more of a conditioner than an outright cleaner, although it can do a nice job of clearing away sediment on its own. The black container does not have a spray bottle and is squeezed out from the cap, sort of like lotion.
Breaking Them In
There are leather cleaning products on the market that seem to react similar to bleach, picking up the natural color and causing dulling that culminates in a bothersome eyesore. For Bickmore, this is unheard of. Just pass it on your leather appliances and watch them regain their normal, soft and shiny veneer. Steel toe boots look best. You can even use it on new footwear to help the outer portions form an ergonomic fit. It’s also known as “breaking them in”.
Wash and Repeat
If cleaning sofas and car seats, just double the amount normally given to smaller items. For thick leather pieces, you may run into problems. Drying can occur faster since the conditioner won’t penetrate the lower portions of the material. And while it performs great at maintaining color, fibrous leathers such as nubuck can be damaged easily with only a small amount of the material wiped on their surface.
The Bickmore Bick 4 is still a proper way for reversing the aging on most of your leather materials. If in doubt, start off with a small area to see how the conditioner reacts, then go from there. Try it out on your luggage and dress shoes so they won’t take on disfigurement from sitting in your storage for so long.
4. Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey – Best Leather Cleaner for Sofas
Concentrates have been mentioned already but there are some that comparatively perform better than any pre-mixed leather cleaner. The Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey, cleverly named, looks just like the viscous medium produced by bees, at least on the surface. Yet this is specifically built for getting your leather ready for two separate occasions.
Stop Aging in It’s Tracks
One is preservation. Leather is not like other materials that can be stored, forgotten about, then washed down to make them sparkle again. This is why shoes often look different after lying unused for a long period of time. You can prevent this by using Leather Cleaner since it maintains a perfect amount of moisture, added by mixing with water, to slow down corrosion and cracks in the fine ridges of the material.
Every Day Appliances
The second is for leather that sees daily use and can refer to a number of objects.
Take note that bright pieces will need more time for you to clear away, so be patient because the dirt might become harder to scrub if you rush too quickly.
5. Howard Leather Cleaner Kit – Best Leather Cleaner for Couches
Some people prefer their leather cleaners to be seperated from conditioners. The Howard Leather Cleaner Kit was made for such purposes and comes with a handy cleaning towel; everything you need to get your leather upholstery and clothing shining again is in one package.
And by one package, that means the shipping box. You can save on time spent by either using them together or applying as you go, observing leathers you know need moisture over washing. Handbags and small accessories often fall under such categories. You also won’t be repeating these steps over a week as both bottles are formulated to last weeks to several months, depending on the leather type and the number of times it’s used. If you have a vinyl armchair or car interior with the same type of material, it is highly recommended as well.
Separate From Your Conditioner
Additionally, if you have spilled dark drinks on your leather that resulted in a darkened area that’s hard to get out, don’t expect this cleaner kit to make it go away easily. You may even further the damage by doing so since these type of stains often penetrate the hide in the same ways that tattoos do on normal skin. Nevertheless, try out the Howard Leather Kit if you want to have a conditioner included with your cleaner but placed in a separate container. It wipes away most leather flawlessly and is safe to use around pets.
Best Leather Cleaners for Furniture – Buyer’s Guide
If you’re not careful, leather cleaning products can do more damage to the material you may think it’s formulated to help. Like lots of merchandise sold today, it’s simply not that black and white. Here’s lots of useful information to get you on the right track to receiving the cleaner that matches the leather you wish to restore.
Types of Leather
Essentially, leather is any type of animal hide that’s tanned, a process completed by taking away elements found in the skin that cause decay. The result is a tough, opaque texture that’s durable and completely dry. Since cowhide is the most popular, the focus will be on this particular class of leather. Here are the main types under this category and the appliances they’re mostly seen on:
- Full Grain – This type is considered high grade and most often found on leather boots, shoes, and briefcases. Many furniture pieces are also made using full grain
- Aniline – Aniline leather is very similar to full grain but with one big difference. Using full grain, its produced by adding dye to color all areas of the material. There are also distinct processes to further classify the dying technique, which results in either a full, semi, or pull-up aniline. Semi-aniline has more coating on the surface to protect against fast aging and fading.
- Nubuck – This leather material is often seen on combat boots and other outdoor gear that’s synonymous with living/traveling through rough terrain. The texture is rugged and extremely durable yet most leather cleaners are not recommended for the material.
- Suede – Suede is nearly the same consistency of nubuck but has a smoother, more velvet-like feel. Purses, shoes, and couches are commonly built using the soft product. Never use the products reviewed on this medium unless the brand is specifically made for cleaning suede.
Leather Cleaners vs Conditioners
Think of leather cleaners and conditioners in the same way as shampoos and hair conditioners. When you shampoo your hair, the primary objective is to rid the follicles of dander that originates from the scalp. The conditioner is then applied to make the hair shine and maintain a clean look over time. As such, leather cleaner “washes” its surface, lifting up dirt and grime caked to the finish. The conditioner then moisturizes the upper and lower portions of leather, revealing the shine originally created when the hide was processed.
For added clarity, you should also remember that conditioners and cleaners can be combined into one product. When they are, you won’t have to acquire anything more to restore your leather belongings. Always look to see if the brand of interest mixes the two together, as the conditioner should be applied not long after you’re finished using a cleaner (when they’re separated).
What to Clean With
For leather, the most common items used to wipe away the dirt are old socks, T-shirts, towels, and brushes. If you’re using something that consists of fabric with the cleaner, the job will be tougher and take longer since the grit is just smeared around until you no longer see it, leaving a small film of soot lingering on the surface. To avoid this, its highly suggested that you acquire a brush since the pointed fibers manage to lift out grime better. Here’s one brush that manages to do this without tiring out your arms:
Leather pieces like couches and car interiors are among the toughest materials to get clean. Sometimes, a simple towel or cloth won’t do the trick. The TriNova Brush has black bristles that are soft yet firm, exfoliating the leather and penetrating the microscopic ridges filled with sediment that has built up, pulling it towards the brush. When you dry the leather, less dirt will end up back in the areas described.
As a result, the annoyance of smearing won’t happen and your cleaning jobs will end much quicker. In tune with the cleaner you use, shoes will also look better with the TriNova brush. You’ll certainly be better off with using it instead of relying on something different that increases the number of times you will end up re-cleaning your leather.
It takes lots of effort to keep leather looking like new. There are tons of products that claim to accomplish this feat, with the brands reviewed above being some of the best for the job. If you own lots of clothing, have leather interior decoration or carry handbags made from it, there could be something worth going over with a cleaner or conditioner. The preservation of your leather belongings will not only extend their life but beautify the appearance to a contemporary quality in texture and feel.