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Are you looking for something to clean and nourish the leather seats in your car? In this review and buying guide, we take a look at the best leather cleaners to restore the premium feel of your vehicle’s interior. We will take a look at the best cleaners, analyse their differences and advise on the best products to spend your hard earned cash on.
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1. Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner
A huge hit with car detailers the world over, Dodo Juice produce some exceptional car care products and Supernatural Leather Cleaner is no exceptional. It’s a gentle, water based formula which contains no harmful chemicals meaning that it won’t inflict any damage to your expensive leather seats.
This particular leather cleaner is suitable for use on vinyl as well as leather too. This is an important consideration as a lot of car manufacturers now sell their cars with what they refer to as “man made” leather. Man made leather is essentially artificial leather made from vinyl. Whether your car is equipped with genuine leather upholstery or artificial is irrelevant, Dodo Juice Supernatural will work wonders with both.
It’s completely residue free which means it doesn’t leave a sticky and tacky residue behind once you’ve finished working with it. Some leather cleaners leave a residue which can then attract items which can cause damage to the leather.
The construction of Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather cleaner means that it makes light work of removing dirt, grime and grease. If your leather is a dark colour such as black, you may not be fully aware of just how greasy and dirty the leather is until you thoroughly clean it.
It’s extremely easy to work with, simply spray a generous amount of the cleaner either onto a microfibre cloth or directly onto the leather seat and begin working the cleaner thoroughly into the surface. Allow the seat to dry for a few minutes and buff with a fresh microfibre cloth.
The key features of Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner are;
- Supplied in a 500ml spray bottle
- Extreme cleaning power
- No harmful chemicals
- Suitable for use on vinyl and leather
- Easy to work with
- Residue free results
- Removes denim dye
2. Autoglym Leather Cleaner
Autoglym Leather Cleaner is a gentle pH cleaner which cleans all automotive leather and faux leather surfaces.
Autogylm, a giant name in the car care industry, are renowned for producing excellent performing products at a reasonable price point. Their reputation is second to none and the fact that they are one of very few companies issued with a royal warrant speaks volumes.
Autoglym Leather Cleaner will thoroughly clean surfaces and leave a lovely, factory looking matt finish as opposed to a cheap looking shiny finish. The shiny finish is created when leather cleaners contain silicones, Autoglym Leather Cleaner is completely free of silicones meaning that it produces a gorgeous, factory like finish and restores the leather to it’s former glory.
Importantly, Autoglym Leather Cleaner will not strip or remove any of the essential oils from within the leather. Those essential oils help keep leather surfaces supple and free from cracks.
It’s really easy to use too, simply spray a generous helping of the leather cleaner onto a microfibre cloth and begin cleaning the leather thoroughly. Our recommendation would be to protect the leather with a conditioner or protectant product once you’ve finished cleaning.
The key features of Autoglym Leather Cleaner are;
- Supplied in a 500ml spray bottle
- pH neutral formulation
- Safely cleans and revives leather and faux surfaces
- Will not remove essential oils from leather
- Easy to use with clear instructions on the bottle
3. Angelwax Heaven for Leather
Angelwax Heaven for Leather is a gentle, soft pH neutral leather cleaner and conditioner in one. As well as cleaning and restoring leather surfaces, it also nourishes and protects too thanks to it’s construction.
A major plus point and nice touch is it’s natural leather scent. Once you’ve cleaned the leather interior of your vehicle, you’ll be left with a pleasant natural leather aroma akin to when your vehicle was brand new.
Importantly, it’s pH neutral too. Whilst being tough on stains and defects, it’s also soft and forgiving towards the leather and won’t strip it of any important and essential oils.
In terms of applying of Angelwax Heaven for Leather, it’s extremely simple and straight forward. Spray a generous amount of the cleaner directly onto the leather and begin agitating with either a very soft brush or a microfiber cloth. If using a brush you’ll be able to lather the cleaner into a foam which will remove the grime easily.
The key features of Angelwax Heaven for Leather are;
- pH Neutral
- Supplied in a 500ml spray bottle
- Easy to use
- Cleans and conditions at the same time
- Natural leather scent
4. Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner
Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner is an extremely versatile and quick cleaner. Meguiar’s are a giant in the car care industry and have a reputation for producing exceptionally well performing products. Their catalogue of products is extremely impressive ranging from APC’s to waxes and polishes.
Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner is designed to work with natural leather and vinyl surfaces alike, meaning that it’s suitable for use on new vehicles with artificial man made leather.
It’s tough on stains and defects but soft on the leather itself meaning that it provides strong cleaning power whilst being gentle with the leather.
A big feather in the cap of Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner is it’s ability to remove dye transfer from denim and jeans. This is particularly important if you’ve got a light coloured leather interior such as ivory or cream.
As well as cleaning the leather surface thoroughly, Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner also rejuvenates the leather in preparation for protection via a conditioning product.
Application is simple and easy to follow, simply spray directly onto the leather and agitate with either a soft brush or microfibre cloth. You could also use a foam applicator pad, that would work just as well.
The key features of Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Vinyl Cleaner are;
- Supplied in a 473ml spray bottle
- Removes denim dye transfer
- pH neutral
- Removes tough stains and grime
- Easy to use with clear and concise instructions
5. Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard
Don’t be fooled our rating of 5th for Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard, it’s renowned as being one of the very best leather cleaners and protectants. We ranked it 5th in this review simply because of it’s price in comparison to our other top cleaners. Whilst it’s undoubtedly more expensive than it’s competitors, it without doubt provides a level of performance and protection that the other’s simply can’t touch.
Gtechniq are specialists in producing car care products and use deep rooted scientific techniques in the production of their products. Some of their products are simply astonishing in their performance, they are unrivalled in that regard.
Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard breathe’s new life into leather upholstery deep cleaning it and subsequently adding a layer of protection from UV damage, dye transfer, grease etc. Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard is superb at protecting high traffic areas such as driver’s seat bolsters, piped areas of leather etc.
L1 Leather Guard adds an abrasion resistant matte finish that offers the best protection against abrasion damage on a daily basis. This scores extremely highly with us, we love a nice matte finish to leather. It makes dirt and liquids easy to clean up, reduces static and increases UV repellency to treated surfaces. The anti-stain property is perfect for light coloured leathers which are typically stained dark coloured fabrics such as denim jeans.
L1 Leather Guard provides abrasion resistance from daily use via the use of anti-microbial technology and UV protection on long summer days. With added Biocote antimicrobial technology, any surface you use this on will kill 99.9% of bacteria, making it perfect for you and your family.
Application and use couldn’t be any simpler, spray onto a microfibre cloth or applicator pad and thoroughly work into the surface. When finished, allow a few minutes for the cleaner to dry and then buff off with a dry microfibre cloth.
The key features of Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard are;
- Available in either 100 or 500ml spray bottles
- An exceptional UK based car care company
- Offers extreme protection to leather surfaces
- Easy to apply and work with
- Cleans, rejuvenates and protects all in one
- Abrasion Resistant
What is Leather Cleaner?
Leather cleaners are a cleaning product designed specifically for use on leather surfaces.
Natural leather is extremely delicate and precious, therefore it requires a specific cleaning formulation which won’t cause any damage to the leather when cleaning. It’s really important to use a good quality leather cleaner to ensure that the leather is kept in it’s best possible condition and sufficiently nourished. A leather interior that hasn’t been regularly cleaned and cared for will not last anywhere near as long as it’s supposed to and will start to crack and wear very quickly.
As well as regular cleaning, it’s equally as important to use the correct cleaning product on your leather interior. For example, if you were to use a conventional all purpose cleaner, or washing up liquid with water, that would eventually strip all of the essential oils from the leather interior which help keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out and cracking. Once those oils are removed from the leather, it’ll begin to crack and fade because of lack of nourishment.
How Often Should Leather Be Cleaned?
The answer to this is very much dependant on a number of factors. First of all, and probably most importantly, is how often you use your car. If your car is heavily used for many miles each day, then naturally the leather seats and upholstery are going to require regular cleaning. Likewise, if you only use your car a few times per month or very lightly, the leather won’t require as much attention.
Our recommendation would be to clean your leather atleast every 2-3 weeks if you’re using your vehicle regularly. If you’re only using your vehicle on a more fleeting basis, we reccomend a minimum of every few months. Regular cleaning and conditioning are key to keeping leather interior looking and performing it’s best.
Another consideration is the colour of the leather. A lighter coloured leather (Such as Ivory in a Jaguar, or cream in a Range Rover), is going to need more regular attention and cleaning than a black leather interior. Lighter leather colours will ofcourse show up dirt much easier and also show any dye transfer from jeans. Dye transfer is something you’ll need to be really wary of with lighter coloured leather seats. If you do notice some dye transfer, don’t panic, it can be removed. Our top pick leather cleaner, Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner can remove most instances of dye transfer.
It’s really quick and easy too, you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing away at the seats, just a quick going over with the leather cleaner of your choice and a microfibre cloth should keep it looking A1.
Considerations When Buying A Leather Cleaner
Deciding upon which leather cleaner to purchase can be a bit of a minefield as there are so many products out there. Our reccomendation and advice would be to follow these important considerations when making your decision;
Price – Cost is ofcourse a key consideration with any purchase. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. You’ll find a huge variance in pricing when looking at leather cleaners, some may be less than £5, whereas some may be in excess of £25. It may be worth considering the current state of your leather interior. If it’s cracked, ripped and very old, it wouldn’t make much sense to spend a fortune on a really premium product. If however you have a relatively new car and would like to keep the leather looking and performing it’s best for a long time, you’d be well advised to go for a more premium product which will produce better results.
pH Neutral – An important consideration when looking at leather cleaners. Generally speaking, the majority of the cheaper leather cleaners available on the market won’t be pH neutral and therfore won’t clean and protect in the same way that a pH neutral cleaner will. A pH neutral leather cleaner will clean faster and in a much safer way too.
Non Sticky Residue – This is just our opinion ofcourse, but there’s nothing worse than a leather cleaner that leaves behind a sticky, clingy residue. Our advice would be to choose a cleaner which specifically states that it does not leave a sticky residue finish, it’ll be much easier to work with and produce better results.
Ease of Use – Another key consideration is just how easy the leather cleaner is to use. Leather cleaners vary in their formula, some will be a water spray based solution and some will be a cream, polish like formula. The latter will require a bit more work and agitation, as well as being buffed off with a fresh microfibre towel when finished. Spray type cleaners are certainly easier and quicker to work with.
Leather Cleaner FAQ’s
Q. What’s the difference between leather cleaner and leather conditioner?
A. A leather conditioner should always be used after a leather cleaner, not the other way round. A leather conditioner will contain additives and a formula that will protect the leather from UV damage, dye transfer etc.
Q. Are all leather cleaners in a spray bottle?
A. Most leather cleaners will be water based and in a spray bottle, however not all. Some may come in the form of a liquid, cream type substance. Generally, they are a bit more difficult to work with and require a little bit more elbow grease.
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