7 Best Car Leather Cleaners of 2023, Tested by Experts
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Thanks to these top picks, your car's interior will be looking as good as new in no time.
A luxurious leather interior is the cherry on top of a stylish car, but keeping up with the cleaning and detailing may seem daunting. Nothing ruins your look like cracked leather, discoloration or stains that seem to never go away.
Luckily, cleaning up your ride is actually easier than it seems, and the right leather cleaner can change your car from looking particularly well-loved to as good as new! Whether you're looking for something that's easy to use while on-the-go, or a multi-step process to help condition and protect your car's leather, our Good Housekeeping Institute cleaning experts did the research to find the best car leather cleaners and conditioners.
We regularly vet and review a variety of cleaning and auto products to keep your car in tip-top shape, from the best car cleaning products to the best upholstery cleaner. To find the best car leather cleaners, we spent hours researching the top brands and testing popular products in our Cleaning Lab. We considered factors like how well it removes stains, whether or not they leave the leather with a gentle shine or just greasy, how easy it is to apply the cleaner to your car and what type of other materials you'll need to have on hand for the best application. We also took into account price, ingredients, UV protection and more.
Check out our top picks, then head to the end of this guide to learn more about what to consider when shopping for a leather cleaner and why you can trust our reviews.
If you want the leather seats in your car to look almost as good as they did when you drove it off the lot, Weiman's Leather Conditioner might just be your new favorite cleaning product. This Good Housekeeping Seal star is a combination cleaner and conditioner, so you don't have to worry about getting two separate products (and figuring out where to store all those extra bottles).
We appreciate that this two-in-one has a UV protectant to help guard against damaging sun rays that can dry out and fade leather, causing to it turn brittle. It also comes with a microfiber towel for easy application, but keep in mind that some online reviewers found that this conditioner has a strong smell.
This 24-ounce spray bottle by Meguiar's certainly won't be running out anytime soon. Great for cleaning, conditioning and protecting your car's leather, this spray contains UV blockers to help protect your vehicle even when it's out of the garage.
As a cleaner, it helps removes dirt, grime or anything else that seems to get caked into your car seats, while also conditioning the leather and protecting it from outside elements. Online reviewers note that this cleaner does a great job of removing years worth of stains without leaving an oily feeling or overly-shiny sheen.
But, if you're looking for something to completely revive your destroyed leather, they didn't find it to be as good at restoring completely as some other products.
The Chemical Guys dream team of leather conditioner and cleaner will have your car looking brand new, and feeling it too. With over 32,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this duo helps clean and condition your car to preserve the leather for as long as possible.
On its own, the cleaner does a good job of lifting dirt and debris, according to online reviewers, and the conditioner helps keep leather supple and soft. We also appreciate that the conditioner helps protect against UV rays so you can avoid any sun damage while driving around town, but online reviewers found that this product may not be as strong as some other options.
An Amazon favorite cleaner by Leather Honey, it has over 15,600 five-star reviews and works on leather, vinyl, plastic, rubber and faux leather. According to the brand, this single product can remove tough stains, oil and dirt on all areas of your car from the dashboard to the seats.
Online reviewers found it did a good job of removing dye stains from blue jeans and leaving the leather glowing. If your car needs a little more TLC, grab the brand's leather conditioner (which has a rating of 4.5 stars with over 51,000 reviews) to follow up your deep clean with a supple moisturizer. Unfortunately, the conditioner is sold separately, and both bottles are on the smaller size at eight ounces.
Did you put off cleaning your car leather for a bit too long? If your ride is in need of a serious deep clean and total restoration, this kit from Furniture Clinic will do the trick.
Unlike some other products that may not get the full job done, this three-piece Good Housekeeping Seal star set does it all, and doesn't sacrifice on quality to fit everything into a single bottle (but you do have to commit to the multi-step process to get the results).
Our experts found that this cleaner was able to get deep into the leather and remove grime that had been embedded in the grain as well as get rid of those pesky blue dye stains from jeans. While testing, we also found that the protector helped make future stains easier to remove and kept the leather supple and shiny.
Plus, our experts noted that the Re-Coloring Balm worked very well when restoring the color to leather that was worn and faded and helping blend it into the rest of the seat.
This budget-friendly option did a great job of cleaning off our car's seats, console, door panels and steering wheel during our tests. While it won't get that expert-level clean that some multi-step kits will, we liked that its fine mist spray was easy and neat, and wiped away quickly with a microfiber cloth.
We also found that Turtle Wax left the leather clean, shiny and supple and even removed some stains from our door panel. "We appreciate that it goes on as a fine mist, so it's not messy and you don't apply too much," explains Home Care & Cleaning Lab Executive Director Carolyn Forté.
Stash this container of wipes in your car for an on-the-go solution to your car cleaning needs. Unlike the other products on this list, these simple wipes are especially convenient since you don't need an applicator or towel to use.
Our experts like how easy it is to store this container in your car so you can take care of any of those cleaning emergencies immediately, like when someone accidentally spills on your nice leather seats.
Online reviewers appreciate how quick and easy these wipes make it to clean your car, and note that they do a pretty good job for wipes rather than spray. One thing to keep in mind is that these wipes are more for light cleaning than deep conditioning or heavy cleaning and aren't quite as conditioning as some other products.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's cleaning and auto pros review and test all your favorite products, from the best products to clean your car to the best car accessories, and of course car leather cleaners.
We've tested dozens of upholstery cleaners and furniture polishes over the years, many of which are formulated for use on leather. When we test, our experts try out the cleaners on dirty leather purses, car seats, shoes, test swatches with stains and more. "We look for not only how well it cleans but how safely it cleans without any damage or color loss," explains Carolyn. We also take into consideration the product labeling to see the directions and safety information, as well as the packaging for ease of use and dispensing.
When it comes to leather protectors, we apply the product after cleaning and then see how well each repels stains or make stains easier to remove. We also take note of whether or not they leave the leather supple or greasy feeling. Our pros closely examine the ingredients list as well to ensure all products are safe for your car leather. This list is comprised of our favorite lab-tested products, brands we trust and top-reviewed cleaners worth checking out.
✔️ Ingredients: Mild, water-based cleaners are best, explains Carolyn. As for conditioners and protectants, oils, like mink oil, or waxes, like beeswax, are great ingredients to look for. You'll want to stay away from using any harsh solvents on leather.
✔️ Use: Are you looking for just a leather cleaner or also looking for a conditioner and protectant? Some cleaners come with conditioners and protectants in the same package, while others you'll need to buy separately.
✔️ Application: You can find your favorite cleaners in a variety of styles, like spray bottles, wipes or regular bottles. Spray bottles will be easy to apply directly to the leather in a fine mist, while wipes are great for on-the-go and regular bottles of product will be best applied to a towel first to avoid using too much or too little product.
✔️ Versatility: Are you looking for a leather cleaner that can safely be used on a variety of different mediums? While we've specifically vetted these leather cleaners for use in your car, if you have other leather in your home you may not want to buy a separate cleaner and conditioner for those.
If you're truly looking to revive your seats, it's best to get both a leather cleaner and conditioner. There are quite a few 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 options that have both a cleaner and conditioner, but some are sold separately.
While a cleaner will help lift dirt and debris out of the leather so you can easily wipe it down and remove all stains and impurities, a conditioner is what will will help quench your leather's thirst and replace the dried out oils that dry up during everyday use (and sun exposure), and keep it supple, smooth and glowing.
Many conditioners also tend to have some protectant qualities, and help make it easier to lift away stains and dirt in the future when cleaning again. Using a cleaner and conditioner regularly can also help protect your leather from harmful UV rays which can crack and discolor your car.
Every year, our auto experts test-drive dozens of new vehicles. In fact, our lead tester, Chief Technologist and Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman has test-driven over 200 cars in the last five years.
During this time, we also evaluate a variety of car accessories, like cleaning products for your ride. Our cleaning experts, led by Home Care & Cleaning Lab Executive Director Carolyn Forté, test everything you could ever need to clean inside and outside your house, including best leather cleaners for your car.
To write this guide, GH Institute analyst Jamie Spain worked with Rachel and Carolyn to research and vet the best car leather cleaners on the market. Jamie tests and reviews a variety of auto products for GH, from car organizers to booster seats.
Jamie (she/her) is a parenting and pets reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she spends her time testing, researching and writing about pet and family products. Prior to starting at GH in 2021, she worked at BuzzFeed and People, covering a combination of product reviews and lifestyle content. She's a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, with a bachelor's degree in journalism and psychology and a master's degree in journalism.
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8 Best Car Covers of 2023best car leather cleaners This Good Housekeeping Seal star is a combination cleaner and conditioner this cleaner does a great job of removing years worth of stains the cleaner does a good job of lifting dirt and debris, according to online reviewers over 15,600 five-star reviews the protector helped make future stains easier to remove and kept the leather supple and shiny it goes on as a fine mist, so it's not messy and you don't apply too much quick and easy these wipes make it to clean your car ✔️ Ingredients: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Use ✔️ ✔️ Application ✔️ ✔️ Versatility Rachel Rothman Carolyn Forté Jamie Spain