Leather seats were once the gold standard for elite luxury vehicles. Until recently, only high-end rides came with real leather upholstery that was buttery soft, attractive, and comfortable. Now, you can find leather upholstery on a wide range of vehicles, including some budget-friendly options, but they're still seen as a luxurious touch over cloth or synthetic leather upholstery. But unlike those "lesser options" (no judgment), leather seats do require regular maintenance if you want them to remain supple and looking good for years.
Without proper maintenance, leather seats can crack, wrinkle, and harden over time. Park your car in the sun and your leather seats can fade because of the exposure to sunlight. In addition to making your car look old, these imperfections can also make leather seats uncomfortable. Don’t let these issues scare you away from getting leather seats in your car. Using a high-quality cleaner and conditioner to care for your leather upholstery is an easy way to ensure your seats feel and look new for years, even decades.
While it may be tempting to use ordinary household products on your car’s leather seats, don’t. Most of the products on this list have been specially formulated for your car. Some of these products are pricey, but think of them as an investment. A good leather cleaner and conditioner, like the ones below, are much cheaper than buying a new set of seats. These are the best car leather cleaners available today.
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner Duo
This two-pack includes a gentle leather cleaner with a conditioner designed to remove spots and minor stains without drying out the surface. It works on any leather surface from car seats to shoes. The pH-balanced cleaner lifts dirt and grime from the pores of the leather to refresh its look and feel.
The conditioner contains a slight, pleasant leather-like fragrance, too, and vitamin E nourishes and helps reduce UV damage. The cleanser itself is odorless and colorless. You need very little to get the job done, making it efficient and long-lasting.
Leather Honey Conditioner
The Leather Honey line helps you get more out of all your leather surfaces. It contains odorless conditioners designed to bring back the supple, soft feeling of fine leather and protect it from drying, damage, and UV exposure. It's non-toxic and non-sticky, going on smoothly for a soft finish that feels great. You can use it on a variety of leather surfaces (not just your car's interior), and a little goes a long way.
Tyger Tonneau Cover Cleaner & Protectant 2-in-1
It's hard to beat a spray car leather cleaner for ease of use. Tyger has mastered the balance between convenience (the spray top) with a thick formula required to clean and protect leather surfaces. The system is easier to apply because it gets into the nooks and crannies better than a standard conditioner. It's also safe for both leather and vinyl, giving you more flexibility.
Lexol Leather Conditioner and Cleaner
For small leather products or especially soft leathers, this kit offers a simple solution for cleaning and protecting. It includes a two-step process for cleaning and deep conditioning along with two specialty applicator sponges that are gentle enough for even the softest leather.
The cleaner penetrates the pores of the leather to lift dirt and stains. The conditioner contains fine oil droplets that spread evenly and deeply over the leather to protect against cracking and fading. With regular use, leather will age beautifully.
Armor All Car Interior Cleaner Leather Wipes with Beeswax
For fast cleaning of leather surfaces (especially in your vehicle), these gentle car leather cleaner wipes from Armor All are a convenient alternative to traditional soaps, creams, and conditioners. The wipes contain natural beeswax to condition the surface, while gentle cleansers remove dirt and grime.
It's non-greasy, goes on easy, and requires zero rinsing. You can keep them in your car for quick touchups to protect all your car's leather surfaces from cracking or fraying under UV exposure, helping prolong the life of your investment.
Carfidant Leather and Vinyl Cleaning Spray
All the cleaners on this list are gentle, but this option takes it one step further. It contains no fragrances or harsh chemicals, just a light cleaner and conditioner in one. With high-quality oils, it protects leather surfaces from UV damage, drying, and cracking.
It works on all types of leather (including your best reading chair, if it happens to be leather) as well as vinyl and contains no dyes that could alter the natural coloring. With a microfiber cloth, it's even possible to clean aged and delicate leather surfaces.
Chamberlain's Leather Milk Cleanser and Conditioner
Chamberlain's formulas use gentle, nontoxic ingredients that condition and restore even rough, damaged leather surfaces. There's no fragrance or harsh chemicals, only gentle cleaners and high-quality oils that condition surfaces and reduce cracking.
The premium applicator pad is suitable for vintage leathers. It spreads easily and doesn't leave a greasy feeling, despite the rich conditioners. No dyes, no toxins, and no chemical smell — it's perfect for your car's ultra-premium leathers.
Chemical Guys Cleaner and Conditioner Set
Need to clean your sofa, shoes, car seats, and vintage leather goods? This complete kit contains everything to handle all leather surfaces and condition each one to prolong their beauty. It comes with a cleaner, conditioner, and detailer spray, plus two microfiber towels, two premium applicators, and a horsehair brush.
It's suitable for a variety of surfaces (namely leather car seats). You'll maintain all leather surfaces with ease and help reduce damage from UV rays and prevent cracking from lack of moisture. It uses a gentle, water-based formula with a blend of aloe and Vitamin E.
Chamberlain's Leather Milk Healing Balm
If your leather is degrading from lack of moisture, this gentle healing balm restores color and heals minor cracks and scrapes. It helps bring out the natural, rich color of your leather (in your car or elsewhere) and offers it a second life.
The tin is convenient to store and contains ingredients designed especially for aesthetic work. Cosmetic grade ingredients are suitable even for delicate leathers, and it offers intense moisture and damage repair.
Meguiar's Ultimate Leather Detailer
Meguiar's knows a thing or two about keeping your car clean inside and out. Meguiar's aptly named Ultimate Leather Details comes in a convenient spray bottle to minimize mess and overapplication. The 3-in-1 formula contains a blend of cleaner, conditioner, and protectant that's safe to use on any leather, old or new, but powerful enough to remove years of abuse. Like most of the brand's products, a little goes a long way, and 24 ounces will last for at least a year, even with regular application.
Car leather is especially subject to damage — especially fading and cracking — from years of exposure to UV, body oils, and grime. Without deep but gentle conditioners, it can dry out and crack, causing irreversible damage. That's why you should always use the best car leather cleaner you can buy with a formula that includes nontoxic ingredients and high-quality oils to remove dirt and replace moisture.
High-quality conditioners contain rich oils that replace moisture without leaving a greasy feeling. You need something that won't layer on toxic fragrances and will protect it from UV exposure for the long term. Look for gentle ingredients with rich oils designed to penetrate leather surfaces.
Caring for leather, especially car leather, isn't easy. It requires regular long-term maintenance with high-quality materials. But putting in some elbow grease and purchasing good products can help extend the life of your leather and allow it to age beautifully. As long as leather surfaces have good moisture, they will remain soft and supple. Cleaners shouldn't have any harsh chemicals, just gentle ingredients that can penetrate leather pores to remove dirt.
Our choices care for even your most expensive vehicle leathers and restore their look and feel. Bring out the full glory in your car, your best home furnishings, and your accessories — no more worrying about how to care for this luxe material.
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