An old leather club chair or Chesterfield sofa is an easy way to instantly inject personality into any room. Leather is tough and natural, making it a popular upholstery finish, chosen for its rugged characteristics. Not only that, it also looks great, and good quality leather furniture only gets more charming with age. But whether you have a new cream leather sofa or an old, run-down chesterfield, leather requires cleaning and care to prolong its life and ensure it continues to look its best.
Leather clothing and accessories are no different, from sturdy biker leathers to delicate designer leather handbags, they will all need cleaning at some point. And cleaning leather isn’t the same as cleaning other clothing, accessories or upholstery – your usual water and detergents won’t do. Specially formulated leather cleaners are designed to remove dirt and stains, but without damaging the leather. Most also have conditioning properties to help prevent leather from drying out and cracking.
So if you have leather goods that need a little TLC, read our pick of the best leather cleaners so you can stock up and get to work.
How to choose the best leather cleaner for you
Are all leather cleaners the same?
Although all leather cleaners are formulated to clean leather, that doesn’t make them universally suitable for all leather goods in your home and wardrobe – there are subtle differences between cleaners that make them best. suitable for different items. Some are designed for furniture, and these tend to be more generic leather cleaners.
Others have clever formulations to clean without reducing your leather’s breathability while increasing its water-repellent properties, making them more suitable for outdoor gear like shoes and jackets. For expensive leather accessories, you’ll need a gentle product rather than a deep cleanser. Or for dry, tired leather, look for a cleaner that also conditions and nourishes leather, bringing it back to its best.
Are there any items I can’t clean with leather cleaner?
Technically, suede is leather, but suede’s soft, fuzzy nap is susceptible to damage by most leather cleaners, so you’ll want to look for a suede brush and dedicated suede cleaners instead.
And faux leather?
Many people have success with cleaning leatherette with leather cleaners, as good leatherette will have a similar texture, although it usually won’t be as porous. If you buy a leather cleaner online, check if it can be used on faux leather and if not, you can usually find out if others are using it successfully on faux leather by Quickly browsing user reviews. .
How to use a leather cleaner?
Most leather cleaners are designed to be used neat, with a lightly dampened, clean, lint-free cloth, but always check the label. You’ll need to use a little elbow grease and rub the cleaner into the leather, but don’t be too rough – it’s best to repeat the process using a gentle approach, rather than scrubbing the leather in a harsh manner. abrasive and risk damaging it.
What precautions should I take?
If you use it on expensive, beloved or sentimental leather goods, or if you are unsure of the suitability of the product for the color or type of leather, always test on an invisible area to verify the color fastness and that you are satisfied with the level of sheen or finish the cleaner will leave. Always follow the instructions for use indicated on the packaging.
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The best leather cleaners to buy in 2022
1. HG Deep Cleaner for Leather: Best cleaner for deep cleaning
Price: £7.75 | Buy now on Amazon
HG is a trusted cleaning brand that is regularly recommended for its range of specialist cleaning products formulated to tackle all kinds of mud and dirt around the home. And, while there may be an image of a couch on the bottle, this product isn’t just for furniture – it can also be used to clean luggage and bags.
Designed to deep clean, but with a gentle water-based formula, this product should always take care of leather. Really dirty or stained leather may take more than one application to get all the mud, and the small 250ml bottle will quickly get used to larger sofas, which could mean this product is starting to get more expensive than it seems so at first. a look.
Key Details – Bottle Size: 250ml; Bottle type: pour nozzle
Buy now on Amazon
2. Furniture Clinic Leather Care Kit: Best Cleaning and Care Kit for Sofas
Price: £30 | Buy now on Amazon
This kit contains everything you need to keep your leather sofas and seats in pristine condition. It’s a two-part kit: use the leather cleaner in combination with the included cleaning sponge then, once you’re satisfied that all the dirt and grime is gone, apply the leather protection cream with the applicator sponge, finally polish with a clean cloth. .
Leather Protection Cream will nourish and condition the leather, keeping it soft and supple, and will add a protective layer to help repel stains, keeping it looking great. Depending on how you use your leather furniture, this can help extend the time between cleanings. This kit isn’t cheap, but it offers a great solution to keeping your leather looking its best.
Key Details – Bottle Size: 2 x 500ml; Bottle type: pour nozzle
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3. Nikwax Leather Cleaner: Best cleaner for waterproof leather clothing and shoes
Price: £5.75 | Buy now on Amazon
Nikwax is the go-to brand for cleaning products specifically designed for technical and outdoor gear, so it’s no surprise they have a popular leather cleaner in the range. This spray cleaner is designed for outdoor leather gear and is the perfect choice for everything from motorcycle leathers to walking boots.
It cleans and restores water repellency without reducing breathability, and at under six pounds it’s very reasonably priced. Additionally, the bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and is fully recyclable after use.
For really tired leather, or for an extra boost to repel water, it works well with Nikwax Leather Restorer, which will add or rejuvenate water repellency while conditioning the leather.
Key Details – Bottle Size: 300ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle
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4. Stardrops Leather Clean and Feed: Best Budget Cleaner
Price: £3.50 | Buy now on Amazon
If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful leather cleaner, look no further. Not only is this Stardrops leather cleaner inexpensive, but it comes in a huge 750ml bottle, which makes it very cost effective. Primarily designed for leather furniture, such as leather sofas or dining chairs, it’s a great everyday cleaner to keep in your cleaning cabinet.
Depending on the color and condition of your leather, it won’t necessarily remove deeper, set-in dirt and stains, but it’s great for quick cleaning and will also condition the leather, leaving it softer and more supple. For the price, it’s a popular product for everyday furniture cleaning.
Key Details – Bottle Size: 750ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle
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5. Collonil Delicate Cream: Best Gentle Handbag Cleanser
Price: £8.45 | Buy now on Amazon
For expensive leather handbags that require a softer approach, Collonil Delicate Cream offers a soft, gentle formulation. Used with a soft cloth, this cleaner is highly recommended for designer leather bags, with some fans claiming it’s effective at removing the dreaded denim stains from light-colored leather.
At just under £9 it doesn’t seem too expensive, but it only buys you a small jar the size of face cream, so bear that in mind if you have a lot of bags to carry. revive. It should also work on similar items like purses, wallets, and belts. But remember: this is a gentle cleaner, so don’t expect miracles on heavily marked or stained items.
Key Details – Bottle Size: 50ml; Bottle type: Jar
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