Is your beautiful leather sofa feeling a little dry and tough? Do you keep catching your leather couch flaking? Do you remember feeling a little cozier in that leather armchair?
The likelihood is that your leather needs a little tender loving care. Just like our bodies and our hair, the naturalness of the leather needs a little love. In the same way we condition our hair and moisturize our skin, leather conditioners oil the hide to soften it and give it back its stretch. This helps to prevent wrinkles, creases, flakes, and dryness.
Want a comfy hug from your smooth, soft, shiny, sofa? Check out this guide to condition your leather furniture.
Best Leather Conditioner For Furniture Comparison Table
TriNova Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner
Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner
Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Is Conditioner Needed for Leather Furniture?
Conditioning your leather couch using a commercial conditioner is extremely important as it helps to keep the furniture soft and supple. By conditioning the fabric, you allow it to ‘give’, reducing its brittle state. When dry, leather begins to crack and come apart as it hardens and becomes splintery. By conditioning the fabric, you moisturize the leather, which keeps it flexible.
As leather is a natural material that comes from animals, it is used to having a supply of water and blood to keep it elasticated and flexible. Conditioning your leather furniture retains this moisture, reducing cracks from wear and tear over time.
By keeping the leather supple, you’ll benefit from a longer lifespan for your leather furniture. The material can breathe and flex without trouble, moving with weight as people sit on the cushions.
You’ll also find you benefit from more comfy sofas, as the leather is softer to sit on. When conditioned, the leather becomes less stiff, making it more easily moveable. This gives your sofa a more cozy feel.
As with human skin, leather needs moisture to shine. Human skin stays soft and free from wrinkles when we apply a moisturizer that buffs the skin. Conditioner works the same way, leaving your leather furniture with a cleaner-looking sheen and a smooth shiny finish.
Leather Conditioner vs Cleaner
Comparing leather conditioner to leather cleaner, you’ll soon realize that they both do different jobs. Applied first, the leather cleaner has the job of taking off the dirt, debris, and grease from the leather. If you’re a person who polishes your leather after conditioning, you’ll find that the cleaner takes off the layer of polish that may still be remaining.
This gets down to the nitty-gritty of the leather, cleaning inside the cracks and wrinkles, making sure the leather is free from dirt and grime.
A leather conditioner comes after the cleaning stage and is as important to increase the lifespan of the leather furniture. The conditioner sinks into the leather making it more supple by moisturizing it. Like human skin, the moisturizer makes its way into the dry crevices and re-elasticated the leather by adding moisture to the dryness.
You can clean leather without a conditioner but you’ll end up exposing the fabric to the sun which will dry it out and reduce its lifespan.
With human skin, we have a layer of oils which help to protect the skin from drying out. Leather needs this too, and where cleaner strips the leather back to the material, the conditioner adds a protective layer that creates flexibility in the fabric.
What to Look for When Selecting Conditioner
While conditioning your leather upholstery is important to keep it looking neat, choosing the right conditioner is integral to prevent you from damaging the leather.
Choose Natural Oils
Sometimes you find leather conditioners which seem to give a real improvement almost instantly. However, after a few days, your sofa seems dry again.
Like shampoos, you’ll often find that leather conditioners contain silicon products to make the leather appear soft while actually just putting a coating over the top. When this wears off, the sofa seems dry again.
Try to choose products that contain natural oils as a leather conditioner should replace the oils that occur naturally in the leather.
Careful with Sodium Chemicals
Alternatively, there are salt based products (sodium) to help cake the conditioner, and while this helps give the conditioner a good consistency, you’ll find it dries the leather out as a side effect. Try to stay clear of products that have sodium-based chemicals as this will leave your leather upholstery brittle in the end.
Know Your Leather
You need to ensure that you don’t just buy any old leather conditioner. There are different grades of leather, that usually refer to how rough or smooth the leather is. Each has a different softness and needs to be treated with the correct corresponding conditioner.
By using the wrong conditioner, you can swamp the fabric in oil, leaving stains. If the conditioner is too light, it won’t do anything and the leather will remain hard.
Some leather conditioners are suitable for all types of leather but you can find this on the bottle or packaging.
Reviews of the Best Products
Choosing to preserve your leather is a great way to make sure your furniture has a healthy lifespan. However, picking the correct product for your leather upholstery and furniture is imperative, to ensure you give your furniture the care it deserves
This product is designed to repair leather in one application. This conditioner both cleans and conditions while helping to restore color. Made in the U.S.A., it is designed to protect from UV rays.
This leather cleaner saves time and money by cleaning and conditioning the product with one application. While a little watery with a strong fragrance, it protects against the sun’s UV rays and helps to restore color.
Founded 50 years ago, this product has been used by millions of customers. It only needs to be applied twice a year and contains honey – an incredible conditioner for leather. It repels water, rain, and snow while containing no silicone, solvents, or odors.
This leather cleaner has a tried and tested recipe that has been used by many customers over a long period of time. It doesn’t clean the leather, however, so you will need to buy something else to prepare the leather before applying this. It is important to be very sparing with this and to follow the instructions clearly, to avoid marking the leather with oil stains.
A U.S.A.-made leather conditioner, this brand has been on the market for over 130 years. An all-in-one solution, this leather revitalizer cleans, polishes, and conditions the leather. It protects from water damage while restoring the leather’s condition.
This company has a great reputation and provides a solid, heavy-duty old-fashioned leather product. Delivering everything at once, one application will give a quick shine. This needs to be applied quite often and be prepared to hold your nose!
This is a duo set that provides both a cleaner and a conditioner for your leather care routine. The cleaner wipes away any contaminating substances and cleans using a neutral pH. The conditioner and cleaner are designed to get into the pores of the leather and lift dirt out while moisturizing deeply.
This is a real heavy-duty product that needs to be reserved for very dirty or stiffer types of leather. This should not be used on very soft leathers. Good value for money, this set is a two-step application process, so takes a little more time.
This is a two-pack of leather cleaners and conditioners. This two-in-one product removes dirt and protects from harmful UV rays of the sun. The cleaner prevents fading, while the conditioner helps to reduce the effects of aging.
Use only on heavy-duty leather, as this product can stain softer leathers. With a non-greasy formula, this can be used on furniture and cars and doesn’t leave white stains.
How to Properly Use Leather Furniture Conditioner
Before using leather conditioner, you will find you get the best results from using furniture cleaner first. You will need the correct leather furniture cleaner for your type of upholstery.
Once the leather is clean and dry, you can apply the leather conditioner. The leather conditioner will stop the leather from cracking and flaking and will reduce wrinkles.
You need to apply a generous helping of conditioner, about the size of a large marble on a soft cloth. Rub the conditioner onto the leather softly, in a circular motion. Ensure you rub deeply and slowly so the conditioner soaks into the leather. Be thorough, digging into the cracks.
To really give it a shine, you can finish your leather with a polish once the conditioner is truly dry. Again, rub this in with a circular motion with a soft cloth. Remember to use a separate clean, soft cloth to rub the polish off, giving a glossy sheen to the leather.
For best results repeat the process monthly.
Understanding the best product for your leather upholstery will really give it the shine and comfort you desire. Remember to choose the product that suits your type of leather. The packaging should indicate this. By choosing to condition your furniture, you not only preserve your leather in a cleaner, softer fashion, you also benefit from longer furniture life and ease of maintenance over time.