Leather is everywhere: it’s on your shoes, in your car, on your couch, and even on your wallet or purse. If you wish to keep these items around for a long time and in good condition, it’s important to take proper care of them. You can get decades and decades of life out of leather if you treat it correctly. A leather conditioner is a small investment that will help you sustain the health and longevity of any leather product you own.
Any type of leather is skin and it is skin that is no longer replenishing itself. If you think about it the skin and oils on your body are naturally secreted whereas leather does not have that capability. Once leather is exposed to different weather conditions and substances like water, they begin to lose moisture. Once moisture is lost, leather starts to crack – unless you start to condition it.
So if you own leather goods and want them to last long then you certainly should consider investing in a leather conditioner. However, with so many options out there sometimes choosing the best leather conditioner can be challenging. But with our interactive and well researched guide you no longer have to worry because it outlines the some of the top leather conditioners in the leather care market. Leather conditioners that are safe, quick and guaranteed to deliver great results. So rather than paying high prices to professionals in restoration shops you can simply get the same results yourself at home for less money.
- What is a leather conditioner?
- What type of leather is your product made out of?
- Top 3 leather conditioners
- How should you use it?
- How to test a leather conditioner?
What is a Leather Conditioner?
Before moving on to finding the right kind of leather conditioner for your needs, you need to understand what exactly a leather conditioner is and how you should use it to get the best results. A leather conditioner is a leather care product that is used to condition and nourish leather of all ages.
Leather conditioners are specifically designed to preserve strength, beauty and flexibility of new leather. As well as formulated to restore back life into dry, worn out leather by replacing back natural oils used in the tanning process. Replacement of these oils helps to preserve the leather’s natural beauty as well as continues to protect leather from drying and cracking out in the future.
Make sure to always use a leather conditioner after cleaning to prevent the oil in the conditioner from trapping dirt into your leather. This dirt could weaken and breakdown the leather fibers overtime and in essence wear down your leather faster!
What Type of Leather is Your Product Made Out Of?
The first step into picking the right leather conditioner is to find out what type of leather your product is made out of :
In general, leather can be grouped into three major categories
- Type A = Aniline Leather ( Unfinished Leather)
- Type SA = Semi Aniline Leather ( Unfinished Leather)
- Type P = Pigmented Leather ( Finished Leather)
1. Scratch test: Lightly scratch the leather with your fingernails
- Type A leather will scratch very easily and the color of the leather would lighten when scratched and the scratch will leave a light mark
- Type SA leather will scratch however the color of the leather would not lighten and the scratch may or may not leave a mark
- Type P leather will not scratch easily and will not leave a mark.
2. Water test: Apply small drop of water in a hidden area of the leather
- Type A leather will absorb the water right away and it would show by a slightly darker patch on the leather
- Type SA leather will take a little longer to absorb the water
- Type P leather will not absorb the water and instead the water will sit on the leather surface
3. Visual test: Look through a magnifying glass
- Type A: If you look at aniline leather through magnifying glass you will almost certainly be able to clarify that the leather is aniline because you will be able to see small holes on the leather surface these small holes are where the hair follicles were removed from the hide. These holes indicate that no pigment coating has been applied because if there was these holes would be filled in. You would also probably notice scars, bites and other natural markings on this type of leather as well.
- Type SA: If you look at semi- aniline leather through a magnifying glass it will look quite similar to aniline leather. You would be able to see the hair follicle holes however you won’t be able to see them as clearly as you can on aniline leather. This is because there’s thin pigment coating applied on top of them.
- Type P: If you look at pigmented leather though a magnifying glass you won’t be able to see any hair follicle holes because they have been covered with many layers of top coat. All you will see is the color of your leather.
4. Touch test: Feel your leather
- Type A leather is soft and warm
- Type SA leather is soft and smooth to touch and has a slippery feel to it
- Type P leather feels cold and stiff
5. Following are Examples of: Finished Leather
Any leather described as top grain, corrected top grain, full grain, split, or bicast is considered finished leather.
6. Following are Examples of: Unfinished Leather
Any leather described as aniline, semi aniline, raw leather, pull up, suede or nubuck is considered unfinished leather.
Top 3 Leather Conditioners
A good leather conditioner leaves leather nourished and supple. With so many conditioners on the market, it can be difficult to pick the right one. Which is why we have outlined some of the top leather conditioners down below.
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is great for car interiors and your leather couch, and if you’re like me then you want to enjoy sitting on your leather couch while watching TV and not worry about spilling your dinner on it.
I am on my couch every time I eat, no matter what, so when I recently got a new couch I looked into some ways I could protect it. Of all the conditioners I looked at I found one that stood out the most to me –Leather Honey Leather Conditioner.
I liked it so much I decided to share my findings with you.
Oil and dirt from your skin or clothes getting trapped in the pores of leather causes the leather to crack and wear down over time. These particles grind against the leather and tear it apart.
To fight against this, a conditioner needs to really soak into the pores of the leather, and Leather Honey Leather Conditioner with a thick viscous formula is certainly up for the job.
This thick liquid flows slowly, filling in and remaining deep in the pores of the leather instead of running around on the surface.
It is this retention of the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner in the leather that seals off the pores of from dirt entry, keeping your leather clean, new and resistant from cracking. In fact, it’s difficult to prevent cracking of leather otherwise.
Restores Beauty and Feel
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner can leave behind an oily residue after application. I was skeptical this may not feel so good to touch when applied to my couch.
However, instead you’ll find your leather is amazingly soft to touch! Even though it takes a few cleanings to wipe off your leather, it will really moisturize the leather and bring back its beauty and softness.
-Condition several products with one bottle. Won’t run out.
-Water and snow repellent
-Is odor and toxin free
-NOT for Suede, Faux and Vinyl leather
Leather Honey can take anywhere from two hours to a day to dry completely. This is because it takes more time to penetrate the leather pores. Which helps in refining the look and feel of the leather.
It is important to note that Leather Honey’s Leather Conditioner can darken the leather when first applied, however once the conditioner dries the leather does return back to its original color.
As this customer says,
But definitely, like for any other conditioner or leather care product, do a test by applying the conditioner on a nonvisible part of the leather. Having a fairly dark couch, I found this conditioner to be a-okay and that it does not affect the color.
Overall, the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner prevents wear and restores the beauty of your leather and is a highly-rated conditioner. Long-lasting and easy to use, most buyers of this product are extremely pleased with their purchase and would recommend this conditioner to others. Last but least, Leather Honey Leather Conditioner can be used for all types of leather except suede, faux and vinyl as mentioned before.
Lexol Leather Conditioner
Lexol Leather Conditioner can be used for many different types of leather however not suede, nubuck or any other types of unfinished leather. This leather conditioner can be used for all leather items.
Lexol Leather Conditioner:
- Since it’s a liquid conditioner it can easily penetrate into the leather’s skin
- Restores leather and removes scuffs
- Makes leather look natural instead of giving it a shine like some products do
- Improves the look and feel of leather after one application
This product can make leather sticky if you do not use it properly. Fortunately, it is easy to follow the instructions so you can avoid this problem.
Leather Nova Leather Conditioner
Leather Nova Leather Conditioner can be used on variety of leathers and vinyl surfaces. However make sure to avoid using it on suede, nubuck but it perfectly fine to use on exotic, aniline and semi aniline leather. It can be used for anything from a sofa to a wallet!
Leather Nova Leather Conditioner:
- Is easy to apply
- Dries less than a hour
- Smells like new leather
- Removes scratches and other imperfections
If you use this on leather with a shiny finish, it might remove the shine. However, it works great on all other types of leather.
Each of these leather conditioners do a great job of restoring and protecting leather. No matter which one you select, you can rest assured that your leather will be in good hands.
How should you use it?
- Clean the product thoroughly with a dry cloth.
- Use a leather cleaner to get rid of any dirt, oils or other external elements.
- Once the leather is clean, you can apply the leather conditioner.
- Rub small amounts of the leather conditioner on the leather item using a microfiber cloth, a brush or a microfiber sponge
- Once the product is completely covered with the leather conditioner, let it dry. Once it’s dry, wipe off any extra leather conditioner off the surface.
How to test a leather conditioner?
Before applying a leather conditioner on your leather make sure to test it. To test a leather conditioner, you need a small piece of cloth and the chosen leather conditioner.
Apply the leather conditioner on the cloth then gently rub it in a hidden area of the leather.
If the leather conditioner doesn’t cause any discoloration or any sort of damage to the leather then go ahead and use it after you clean the leather with the best leather cleaner.
Generally you’ll be able to tell when to condition your leather by looking at the state of the leather. However, it is recommended by professionals to condition your leather a least 1-2 times a year to keep in good condition. Although if it’s frequently exposed to heat or water you might want to condition more often.
Remember keeping leather clean and conditioned only takes a couple’s minutes but can makes huge difference when it comes to how your leather looks and feels.