With tons of leather products available on the market, it isn't a wonder that there are also tons of commercial leather cleansers in stores. Many of these leather cleansers claim to be the best leather cleaner around, but those who know leather are wise not to fall for marketing and gimmicks. Using the wrong cleanser can ruin leather completely, and so no matter what the package says, it's always important to do two things:
1. Read Consumer Reviews
Consumer reviews on products are very important. They are often more truthful than what the product claims. So if you're considering a particular product, do a quick check online for what other people are saying. To make things a bit easier for you, we've summarized some reviews found on popular leather cleaning products online.
- Leather Only: A one step cleanser and conditioner for leather. Some say it's good stuff, others say it doesn't do the job as well as using a separate cleanser and conditioner.
- Mothers Leather Cleaner: Receives great reviews from consumers, who say it is able to make leather look brand new. One consumer recommends using a medium-bristle toothbrush to clean the leather.
- Zymol: A couple of consumers say it is difficult to find in stores (luckily, it's available online.) Happy customers claim it is the only leather cleanser that is able to get rid of dirt from long term use.
- Lexol: The company claims it is the best leather cleaner for furniture, bags, auto interiors, and sporting goods, but many consumers say it's all hype and no bite.
2. Perform a Spot Test
Spot tests are an important step to cleaning any leather product. It will help you determine whether or not the cleanser will damage the leather. To perform a spot test, follow the instructions given by the commercial cleanser, but do so only in one spot (about the size of a nickel) of the leather piece; preferably a spot that isn't seen often, such as the bottom of a leather bag. Wait overnight. If no discoloration or stain occurs, the product should be safe to use.
Doing just these two steps will help you choose which is best for your leather goods. It helps make sure that you have a good quality product that won't ruin any of your leather belongings.
Truthfully, the best leather cleaner for your leather furniture and other leather items will depend on the kind of leather used on the product, what the product care guide says about cleaning the pieces (ex. "Do not clean with a water-based cleanser."), and the result of the spot tests you need to conduct before applying any commercial leather cleanser or conditioner on your leather items.