8 Best Leather Conditioners | April 2017

8 Best Leather Conditioners | April 2017
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We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Got a leather jacket or pair of boots that has seen better days? Try applying one of these high-quality conditioners. They're formulated to smooth cracks and lines, add moisture and protect all tanned hide items from future damage, including auto upholstery, handbags, furniture and more. Skip to the best leather conditioner on Amazon.
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A bottle of Lord Leather Care Softener will help restore the life of your couch, boots, and more. Its resilient formula penetrates deep into the pores of most material, rather than just coating the surface, resulting in greater protection from the inside out.
  • prevents cracking and drying
  • made by family-run business
  • formula can be a little thick
Brand Lord Leather Care
Model 798304368512
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
The Leather Nova Conditioner/Restorer is an environmentally friendly product that goes on evenly, dries fast, and leaves no greasy residue on your most cherished goods. The bottle includes a heavy-duty foam pad for quick and easy application.
  • safe to use on exotic materials
  • water and rain repellent
  • may permanently darken some leathers
Brand TriNova
Model pending
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
Bick 4 by Bickmore has been a trusted conditioner since way back to 1882. Originally used for maintaining horse and farming equipment, today it will serve just fine to soften and preserve baseball gloves, jackets, and antique furniture.
  • affordable price point
  • will not darken or stain
  • too thin for some applications
Brand Bickmore
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The secret formula inside a container of Leather Shines Conditioner has been respected by experts and casual buyers for more than six decades. It is perfect for shining shoes, saddles, and also car seats. Use it regularly and it can prolong the life of any tanned hide.
  • great for dyed items
  • cleaning recommended prior to use
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
Brand Leather Shines
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
Leather Rescue's Restorer is carefully formulated and pH balanced to gently, but reliably, rehabilitate worn materials by softening and adding suppleness to anything that has become dried, cracked, and dull. It's great for more expensive products, such as elephant hide.
  • quick drying formula
  • brings out natural shine
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
Brand Leather Rescue
Model LR_COND_01
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
A jar of Beesbutter All Natural can do wonders for your purse, wallet, shoes, or any other item of clothing or accessory that sees frequent use. This soft, buttery blend of oils and wax melts right into the surface, bringing new life back to old material.
  • chemical and perfume free
  • offers up to 6 months of protection
  • not for use on suede
Brand Beesbutter
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
This Chamberlain's Care Liniment No. 1 was originally formulated for, and exclusively used by, the Saddleback Company, a well-known maker of luxury leather goods. That reputation should offer some reassurance when you're rubbing it on your old family heirlooms.
  • comes with reusable cotton pad
  • polishes and restores dried hides
  • pleasant smelling
Brand Chamberlain's Leather M
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
This Leather Honey Conditioner has been a top-selling, top-rated animal hide treatment since it was first released back in 1968. It is made in America by a third generation family-owned and operated business. One application should provide around six months of protection.
  • nontoxic and not sticky
  • perfect for auto upholstery
  • smooths cracks and lines
Brand Leather Honey Leather C
Model 085783400203
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How To Choose A Leather Conditioner

Whether you are trying to restore a pair of well worn cowboy boots after a ride across the range, or you are trying to bring the shine back to your Mont Blanc wallet, there is a leather conditioner out there that will serve your purpose. And in fact, sometimes the best way to use a leather conditioner is while a garment or accessory is brand new, as many leather conditioners are designed not to restore leather, but to protect it while breaking it in at the same time.

Before choosing a leather conditioner, you must know the types of leather to which it will be applied and have a general sense of their condition. Certain leather conditioners are suitable for dyed or color treated leather, while others can easily leave permanent stained or darkened spots on certain types of leather. Some conditioners can be used on stiff leather, while others are perfect for softer varieties. Few leather conditioners can be used on suede, and then again a few are formulated especially for this type of product. Thus you must choose a leather conditioner based on the leather at hand.

If you are trying to restore cracked or dried out upholstery, be it inside an automobile or inside your home or office, look for a leather conditioner formulated with a rather thin viscosity that can be brushed all over the surface of the seating evenly. As you will need a fair amount of conditioner for this type of application, look for a moderately priced variety. And also look for long lasting treatments: many leather conditioners can breathe new life into upholstery for as long as six months. You will appreciate the infrequency of these treatments, as they require leaving the upholstery untouched many hours or even an entire day following the application.

For pretreating shoes, a jacket, or a bag that will likely be worn outside in inclement weather, look for a leather conditioner that adds waterproofing to your material. The small investment of money and time you devote to applying a leather conditioner to your goods can help to greatly extend their life, keeping them looking newer and working better for much longer than the raw leather alone.

With smaller items such as a wallet, purse, or belt consider semisolid leather conditioners such as those made with a beeswax base. These products allow for extended polishing and can restore the as-new look glossier leather goods had before they were loved.

How To Use A Leather Conditioner

Quite often, the key to using a leather conditioner properly is to use it liberally. Most formulas are designed to be applied all over the surface of the garment, accessory, or upholstery in question, not merely on a few cracks or problem spots. Just be sure to wipe away excess conditioner left on the surface of the leather after letting it sit for an hour or two, and to let treated leather rest at least overnight before you again wear it, carry it, or sit on it, whatever the case may be.

Some leathers may quickly absorb a leather conditioner and may darken when so doing. If you're worried about permanently staining a piece of leather, try testing a small patch of leather with a dab of the solution before applying it all over the material. More often than not, the leather will return to its proper color once the conditioner has been fully absorbed and has a chance to dry.

Always use the applicator that comes with a leather conditioner if one was included with your order. Otherwise, using a clean and lint-free cloth is the best approach. An old t-shirt cut into strips works well both for applying leather conditioner and for wiping excess away. For treating cracks and worn spots on large upholstery or in vehicles where coating the entire surface of the leather is either unnecessary or impractical, you can deftly apply leather conditioner only where needed using a paintbrush. In this scenario, you should apply the formula conservatively and precisely, not liberally at all.

If you're trying to restore an old and/or worn pair of shoes or boots, make sure you thoroughly clean the footwear before you apply any leather conditioner, and allow the leather to dry fully before the treatment as well.

Keep in mind that some items, such as work boots, may be pretreated to resist moisture and to strengthen their leather against damage. Goods such as these should not be treated with leather conditioners that are designed to soften a leather; doing so may actually cause more harm than good, undermining their rugged design.

The Brief And Burnished History Of Leather Conditioners

Many leather conditioners on the market today have in fact been available for well over a hundred. Some formulas even date back decades into the 19th Century and have see their formulas changed little in all those years. When a product is already performing its duty adroitly, there is little reason to alter its makeup, after all.

Leather conditioners were originally concocted to restore saddles and harnesses used with horses and other farm animals and implements. By regularly conditioning the leather, one could extend the working life of their gear. Many of the leather conditioners common in generations past used tallow rendered from animal fats as their base material. Mink oil was also a common ingredient used to make leather conditioners, a practice which led to the slaughter of untold thousands of animals.

In the 20th Century, many brands began to create leather conditioners using ingredients less harmful (or lethal) to animals, such as cocoa butter and almond oil and even lemon oil in mild concentrations. Many homemade leather conditioners use mild baby soaps and white vinegar, though experts recommend professional formulas.



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Last updated on April 24 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.