We test 16 leather cleaners to see which can give some extra pizzazz to your trim
When it comes to looking after your car's leather interior, there's no place to hide. Leave your trim to dry, crack and fade, and you will slash hundreds off the resale value of your car.


Special cleaners not only shift the grime from leather, but they also replenish the natural oils that keep the hide soft and supple. Starve the material of the vital nutrients contained in these cleaners for too long, and it may be too late to rescue your interior.

But which one is the ideal candidate to refresh and revive your cabin trim? We put 16 cleaning products to the test on a neglected leather interior to find out.

Verdict: Don't pay much attention to product names, as some cleaners left a better finish than the conditioners. The top three all removed grime, so ease of use and value came to the fore. Mer gives you more for your money, with Meguiar's Aloe Cleaner coming home in second.

1. Mer Leather Cleaner
Price: 7.99

Size: 500ml

It was a close competition for the top spot, but Mer's excellent cleaner narrowly edged ahead of its rivals. A brilliant all-round performer, it removed every trace of dirt on the leather, and it offers good value for money, too. The solution was easy to apply, the hide felt nourished and it even had a great smell. Over-all, it was a worthy recipient of our Best Buy award.

2. Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Aloe Cleaner
Price: 7.99

Size: 444ml

Now this US import really did have a golden touch! The gel lifted an incredible amount of dirt, was easy to rub in, soaked away quickly and left a smooth finish. A very worthy Recommended choice.

3. Meguiar's Gold Class Cleaner/Conditioner
Price: 6.99

Size: 414ml

After some elbow grease with the buffing cloth, this cleaner had our leather looking like new. You could see the grime being scrubbed away as you worked, and its ultraviolet protection to help prevent sun damage was a bonus.

Furniture Clinic Leather Ultra Cleaner
Price: 8.00

Size: 250ml

The manufacturer claims that this product is designed to cleanse really dirty leather, but it struggled to spruce up even lightly soiled sections of our seat. The runny liquid was hard to apply and it cost a wallet-whacking 3.20 per 100ml.

Renapur Leather Cleaner
Price: 10.00

Size: 250ml

Costing a whopping 4 per 100ml, this cleaner was the most expensive on test. It wasn't as good as the price suggested, either, failing to remove all the grime. It has to be allowed to dry after cleaning too, but it did leave the leather feeling soft and nourished.

Sonax Leather Care Transparent
Price: 6.20

Size: 250ml
The pack claims this Sonax cleaner contains rare bee and silicone wax, but that didn't help it perform in this test. It failed to soak in very well, left light marks and smelt like hospital hand cleaner - a scent which remained after it had dried.

Sonax Leather Care Wipes
Price: 2.90

Size: 10 wipes

These impregnated wipes were nearly dry after cleaning our small test section, which means you'd need plenty to do an entire interior. They also broke up as we cleaned, didn't shift all the dirt and were expensive compared to rivals.

Cleans UK Leather Cleaner
Price: 9.99

Size: 500ml

A Shock start here, as the foam cleaner exploded from the spray can and pebble-dashed our seat with cleaner! The spray was hard to keep in the right place, and when applied had a potent smell similar to an industrial floor cleaner. However, it certainly got the leather shining and left it feeling soft and supple.

Turtle Wax Cleaner & Conditioner Wipes
Price: 3.99

Size: 25 wipes

This pack of wipes was the same price as its main rival from Armor All (above), but there are more included. It impressed in the cleaning stakes, with each cloth soaked in solution. They're convenient, but you need quite a few to clean a whole cabin.

Zymol Leather Cleaner
Price: 8.00

Size: 225ml

It promised to bring out the natural smell of the leather interior, and Zymol's cleaner certainly delivered in that respect. But it doesn't come cheap, and there were some small grubby marks on the upholstery after buffing. The product also left a slightly greasy film on the hide.

Turtle Wax Leather Cleaner & Conditioner
Price: 4.99

Size: 500ml

If you want to protect your wallet as well as your leather, then Turtle Wax's excellent value cleaner is for you. Not only was it cheap for 500ml, but it left the interior smelling great. It needed more buffing to remove all the grime, though.

Armor All Leather Care
Price: 4.99

Size: 250ml

You shouldn't let the unattractive colour of the bottle put you off - this is a good cleaner. It soaked into the hide in seconds, and only needed very light buffing to leave a sparkling finish. However, it's not cheap compared to some rivals, and also left a little residue.

Armor All Leather Wipes
Price: 3.99

Size: 20 wipes

You can't beat wipes for convenience, but don't substitute them for a cleaning solution. They're fine for a quick spruce up, and these left our leather smelling fresh and looking clean. However, the hide didn't feel nourished and some marks were left.

Gliptone Liquid Leather
Price: 5.50

Size: 250ml

You need to have some time on your hands if you're going to use Gliptone's cleaner. The resin-like formula needed to be left to soak for five minutes before wiping off with a damp cloth. It smelt of TCP too, but it left the leather clean and supple.

Turtle Wax Platinum Cleaner & Conditioner
Price: 5.99

Size: 500ml

This rich and thick liquid failed to remove all the grime. It was easy to apply, though - simply pour on, spread over the leather and buff off. It did take longer than the others to soak in, but had a nice, natural smell.

Autoglym Leather Cleaner
Price: 5.99

Size: 500ml

The trigger pack was tricky to use, as you had to be careful the cleaner didn't go everywhere. It foamed up well, though, and left the interior smelling fresh. It shifted the grime and didn't leave any residue, but was hard to apply for detail work.