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Which is the Best Leather Cleaner on the Market?

We compared the top four leather cleaners in a historic clash to determine which is best. Leather Honey, Chemical Guys, Weimer, and Fibrenew collide in a leather-maintenance battle of the ages that would make Alexander the Great’s conquests pale in comparison.

Who will come out on top? Let’s find out.

P.S. *ahem* there just might be a small bonus at the end of the article, as well.

leather cleaner clash of the titans

So, when we first set out to determine the best of the best in the leather care product realm, we were laughably remiss in how to approach the experiment. But that’s what made it fun.

That being said, although elements of this process come off a tad haphazard, what we can guarantee is that we followed the exact same steps for each product and gave each leather cleaner an objective, fair run. We followed an identical process in our best leather conditioner comparison as well.

With that out of the way, here’s how we got after it.

Introducing your leather cleaning contenders

We picked our top three competitors based on this list.

The leather cleaning brands we’ll be comparing are our own (obviously), Leather Honey, Chemical Guys, and Weiman. All are available for sale through Amazon or their brand websites.

Leather Honey was founded in the ‘60s and is all-in for leather care. Their products include Leather Honey leather cleaner, leather conditioner, leather wipes, suede and nubuck cleaner, accessories, and more. Their limited product line keeps the focus on quality over quantity and has led them to become the #1 selling leather care kit on Amazon.

Chemical Guys, on the other hand, has a much wider range of products from car interior care to exterior power washing kits. Chemical Guys leather cleaner is manufactured in California and their vast array of car care products boasts an international customer base.

Weiman takes the cake for sheer SKU volume. Being that they offer products for cleaning and maintaining stainless steel, granite and stone, hardwood, metal, and more (on top of Weiman leather cleaner), means more multifunctional, combo products rather than dedicated leather cleaners and conditioners.

Last but not least, Fibrenew’s professional-grade leather cleaning products are made in-house from proprietary chemical formulae suitable for leather furniture, leather car seats, leather jackets, upholstery, and all other leather surfaces and leather items.

Next, let’s go over the best leather cleaner judging criterion.

How we judged the best leather cleaner

We’ll start each assessment with some general comments about packaging and branding, but what we’re truly focussed on gauging is the experience of using each product and the end result.

For this, we’re scoring each product out of 40 possible points comprised of four 10-point scales for:

  • Effectiveness in providing a deep clean by removing grime and buildup
  • How impactful and pleasing the visual polish is
  • How the product feels to the touch
  • The scent of the product

Finally, let’s outline the process we followed when comparing each type of leather cleaner.

The process

When we began, we figured demonstrating each product in use on a car’s leather interior made the most sense. Four products; four seats.

But we quickly realized that it was difficult to discern the visual impact that each leather cleaner had through photographs. So the car seat experiment will be more to show the product in use, with us describing the feel and scent of the product thereafter.

the leather car seats destined for a good cleaning

The car seats destined for a good cleaning

To counter this, and to make sure we left no stone unturned, we also took a segmented scrap of colored leather and dirtied it with snow to exhibit the effectiveness of cleaning.

the leather cleaner brands and the leather scrap

The brands and the segmented scrap of red leather

We started with a spot check, then cleaned a single panel of each car seat. Then, did a single swipe through the dried snow before fully cleaning each section of the red leather scrap.

FYI: if you’re planning on using leather cleaning products to fully clean your leather items at home, take note of the simple steps below for best effect.

DIY basic leather cleaning steps for at home

  1. Preparation: Start by removing any dust or debris from the leather surface using a soft-bristled brush or a dry cloth. This step helps prevent scratching during the cleaning process.
  2. Test Patch: Before applying the leather cleaner to the entire surface, it’s essential to do a patch test in an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with your leather. Apply a small amount of the cleaner on a hidden spot and wait for a few minutes to check for any adverse reactions such as discoloration or damage.
  3. Apply Cleaner: Once the patch test is successful, apply a small amount of the leather cleaner onto a clean, soft cloth. Gently rub the cloth onto the leather surface in circular motions, working in small sections at a time. Make sure to distribute the cleaner over the entire surface evenly.
  4. Remove Excess: After applying the cleaner, use a separate clean cloth to wipe away any excess product from the leather surface. Ensure thorough removal of the cleaner to prevent any residue buildup, which can attract dust and dirt over time.

For more detailed tips for taking care of your leather products, check out the video below and our article on how to clean leather furniture.

Now, onto the leather cleaner clash of the titans!

Leather Honey Leather Cleaner

First off, we loved Leather Honey’s branding and packaging.

The box and bottles look like something straight out of an old-west frontier-town general store. Definite top points for style and brand there—it generates excitement upon receiving and opening the package.

One qualm, though. Neither of the products comes in a spray bottle. For the conditioner, this could be excusable because it’s more viscous, but for the cleaner, it just has a higher potential for messiness when applying the product to the leather surface or cloth.

leather honey bottle top--non-spray

Leather Honey’s bottle top.

We snagged the Leather Honey leather care kit for a price of USD $43.99 on sale (regular $70.99), and it comes with both 8 oz. bottles and two microfiber cloths neatly nestled in the aforementioned stylish box.

You can buy the leather cleaner by itself for $24.99.

Effectiveness: 7/10

After a single swipe, unfortunately, leather honey left something to be desired with how much dirt it removed from the leather surface.

This goes back to having to put the cloth right up against the mouth of the bottle, then tipping it upside down to get the product out and ready to apply. A spray bottle, in this case, would allow a more liberal application of the leather cleaner to the cloth first.

Basically, because there is a smaller and narrower amount, it transfers to the leather surface and dries from the cloth very quickly—leading to having to repeat the process more.

leather honey single wipe

A single wipe from Leather Honey.

Once cleaning the entire area, Leather Honey was more than adequate in removing the dirt.

Visual Polish: 9/10

Leather Honey left mid-sheen and, in fact, a more matte finish after completely drying.

Because this is subjective (I actually quite liked it) I’m giving high marks on the visual result of the cleaner. There’s not much more to say on this, the photo demonstrates what I’m trying to convey.

Good stuff!

Feel: 10/10

Frictionless and smooth.

That’s the best way to describe this leather cleaner. It almost felt like just water, which in this case we consider an advantage.

There wasn’t any residue left behind, and it didn’t feel as though you had just handled a toxic chemical of any kind.

Scent: 7/10

There was quite literally no detectable aroma from Leather Honey leather cleaner.

This is a distinction that sets it apart from all the other products we tested and will really come down to personal preference in the end. Because this is highly subjective as well, we’re giving mid-high points for this.

To some it’s a benefit, to others it would be a drawback.

Total: 33/40

Chemical Guys Colorless and Odorless Leather Cleaner

Chemical Guys is the antithesis of Leather Honey in our best leather cleaner anime arc.

The leather care kit came in a non-descript package with a single microfiber cloth, and two 16 oz. bottles of products—one cleaner, one conditioner.

You can pick up the “colorless & odorless” cleaner alone for USD $10.99. You can also grab their leather care kit, which comes with three cloths, two sponges, and a brush for $59.99.

Let’s get to the scoring.

Effectiveness: 10/10

Fantastic cleaning capability here—unlike the previous product.

With a single swipe, dirt and grime were quivering in fear, before being instantly eradicated from existence.

With only two or three more wipes, there was zero evidence that any dirt had ever been present. The perfect crime.

Top points for Chemical Guys’ effectiveness.

Visual Polish: 9/10

Chemical Guys also left behind a more matte finish.

Chemical Guys almost dry after application. Visibly clean, no sheen.

Again, this may be something that appeals to you, or maybe not. But in this case, we like it. Identical score as Leather Honey for visual impact.

Feel: 6/10

As we mentioned, Chemical Guys provides the opposite experience to Leather Honey in many regards.

The feeling was, unfortunately, not great.

There is an almost caustic sensation as though the chemical’s harshness could cause damage to skin tissue over time. While this surely benefitted the score in effectiveness and sanitation, it becomes a pitfall when handling and using the product.

We recommend using latex gloves if using Chemical Guys products.

Scent: 5/10

“Odorless” is the last claim that I think the Chemical Guys should be making.

Sadly, the harsh feeling translates also to the scent. To their credit, the smell doesn’t linger, as the product dries very quickly, but when spraying and up close to the leather cleaner, there is an offensively strong chemical scent. Chemical Guys: by name, by nature.

We also recommend a facemask.

Total: 30/40

Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Spray

Next up is the most budget-friendly leather care solution on our list.

Being that Weiman manufactures such a robust range of products, it makes sense that they went for a combination spray. What doesn’t make sense—seeing as leather cleaner and leather conditioner have two very different purposes—is how this will work.

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t, really.

Regardless, this product is not without its merits at its USD $7.99 price point. For example, the large spray mechanism feels great and applies the product very effectively. But that doesn’t make up for a lackluster performance on the leather surface.

Let’s dig in.

Effectiveness: 5/10

While perhaps outstandingly effective against very small smudges, Weiman’s spray missed the mark on cleaning requirements over any more than a small area.

It also took much more elbow grease and pressure to remove the dirt when compared with the other products in this review.

Visible residue left behind here.

Not terrible, but nothing to write home about. Mid marks.

Visual Polish: 7/10

Not a bad sheen, at all. But the problem is that the area where this product has been used remains very apparent due to the residue left behind.

That means if you’re just using it to clean a small stain or mark, you’ll end up having to clean the entire surface because it doesn’t blend in.

In summary, not bad effect, but more time and product will need to be used than necessary for a consistent look across the entire leather couch, car seats, or anything else.

Feel: 4/10

Weiman left a very waxy residue, even long after drying.

This isn’t fun and makes you want to instantly wash your hands off, which doesn’t bode well if you’re using this product for any length of time (which you will likely need to).

Scent: 8/10

This was actually a nice one.

Weiman’s adds a fresh citrus scent to the product—think a lemon-scented air freshener. There’s no offensive chemical odor or harshness here.

Pleasantly surprised, so high score here.

Total: 24/40

Fibrenew Leather Care Kit

Finally, we’re loud and proud about our own proprietary leather care kits.

This combo pack comes with a 16 oz. bottle of both leather cleaner and leather conditioner for around USD $43.69 (CAD $59.00). It’s the very same product used exclusively by every member of the Fibrenew franchisee family. It’s tried and true.

One note: I would have removed another point due to the spray bottle trigger on the conditioner not pushing out the product at maximum effect. But, we have, as of the time of writing, changed our conditioner cap to the same nozzle type as Chemical Guys.

Effectiveness: 9/10

The cleaning power of Fibrenew’s leather cleaner comes in just under Chemical guys—the advantage being without the harshness.

While Chemical Guys cleaner basically goes full scorched Earth due to the strength of the chemicals, Fibrenew still offers tremendous sanitation with a significantly milder experience.

Visual Polish: 9/10

Fibrenew’s cleaner left something in the middle of matte and sheen. It also blends in perfectly and is nigh undetectable once dry.

As we mentioned above, it’s a certainty that this is a matter of preference to the individual, so the scores match both Leather Honey and Chemical Guys.

Feel: 8/10

A little bit of friction-y action happening to the touch, but nothing major.

A slight step down from Leather Honey, a big step up from Chemical Guys.

Scent: 9/10

Here’s where Fibrenew’s leather cleaner really shines.

We’ve added leather extract to every bottle, giving it the scent of brand new leather. And its not just pleasing, but the added scent has a function as well. When the smell fades, that signals that it’s time to clean your leather products again—so you’ll never forget.

I’ve taken off one point because I acknowledge that not every person on the planet enjoys the scent of new leather.

Total: 35/40

And the winner is…..


Before you assume this was all just a fixed, self-aggrandizing exercise to promote our own products, let’s review the advantages:

  • Same price point as Leather Honey, but double the size.
  • Equal cleaning efficacy as Chemical Guys, but with none of the harshness or offensive smell.
  • Two dedicated products with perfect blend and no residue.
  • Non-toxic, professional-grade, and super easy to use.

We know there’s always room for improvement, and we look forward to continuing to develop our leather care products in the future.

We want everyone to try our leather care products for themselves, so we’re putting our money where out mouth is with 25% off your first care kit. Just enter the coupon code “Carekit25pOff” at checkout.

Remember to get in touch with your local Fibrenew professional for all your leather care questions and needs. Until next time!

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Meet the author

Julian Foulds

Marketing Communications Specialist

A marketer first, a writer second, I enjoy finding unique, data-driven ways of demonstrating Fibrenew’s values while providing our community of franchisees with the resources they need to be consistently successful.

See other posts by Julian Foulds