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Best car leather cleaners to buy 2020

Remove stains and keep leather looking and feeling its best with these top leather cleaners

Leather upholstery is a welcome luxury in a car’s interior, but you may not know that it requires more care and maintenance than the less expensive fabric alternative. Oils that keep leather feeling supple and tactile need replacing, especially as they stop the leather from cracking. Leather, as a rule, also needs more regular cleaning. Heated leather seats need even more regular treatment, as the heating elements dry the leather out quicker.

An important part of our test is to see how much of the leather’s natural protection remains after treating it with the cleaning product, which we did by measuring how long it takes for a drop of water to soak into the leather after cleaning. The tests were primarily concerned with testing how effective the products are at getting the leather clean, so we assessed how well they dealt with grime and pen ink. We arrived at final rankings by also considering ease of use and value for money.

1. Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner review - Carbuyer best buy

Price: Around £10Size: 500ml

Dodo Juice Supernatural Leather Cleaner is the winner of our test, thanks to its excellent cleaning ability. The grime on our scrapyard seat was impressively dealt with, with the Dodo Juice cleaner removing noticeably more of it than most of the other cleaners. The drop of water we added after cleaning was still on the surface of the seat more than two hours afterwards, despite the fact that there’s nothing on the product about it leaving a protective finish. The Supernatural Leather Cleaner is the best combination of performance and value for money, so was the standout candidate for the top spot.

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2. Turtle Wax Luxe Leather review

Price: Around £5.50Size: 500ml

Luxe Leather resembles a leather cream rather than having the consistency of a normal cleaner, and has a nice soapy smell. Unlike the Dodo Juice product, it explicitly claims to both restore and protect, which it does more effectively than most of its rivals. The Williams and Dodo Juice cleaners slightly outperformed Luxe Leather on the water droplet test and it struggled a little when it came to removing the ink from the seat, but overall it’s very good.

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3. Black Diamond Super Clean review

Price: Around £4Size:500ml

The Black Diamond is a great all-rounder, coming in cheaper than all other products and outperforming them all when it came to removing the ink from the leather. It was almost as good when it came to the grime. There’s nothing on the bottle about protecting or conditioning, so it’s hard to feel aggrieved that it wasn’t one of the top dogs when it came to the water test.

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4. Williams Leather Cleaner & Conditioner review

Price: Around £7Size: 250ml

We may not be in the Williams F1 team’s finest era, but the brand’s car-care products are performing well by comparison. The Leather Cleaner & Conditioner contains waxes and oils to help condition the leather, and they do work; water didn’t soak into the leather after use. The product was also a good cleaner, especially on the grime, but the small bottle means it works out as a relatively expensive product, which meant it didn’t place higher.

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If you’re valeting your car at home, our guides to the best alloy wheel cleaners, the best car polishes and waxes and how to carry out scratch repairs are essential reading.

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