It seems that as the years roll by, leather is becoming more widely used for upholstery covering than ever before. And a question that is frequently asked is , "Which is the best conditioner to use on my leather?"
After all, there as so many different leather conditioners available on the market, choosing the right product can be rather confusing, to say the least.
Unfortunately, most people do not realize, many of the available conditioners will, in fact, speed up the deterioration of your leather!
And that's what this article is about, helping you cut to the chase and find the best leather conditioner for your upholstery.
So, before you rush out and buy the first leather conditioner that catches your eye, here are 4 very important points you need to consider:
1: New Leather Contains Natural Oils
When leather is made in the tannery, natural oils are infused into the hides to maintain a certain level of moisture, and to reduce the friction between the fibres.
The natural oil content directly affects the leathers' pliability and softness.
Now, that's all very well with brand new leather but here's what happens when 'wear and tear' and direct sunlight get involved:
2: The Natural Oils Evaporate
Once exposed to direct sunlight, these natural oils evaporate, causing the moisture content to diminish, resulting in lost softness and pliability.
This is evident in leather car upholstery, especially the top of the rear seat which get 'hammered' by sunlight, day in and day out.
3: Leather Conditioner Should Replace Evaporated Oils
The best conditioner replaces the oils which have been lost through evaporation. Furthermore, these oils should be exactly the same used originally in manufacture.
You should also be aware that silicone, beeswax and petroleum-based products and even oils sold for saddles etc, will in fact, seriously harm your upholstery. Because what happens is, they leave an acidic residue on the surface of the leather which eats into the finish and eventually destroys it.
This brings me to my next point, which ensures you select a conditioner that will replenish your leather with the correct, natural leather oil.
4: The Best Leather Conditioners Should Pass Leather Testing Standards
There are a number of independent leather testing authorities used by tanneries, world-wide, ensuring that leather and leather products meet international standards. These standards are to help protect you, as a consumer, from dodgy products.
Many conditioners available on the market have never been tested. Others have been tested but have failed and are not recommended for consumer use.
So before you buy any leather conditioner, make sure it contains the exact same oils used in the tannery for new leather, and check it has been tested and approved by an independent leather testing authority.