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Choosing the right leather conditioner

Soft, supple leather offers a unique sensory experience. It is both strong and yielding at the same time. Warm to touch, smooth yet textured, there is nothing quite like leather. It’s also low maintenance but certainly not, no maintenance. Over time, especially in the absence of regular care, leather can become dry, brittle and cracked. A quality leather conditioner can help to maintain the luxurious qualities of leather and prevent dryness and other related problems.

These chairs have a matte finish. A conditioner that doesn’t render shine is needed to maintain the matte aesthetic

Different conditioners for different leathers

As there are a few different types of leather and leather finishing, there are also various types of leather conditioners. Each one has different properties and is designed to enhance the desirable qualities of each leather type. Selecting the most appropriate conditioner for your leather will help to ensure satisfying results and the best of care for your leather.

Choosing the right leather conditioner

It’s not a matter of which one is the best leather conditioner, but rather which is the best conditioner for your type of leather. Let’s look at Leather Hero’s 4 conditioners:

Nubuck, Suede & Aniline Nourish (No.11)Regular care after cleaningLight conditioner designed to nourish nubuck, suede, aniline & semi-aniline leathers without changing the look of the leather, eg; unwanted darkening or additional shine. (Note, heavy/oily conditioners can permanently darken the colour of unfinished leathers & waxy conditioners can add unwanted shine). Non-greasyCan be used on dull-waxed leathers to avoid unwanted shine. Can be safely used on all types but other conditioners are more appropriate for other types. Apply 3 monthly
Nourish (No.2) Regular care after cleaningA balanced conditioner designed to nourish pigmented (coated/painted leathers). Non-greasy, non-dust-attracting & non-shiny. Leaves a soft sheen & silky hand (touch). Great general purpose leather conditioner that suits most applications. Appropriate for all finished (pigmented) furniture & all car interiors. Ideal for use on man-made substrates such as vinyl and faux leather as well as waxed & many semi-aniline leathers. Apply 3 monthly
Waxy Nourish (No.9)Regular care after cleaningNatural waxy conditioner designed for nourishing high shine waxed leathers. Easy to buff, it renders an appealing natural-looking lux shine typical to classic cigar chair & chesterfield styles. Lends a degree of water repellence. Non-greasyCan be used on other leather types when a rich, natural shine is desired. Apply 3 monthly
Softener (No.22)TreatmentSpecialist leather softening cream designed to soften leather that has become stiff & lost supple qualities. Contains natural plant-derived waxes. Non-greasy & non-shinyInitially, repeat application 2 or 3 times then apply once a year as a treatment. Ideal for sofas and car interiors. Can be used on most leathers
Suede has no coatings. It requires a conditioner that won’t cause darkening, shine or flatten the nap of the leather

In summary

What type of leather do you have?

What do you need from your leather conditioner?

General care for cars, pigmented sofas & apparelNourish (No.2)
Maximum shine & a degree of water repellenceWaxy Nourish (No.9)
General care for nubuck, suede or aniline leatherNubuck, Suede & Aniline Nourish (No.11)
Maximum softening effectSoftener (No.22)
Nourish (No.2) is the ideal conditioner for caring your leather car interior

A few rules to follow

Before using a leather conditioner, follow these steps:

Clean first

Always clean before conditioning. Invisible dirt (body oils and perspiration) are typically the most damaging factors that affect to health, appearance, and longevity of leather. It is the job of a cleaner to remove them as well as the dirt you can see. It is the job of a conditioner to penetrate into the structure of your leather where it lubricates the fibres, adds moisture and nourishing emollients, and leaves an appealing look and feel on the surface. Note; conditioners do not improve colour problems or remove stains.


There are many variables with leather; different makers, different finishes, different grades of leather, different states of wear and tear to name a few. Before proceeding with a service, it’s wise to do a quick test of the leather conditioner in an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with your unique leather. Having been scientifically developed and tested and widely used in the marketplace, the products are known to be broadly compatible with most substrates. However, your leather may be atypical. Check for any unwanted changes, such as darkening, shine or other effects before proceeding.


Reapply on a 3 monthly schedule as part of your leather care regime.

Waxy Nourish (No.9) produced a desirable natural shine on this much loved old saddle.

The value of leather care

Leather that receives correct care last around 3 times longer. With regular servicing, the work is light and easy. It’s fair to say that when left longer, the job becomes a bit more daunting. Light and regular is the key!

Leather care is about keeping that lush showroom look and feel for as long as possible. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a clean, soft sofa or a well-maintained car interior? It’s also about ensuring you benefit from sanitry clean surfaces. Cleaning and conditioning go hand-in-hand when it comes to extending the good looks, pleasant feel and overall longevity of your leather assets.