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Leather Wipes – Which Ones are Safe for Leather and Work Best

I hadn’t researched leather wipes before but recently noticed the need to clean the upholstery on my car’s interior. This led me to learn more about using leather wipes as a solution for maintaining and cleaning my leather car seats. 

A leather wipe is a natural or synthetic material, pre-soaked with liquid cleaning and or conditioning agent used for the cleaning and conditioning of leather items. They are approximately 6″x”6 in size, are often packed in plastic tube dispensers of about 20-30, and cost between $4-$10 per pack. 

Leather wipes can be helpful if you want to maintain your larger leather goods easily. Depending on the formula, they can be utilized to clean, condition, and provide UV protection to leather items and goods.

What Are Leather Wipes?

Leather wipes allow you to clean and condition the surfaces of your leather goods. Often made out of a soft fabric, leather wipes are disposable and come in packs ranging from 20 sheets to 40 sheets per package.

It can be difficult to apply certain cleaning agents to some leather products, like leather car seats or leather couches, but leather wipes provide the simplicity of having the cleaning agent and the cloth in one neat package. Various leather wipes serve different niche purposes, so it’s essential to understand which leather wipe will be best for your needs. We’ll look at the different kinds of leather wipes that exist, as well as some major brands. 

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Leather Wipes

Types of Leather Wipes

Leather Cleaning Wipes

Leather cleaning wipes allow quick and easy support for maintaining your leather goods. You can wipe down your leather products without worrying about the leather cracking or drying out due to the presence of alcohol or other substances that could dry the leather. Some leather cleaning wipes come with beeswax, which will help lock in moisture and oils after cleaning. 

Leather wipes for the car can be either leather cleaning or disinfectant wipes.

Leather Disinfectant Wipes

Some leather products, like leather car seats, will be exposed to dirt, grime, and spilled sodas more often, meaning it will be important to disinfect them regularly. Leather disinfectant wipes are a bit harsher on leather than simple leather cleaning wipes, but the tradeoff is a far cleaner result. Some leather wipes contain bleach or alcohol, both of which will strip your leather product of its oils.

Nevertheless, these ingredients allow the leather wipes to do the job of disinfecting, which is also important to maintaining the longevity of your leather products. However, after using leather disinfectant wipes, it may be a good idea to apply some leather conditioner to ensure the leather retains the oils that keep it healthy and supple.

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Leather Wipes for the Car

If you’ve ever been in a car with poorly maintained leather seats, you’ll notice that they’re dry to touch, peeling, or cracking. Leather wipes for the car are a handy solution based on the “prevention as cure” school of thought. Leather wipes for the car can be either leather cleaning or disinfectant wipes. Because they are applied to products in the car’s interior, they must be non-toxic and non-hazardous.

After all, who would want to be in a car full of fumes from cleaning supplies? In many kinds of leather wipes for the car, a special UV protection — possibly from sunscreen in the solution for the wipes — helps to further protect your leather car seats from damage from sun exposure. Some of these wipes have various moisturizers to help restore the health of the leather seats. 

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Leather Car Seats

Leather Wipes for Sofas

Although leather wipes for the car can also be used for leather sofas, the details may be a bit different in the case of leather wipes for sofas. There is a bit less of a need for UV protection for leather wipes for sofas, as most sofas will likely be indoors and away from direct sunlight. However, sofas come with an even greater need for disinfecting — after all, nothing beats having a snack on the couch and watching some TV!

Leather wipes for shoes will probably be the wipes that get exposed to the most dirt and grime because shoes are frequently exposed to the outdoors.

However, it can be tiresome to deep clean your sofa frequently, which is where leather wipes for the sofa come in handy. With the ability to clean and disinfect, leather wipes for sofas (such as Weiman leather wipes) make it much easier to maintain the cleanliness of your sofa and the health of the leather. 

Leather Wipes for Shoes

Leather wipes for shoes will probably be the wipes that get exposed to the most dirt and grime because shoes are frequently exposed to the outdoors. Since the ground is rougher than inside a car or the living room, shoes are also likely to get scuffed.

Therefore, leather wipes for shoes (such as SneakerLab leather wipes) must have the ability to clean your leather shoes and remove stubborn stains and scuffs that may accumulate from constant wear. These wipes should also be a bit more durable, as rubbing them on shoes can require more friction to buff and remove stains. 

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Leather Shoes

Best Leather Wipes 

  1. Armor All Leather Wipes Armor All leather wipes come in packs of 20, 24, and 30 counts, and they’re ideal for use on any leather car seat. Its proprietary, non-hazardous formula cleansing agents can safely penetrate the leather’s surface to remove dirt and oil. The included conditioners help to moisturize leather seats. 
  1. Weiman Leather Wipes (and ingredients) – Weiman leather wipes claim to be 3-in-1: clean, condition, and protect. The wipes can be found in a 30-count pack and are well regarded for treating leather furniture. After reading some reviews, these wipes seemed to favor being used for leather sofas and recliners over car seats, suggesting a lack of UV protection. The active ingredients are d-Limonene, methylparaben, linalool, and citral. 
  1. Meguiar’s Leather Wipes Meguiar’s Gold Class rich leather wipes help maintain leather car seats. They come in a 25-count pack and are soaked in aloe-based moisturizers to clean, condition, and protect leather seats. They also leave no residue, which can be a minor issue with some leather wipe brands. For best results, apply these wipes to a cool surface and test them first on an inconspicuous area to avoid any color fading in the leather. 
  1. Simoniz Leather Wipes Simoniz Sure Shine leather wipes come in packs of 20 and 50 counts and claim to leave a rich, durable, protective coating on various leather styles (though they mainly target leather car seats). The active ingredients in Simoniz leather wipes are Diazolidinyl urea, Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, dimethicone, propylene glycol, Polysorbate 20, polyoxyethylene alkyl ether, PEG-75 lanolin, water-soluble silicone oil, and water. They do not claim to be antibacterial and do not contain bleach. Avoid using these leather wipes for steering wheels or pedals; they are only suitable for use on leather seats. 
  1. Oakwood Leather Wipes Oakwood leather (and synthetic) wipes come in a pack of 20 and are part of a more extensive complete Oakwood equine leather care system. Oakwood has leather and synthetic wipes, making them a bit more versatile; they also have everyday leather wipes, which are extra large and thick to help cover a wide area with use. They leave a light quality sheen to the leather surface, suggesting some residue may be left behind. Oakwood’s leather wipes contain carnauba wax, which will provide a seal on your leather seat or furniture’s surface and retain the moisture and oils needed to keep them healthy. 
  1. JJ Care Leather Wipes – JJ Care leather wipes come in packs of 40 per container and seem very versatile. Beyond serving as leather car seat cleaners, JJ Care leather wipes can also be used on couches, shoes, and purses. Reviews suggest regular and frequent use of these wipes due to the smaller amounts of cleansing liquid at the bottom of each container. They will leave a residue, which may require you to buff the surface of your leather seat or leather good with a microfiber cloth. 
  1. Miracle Leather Wipes – Miracle leather wipes, or MiracleWipes, come in packs of 30 per container. They restore your leather seat, shoes, and upholstery with premium oils and provide UV protection. Not only are they safe to use on leather, but they also work on vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces. The wipes are made with anti-static ingredients to remove surface dust while adding moisturizing oils to the leather. This keeps the surface looking new for longer, according to Miracle Brands.

Check out this helpful video for an economical light maintenance routine for quickly and efficiently cleaning leather car seats with Weiman Leather Wipes. 

Helpful Insights

Are leather wipes bad? 

Leather wipes are not bad. The wipes with more disinfecting ability may require an extra leather conditioner to compensate for the possibility of dryness caused by the cleansing agents. However, many leather wipes come with moisturizers, which should keep your leather healthy and prevent cracking.

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Temperature and humidity can be large factors in leather durability over time, with more detail in this 2011 study from Basaran, Birlisli, Ocak, and Onem from Ege University. Depending on where one lives, utilizing a quality leather wipe with conditioning agents can help with proper leather item care and maintenance. 

Are baby wipes bad for leather? 

Baby wipes are not bad for leather and can be used for light cleaning. Leather is essentially animal skin, and baby wipes are formulated to be particularly gentle. 

Will Lysol wipes hurt leather?

Lysol wipes will be a bit harsher on leather than leather-specific wipes. Many leather wipes do not contain bleach or harsh chemicals, but Lysol wipes — to accomplish what they need to — include bleach, which will eventually dry leather out if conditioner is not applied afterward.

How do you moisten leather wipes?

Leather wipes often come with some residual fluid in the bottom, so to retain the formula intended for the leather wipes, you can tip the container over a bit to allow some of the residual ingredients to seep into the leather wipes and re-moisten them. 

Can you use wet wipes on leather seats?

Yes, you can use wet wipes on leather seats. Because wet wipes do not contain UV protection, leather-specific wipes will be ideal, but wet wipes should be fine to use on leather seats (as long as they’re wiped dry afterward).  

Prices of Leather Wipes 

Leather Wipes BrandCountPricePrice/Wipe
Weiman Leather Conditioning Wipes30 wipes$4.22$0.14/wipe
Armor All Leather Care Wipes30 wipes$5.68$0.19/wipe
Meguiar’s Rich Leather Wipes25 wipes$7.29$0.29/wipe
Simoniz Leather Wipes20 wipes$7.80$0.39/wipe
MiracleWipes30 wipes$9.97$0.33/wipe
Oakwood Leather Wipes20 wipes$11.50$0.58/wipe
JJ Care Leather Wipes120 wipes (3 packs of 40 wipes)$15.89$0.13/wipe
Prices of Leather Wipes

Final Thoughts

Leather wipes can be convenient for maintaining your leather car seats and upholstery. Although spot cleaning can only go so far because of the size of some items, especially in cases where something may need regular cleaning, leather wipes provide a simple, effective way to keep your leather items looking new and supple. 

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