This industry has a real problem. My question is if Armor All leather care adds to this problem or possibly represents some kind of solution to this problem.
To be very candid with you; I already know the answer to this question.
The topic of car leather in general is a problem. More specifically the topic of car leather cleaning and conditioning is an even greater problem.
The problem is that the industry is far more concerned about selling you more products rather than trying to educate you as a car owner with information based on the updated technology used in to make the leather that goes into your car.
I will start out by summarizing the contents of this page while simultaneously bullet pointing the "take-away's" I want you to, well...take away from reading this page:
I get it. Life is busy. You are busy, and I am busy.
And for this very reason many of us simply want to keep things as simple as possible (I have another solution for this very problem further down the page). You don't feel the need to overthink your car leather care and you already trust Armor All as a company.
They do make some really good products and the Armor All leather care products will meet the demands of many of you reading this. Which is why I am going to begin by suggesting my favorite Armor All leather care products from the start.
Darren's Tips: If you already remain a fan of Armor All products in general, then their car leather gel will likely be a perfect fit for you. Nothing stellar about this, but nothing wrong with it either.
Kinda like buying vanilla ice cream versus a more sexy flavor of ice cream: it will fill the needs of most people.
Darren's Tips: This is yet another example of the industry doing everything it can to separate it from the competition. I have never heard of any claims that beeswax is good for your car leather.
I also really love it when a product has multiple versions of the same product, but labels one as being premium. It's what I call a difference without distinction. It is different in that it is labeled as "premium", but is it really distinct from any of the other Armor All leather care products?
The problem I have with not just Armor All, but with most cosmetic car care products. It is this thing called marketing. And this industry is not much different than any other industry.
Companies that use sophisticated and sexy terms, fancy packaging and ambiguous terminology that are very effective at dangling the next shiny object in your face.
Marketing and advertising that pushes all your emotional buttons that gets you to quickly part ways with your money. Cosmetic car care in general has a massive problem with this, but car leather care has an even bigger problem!
Let's take a deep dive into this subject and see if I can't accomplish two, very specific goals for you:
Yes and no. Like many subjects in life; it all depends on who you ask. There are numerous things to consider when answering this question.
If you have been paying attention to this article, you will have learned that car leather is what is referred to as coated car leather. This means that your car leather has a clear protective coating on it and anything you do to your car leather (cleaning or conditioning) is not actually touching natural leather, but a synthetic, water based protective coating.
This is added to make car leather care easier while also making normal wear and tear less of a problem. So conditioning your car leather is less about actually trying preserve or protect natural leather, and more about taking care of the clear coating.
Many people simply like car leather that has a shine that products like Armor All leather care products will add. Yes, this will also make your coated car leather feel different. A difference that most people interpret as being "better".
And if you are one of these people then you would accept that you will need to use a car leather conditioner on your car leather.
In most cases yes. But this answer must be factored in with the understanding that what we are dealing with is a synthetic coating on your car leather.
You need to understand that not all car leather conditioners are created equal. I have seen some car leather conditioners leave a very bad residue after thay have dried due to the fact that the product is filled with all kinds of ingredients that are meant to absorb into a surface like un-coated car leather, but now dry on the surface of coated car leather.
Most retail and professional car leather conditioners will provide decent results for most people. Armor All leather care products seem to all produce acceptable results in my experience.
Yes. I can safely recommend them if you don't want to overthink things. Either one of the Armor All leather care products on this page will work.
What isn't good about Armor All leather care products is their less-than transparency in educating you about the nature of your car leather. I believe a dedicated car leather conditioner should inform you that you are using a product formulated for use on coated car leather and that what you are attempting to protect and condition is a synthetic coating, not a natural leather material.
Kind of. Sort of. Sometimes....
I professionally believe that each part of the equation should be addressed separately unless you have brand new car leather and you keep up on it very regularly and consistently.
Car leather conditioners like the Armor All leather care products on this page label their products as having the ability to clean and condition at the same time. But in many ways this is a misrepresentation and anyone with car leather that is actually dirty, will likely be disappointed at the ineffectiveness of these Armor All products at cleaning the leather.
The Armor All leather care products clean in the same way basic tap water would clean. This means that the conditioner will naturally remove some trivial levels of dirt in the process of using any of the Armor All products, but will not prove effective at cleaning mild to heavy amounts of dirt.
For a more comprehensive tutorial on the ways I clean and condition car leather, you can read my car leather care page.
Glad you asked, 'cause I am going to tell you how I can simplify your life along with telling you exactly what I do both personally and professionally.
I am a busy man and I am always looking for ways to simplify my life so I can get more out of life. And when it comes to taking care of my cars or my customers cars, it's all about being effective and efficient!
And I am going to give you two options here based on some specific differences:
Darren's Tips: I am not a huge fan of overly shiny car leather or car interiors. I love this product as it effectively removes dust and light dirt and oils, while restoring your interior materials to a show room like appearance.
No heavy solvents, silicone's, or oils at all. Body shop safe and home use safe. An incredibly versatile product that allows you to have one product that can serve many purposes! (simplicity!)
Darren's Tips: If you like the idea of adding some luster and subtle shine to your interior components, and want to use a product that will condition the clear coating on your car leather, than I would opt for this product.
Once again a great product with many uses! (simplicity!)
I use this on all tire sidewalls, exterior porous black trim and all hard interior materials I want to condition and enhance.
I hope you have found the information on this page very illuminating! I also help that it offers alternatives that can simplify your life with your car that you were not aware of, nor even thought to consider before.
I wish you much success in your car care efforts!