Leather Polish vs. Leather Conditioner

Leather Polish Is Not Leather Conditioner

Caring for your leather is important, but it is also possible to over-condition your leather if you add too much product to the material. 

Someone who frequently cleans, conditions and then polishes their leather on a regular basis may be treading too closely to the over-caring line. Leather does not need to be polished regularly if a good conditioner — like Leather Honey Leather Conditioner — is being applied. 

Let's say you use too much leather jacket conditioner and the jacket is sopping wet. Have no fear. It will likely excrete the leather conditioner over the next fews days, as the jacket will be unable to absorb the amount of conditioner that was applied. The problem typically takes care of itself. 

However, if you've also added a leather polish or leather balm on top of the leather conditioner, this can prevent the conditioner from drying. That's why we generally recommend avoiding polishing right after you've conditioned your leather. You'll likely find you won't need it at all if you're using a quality leather care products

Leather Restoration

Leather cleaning and conditioning frequency

So how often should you clean and condition your leather? The answer to that it completely depends on the type of leather. What is it used for and how often is it used? Leather motorcycle jackets that only get worn a few times a year can generally get by with one solid cleaning and conditioning process a year. On the other hand, leather boots that are worn everyday and are constantly being dragged through the mud should be cleaned every couple weeks and conditioned every six months. 

Leather Polish vs Leather Conditioner

While leather polish adds a shine to the texture of the leather, it is the leather conditioner that penetrates the “skin” and ensures that the leather remains flexible, hydrated and blocks water from seeping in. This is important because the more flexible leather is, the less likely it will tear and crack. The best leather conditioners also play a key role in preventing water penetration, which is important because water can dry out leather.

The bottom line? If you want your leather jacket or leather boots to last and look great, use a leather conditioner, like Leather Honey Leather Conditioner. Leather polish, on the other hand, doesn't do much for your leather. It adds shine to your leather. Nothing more, nothing less. 


Is leather polish still useful?

Leather polish is still a useful way to add a quick shine to leather. However, it is not necessary and likely counterproductive to add large quantities of leather polish to leather that is already being conditioned. If you do decide to polish, make sure you apply Leather Honey Leather Conditioner first and allow it to dry completely before applying polish. 

Leather Conditioning


What is leather balm?

Leather balm is similar to leather conditioner, but unlike Leather Honey, it often contains waxes, lanolin or other animal products that can harm the leather over time. Wax will clog the leather's pores, which makes it unable to breathe, which can eventually dry or rot in the leather. Animal products often oxidize or go rancid in the leather, which can make it brittle. Leather balms are often advertised as combination cleaner and conditioner products, but combined products typically don't work as well. We recommend avoiding leather balm for this reason. 

Is it bad to clean leather often?

Excessive leather cleaning can also do leather more harm than good, as cleaning too often can occasionally dry the leather out. If you do end up with dry leather, you can simply apply a leather conditioner to restore the lost moisture. In general, only clean your leather if it really needs it, and always remember to wait for it to dry before adding conditioner. 

Maintaining the life of the leather

The maintenance of leather is really quite simple. If you choose a quality conditioner like Leather Honey, a bottle may be all you need to last you through the year. Leather Honey can be ordered online through our website or through Amazon.com.

More to Know About Leather Polish vs Leather Conditioner

Some common questions people have about the differences between leather polish and leather conditioner.

When should you polish leather?

You can polish leather when you want to add a quick shine to a leather jacket, leather boots, or any other leather product.

Can you put too much conditioner on leather?

You can put too much conditioner on leather, but don't worry. The problem will likely resolve itself as the leather absorbs the conditioner over time.

How do you polish and condition leather?

You always want to condition leather first, then, if you want to, add polish. However, with a good leather conditioner, you will likely find that the polish is unnecessary.


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