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I've had leather sofas for nearly 20 years now and over the years have become quite adept at cleaning them. Usually a light vacuuming will do the trick, but I have used leather cleaning wipes and in the dim and distant past when my daughter was a baby I was known to use a baby wipe in an emergency.
I currently own two leather sofas and six leather dining chairs which is rather a lot of leather. I vacuum them regularly and clean them with a cleaning product every couple of weeks or so. I recently read a review of Wheelers Leather Cleaning Spray, and encouraged by the fact the reviewer liked it, never mind the fact it was a natural plant based product, I decided to buy it.
The spray comes in a pump spray bottle with a bright orange trigger. The bottle contains 300 ml and the product itself is transparent. There is a pump lock on the bottle to save on accidental waste.
I bought mine in Homebase for £3.99 but I have since seen it in TK Maxx for half that price so it's worth shopping around for it.
Wheelers claim the spray "lifts dirt and grime with natural plant extracts not harmful detergents". They do suggest you test the spray on a discreet area first due to the fact some leather dyes are non-permanent.
The spray is not recommended for aniline leather - which is the more expensive leather which shows far more imperfections than the more standard leather found in most high street furniture. If in doubt about the type of leather your furniture is made with, check first. Finally, the product should not come into contact with upholstery and fabrics.
Dooyoo have this listed as a beeswax product - it isn't and I can only conclude this was an error based on how many beeswax products Wheeler's do make.
The leather spray is easy to use - after vacuuming, I spray sparingly on to my leather and work in with a cloth. I then leave the surface for a couple of minutes before returning with a clean cloth to wipe the product off.
Most of the product does evaporate slowly into the leather so you don't find yourself scrubbing or buffing for any length of time with this product. Furthermore, it contains essential oils of cotton and lemongrass which give off a very pleasant aroma.
The leather instantly looks cleaner once I have wiped it down. Wheelers recommend for added protection you then use their Leather Balm on your furniture for a perfect finish. I have bought this and used it a couple of times but don't feel the need to apply it every time I clean my leather furniture - once a month is quite enough. It also has to be said that the leather balm does require rather more elbow grease than the cleaning spray!
Wheelers do claim that their Leather Cleaning Spray "rejuvenates" leather and I must admit I do agree with this - so much so I am unconvinced the leather balm is really necessary in addition to the spray. The cleaned leather looks so much shinier and the grain takes on a more lustrous appearance.
The cotton and lemongrass essential oils do leave a lovely fragrance on your leather and the cotton in particular just adds to the just cleaned aroma which lingers for a few hours after cleaning. If you are expecting visitors never mind the pot pourri - clean your leather sofa with this instead!
I have to say I love everything about this product - except for the price. If you can find it in TK Maxx for £1.99 my advice would be to snap it up as it's really rather expensive if you pay full price. To be fair however, a little goes a long way so long as you remember Wheelers instructions to use sparingly.
I certainly find this is a more effective cleaner than the leather wipes I have used in the past - whether that the Lord Sheraton ones or cheaper wipes I have picked up in Poundland - never mind the fact it's easily the product with the most pleasant fragrance. It's also worth bearing in mind that this can also be used on luggage, shoes, handbags and gloves, making it particularly versatile.
If, like me, you have a lot of leather furniture, I really do recommend this product to keep it clean.
Leather is notoriously difficult to clean, which proves a bit of a problem in our house where we have a set of leather chairs and an adult with dementia who seems to make it his job to make a mess where there isn't one!
We did get a set of specialist leather cleaning wipes with the chairs but they got used up fairly quickly and proved very expensive to replace so, when we found a 300ml bottle of leather cleaning spray for just £2.99 we weren't going to say no!
As already stated this is a leather cleaning spray, it is made by a company called Wheelers who claim to have been "caring for leather since 1983". The spray itself contains no harmful chemicals and so won't damage your leather even with continued use. Instead, it cleans using natural plant extracts such as cotton and lemongrass, it also contains beeswax.
The spray claims to "clean, refresh and rejuvenate all kinds of leather", although this isn't quite true. The spray should not be used on Aniline leather. This is due to the finish of this kind of leather and separate cleaning instructions from the manufacturer should be followed.
The spray has a safety lock that has absolutely no instructions for it's use and so completely threw me to start with. Underneath the trigger there is a white bit of plastic, when this faces forward the trigger is locked and so can't be pressed down. However once you eventually work out why the spray doesn't work(!) then this plastic is easy to turn both before use to unlock the spray and after, allowing the trigger to be re-locked preventing wastage or accidents if children do happen to get their hands on this.
The directions say to spray sparingly, work into the leather and wait two minutes before finally wiping with a soft, clean cloth. I'll admit to having a tendency to overuse products like this and so I definitely used more then just 'sparingly' but then more often then not I'm trying to remove dirt and grime that have marked the leather and so more is definitely better then less - that's my reasoning anyway!
When first sprayed the cleaning product goes on clear but does produce a little bit of foam, this then works into the leather and is absorbed well with minimum effort. As directed I always leave this 2-3 minutes, you can tell when it's finished working as the leather always appears slightly damp until it's been completely absorbed. It doesn't feel damp to the touch and so there's no worries about it damaging the leather it just has that 'wet shine' effect. Once this has gone the leather still appears clean and with a slight shine. Although the directions say to wipe over with a clean cloth I only did this the first time and it made little to no difference to the finish and working the spray into the leather always removed all dirt and grime anyway so I stopped giving it the final wipe as it seemed to be pointless.
Although this hasn't managed to bring up the shine to the leather that the wipes I was using previously managed to do, I guess that's why the wipes were so much more expensive. Also Wheelers recommend finishing your cleaning with their leather balm and so maybe if you wanted the extra shine, this would be the product to bring it out for you.
I've been using this product now for around 6 months and it's had almost daily use, I have noticed no difference to or fading of the dye on the chairs and it definitely hasn't damaged the leather in any way.
As this contains beeswax it is unsuitable for vegans although then I guess vegans wouldn't have leather products anyway!
It is suitable on all kinds of leather (except the Aniline as stated above) but can be used on chairs, handbags, coats and all other kinds of leather. You should avoid contact with upholstery and fabrics and do a patch test on a discreet area before using across the rest of your item as some leather dyes are non-permanent.
This product has also been recommended by Aggie MacKenzie for those of you interested in her!
Availability, Pricing And Recommendation
I bought my bottle from Dunelm, as I've already said this cost me £2.99 for a 300ml bottle. According to their website (www.beewaxed.com) their products are also available from Homebase, John Lewis, countrywide, Jempson's, Ocado, Rainbow wholefoods, WWF (who knew the WWF had a shop?), Decco, Provider Cash and Carry, The Health Store and Sher Bros.
Now I'll be honest and say I haven't seen this in any of those stores but then I haven't been looking for it especially either so it's definitely worth looking. As far as recommendation goes, I'm going to try and pick out the balm in order to try and bring out the shine a bit more but it does the job it's designed to do - cleans and removing dirt and grime, and it does it well with minimum effort from me and therefore I'm happy to give it the full 5 out of 5 stars.