Top critical review
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Leaves leather oily, and tacky. Not for cars.
on April 8, 2012
In an attempt to keep my new leather dash from ever getting warped again, I looked into this product, given overwhelming number of positive reviews.
As the name implies, Leather Honey is a thick, translucent fluid that flows with a consistency not unlike corn syrup.
The instructions on the back reads:
Leather Honey revitalizes stiff, weathered leather
and softens, protects, and extends the life of new
leather. May darken some leather, but original
color usually returns over time. Use on all types
of leather except suede.
New Leather: Using a paint brush, sponge, or
lint-free cloth, cover entire surface area with
Leather Honey at room temperature: the warmer
the product, the easier to apply. Allow a minimum
of two hours for absorption (preferably overnight)
and wipe off excess.
Used Leather: Clean surface with mild soap and
warm water. Allow to dry. Follow instructions for
new leather. If necessary, apply additional coats.
Use only as directed.
Not for retail unless authorized.
A little goes a long way.
So.. with that I left my car to warm up nicely in the sun before applying the product. My car's interior colors were a mixture of black and light creme leather. I tested the product on a non-conspicuous leather spot behind my seat, and all was safe. It didn't change the color.
My first impression was the smell. It doesn't smell horrible, but it has a smokey smell to it. Very hard to describe. When applied the smell is very light and not too apparent, but out of the bottle it has a strong burnt+sour chemical smell to it. I get the impression they were trying to simulate the smell of natural treated leather. It will be entirely up to you to decide how compatible this leather is with your product. In case of my car's interior, I didn't mind it, as I believed the smell would mix right in with that 'new car' smell. I just wouldn't call it pleasant.
Next up-application. As I applied the Leather Honey onto a clean microfiber cloth, to my surprise it was clear as water, but thick like syrup. Even though my car was nicely warmed up from the sun, the product laid down thickly. There was an immediate tackiness as the towel moved across the surface of the leather. I can see why people say this product isn't oily, because oil is slippery when applied.
Still, I will be completely straight with you. Contrary to what other reviewers have stated, the the product IS oily. Very oily, but not in that slippery way. It leaves the leather glistening. Even as I turned the towel to wipe off the excess, the leather was glistening. That may be fine for things like shoes, but for car leather, especially dashboards, it's not good. As instructed, I left the product on the leather to absorb overnight, and on the following day I went over everything again with a dry towel. Still my leather was left feeling oily, and still glistening. When I took the car out for a drive, the spot where my elbow normally touches the window sill was very hot to the touch. As you may or may not know, oily things heat up very quickly (Ever microwave something oily, like a croissant? Yes, it takes only a few seconds). Anyway, removing my elbow, it left a dull spot! I took my dry towel and tried to wipe away the dull spot but it didn't go away. My elbow had pulled the oil right out of the surface of leather. So yes, this product is very oily, and a terrible choice for car leather. I also noticed that the smudges left behind on window glass when my towel rubbed up against it (unavoidable), were not easily wiped away. In fact the only way to get rid of it was to use glass cleaner.
Because it is oil based, this product is certainly capable of restoring dry, weathered leather. The downside is that it left my car's leather oily. I'm sure my leather loved it but but I didn't. And it leaves a slight tackiness to the leather that I found very unappealing to sit in.
I can see how this product will rock for maintaining shoes and purses, which explains the numerous positive reviews. But it is not at all a good product on leather which your skin touches on a regular basis. Your skin gives and absorbs oil too, and when it touches something treated with leather honey, it will take away some of that oil. Leather Honey is very thick and oily. I laugh now thinking about the recommendation of using a brush in the instructions. That would have been a nightmare to reduce down to an even layer. On one hand if you don't put enough on, it won't do any good for the leather. But if you do, it's very, very oily and takes many go-overs to get things to an acceptable state. And even after that you're left with a tacky, unclean feeling leather.
I would not at all recommend this leather product for cars or jackets. Sorry, as much as I loved the name and the idea behind Leather Honey, I must warn all car lovers to steer away from this product. I would recommend using Zymol's Leather Creme Conditioner. It smells better, goes on easy and wipes off without the issues I had with Leather honey. I ended up using it to restore my interior the way it was before I applied Leather Honey. I really hoped Leather Honey was a better product than what I was using, but it wasn't--at least not for what I bought it for.
Oh yes, I did mention jacket didn't I? Yes, I applied leather honey to my jacket at the same time. It was a mistake. It, too, was left feeling slightly tacky. It was an $800 Levi's Made and Craft leather motorcycle-style jacket (like a baby's butt, sheepskin soft). Anyway I'm sure with time the tackiness will go away and I'm left with a healthier leather jacket. I won't be doing that that again.
Anyway, this has been my honest review of Leather Honey. I hope it was helpful. Thanks for reading!
If you have any additional tips or suggestions for me, on the product or my review, I'd love to hear it! Leave me a comment. Thanks again!