How to Clean Leather

There’s nothing like driving home in your new car or putting on a pair of the perfect winter gloves when it starts to get cold. We all have our special leather products that we cherish and appreciate, but sometimes they can become overused, ratty, and dirty. What do you do when they become unsightly? It can be hard to figure out how to clean each of your leather goods without ruining them with the wrong product or too much water. With this guide you can learn how to clean leather the right way to have your things look as good as new and preserved for years to come.

Car Seats

Cleaning leather car seat

From long road trips to picking up the kids from sports, your leather seats could be looking depressed and worn out. Follow these easy steps to have your car seats look how they did when you first drove home from the dealership:

  • First, vacuum your leather car seats and be sure to get any extra dust or debris. If there is anything left behind it can become embedded into the leather and cause small blemishes after detailing. Use caution so the vacuum hose doesn’t damage the seats. You may also use an air compressor to blow out dirt from in between the seat cracks.
  • Turn on the heat in your car. This will open the leather pores and allow more cleaning product to be absorbed into the seats.
  • Wipe down the surface of your leather seats with a washcloth and mild leather soap, saddle soap, or leather cleaner to remove surface dirt before you scrub your seats. Be sure to specifically use leather cleaner because other soaps have high alkalinity that may harden the leather.
  • Either spray your cleaner directly onto the seat or onto your small scrubbing brush. Gently scrub the solution on the leather to bring deeper embedded dirt to the surface.
  • Once you believe all of the dirt has been loosened, wipe the seats clean with a washcloth. You should be able to see dirt and grime from your seats on the cloth.
  • To avoid further damage and cracking, use a high quality, less greasy leather conditioner after your seats are completely dry to replenish its natural oils.
  • To make sure the conditioner doesn’t damage or discolor your seats, test it on an area no one will see. If it doesn’t damage your leather, gently apply the conditioner with a washcloth or sponge.
  • Once the conditioner has had time to soak in for a few hours, buff your leather seats with a washcloth and wipe away excess leather conditioner.
  • You only need to perform this process a few times a year if you continue to regularly vacuum and/or wipe down your seats every three to five weeks.

Gloves

How to clean leather gloves

Your leather gloves can become overused because of the winter months, horseback riding, work, and other things. Get them looking brand new by following these tips:

  • Dampen a paper towel or old washcloth with a small amount of leather cleaner or saddle soap.
  • Wear one glove on one hand and with your other hand, work a lather onto the glove with the paper towel or cloth. Make sure to get into all of the nooks in between fingers. Gently scrub so the color of your gloves isn’t affected.
  • Then, use a clean and damp paper towel or cloth to wipe away the soap and old dirt.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary, depending on how dirty your gloves are.
  • Switch gloves and repeat.
  • Let both gloves air dry.
  • When they are nearly dry, try the gloves on to restore their shape and softness and then hang them up again to finish drying.
  • If your gloves are still in bad shape after cleaning, there are color touch up products, post-washing care, and water repellant sprays so that your gloves can be looking their best for as long as possible.

Purses

how to clean a leather purse

You take your leather purse with you everywhere you go. You often place it on the dirty floor or wear out its straps when hanging it on a hook. You’ve probably spent a lot of money on this luxury accessory, so you deserve your investment’s worth. Get your favorite staple item looking just as chic as it once did by following these steps:

  • Wipe down your bag with a damp paper towel or washcloth to remove surface stains and dirt.
  • With a clean paper towel or washcloth, apply leather cleaner to your bag and wipe going with the grain of the leather.
  • Remove cleaner residue and loose dirt by wiping your bag again with a clean paper towel or washcloth.
  • Allow your bag to dry (which should only take around half an hour to an hour).
  • Apply leather moisturizer to your bag once it’s dry. Any other kind or moisturizer can stain your leather or make it look greasy. Rub the leather moisturizer on your purse with a clean cloth in circular motions.
  • After the conditioner is applied, buff your bag using a dry washcloth to remove excess leather moisturizer and to restore texture and shine.
  • Tips to keeping your bag looking flawless:
  1. Keep it out of direct sunlight.
  2. Don’t wear light colored purses with dark clothing because the dye from the clothing can rub off which is one of the hardest stains to remove.
  3. Keep your bag stuffed with anything like tissue paper or clothes you don’t wear while you’re not using it so its shape can stay intact.
  4. Keep your purse in a dust bag or a pillowcase when you’re not using it so it’s not exposed to dirt and debris.
  5. Don’t use water on grease stains; just wipe them away with a paper towel or washcloth.

Furniture

How to clean leather furniture

Your leather furniture is constantly being used whether you’re spending hours binge watching Netflix, hosting house parties, or just hanging out with the family. Keep your main living spaces in tip-top shape by following these steps to clean your leather furniture:

  • Vacuum the surface of the furniture. Be careful to not scratch surfaces with the nozzle of your vacuum.
  • Next, wipe down their surfaces with a damp paper towel or washcloth to remove any surface dust that may have lingered after vacuuming.
  • There is no need to clean every inch of your leather furniture with soap. Point out where there are lightly stained areas and wipe them down using a damp, soapy cloth. You can use a mild and all-natural soap (like Dove). Use leather cleaner on heavier soiled areas.
  • Test your soapy cloth or leather cleaner on an area no one will see. If it doesn’t damage your leather you can continue to lightly brush off stains.
  • With a clean paper towel or washcloth, wipe your leather furniture dry and open your windows/turn on a fan so that the furniture is in a well-ventilated area and will dry fast.
  • To preserve your leather furniture and to replenish its natural oils, use a high quality leather preservative after the cushions are completely dry.
  • Buff the furniture with a clean cloth to remove excess conditioner, which will make it shine like new again.

 

Be sure to check the tags of all of your leather products incase there are any special instructions different from our how to clean leather guide. If you follow these easy steps, your leather car seats, gloves, purses, and furniture will be looking as new and luxurious as the day you got them.

 

Images: thekrazycouponlady.com, superstreetonline.com, huffingtonpost, handbaghangerforyou.wordpress, worldofleathers.com