How to Clean Leather

Leather is a material used in jackets, luggage, and household furniture. It is made by tanning the skin and hides of animals. The skin used is often from cattle. To maintain your leather, it should be cleaned regularly.


Materials Needed


  • gentle moisturizing soap
  • olive oil
  • water
  • three pieces of soft, clean cloth

Test the cleaning materials on a small patch of the leather. This is to make sure the cleaner won’t change its color or moisture.

If you’re cleaning a big area on your leather, use the whole rag. For small spots, you may need to use only the corner of the rag. Run the cloth under tap water. Squeeze out excess water from the rag before putting a little amount of soap.

Before the actual cleaning, rub the rag against itself to bring it to a light lather. Don’t use the actual soap on your leather. Instead, smoothly stroke a light lather onto the surface of the leather until it becomes dirt free.

Use a slightly moist rag to wipe off any residue from the leather.

You should never rinse the leather with a soaking wet cloth or under running water. Too much moisture will damage the leather.

Use a clean dry rag to absorb the thin layer of excess water that may still be on the surface after rinsing. Let the leather dry in open air for a few minutes.

Cleaning the leather with soap removes some of its natural oils, so you should condition the leather. Place a very tiny amount of olive oil on a soft, dry cloth and gently stroke the cloth onto the leather. Apply only a little amount of oil. Too much olive oil will make your material greasy or damp, drawing dust and dirt. Darker or shinier leather shows that it has too much oil.

Keep away from materials like wax, shoe polish, and mink oil when cleaning leather garments or furniture.

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