By now, you know how to clean your towels, the best way to launder delicates, and even how to get your white tees looking good as new. But one thing you might not have learned just yet is the best way to clean leather—without ruining it. Leather is a remarkably durable natural material that tends to look even better over time. Of course, that requires regular and thorough cleaning to protect and condition it—and here’s how to get it done.
Whether you’re dealing with leather furniture, leather shoes, or even a designer leather purse, it’s always important to spot-test everything you put on it to be sure it doesn’t discolor or damage the material. First, using a soft, lint-free cloth, wipe the surface as often as needed—this is likely to be weekly for leather furniture, and quarterly for leather purses that are properly stored in dust bags.
Don't Use Toothpaste
Then, don’t make the mistake of going in there with toothpaste—no matter what your late-night internet search says. Instead, grab something that’s specifically formulated for leather—like our Leather Cleaner, which is formulated without any creepy chemicals and can be used on any type of leather, including shoes, handbags, jackets, furniture, and luggage.
Use a Lint-Free Cloth
Spray Leather Cleaner directly onto a lint-free cloth, then dab the stain lightly, letting the cleaner soak into the stain. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before repeating the process, then soak up the stain with a dry part of the cloth. If the stain remains after drying, apply a thicker coat of Leather Cleaner and leave it on overnight. Wipe it off with a damp cloth in the morning.
How to Remove Leather Stains
For leather that’s stained or otherwise compromised with a clumpier stain like gym, I like to use this trick my mom taught me: Hold an ice cube directly on the stain until it’s frozen, then pick it off with a dull butter knife. It should pop right off. For other stains, soak a cotton ball in a stain-removing solution, let it sit on the stain for 30 seconds, making sure the solution doesn’t soak through, then wipe it with a dry sponge.
Condition Your Leather as You Clean
Keep in mind that you should condition your leather at least two times a year to keep it in optimal shape and prevent it from cracking: Using a clean, lint-free cloth, work Leather Cleaner into the material, making sure not to soak it. Let it sit for at least five minutes, then wipe it clean with a dry cloth.
Make sure any leather products—chairs, shoes, luggage—are kept out of direct sunlight to keep the color from fading.