04 August 2021

How to clean and care for leather products at home?


Leather is an extremely durable and dirt resistant material, however, over time it will eventually become soiled. The level of soiling depends on the nature of the leather item and how it has been used. Leather care is important, if it’s exposed to wet, dry or dirty conditions, it will require more cleaning than an item that is rarely used.

Part of the pleasure of owning a leather product is the touch. So to get the most out of your leather, you need to make sure you keep it clean. How to best clean your leather products at home, this is what we’re going to see.

How to clean leather from stains and smells?

Leather can be cleaned with a store-bought available cleaner suitable for all types of leather. Always test in an inconspicuous area before applying a cleaner. Apply the cleaner with a soft, damp cloth, covering the entire section of leather. Use a circular motion. Wipe off excess moisture with a second damp cloth. The last step is to dry the whole thing with a clean cloth.

Let the leather dry naturally, but never in direct sunlight. Leather can also be steam cleaned to remove germs and dirt detritus. However, since steam cleaning does not penetrate the leather, it will not be as effective at removing stains.

Always ensure that the cleaning product is suitable for the type of leather you are going to treat. Also, always remember to apply the product to a microfiber cloth, never directly to the leather. Work the product into the surface and remove the excess with a clean cloth.

All leather materials do not require the same level of care

The type of leather determines the cleaning method to be used. Finished leather (treated leather) has a protective coating, while suede and unfinished leather (untreated leather) do not.

A little saddle soap can be used on a finished leather sofa, but even a mild soap may be too harsh for the most sensitive leathers. If you're not sure how your leather will react to cleaning, test your cleaning product on an inconspicuous area.

Avoid homemade cleaning solutions

When it comes to leather, it's best to use water or cleaning products specifically designed for leather. Popular home remedies like baking soda, white vinegar, cream of tartar and lemon juice can be harsh on delicate leathers and make your leather product even worse.

Treat stains as soon as they happen 

The best way to treat stains on leather is to treat them immediately by using a soft cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. It is recommended to dampen a cloth with a leather cleaner. A spray product can also be used, in which case spray it on the cloth first rather than directly on the leather surface. Do not rub, as you may leave a water stain. Dab again with a dry cloth.

Sometimes, calling a professional cleaner is essential

Grease, makeup and ink stains that won't come out require professional cleaning.

If, even after trying the above solutions, the stain doesn't go away, it seems reasonable to call in a professional. Sometimes the best solution is to do nothing. Contact an expert!


How to protect leather and prevent from stains? 

It is also important to know how to care for your leather products to avoid possible further stains and damages. All leathers are different and require a particular care treatment to make them last longer.

Moisturise your leather when you can 

After cleaning the leather with water or leather cleaner, use a leather conditioner to restore moisture. Gently rub the leather conditioner into your leather with a circular motion using a brush, sponge, or microfiber cloth.

Remember to regularly clean your leather items 

Protect your leather. Protect all your leather items by wiping off dirt and grime regularly. Some items, such as leather jackets, can benefit from a waterproofing spray, while others, such as shoes, can be waxed to become more water resistant.

When it comes to your home chairs and armchairs, remember to keep them well cleaned by applying a suitable cleaning product, this will ensure their longevity.

Finally, regularly store your leather items in a dry place, out of direct sunlight, to avoid mold and discoloration. To help leather bags keep their shape, stuff them with a clean towel and store them in a dust bag. Hang leather jackets on sturdy hangers.


How to care for leather objects? 

Some types of items may require special cleaning techniques. Here are some tips for cleaning your everyday leather goods and furniture.

How to clean a leather sofa and chair? 

Under normal use, you may only need to dust, especially in the cracks or along the bottom to clean leather furniture. Vacuum cushions with a stiff bristle brush, and take out the flat nozzle for corners and other hard-to-reach areas.

However, the use of a good leather conditioner is highly recommended to avoid cracking and preserve the appearance of the leather longer. As explained earlier, to keep your leather sofa looking good, protect it from sunlight and direct light. Like any furniture material, leather can fade to some extent if exposed to sunlight.

How to clean a leather watch strap? 

Using a soft cloth, dust your leather strap before cleaning it. Moisten your soft cloth with a little water. You can add a little soap if you wish. However, if you add soap, use very little so as not to damage the leather of your watch strap. Gently brush your bracelet with the slightly dampened soft cloth to degrease your strap. The ideal is to clean your strap inside and then outside, checking the seams.

However, this technique is only temporary. The best way to preserve the quality of your watch bracelet is to use a specific leather cleaning product. This will save you time and money in the long run.

How to clean a leather shoes? 

Leather boots are timeless. Here's how to care for them. Clean them immediately if you spill any liquid on them. For regular cleaning, use the same solution described above. Use soap and water, just like with the leather jacket. You can also clean leather boots with baby wipes. They are gentle on leather shoes and you can keep some on hand.

Just remember that these tips are for temporary cleaning. If you want to precede a real good cleaning of your leather objects, it is in this case recommended to use specific products and adapted to leather.

Leather care : use Hagerty leather care products 

Leather Care : a cleaning and nourishing cream 

For a regular cleaning of your leather goods we advise you to use our cream. This one cleans and takes care of your leather accessories without degrading their colours. It removes marks, hydrates leather and protects from humidity.

Leather Care is made from natural waxes of Carnauba which protect and maintain leather items like car seats, couches or handbags.

The care acts rapidly, is efficient and let a pleasant odour on your accessories. But the most important effect is that the cream makes tarnished and dirty leather shine again.

How to use the leather cleaner?

- Apply gently the cream on leather with the sponge.
- Rub thoroughly with a soft cloth to ensure lasting effects.
- Here we are : your leather good shine again.

Leather Spray : a cleaning and nourishing spray 

To clean your leather items, you can also try our spray, which makes tarnished and dirty leather shine.

This one contains Vaseline, which restores the suppleness of the leather and protects against humidity. This is an easy-to-use spray formulation :

- Shake the spray can.
- Spray the leather from 15 cm.
- Wipe carefully.
- Clean with a moist cloth.


Please note that Leather Spray can be used on different types of leather, except aniline full grain leather, suede or nubuck.

Related Products