Leather items are not typically machine washable and should not be submerged in water. Doing so can lead to the leather drying out, cracking, or distorting in shape.
Dos and don’ts of washing leather
5-step guide to washing leather
Use a dry, soft microfiber cloth to gently dust off the leather. This removes any loose dirt or dust that could scratch the leather during the cleaning process.
Test The Cleaner
Before applying any cleaner, test it on a small, hidden area of the leather to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage. This could be a leather-specific cleaner or a mild soap solution.
Apply The Cleaner
If your test spot shows no adverse reaction, apply your cleaner to the rest of the item. Use a damp (not wet), soft cloth to gently rub the cleaner onto the leather in a circular motion.
Dry The Leather
Pat the leather dry with a clean, soft cloth. Let it air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight or heat.
Condition The Leather
After the leather is completely dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and prevent it from drying out and cracking.
No, leather items should not be machine washed. This can cause the leather to lose its shape, color, and texture. It’s best to clean leather items by hand using a leather cleaner or mild soap solution.
Can I use any type of soap to clean leather?
No, it’s recommended to use a mild, non-detergent soap. Harsher soaps can strip the natural oils from the leather, causing it to dry out and crack.
How often should I clean my leather items?
Leather items should be cleaned whenever they get dirty or roughly every six months to maintain their condition. However, leather should be conditioned more frequently, about every 2-3 months, depending on the usage and environment.
What should I do if I spill something on my leather item?
If something spills on your leather item, you should blot it up immediately with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain. If the stain doesn’t come out, it may be best to seek professional help.
Can I dry my leather item in the sun or with a hairdryer?
No, both direct sunlight and high heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack. Leather items should be air-dried in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
Can I use a leather conditioner on any type of leather?
Not all leather conditioners are suitable for all types of leather. Always check the label of the conditioner and test a small, inconspicuous area first. It’s also important to note that some types of leather, such as suede or nubuck, require specialized products.
What can I do if my leather item has a tough stain or is significantly damaged?
If your leather item has a tough stain or significant damage, it may be best to seek the help of a professional leather cleaner. DIY methods might worsen the problem, especially for expensive or valuable items.