Using Baking Soda on Leather: Pro Tips and Techniques

With its unrivaled beauty and everlasting appeal, leather has long been associated with refinement and luxury. But there remains the challenge of preserving its flawless beauty over time.

Hence, one of the frequent discussions amongst leather enthusiasts is leather care and maintenance. While there are multiple care products for maintaining leather pieces, various recommendations suggest using baking soda as a household leather cleaner for different leather items.

So, should you use baking soda on leather? This article will change how you think about leather maintenance and show you what happens when you clean your leather products with baking soda.

how to use baking soda to clean leather

What Is Baking Soda?

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a common home ingredient with several uses outside cooking, including cleaning, stain removal, and deodorizing. With its unassuming white look and mild alkaline characteristics, this powder has an uncanny capacity to remove tough stains and filth, making it an essential part of any cleaner’s toolkit.

It is versatile, thanks to its ability to remove various stains, including those brought on by food and drink, as well as from ink, grease, or oil stains and even offensive smells. Kindly note that this product’s potency mainly lies in its alkaline composition, which aids in the breakdown of acidic or fatty chemicals and facilitates their removal from diverse surfaces.

Can I Use Baking Soda On Leather?

Since sodium bicarbonate has been tested to be an effective stain remover, many questions have been asked, such as “Can I put baking soda on leather seats” and “Does baking soda clean leather items.” The answer to this question reveals a careful balance between baking soda’s cleaning abilities and preserving the integrity of the fragile fibers of leather.

If you are still not determined what household products you can use to clean leather, kindly note that baking soda remains an excellent natural compound proven to be an effective leather-cleaning product. Different leather items may be cleaned and deodorized with baking soda, but you must apply those carefully using special techniques.

That said, here’s how to clean leather items using baking soda.

  • Conduct a Spot Test: Perform a spot test on a discrete section of the leather before applying baking soda to a visible area to check for potential adverse effects.
  • Mild Stains: You may use baking soda to remove minor stains like small scuff marks or dirt accumulation. Apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water on the stain and gently massage in circular motions. With a moist towel, remove the paste, then let the leather air dry.
  • Deodorizing: You may use baking soda to remove odors from leather accessories like shoes or purses. Shake off the excess baking soda after placing a tiny amount inside the object and letting it sit for hours or overnight.

Pros of Using Baking Soda on Leather

The advantages of baking soda are persuasive and diverse in preserving the attractiveness of leather items, ranging from clothing to furniture. Here are a few merits of using baking soda as a leather cleaner or deodorizer.

It is Natural and Has a pH Suitability for Leather.

Baking soda is a testament to nature’s inventiveness for individuals who value eco-friendly and sustainable solutions. In addition to reducing the amount of synthetic chemicals released into the environment, this natural leather care product align with a holistic approach to caring for and maintaining valuable leather clothing, footwear, and accessories.

Again, making a solution of baking soda and water would give off a cleaning solution with a suitable pH level for leather products. Generally, sodium bicarbonate has a pH of around 11, which works well for eradicating grime and dirt on leather surfaces.

Although leather requires a reasonably neutral cleaning solution at six or seven, baking soda would cause a balance of the pH levels without destroying the material’s texture while getting rid of dirt. This would prevent any leather peelings or cracking often resulting from extended exposure to acidic substances.

Clean Leather Items

It is imperative to clean leather goods regularly, depending on how often you subject them to use. Baking soda is a mild scrub on leather surfaces that removes built-up grime, oils, and dirt residues, which can dull the material’s luster.

All you have to do is make a cleaning solution by mixing some part of baking soda to warm water. Then, pour the solution into a spray can and apply sparingly on the dirty leather surface before wiping it off using a clean microfiber cloth. This cleaning solution effectively removes dirt and discolorations that regular soaps cannot handle.

Eradicate Pesky Stains on Leather

Baking soda is renowned for its use against stubborn stains and can effectively fix stained leather pieces. Due to its alkaline characteristics, it may effectively dissolve acidic substances, including those that cause different stains, ranging from food spills to ink smudges on leather.

For greasy stains, sprinkling sodium bicarbonate would help absorb the oil, leaving the leather spotless after dusting off the powder a few hours later. However, you can make baking soda paste with water to tackle other pesky stains.

When applied as a paste, this product’s gentle yet persistent action softly loosens and lifts the stain particles, exposing a canvas that has been cleared of impurities.

It is a Cost Effective Leather Cleaning Product

Baking soda offers itself as a financially wise option at a time when commercial cleaning supplies frequently have high price tags. It provides an outstanding value for its adaptability at a fraction of the cost of specialty leather cleaners.

Furthermore, sodium bicarbonate appears as a product almost all households have in their pantry and can be easily purchased at grocery stores. You can confidently clean your leather products by making a potent cleansing paste of baking soda and water without sacrificing the cleaning effectiveness.

Works as a Deodorizer

Since leather is a porous material, it quickly absorbs liquids and gases and develops an unpleasant smell that may linger for an extended period. Even after regular cleaning, leather products, especially shoes and sometimes bags, can retain these unpleasant smells.

The deodorizing abilities of sodium bicarbonate make it an efficient and rapid fix – I have even tried it for removing smoke smell from leather furniture. This product absorbs and neutralizes smells, leaving behind fresh and energizing air when sprinkled sparingly inside the enclosed space of a leather item and let sit overnight – you may need to repeat this process severally.

Cons of Using Baking Soda on Leather

There is no denying the appeal of employing baking soda as a cleaning agent, and its reputation as a capable stain remover has inspired many to look into its possibilities for reviving leather goods. However, there are a few downsides to using this product on leather.

It May Leave Some Messy Residue

The potential for leaving behind a dirty residue is one of the main worries when using baking soda on leather. Baking soda remains effective for removing stains and filth, but spreading this product on leather surfaces to absorb stains can leave some residues.

Also, when combined with water, you can produce a paste-like consistency. If the baking powder paste isn’t completely removed, it may sink into the leather’s grain and be challenging to remove entirely. The residue could mask the leather’s inherent sheen and texture, giving the surface an unfavorable appearance.

The leather must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid an undesirable result, and any baking soda residue must be eliminated.

It Might React Adversely with Some Leather Materials

The degree to which different types of leather are sensitive to cleaning solutions varies. While using baking soda on leather surfaces is typically considered safe, unfavorable interactions with specific leather types may be possible.

The abrasive action of baking soda may react negatively with exotic or fragile leathers, such as Nappa or patent leather, perhaps causing discoloration, damage to the leather fibers, or a change of the material’s inherent texture.

I recommend spot-testing this solution in an inconspicuous area of the leather surface to be sure it wouldn’t cause visible damage before using the item’s entire area. Also, avoid leaving the baking poser on the leather for too long to avoid drying or discolorations.

Tips for Using Baking Soda on Leather

  • Conduct a spot test on a discrete section of the leather before using any cleaning procedure on a visible area.
  • Make sure the baking soda paste is creamy in consistency rather than too thick or grippy, as the chance of scratching the leather bag or furniture’s surface during application will be reduced with a smoother paste.
  • While applying the paste to the leather, use soft brushing or mild massaging strokes rather than hard rubbing. You can use a clean, lint-free/microfiber cloth or a soft-bristle brush for this.
  • If you sprinkle the baking soda on the leather surface, kindly vacuum afterward to remove any residue.
  • Consider using a leather conditioner to replenish any moisture/oils lost during cleaning after the baking soda has effectively removed a stain.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How long do you leave baking soda on the leather?

How long to leave baking soda on a leather couch or clothing depends on the extent of the stain. Nevertheless, leave this powder on leather items overnight or let the paste sit for about three to five minutes. During this time, the baking soda may come in contact with the stain/dirt to lift it off the leather’s surface and break it down.

Should you put baking soda on leather seats?

Baking soda may be used on leather seats to lightly clean and deodorize them. It can assist with the removal of superficial dirt, odor, and mild stain. For the best outcomes, you must conduct a patch test – it’s essential to carry out a patch test in a discrete region before using baking soda over the entire leather seat.

Apply a small amount of baking soda diluted with water to a concealed leather furniture area. After a short while, look for any unfavorable effects, such as discoloration or dryness. You can continue the cleaning procedure if there are no adverse effects.

Can one use baking soda to clean the leather bag?

You can employ baking soda for cleaning your leather bags, purses, and wallets. This household supply has been proven effective for removing stains on leather bags. All that is needed is to make a paste by mixing this powder with warm water – then apply it to the stain and let it sit briefly before wiping it off with a damp, clean cloth.

How do you deodorize leather with baking soda?

Baking soda is a simple and efficient method for deodorizing leather that may help freshen your leather goods and eliminate smells. Sprinkle some baking soda over the leather surface – kindly pay close attention to places prone to holding scents, including the inside of shoes, bags, or pockets.

Let it sit for several hours or the entire night, letting the baking absorb the offensive smell. After that, carefully vacuum or brush the surface to remove the baking soda and any scents it has absorbed. Then, clean the leather surface with a moist towel to remove any residues, and air dry the leather.

Does baking soda dry leather?

If misapplied, baking soda may cause the leather to dry, but here are a few tricks to avoid this problem.

  • Avoid leaving sodium bicarbonate on the leather for too long.
  • Use a moist towel to remove the baking soda paste after the allotted contact time. To avoid any potential drying effects, make sure to get rid of the residue.
  • Consider using a leather conditioner to restore the leather’s lost oils and moisture after cleaning.

Will baking soda remove oil from leather?

Leather oil stains may be successfully removed using baking soda. It is a valuable supply for removing oil stains from leather surfaces because of its absorbent qualities and light abrasive action, which can assist in lifting and breaking down oil spots.

Try to deal with the stain first as soon as you detect it. Use a clean microfiber cloth to gently blot as much extra oil as possible if the stain is still wet. Rub lightly; rubbing will spread the stain. Make a paste with water and a tiny amount of sodium bicarbonate – a creamy texture.

Apply a thin layer of cleaning paste to the leather’s oil-stained region, and rub gently with a soft-bristled brush or towel. Please let the baking soda paste remain on the stain before wiping it away with a moist towel.

If you use baking soda to clean white leather or light-colored items, wipe again with a cloth damped with soapy water if you notice trace discolorations.

Final Words

Leather items require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance for an extended period. What is the best thing to clean leather with? There are several suitable leather cleaning solutions, ranging from commercial cleaners to household supplies like baking soda.

Using baking soda on leather helps remove stains while deodorizing and rejuvenating the leather, thanks to its properties. Whether you want to give your treasured leather an excellent clean or remove a tough stain, this guide will take you through the proper process.

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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