What Household Products Can You Use to Clean Leather?

Leather care is the critical part of using leather goods that you must know if you wish to keep your items in pristine condition. While the market is flooded with an assortment of leather cleaners, many are keen on knowing if items they already have at home can serve the purpose of a cleaning solution. So, what household products can you use to clean leather?

Effective household leather-cleaning supplies include water, mild dishwashing soap, saddle soap, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and more. But these solutions work differently and must be used appropriately to prevent accidental damage to your precious leather crafts.

Fortunately, I have tried these cleaning products and found safe ways to use them for cleaning leather jackets, boots, and sofas. So, if you’re yearning to spruce up your leather pieces, delve into this article to explore these household leather-cleaning items and the right way to use them.

home remedies for cleaning leather sofa

How to Make Your Leather Furniture Looks Like New

Leather furniture is a perfect item for any home or office space. If properly cared for, your leather cushions will last for an extended period due to their timeless appeal and durability. If you are seeking ways to keep your leather furniture pieces looking as good as new, there are a few tricks you should try.

The first step involves proper cleaning, so you should learn how to clean a dirty leather cushion. Kindly look for the best leather cleaner for sofas or make your cleaning solution at home using everyday household items. A mixture of white vinegar and water can also help clean a leather couch; you can also try other potent supplies to get your leather cleaned.

Once you’ve cleaned the furniture, wipe it down with a dry, clean cloth to eliminate any excess moisture. Leather furniture can become dry and brittle over time; hence, it is essential to condition your leather upholstery after cleaning and drying. Conditioning the leather helps to keep it supple and prevents it from cracking.

Finally, apply a leather protectant to give your sofa a polished appearance and preserve it from damages resulting from spills and stains that may occur. Be sure to pick a protectant appropriate for the leather type you are working on among the several options in the market.

What Household Products Can You Use to Clean Leather

Leather cleaning may seem daunting, but you can easily make your leather items look great with the right supplies. You can find several commercial leather cleaning products, which can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, you can effectively clean leather products with a variety of household items, which include:

Saddle Soap or Mild Dishwashing Soap

You can easily clean your leather pieces and keep them in good condition using saddle soap and water. Can you clean the leather with soap and water? You can employ mild dishwashing soap if you don’t have saddle soap.

Simply add some soap to a bowl of water. Then, get a microfiber cloth damped with this cleaning solution and wipe the leather clean.

White Vinegar

This typical home supply works well for cleaning various materials, including leather. Its inherent disinfecting capabilities and acidic qualities can help clean off filth and remove stains from leather surfaces.

If you are keen on cleaning leather with vinegar, mix vinegar, and water (in equal amounts) in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Then, spray it over a microfiber cloth to clean the leather in a circular motion.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural cleaning solution that can aid in removing stubborn stains from leather surfaces. You can clean and remove stains from leather by making a paste by combining equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar.

The mixture can then be applied to the stain and let dry for a few hours. When the paste has dried, remove it with a soft-bristled brush or sponge, and then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. However, be careful, as this cleaning agent can lighten leather – you may want to use it for light-colored items.

Baking Soda

Another common home ingredient that may be used to clean and deodorize leather is baking soda. Baking soda may be used to remove fresh oil stains on leather – pour some on the affected area to absorb the grease and dust off with a soft-bristled brush afterward.

Similarly, you can eliminate other pesky stains by making a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this stain-removal paste to the stain, and let it sit for a few hours to dry. When the paste has dried, remove it with a soft-bristled brush, and then clean the area using a damp cloth.

Rubbing Alcohol or Nail Polish Remover

While this may sound weird, you can easily use some rubbing alcohol to clean your leather items and get rid of some pesky stains. In the past, I have used isopropyl alcohol to get the pen off leather surfaces.

Mix rubbing alcohol with water, and apply on the leather surface using a cotton pad. Rub the leather surface gently to remove the stain without damaging this piece.

Then, rinse off the residue using a clean, damp cloth. Please note that you can use a non-acetone nail polish remover if you don’t have rubbing alcohol.


This product works exceptionally well for white leather items and makes them look good as new. Get some non-gel toothpaste and dab some on the affected part of your leather. For tough stains, you can scrub gently using a soft-bristled brush; otherwise, wipe off using a damp cloth and allow the leather to dry.

what household products can you use to clean leather boots

How to Use Household Products to Clean Your Leather Furniture

If you are looking for home remedies for cleaning leather sofas and the proper method for using them, here is a guide to help you through.

Supplies Needed:

  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Vinegar and water
  • Microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush
  • Vaseline


Step 1: Remove dust and other particles

Wipe off dust and debris on your leather couch using a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth. In order to get rid of any filth that may have amassed there, be sure to reach all the folds and crevices.

Step 2: Wipe the surface clean

Using a microfiber cloth damped with a solution of water and mild dishwashing soap, wipe clean the surface of your leather furniture in circular motions.

Step 3: Use a vinegar and water solution for stains

If there are pesky stains on your leather cushion, you can use a solution of vinegar and water to get rid of them. In a spray bottle, combine white vinegar and water in equal parts. Working in circular motions, spray the solution onto a soft, clean cloth and carefully rub it onto the leather surface.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry the Leather

Get a clean, soft cloth damped with water and wipe the leather surface to remove any residues of the cleaning solutions. Then, allow the piece of furniture dry in a well-ventilated area.

Step 5: Condition the Leather

It is essential to condition this item to replenish the lost oil on your sofa and prevent the leather couch from peeling. What household products condition leather? A good conditioning product for leather is petroleum jelly. Apply a tiny amount of Petroleum jelly to a soft cloth and massage it in a circular motion over the leather surface, let it sit for a while, and buff afterward using a dry cloth.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q: What is the best homemade leather cleaner?

The best DIY cleaning solution for your leather varies based on the sort of leather you have and how much filth and grime is on it. Nevertheless, you can clean your leather pieces using mild dishwashing soap, vinegar, water solution, or baking soda.

However, use this solution carefully to prevent damage to your treasured leather. Also, it’s crucial to remember that you should always test any DIY leather cleaner on a tiny, unnoticeable area of the leather first to ensure it won’t damage or discolor it.

Q: Does dish soap clean leather?

You can always use mild dish soap for cleaning your leather pieces. This household cleaning solution is cost-effective and can keep your leather items pristine. Add some mild dish soap to a bowl of water, and get a clean cloth damped with this solution.

Then, wipe the leather surface with a damp cloth to remove all dirt and grime. Once done, wipe the leather surface using another cloth damped with water to remove any residue.

Q: What should you not use on leather?

Leather is an exquisite material that requires proper maintenance, and to keep such pieces looking the best, here are some things you shouldn’t use on your leather.

  • Harsh chemicals: Steer clear of using any cleaning solutions containing harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. These substances may result in fading, cracking, or discoloration of the leather.
  • Abrasive Items: Avoid putting abrasive items on leather, including steel wool, hard-bristled brushes, or rough sponges, since they can scratch or damage the surface.
  • Hot water: Hot water can shrink leather, causing this piece to dry out, crack, or lose its natural oils.

Q: Is coconut oil safe for leather?

Although coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that works well for many things, it should not be used on leather. Coconut oil may make leather harder to breathe, darken the leather, clog the pores, and leave a greasy residue.

Using coconut oil on leather can also make the material sticky or tacky, attracting dirt and other debris and causing the leather to deteriorate over time. This is especially true for costly or delicate leather products like luxury purses, apparel, and furniture.

Q: Is Vaseline good for leather?

Using Vaseline on leather as a conditioner for this product isn’t a bad idea, as it can help soften this material and protect it from cracks. Also, petroleum jelly works well for moisture-proofing leather. Nevertheless, it would be best to invest in a good commercial leather conditioner, as such products are formulated to care for various types of leather.

Q: Is olive oil good for leather?

Olive oil can damage and discolor leather over time by darkening and staining it. It may also leave an oily residue that attracts dirt and other particles, giving the leather an unpleasant grubby appearance.

Hence, it is recommended to use a conditioner made particularly for leather rather than olive oil when caring for leather. These treatments are designed to enter the pores of the leather and replenish its moisture and natural oils without damaging it or leaving a greasy residue.

Q: Can you use lemon juice on leather?

Lemon juice has been said to help eliminate pesky stains on leather. You can try this solution if you are wondering how to clean leather furniture with household products. By itself, lemon juice can be harsh on leather, and this acidic solution may damage your treasured leather items.

Thus, it is essential to use it correctly – mix lemon juice and cream of tartar in equal parts, and apply on the stained area of your leather. Be sure to allow the paste to sit before wiping it off with a damp cloth. Once done, do not forget to condition the leather item.

Q: Is Dettol safe on leather?

It would be best if you didn’t use Dettol directly on leather for cleaning or deodorizing. This disinfectant on leather could cause unsightly damage, including fading and discoloration. But if you want to employ Dettol for your leather-cleaning routine, add only a tiny amount to the cleaning water.

Q: What can destroy leather?

Although leather is an attractive and long-lasting material, there are several things that can damage it, such as:

  • Harsh Chemicals: Exposure to strong chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or acidic cleansers can harm leather. Damage of various kinds, such as fading and discoloration, may result from these compounds.
  • Moisture: Excessive moisture or prolonged exposure to water is not suitable for leather. You should know that when leather gets wet, it loses its natural oils over time a can become cracked, discolored, or moldy.
  • Heat and Sunshine: Leather can fade, dry up, and become brittle when exposed to excess heat and sunlight.

Final Words

We all love our leather items, as they are durable and attractive. Nonetheless, with all great things comes an obligation, and caring for leather can be a Herculean task. But the bottom line is getting a good cleaning solution that would keep your leather pieces in pristine condition.

In this era of DIY, I’m sure you would like to know if there are leather cleaning agents that you can find within your home. Well, many such solutions would not only maintain your leather pieces but also help you save money. This guide on “what household products you can use to clean leather” would reveal more intriguing details.

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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