How to Clean Leather Clothes? – From Stains to Shine

Leather clothes are timeless pieces that exude style, luxury, and durability.

Whether you own a sleek leather jacket, a chic pair of leather pants, or a trendy leather skirt, proper care and maintenance are essential to keep them looking their best for years to come

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to clean your cherished leather garments effectively, ensuring they stand the test of time.

How to Clean Leather Clothes Infographic

How to Clean Leather Clothes?

To preserve the softness and high quality of leather clothes, it is crucial to handle the cleaning process with care. The table below outlines the steps for cleaning leather clothes:

Step Method
1. Preparation Remove surface dust and debris using a soft brush or cloth. Test the leather cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility.
2. Spot Cleaning Dampen a soft cloth with water and mild soap. Gently blot the stained area, avoiding excessive rubbing. Rinse the cloth and repeat if necessary.
3. Cleaning Solution Mix a small amount of leather cleaner with water according to the product instructions. Apply the solution to a clean cloth and blot the entire surface of the leather garment.
4. Gentle Scrubbing Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the affected area. Avoid aggressive scrubbing to prevent damage.
5. Rinsing Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe away any excess cleaning solution from the leather surface. Ensure thorough rinsing to remove all traces of cleaner.
6. Drying Allow the leather garment to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
7. Conditioning Once the leather is dry, apply a small amount of leather conditioner to a clean cloth. Gently massage the conditioner into the leather, focusing on areas prone to drying or cracking.
8. Buffing Use a clean, dry cloth to buff the leather surface and remove any excess conditioner. This helps restore the leather’s natural shine and softness.
9. Final Inspection After conditioning, inspect the leather garment for any remaining stains or spots. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary until the desired cleanliness is achieved.
10. Storage Store cleaned leather garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture.

What Products Can I Use To Clean Leather Clothes?

When cleaning leather clothes, using the right products is essential to ensure effective cleaning without causing damage to the material. Here are some commonly used products for cleaning leather clothes:

  • Leather Cleaner: Specialized leather cleaners are designed specifically for cleaning leather garments. These cleaners come in various forms and are formulated to gently remove dirt, stains, and grime from leather surfaces.
  • Mild Soap and Water: For light cleaning or spot cleaning, you can use a mild soap (such as a gentle dish soap or baby shampoo) diluted in water. Be sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather garment to ensure compatibility before proceeding.
  • White Vinegar Solution: Combine vinegar with water in a 1:1 solution to tackle stubborn stains on leather clothes. Dampen a cloth with the solution, and gently blot the stained area.
  • Saddle Soap: Saddle soap is a traditional leather cleaner that contains mild detergents and conditioning agents. It’s commonly used for cleaning and conditioning leather items, including saddles, boots, and leather garments.
  • Soft-bristled Brush: A soft-bristled brush, such as a horsehair brush or a suede brush, can gently remove surface dust and dirt from leather garments. Brushing helps maintain the texture and appearance of the leather without causing damage.
  • Lint-free Cloths or Sponges: Use soft, lint-free cloths or sponges to apply cleaning solutions and gently blot the leather surface. Avoid using abrasive materials or rough cloths that can scratch or damage the leather.
  • Stain Removers: For tough stains or stubborn spots, you may need a specialized leather stain remover. These products are designed to target specific types of stains, such as ink stains, grease stains, or water spots, without harming the leather.

Source: ehow YT Channel

How To Remove Stains From Leather Clothes?

To effectively remove stains from leather clothes, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the type of stain: Before attempting to remove the stain, identify what caused it. Different types of stains require different cleaning methods.
  2. Blot the stain: Use a clean cloth or paper towel to gently blot the stain. Do not rub the stain, it can spread and damage the leather.
  3. Test a small, inconspicuous area: Before applying any cleaning solution to the stain, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment to ensure it does not damage or discolor the leather.
  4. Use a leather cleaner: Apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a clean cloth and gently dab at the stain. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific cleaner you are using.
  5. Vinegar solution: To tackle tougher stains, combine equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl. Dab a clean cloth in the solution and gently blot the stain. Vinegar is effective in removing many types of stains from leather.
  6. Baking soda paste: For oil-based stains, create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it off with a damp cloth.
  7. Natural remedies: Natural remedies such as lemon juice, olive oil, or cornstarch can also remove stains from leather clothes. Test these remedies on a small area first to ensure they do not damage the leather.
  8. Seek professional help: If the stain persists or you are unsure about treating the stain yourself, it is best to seek professional help from a leather cleaning specialist.

How To Condition Leather Clothes?

Conditioning leather pants is essential in maintaining their softness, flexibility, and durability.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to condition leather pants effectively:

1. Clean the Leather

Before conditioning, clean the leather to remove any dirt, dust, or stains. Use a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth.

For stubborn stains, you can use a leather cleaner recommended for the type of leather you’re dealing with. 

2. Choose the Right Conditioner

Select a leather conditioner appropriate for the type of leather you’re treating.

Different types of leather may require different conditioning products. For example, suede and nubuck leather have specific conditioners designed for their delicate nature, while smooth leather may require a different type of conditioner.

3. Test the Conditioner

Before applying the conditioner to the entire garment, it’s a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather.

This will ensure conditioner doesn’t cause any adverse effects such as discoloration or damage.

4. Apply the Conditioner

Once you’ve tested the conditioner, apply it to the entire garment. Use a clean, soft cloth or sponge to apply a small amount of conditioner onto the leather in a circular motion.

5. Allow the Conditioner to Absorb

After applying the conditioner, allow it to penetrate the leather for the recommended time specified by the product instructions.

This typically ranges from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the conditioner and the condition of the leather.

6. Buff the Leather

Once the conditioner has had time to absorb into the leather, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the surface gently.

This will help remove excess conditioner and leave the leather with a soft, lustrous finish.

How To Take Care Of Leather Clothes?

Caring for leather clothing is essential to ensure its longevity and quality. Here are some tips on how to effectively care for leather clothes:

  • Storage: Proper storage is crucial for leather clothing. Store your leather garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and drying.
  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning is important to remove dirt and grime that can damage leather over time. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the surface of the leather garment.
  • Waterproofing: Waterproofing spray will help repel water and prevent stains from setting in. Make sure to test the waterproofing product on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure it does not alter the color or texture of the leather.
  • Avoid Heat: Keep leather clothing away from direct heat sources such as radiators or sunlight, as excessive heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack.
  • Avoid Folding: If possible, avoid folding leather clothing for long periods, as this can leave creases that may be difficult to remove.
  • Regular Inspection: Inspect your leather clothing regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, tears, or stains. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain the quality of your leather garments.
  • Avoid Direct Contact with Perfumes or Hair Products: Perfumes, hair products, and other chemicals can damage leather. Avoid spraying these products directly onto your leather clothing to prevent staining and potential damage.

Source: Fox Creek Leather YT Channel

Are Leather Clothes Durable?

Leather clothes are generally durable and can last many years if properly cared for. However, the durability of leather garments can vary depending on several factors:

  • High-quality leather garments are more durable than those made from lower-quality leather or synthetic materials.
  • The way a leather garment is constructed can also affect its durability. Well-made leather clothes with strong stitching, reinforced seams, and quality hardware can withstand wear and tear.
  • Proper care and maintenance are crucial for maximizing the lifespan of leather clothes.
  • The way you use your leather clothes can impact their durability. For example, leather jackets worn in harsh weather conditions or subjected to frequent abrasion may show signs of wear more quickly than those worn occasionally and in milder climates.
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures, moisture, sunlight, and other environmental factors can affect the durability of leather garments.


Cleaning and caring for leather clothes requires attention to detail, gentle handling, and appropriate products.

By following these tips and best practices, you can ensure that your leather garments remain in immaculate condition, retain their natural beauty, and last for years.

Remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving the timeless elegance and durability of leather clothes.

Resources Consulted

James Chiles

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