How to Clean Nubuck Leather? – 30-Minute Cleaning Routine

Nubuck leather, with its luxurious feel and velvety texture, exudes sophistication and elegance.

Whether it’s your favorite pair of shoes, a cherished handbag, or a beloved piece of furniture, proper care is essential to maintain its beauty and longevity.

Nubuck leather also requires special care to maintain its magnificence.

In this blog, we’ll delve into cleaning and caring for Nubuck leather, ensuring that your prized possessions remain in immaculate condition for years.

How to Clean Nubuck Leather Infographic

How to Clean Nubuck Leather?

Cleaning Nubuck leather requires gentle yet effective techniques to preserve its velvety texture and luxurious appearance. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide:

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you begin cleaning your nubuck leather items, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Nubuck brush or suede brush
  • Nubuck eraser or suede eraser
  • White vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Nubuck protector spray

Here’s Step-by-Step Cleaning Process:

1. Remove Surface Dirt

Use a nubuck or suede brush to gently wipe away surface dirt or dust from the nubuck leather. Brush in the direction of the fibers to avoid damaging the material.

2. Treat Stains

For stubborn stains or spots on the nubuck leather, use a nubuck eraser or suede eraser to gently rub the affected area.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the leather.

For oily stains, sprinkle some cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and let it sit for a few hours before brushing it off.

3. Prepare Cleaning Solution

Mix white vinegar and distilled water in a small bowl to make a mild cleaning solution.

Vinegar helps to dissolve stains and kill bacteria without harming the nubuck leather.

4. Clean the Nubuck Leather

Gently dab the damp cloth or sponge onto the stained or soiled areas of the nubuck leather.

Avoid rubbing or scrubbing aggressively, as this can damage the material.

5. Rinse

After cleaning, dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe away any excess cleaner from the leather.

Ensure no residue is left behind, this can cause discoloration or damage over time.

6. Revive the Texture

After the nubuck leather has dried, use a nubuck brush or suede brush to gently brush the material in all directions.

This helps to restore the texture and remove any flattened areas caused by cleaning. 

7. Apply Nubuck Protector

To protect your freshly cleaned nubuck leather from future stains and moisture, spray a nubuck protector evenly over the entire surface.

Allow the protector to dry completely before using or storing the item.

Source: Bodell’s Comfort Footwear YT Channel

Why Clean Nubuck Leather?

Cleaning nubuck leather regularly is essential to remove dirt, oils, and stains that can accumulate over time.

Neglecting to clean nubuck leather can lead to permanent damage and a decrease in its overall appearance and quality.

By following the right cleaning techniques, you can prolong the life of your nubuck leather items and keep them looking as good as new.

What Products Can I Use To Clean Nubuck Leather?

Cleaning Nubuck leather requires specialized care to maintain its velvety texture and appearance. Here are some effective methods and products you can use:

  1. Nubuck Cleaning Eraser: Nubuck cleaning erasers are designed to remove dirt, stains, and scuff marks from Nubuck leather. These erasers work by gently rubbing the affected areas to lift dirt and restore the leather’s texture.
  2. Nubuck Cleaning Brush: A soft-bristled brush designed for Nubuck leather is essential for regular maintenance. Use gentle, circular motions to brush away surface dirt and restore the nap of the leather.
  3. Nubuck Cleaner: Nubuck leather cleaners are specially formulated to remove tough stains and grime while preserving the softness and color of the leather. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results, and always test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first.
  4. White Vinegar Solution: For stubborn stains, you can create a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently blot the stained area.
  5. Rubbing Alcohol Solution: Another effective stain remover for Nubuck leather is rubbing alcohol. Mix rubbing alcohol with one part water and apply it to the stained area using a clean cloth. Blot gently until the stain is lifted, then allow the leather to air dry.
  6. Nubuck Protector Spray: Once the leather is clean and dry, apply a Nubuck protector spray to repel water, oil, and stains. Be sure to choose a spray formulated for Nubuck leather to avoid damaging the surface.

How to Condition Nubuck Leather?

Conditioning nubuck leather requires a gentle touch to ensure the material stays soft and looks its best. Here is a simple guide on how to condition nubuck leather:

  1. Clean the Surface: Before conditioning, make sure the nubuck leather is clean. Use a nubuck brush or a damp cloth to gently remove any dirt or debris from the surface.
  2. Choose the Right Conditioner: Select a conditioner specifically designed for nubuck leather. Avoid using traditional leather conditioners, they may be too heavy and can darken or stain the nubuck.
  3. Test the Conditioner: Before applying the conditioner to the entire item, do a patch test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not alter the color or texture of the leather.
  4. Apply the Conditioner: Use a clean, soft cloth or applicator sponge to apply a small amount of nubuck conditioner to the leather. Work in small sections, gently massaging the conditioner into the leather in a circular motion.
  5. Allow it to Dry: After applying the conditioner, let the nubuck leather sit and dry for the recommended time specified by the product instructions.
  6. Buff the Leather: Once the conditioner has dried, use a clean nubuck brush or cloth to gently buff the leather. This will help restore the soft texture and remove any excess conditioner, leaving the leather looking and feeling revitalized.

How to Care for and Maintain Nubuck Leather?

Caring for and maintaining nubuck leather requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain nubuck leather:

  • Regular Cleaning: To keep nubuck leather clean, regularly brush off dust and dirt with a soft nubuck brush or a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, you can use a nubuck eraser or a damp cloth, but be gentle to avoid damaging the leather.
  • Avoid Water and Moisture: Nubuck leather is sensitive to water and moisture, so it’s essential to protect it from rain or spills. If your nubuck leather gets wet, gently blot it with a clean, dry cloth and let it air dry naturally.
  • Store Properly: When not in use, store your nubuck leather items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Condition Regularly: Conditioning nubuck leather helps keep it soft and supple. Use a nubuck conditioner specifically designed for nubuck leather and follow the instructions carefully to avoid over-conditioning.
  • Address Stains Promptly: If you notice a stain on your nubuck leather, address it as soon as possible. Use a nubuck cleaner or a mild soap solution with a damp cloth to gently spot-clean the affected area.
  • Avoid Abrasive Materials: When cleaning or caring for nubuck leather, avoid using rough or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the delicate surface. Stick to soft brushes, cloths, and specialized nubuck cleaning tools.
  • Professional Cleaning: For deep cleaning or tough stains, consider taking your nubuck leather items to a professional cleaner who specializes in leather care. They have the expertise and tools to properly clean and restore your nubuck leather without causing damage..
  • Inspect Regularly: Finally, make it a habit to inspect your nubuck leather items regularly for any signs of wear, staining, or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening and to keep your nubuck leather looking its best.

Source: Let’s Cycle YT Channel


Cleaning nubuck leather requires a gentle touch and the right tools to keep it looking its best.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating regular maintenance into your routine, you can enjoy your nubuck leather items for years.

Remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving the beauty and quality of luxurious nubuck leather.

Resources Consulted

James Chiles

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