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Homemade Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

Homemade Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
While leather wipes available in the market seem to be the easiest option to clean our treasured leather items, the point to be noted is that these not only wipe out the stains, but also the shine. Here are some effective recipes for homemade cleaners and conditioners that will help you clean the stains from your leather products, without exposing them to harmful chemicals.
Gauri Waikar
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Leather products, be it sofas, shoes, bags, etc., are generally very expensive. A stain is the last thing anyone would want to see on them. In the long run, using leather wipes available in the market can prove to be expensive. Besides, in addition to the leather wipes, you have to use conditioners so that the leather does not lose its shine.

Home-made methods are an inexpensive and efficient solution to this problem. They not only clean the stain, but also serve as a conditioner, providing the needed nourishment to the leather. Another advantage of using homemade cleaning products is that you can have control over the amount of cleaner you want to use; you can make a fresh batch of cleaner without having to worry about the expiry date of the product.
Recipes and Tips for Cleaning Leather
cleaning leather sofa with cloth
  • Use an ivory soap or moisturizing soap for producing lather, and clean it with a soft cloth.
  • Spray this mixture on the leather and wipe it with a soft cotton cloth.
  • Use a soft cloth to regularly wipe your leather furniture and vacuum weekly to keep their pores clean.
  • For general cleaning purpose, use a mixture of ⅛ cup vinegar and ½ cup olive oil. Store it in a bottle and shake well before use.
  • Use minimal quantity, too much of the solution may prove to be harmful for your leather.
  • Do not rinse the leather, buff it. You may also use Murphy's oil soap diluted in water. Wring out the excess water from the soft cloth before buffing. Too much water may stain the leather.
Recipes for Stain Removal
  • For ink stains, use a nail polish remover (non-acetone) or a non-oily cuticle remover. Test it on a small corner before application, which isn't to visible.
  • You can mix 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 cup of lukewarm water. Soak a soft cloth in this mixture. Wring well before application, and let the leather dry naturally.
  • Take a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts of neatsfoot oil on a lint-free cloth. Apply in a spinning motion, leave it for 9 hours and buff.
  • For removal of smaller stains, prepare a paste of 1 part cream of tartar and 1 part lemon juice. Simply apply the paste on the stain; leave for 10-20 minutes. Use soft cloth, warm water, and gentle soap, to remove the paste.
  • If oil or grease is spilled on your leather sofa or desk, don't use water; blot excess with a dry clean cloth.
Recipes for Cleaning Leather Shoes and Clothes
  • For conditioning, prepare a mixture of one part white vinegar with two parts of either linseed or mink oil. Apply using a chamois cloth, in round strokes. Use another dry chamois cloth to buff the area after 10-15 minutes.
  • Dampen a soft cotton cloth in the solution and wipe the shoes. Use petroleum jelly for the shine.
  • Road salts are very common on shoes. For removal of these salts, try a solution of 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar.
  • To remove mold, you can use a solution of one part water and one part rubbing alcohol.
  • Remember, these recipes are not for suede. For removing stains on suede shoes, try an art gum eraser.
Always air dry your leather. Never place it near the window; exposure to direct sunlight is very harmful for this fabric. Always test the cleaning solution on a little patch before applying it directly to the stains. Seek professional help in case of stubborn stains.
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