Leather furniture is beautiful and can add a luxe touch to any home. However, cleaning leather can be a different story in itself. It’s hard to remember what you can and can’t use on leather, but the truth is that there are plenty of natural ways to clean it apart from the chemical-laden leather cleaners at the grocery store. Today, we’ll share how to clean your coated leather with natural products, home remedies, and household ingredients that will get the job done quickly and safely.
From couches and loveseats to jackets and belts, a lot of the leather you’ll be dealing with is probably coated leather. An easy way to tell? Put a couple drops of water on the surface. If the water beads, the leather is coated. If it absorbs into the leather (like a towel), you’re looking at uncoated leather, which is cared for differently than coated leather.
Coated leather is quite a bit easier to clean than its uncoated counterpart, and is simply a leather coated in vinyl or polyurethane to ensure that it lasts a long time and has a smoother, more durable finish. If you want to get really specific about it, coated leathers are defined as, “where the surface finishes that have been applied does not exceed a third of the total thickness of the product but is in excess of 0.15 mm.” You may also be dealing with a semi-aniline leather, which is where the leather has been covered with an extra layer of pigment to provide a level of uniformity to the piece.
Basically? Your coated leather has been covered with a protective layer and, though it might be easier to take care of than uncoated leather, it still has to be taken care of well.
Since leather can be a bit finicky, there are definitely certain techniques for cleaning coated leather and certain products to clean it with that can make your coated leather (and your patience) last longer.
There are a couple of rules when it comes to cleaning coated leather, and once you get a grasp on them, you can clean your coated leather with confidence.
We’re all about keeping chemicals and toxic materials out of your household, but we also want to make your life as easy and efficient as possible. Here are some of our favorite products for getting the job done well.
Real Simple Clean Leather Cleaner/Conditioner: This leather cleaner and conditioner is made without toxic chemicals, while still restoring shine and luster to your favorite coated leather furniture and coated leather pieces.
Nordstrom Leather Cleaner & Conditioning Spray: Stored in a convenient spray bottle, this leather cleaner is great for removing scuffs and scratches, spot by spot.
Leather Honey Leather Cleaner: This leather cleaning concentrate makes sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, and using it has never been simpler. You just mix 2 tablespoons of leather cleaner with 8 ounces of water, making it so one 4-ounce bottle will last for two 16-ounce bottles.
When you’re just not feeling a trip to the grocery store, or you’re wanting to keep your leather cleaning completely in-house, there are some simple ways to clean your coated leather with products you have at home. Especially with leather, we always recommend spot-testing first.
Sometimes your leather furniture just needs a good, overall spruce up with a cleaner that you can use all over. The key to cleaning leather is to coat every spot evenly before buffing it out, so don’t be shy!
All you’ll need for this is a spray bottle, white vinegar, and some olive oil. In a spray bottle, mix together two parts white vinegar and one part olive oil, being sure to shake well. Spot test first, and using circular motions with a clean microfiber cloth, cover every spot evenly and buff out.
If you don’t have any vinegar or olive oil on hand, you can mix a few drops of gentle detergent like Puracy Natural Dish Soap with water in a spray bottle and follow the same steps.
Over time, leather can look dull or scratched up -- especially on pieces like couches that are used consistently. With these easy and natural home remedies for conditioning and restoring your leather, everything will be smooth and supple again in no time.
Coconut oil works wonders on finished leather. In addition to its natural antimicrobial properties, coconut oil can restore luster and shine to worn out leather. After spot testing on your leather, the process is simple: using a dry, clean microfiber cloth, apply coconut oil to the leather, rub in a circular motion and then let sit for 10 minutes or so. Then, go back over the leather with a clean cloth to remove any excess residue.
When you’re looking for an easy way to spruce up and clean your leather, a gentle multi-purpose spray like Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner will do the trick -- spray it all over a microfiber cloth and gently rub it on your leather furniture. Its gentle formula is safe to use on all nonporous household surfaces, including coated leather (but if your leather is uncoated, we’d recommend keeping it away) and will leave your home looking and feeling clean, the natural way!