How to Clean Faux Leather

Have you ever wondered how to clean faux leather? Who hasn't, right? Cleaning faux leather doesn't have to be an intimidating task. It's actually quite easy and can help bring your furniture back to life with just a few simple steps.

Not only will properly caring for your faux leather make it look great, but it helps create the sense of home and belonging we all desire. So let’s get started on this journey together so that you can proudly show off your freshly cleaned pieces of furniture or apparel in no time!

In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to clean faux leather without damaging or discoloring the material properly. 

Whether you're dealing with spills or general buildup, these techniques should keep your furniture looking its best while bringing comfort and joy into your living space. 

Keep reading to learn how easily you can keep your faux leather looking as good as new!

Supplies Needed For Cleaning

supplies for cleaning leather

Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

Cleaning faux leather requires some special supplies. 

First, you'll need cleaning cloths that are specifically designed for the task of gently wiping away dirt and debris from the surface of your item. A good-quality microfiber cloth is usually best for this job as it can pick up dust without leaving lint or streaks behind. 

Secondly, a leather cleaner will be necessary to remove stubborn stains and smudges from the material. Applying a protective conditioner afterward will always keep faux leather looking its best in between cleanings and will provide hydration. 

Lastly, a soft brush may also come in handy to dislodge dried bits of food or other particles that have become embedded in the fabric. 

With these tools at hand, you'll be able to quickly and effectively get your faux leather furniture looking like new again!

Leather Cleaners

There are several types of leather cleaners available. Let's take a closer look at them:




Dish Soap & Water

Easy to use; inexpensive

Not suitable for oil-based substances

Leather Cleaner & Conditioner Products

Suitable for tough spots and oil-based liquids; will maintain color over time

More expensive than dish soap; may require professional assistance if a difficult stain remains after multiple treatments

Dry Cleaning Fluids & Solvents

Effective on most types of stained surfaces; quickly removes stubborn marks without discoloring material.

May cause damage to certain materials; costly option as compared with other methods

Each method has its own pros and cons, so it's important to choose the one that fits your needs the best while still giving you enough protection against future stains. 

We suggest starting with dish soap and water before trying to clean the faux leather surface with harsher cleaners. After you've cleaned the area with mild soap and warm water, you might want to use leather cleaners or conditioners to get rid of tough spots or oily residue. 

If nothing else works, dry cleaning fluids and solvents may be needed to get rid of stubborn stains. However, these should only be used as a last resort because they can damage some fabrics. 

Whatever route you decide to go down, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely to avoid damaging your item further.

DIY Alternatives to Commercial Products

natural leather cleaning products
Image by Freepik

When creating a homemade cleaner, natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda can be used as an effective all-natural product for getting rid of dirt and grime. Simply prepare a solution of white vinegar or baking soda and warm water, then lightly mist the area that needs cleaning. Wipe down with a clean cloth or sponge until the dirt is removed from the surface.

For those looking for an eco-friendly way to clean their faux leather furniture, there are plenty of options on the market, such as natural oils and soaps made from vegetable-based sources. These provide excellent results without any harsh chemical smells or residues left behind. When using these more gentle cleaners, always test them out in an inconspicuous spot first before applying them to your entire piece.

How to Clean Faux Leather

how to clean faux leather

Image by bearfotos on Freepik

Basic Cleaning Tips for Faux Leather

When it comes to cleaning faux leather, it is important to start with the basics. Here are some simple tips for keeping your faux leather looking clean and fresh:

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

To clean faux leather, you will need a cleaning solution that is safe for synthetic materials. Mix a few drops of mild soap, such as dish soap or baby shampoo, with warm water in a bowl. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the surface of the faux leather.

Step 2: Test the Solution

Before cleaning the entire surface, it is important to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the faux leather. Apply a small amount of the solution to a cloth and gently rub it onto the surface. Wait a few minutes to see if any discoloration or damage occurs. If there is no adverse reaction, you can proceed with the cleaning process.

Step 3: Clean the Surface

Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess water. Gently rub the cloth or sponge onto the surface of the faux leather, using circular motions. Avoid scrubbing too hard or using excessive force, as this can cause scratches or damage to the surface.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning the surface, rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water and wring out any excess water. Gently rub the cloth or sponge onto the surface of the faux leather to remove any remaining soap residue. Use a clean, dry cloth to pat the surface dry. Avoid using a hair dryer or other heat source to dry the surface, as this can cause damage to the material.

Note: Want to know if you can just chuck your leather in the washing machine? Head over here to know!

Removing Stains from Faux Leather

Stains can be particularly difficult to remove from faux leather, especially if they have been there for a long time. Here are some tips for removing common stains:

  • Ink stains: Dab the stain with rubbing alcohol using a cotton ball or swab until the stain lifts. Be sure to test the alcohol on an inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the faux leather.
  • Oil stains: Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Wipe away the baking soda and repeat if necessary.
  • Food stains: Mix equal parts water and baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

Conditioning After Cleaning

Once you've finished cleaning faux leather, it's time to condition the upholstery. This step is necessary to keep its look and keep it from cracking or fading over time because of wear and tear. By conditioning faux leather, you can keep your furniture looking like new!

Here are three key steps to conditioning faux leather: 

  1. Use a high-quality leather conditioner specifically made for use on faux materials. Make sure that the product will not damage the fabric by checking out customer reviews and consulting with an experienced professional before purchase. 
  2. Apply the conditioner in small amounts, following the instructions listed on the label of the product. Allow some time to soak into the material before wiping off any excess with a clean cloth. 
  3. To complete this process, gently buff away any residue left behind from the conditioner using a soft brush or cloth.

By taking these steps in caring for your furniture, you’ll be ensuring its longevity while enjoying its comfortable aesthetic for years to come!

Tips for Cleaning Faux Leather

Follow these simple tips, and you'll keep your leathers looking great:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, such as bleach, ammonia, or steel wool, which can cause damage to the surface.
  • Keep faux leather away from direct sunlight and heat sources, which can cause discoloration and drying out of the material.
  • Use a leather conditioner specifically designed for faux leather to restore its shine and suppleness.

Storage Tips To Preserve Faux Leather

To keep your leather items looking gorgeous for years to come, storing and caring for them properly is crucial. Wrap each item in fabric or breathable plastic covers made of cotton or canvas, and say no to cling film! This suffocates your leather and could cause gross mildew to grow. So, keep it simple and let your leather breathe easily.

With these simple steps, you can preserve the quality and appearance of your beloved faux leather pieces while they’re away in storage, awaiting use again! It's worth taking the time now so that you won't regret missing out later—after all, who doesn't want beautiful things?


Cleaning and maintaining faux leather doesn't have to be a daunting task. With these tips and tricks, you can keep your faux leather looking brand new for years to come.

Cleaning it correctly can make all the difference between a piece that looks brand new and one that's seen better days. 

We hope that you find this guide helpful when caring for your faux leather pieces at home. 

With some basic supplies, a little preparation, and some elbow grease, you can keep these materials looking great and lasting even longer!

On another note, if you're looking for a way to eliminate that pesky chemical smell from your new faux leather piece, check out this article—it'll show you exactly how!