How to Clean Leather
Leather is notoriously hard to clean. You aren’t supposed to get it wet, so how can you possibly clean it? We spend enormous sums of money in order to get a new jacket or sofa, but the first time it gets dirty, it is often considered ruined. Leather is a very expensive natural product, so when a product made from this material acquires a stain, it would be nice to be able to clean it yourself. After all, you already spent a bunch of money on it in the first place, so you probably don’t want to spend more just to keep it clean. Many people resort to calling in a specialist or professional company to return their leather to it’s former glory, but that is usually not at all necessary.
Cleaning leather yourself is thought to be risky. Traditional products are very testy, and prone to causing more damage than good. For this reason, it is often advised to test the cleaner you are using on a small, non-noticeable spot before moving on to the affected area of leather. This is because the chemical compounds that are the active ingredients can alter color, remove color, or otherwise damage the stuff you are trying to make look better. Instead of improving the area, you could easily be causing more extensive damage without even knowing it.
Home-made remedies include using Windex, nail polish remover, hair spray and toothpaste but the results with those are about as disappointing as the methods are crazy sounding. These techniques don’t usually work that well and I don’t think I would want to spray Windex on my couch. Just because Crest can brush away plaque and tarter, does not make it well suited to remove a greasy stain from the arm of your leather couch.
If you use any product that adds moisture, you are just asking for trouble. As soon as you spray it on there, or wipe it in with a rag, you will immediately see a darkening of the area. This can be temporary or it can be permanent, but one thing is for sure, it is risky. For this reason, regular all purpose sprays, soap and water, and other common methods of cleaning have to be eliminated from your choices. It is bad to have a dirty couch, grimey coat or staining on the leather upholstery in our car, but it is even worse to have the dirt remain along with water spots and other staining brought about by using inadequate products.
Leather Cleaning Tips:
Traditional ways of Cleaning
Despite how thick and tough looking it is, leather is one of the more delicate and volatile surfaces we clean in our homes. Traditional methods have proven to be less than effective, so most people are left guessing, searching the internet, or just dealing with the dirt because they don’t know how to clean their leather. Common recommendations include using hand soap and a damp cloth to surface clean products, or turning to some sort of specialized product. As you know, hand soap has a hard time getting rid of anything but loose dirt off on your skin without intense scrubbing involved, and it is no different for your couch or coat. You may be able to get some light grime off, but any set in dirt or staining will remain after you are finished. Because you are using a damp cloth, you also run the risk of discoloring your leather as moisture begins to absorb and sink in, and that does not even take into account how you are supposed to get the soap off. Most of us rinse the soap off of our hands with water from the faucet, but this would be a very bad idea when it comes to leather. You can wipe it away with a clean rag, or take a wet one without soap to remove even more, but chances are you will just end up with an area that is not really clean, and also coated with soap. Whenever you use a method like this, it will also be recommended to follow it up with a conditioning product. This is because cleaning leather will dry it out in a lot of cases, so if you do not condition afterward, you may be left with a dryer surface that is more brittle and susceptible to damage than when you started. If too dry, the material will begin to crack, and that is something that you can’t really fix.
If you go to the store, you can find products specifically designed to clean leather, and they will come in a spray bottles, or a convenient wipe form. They will be pretty darn expensive, and they will not be good for anything but this one job. With a spray application, it will be quick and easy, but the results will be less than stellar. Most times you are supposed to just spray on and then wipe off right away with a dry towel. Some of these can be decently effective for conditioning the leather, and making it look a bit nicer, but you will not actually be removing that much dirt. A light surface cleaning will be about the best you can do without venturing into dangerous territory. The wipes offer the same sort of power and ability, but the solution is soaked into the wipe so it can be even more convenient as far as use and application goes. Just grab one, wipe down an area and then dry with a towel.
Both of these specialized style cleaners are usually loaded with chemicals. Because it is impossible to do a thorough rinse on a leather surface, you will never really remove all of the cleaner after washing, so you will almost always have a residue left over. If the chemicals in the spray or wipe are dangerous, it would be a bad idea for anyone to come in contact with the surface that was cleaned, and the residue will most likely be sticky so that it attracts new dirt. Just because a spray bottle says leather on it, does not mean that it can actually do the job. It most likely will not ruin your couch, and it will probably improve the appearance slightly, but if you want a safer and more effective way to really deep clean and condition the surface, you will want to look at an alternative to these job specific options.
Quick’n Brite is a great leather cleaner. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, and you don’t have to use it with water, so you never have to worry about it damaging your your sofa, coat or upholstery. It can be more effective with added moisture in some cases, but you can also just use the paste version alone to eliminate this more risky component. You also eliminate the need for a leather conditioner if you use this stuff, but the best part about Quick n Brite is how well it works to remove dirt, grime, oil stains and more. Traditional leather cleaners will recommend using a conditioner after you clean in order to make the area soft again. This is because their general lack of ability requires this additional step in order to not ruin or stiffen the material. Quick’n Brite actually conditions the surface as it cleans, leaving it nice and soft and supple. In a single step, you will be able to remove any dirt or stain, and also prevent drying and condition the surface to keep it looking new longer.
What’s even better is that you can use Quick’n Brite all over your home, not just to clean leather. Traditional products are for one use only, so you could never remove soap scum from your tub, or grease from your kitchen cabinets like you can with this. Not only does Quick’n Brite clean and condition leather better than traditional choices, but you can also use it to wash windows, clean you car inside and out, wash your boat, scrub floors, shampoo carpets and so much more. Buy it for the leather. Use it on everything else.
Clean Leather Jackets, Sofas, Chairs, etc. Here’s How You Do It:
It doesn’t matter if it is a single, small stain, or if your leather is just dirty all over. Quick n Brite will take out tough stains like red wine, ink, sauces, crayon and more. General dirt and grime build-up is no problem for Quick n Brite. It can even get rid of oily residues, dirt and mud from your pet, or ball point pen ink. It is hard to believe that it can be so powerful, yet remain so safe for use on all leather products. It doesn’t matter if your surface is finished or unfinished, Quick’n Brite will even clean suede.
Use a warm, damp terry cloth towel to apply the paste full strength to the dirty or stained part of your leather. You can also use a dry towel, but you may have better results if you do get it just slightly wet. All you need is a small amount of Quick n Brite as it is a super concentrated cleaner, so a little bit goes a long way. Work it into the stain using an up and down, then right and left motion. This action breaks up the surface tension in the stain and then a surfactant in the Quick’n Brite lifts the dirt, grease, or stain off of the surface. There is no scrubbing necessary, just rub the cleaner into the leather, and it will do the work for you. You will actually see the stain lifting out of your sofa or jacket as you apply the paste. Now all you have to do is take a dry terry cloth towel and buff the stain out. The stain will transfer from your leather to the towel, leaving it clean and looking great. It will also leave it soft and smooth to the touch because it will be conditioning the surface as you clean it instead of infusing it with chemicals to leave it stiff and crunchy. If this is a particularly tough stain, you may have to repeat this process in order to completely remove all dirt and reveal a clean surface. For most common grime, a single application will be more than sufficient.
Clean Leather Shoes and Sneakers:
Leather shoes, especially those worn by children, get extremely dirty. We often don’t clean shoes because it is thought to be too difficult, or we think we need a special cleaner. As with all other leather, Quick n Brite is great for shoes. We walk around all day in these shoes, and step through any number of disgusting substances, yet those kicks aren’t cleaned all that often. We just buy new ones. Kids come back home with shoes that used to be white, but now look brown. With Quick’n Brite you can put new life into those old sneakers without any worry of ruining them, or making them look worse in the process. Quick n Brite will remove even the oldest dirt from your shoes, leaving them cleaner than ever, and soft to the touch. Take out grass stains, ground in mud and dirt, dog droppings, tar and oil and just about anything else they might have stepped in. When you clean leather with Quick n Brite you are not only getting rid of the dirt, you are conditioning the surface at the same time so your shoe will look way newer, and it will be soft and flexible so it will not reduce comfort or wearability.
For dirty sneakers, take a warm, damp non-abrasive scrub sponge and apply the cleaner to the shoes. You could also just use a damp towel if you are worried about the surface, but something slightly abrasive will give better results for regular dirty sneakers. Apply it to all leather surfaces, and then continue to clean the canvas, fabric, plastic, it doesn’t matter to Quick n Brite. You can even use it to wash the bottom of your shoes. Once you have applied it all over, simply take a dry terry cloth towel and wipe them clean. For extremely dirty pairs, you should let the paste sit for 10 minutes or so prior to wiping it off. You will be amazed at how well Quick’n Brite works on even the dirtiest shoes. All of the greens, yellows and browns will wipe clean to reveal a newer looking white surface underneath. For dress shoes with a fine finish that could be harmed by the scrub sponge, just use a damp towel to apply the cleaner. For really tough stains, or thick layers of dirt, repeat this process for best results. Don’t throw out those used, dirty sneakers. Try some Quick’n Brite and breathe life back into them.
Whether it is a water spot, road salt stain, ink stain, grease stain, blood or urine stain on your leather Quick n Brite will clean it. You have tried the rest, now try the best. You may have had bad experiences with other methods, or you may not know how to clean leather at all. Quick n Brite is the best all-purpose solution available, and it will allow you to get results easily, while preventing and eliminating many of the common downsides typically associated with this job. Non-toxic and biodegradable, Quick’n Brite is safe around children and pets, and is truly the only cleaner you need. If you have tried other products in the past without success, or if you are currently searching for the best way to clean leather, Quick N Brite is a good product to check out. It can be used on any finish, and it doesn’t matter if it upholstery in your car or a couch in your living room. This stuff is one of the safest and most effective ways to get the surface clean and leave it feeling great, all in one quick and easy step.