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 to purchase a new jacket or sofa, but the first time it gets dirty, it’s often considered ruined. Leather is a very expensive natural product, so when an item made from this material acquires a stain, it would be nice to be able to remove 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’s often advised to test the cleaner you are using on a small, non-noticeable spot before moving on to the larger area. 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 most people wouldn’t want to spray Windex on their couch anyway. 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 sofa.
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’s 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’s pretty bad to have a dirty couch, grimy coat or staining on the leather upholstery in our car, but it’s even worse to have that dirt remain along with new 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 what else to do. 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’s no different for your 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 it’s common for the material to dry out, so if you don’t condition afterward, you may be left with a dry surface that is more brittle and susceptible to damage than when you started. If too dry, the material will begin to crack, and that’s something that you can’t really fix.
If you go to the store, you can find products specifically designed for this job, and they will come in a spray bottle, or a convenient wipe on 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’s nearly 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.
A Better Way
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 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 options will recommend using a conditioner after you clean in order to make the area soft again. Their general lack of ability requires this additional step in order to not ruin or stiffen the material. Quick’n Brite conditions the surface as it cleans it, so it will be left soft and supple without extra effort or cost. In a single step, you will be able to remove any dirt or stain, 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 for this one job. 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 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.
Cleaning Soft 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, and it can even remove oily residues, dirt and mud from your pet, or ball point pen ink. It’s 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 area. You can also use a dry towel, but you may have better results if you do get it just slightly wet. You only need a small amount because it’s a super concentrated cleaner. 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 cleaner 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 dirt will transfer from the surface you are working on as you rub. Once everything moves onto the towel, the area will be incredibly clean . 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.
Cleaning Tough Leather: Shoes, Boots, Saddles, etc.
The more durable stuff is usually used on things that get more dirty. Leather shoes, especially those worn by children, get pretty gross over time. We often don’t clean them because it’s thought to be too difficult, or we think we need a special product to do it correctly. As with all other leather, Quick n Brite is great for this job. We walk around all day in shoes and boots, 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 brown pairs that used to be white, but you can breathe new life into those old sneakers without any worry of ruining them, or making them look worse in the process. QB will remove the oldest dirt, and toughest grime, so even outside play shoes will be 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 collected. 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. Your boots will look way newer, and they will be soft and flexible so comfort and wear-ability will not be affected.
- For dirty sneakers and similar items, 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 in many cases.
- Apply it to all leather surfaces, and then continue to clean the canvas, fabric, plastic, and anything else. You can even use it to wash the bottom of each sole.
- 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 10-20 minutes or so prior to wiping it off.
- You will be amazed at how well it works on even the dirtiest pairs. 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 the steps above to keep on wearing them.
Whether it is a water spot, road salt stain, ink, grease, blood or urine 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, it’s 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 improve the appearance of an old jacket or expensive chair, it’s a good place to start . 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.