How To Clean White Leather

by Albert Varkki updated 07-28-2023

Table Of Contents

white leather sofa in living room

All leather products require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best, but white leather needs a little more TLC.

Its bright white color can yellow if not protected from the elements, and some leather cleaning agents can stain white leather products.

In this guide, we explain how to remove dirt, stains, and debris from your white leather couches, shoes, jackets, and purses without damaging their protective finish.

Preparing White Leather for Cleaning

man cleaning white leather sofa

Before cleaning white leather, you must remove any surface debris, dust, and dirt. Failure to do so could damage the fibers, scratch the protective finish, or even tear the fabric.

  • Use a dry microfiber cloth: Wipe your white leather goods with a dry microfiber cloth to prepare them for cleaning. To avoid color contamination, use a white or natural-colored microfiber cloth.
  • Vacuum for large items: For large items like white leather sofas, use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean the crevices between the seat cushions and backrests.

Best Cleaning Solution for White Leather

dirty white leather sofa

When it comes to white leather cleaning solutions, there are two options available.

You could purchase one from your local store or make a DIY remedy at home (as we explain below).

If you decide on a store-bought option, avoid petroleum-based cleaners (petroleum can discolor white leather), and check the label to ensure it is suitable for white leather products.

If you would like to make white leather cleaner at home, you’ll need the following household ingredients:

  • Mild soap (the kind you use on your face - baby-safe options are the best)
  • White vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Warm water

Mix one part soap with one part linseed oil, two parts white vinegar, and eight parts warm water to create a creamy solution.

How to Apply White Leather Cleaner

  • The best way to apply white leather cleaner is with a spray bottle and microfiber cloth.
  • Spray the liquid cleanser directly onto the microfiber cloth and apply in gentle circular motions.
  • This method helps prevent oversaturating the leather, which could lead to unsightly watermarks.
  • Do not rub too aggressively, as it may damage the protective surface.
  • Keep things light, and cleanse two or three times if necessary.

What’s Next?

  • After applying your white leather cleaner, let the item dry thoroughly and repeat as necessary.
  • Next, apply a light layer of leather conditioner to keep the fabric soft and prevent it from drying out.
  • A final buff with a dry microfiber cloth will leave your white leather couch, shoes, handbag, or jacket looking like new.

How to Maintain White Leather

white leather sofa in showroom

When cleaning white leather, there are a few details to keep in mind.

For example, if you're dealing with oil or oil stains, absorbent powders like talc are effective at removing them. .

Dust the powder on the surface, allow it to sit for five minutes, and gently brush off the excess. Repeat until all the oil is absorbed.

Be careful when trying new cleaning or conditioning products on white leather, and always test an inconspicuous area first.

Consider having expensive leather goods made from rawhide, suede, or natural leather professionally dry-cleaned.

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Is it safe to use bleach to clean white leather?

No. Bleach is a harsh chemical that could damage the protective surface and may cause discoloration. Stick to store-bought or homemade leather cleaners instead.

Should I clean my white leather items every month?

You should not clean white leather goods excessively. While you may need to clean white leather shoes and boots after every use, you should only clean white leather purses, sofas, and jackets when needed, and no more than once every month.

Do magic erasers work on white leather?

A magic eraser may remove some stains from white leather, but it might be too abrasive for some fabrics. Carry out a spot test in an inconspicuous area first.

With the right tools and techniques, cleaning white leather is simple.

But don't overdo it.

Clean only as often as necessary using the correct cleaning solution, and always test any product on an inconspicuous area first.

With care and attention, your white leather goods will remain an eye-catching part of your wardrobe or home for years.

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We hope you enjoyed our article on how to clean white leather.

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Author: Albert Varkki

Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you.

We always aim to have the highest editorial standards, and only publish accurate information on our website.

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