Home Remedies for Soft Leather Cleaner

leather image by Alex White from Fotolia.com

It can be discouraging to find a huge pen mark, stain or just wear-and-tear on your new soft leather sofa, jacket or pillow. While many commercial products can clean and remove the stain, a number of home remedies work just as well. These home remedies are products you usually already have available at home and are a lot less expensive. Mix them up and use them to clean and shine your soft leather products.

Mild Detergent

Dilute a mild detergent such as Dove, Ivory or Dial to clean soft leather. Dip a soft cloth in a mix of approximately 1 tsp. of mild detergent per half gallon of lukewarm water. Use the rag in a circular motion to clean dirty or stained leather. Wipe with another soft, dry cloth to make sure it is completely dry. Apply a leather conditioner about every six months to restore oil levels in the leather.


Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup of lukewarm water and 1 tbsp. of any liquid soap. Shake well in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on soft leather furniture. Use a soft washcloth to wipe the leather. Spot check the leather in a place that is not noticeable before applying a cleaner to the leather for the first time.

Stain Cleaner

For tough stains mix 1 part lemon juice to 1 part cream of tartar. Create a paste and apply in a circular motion to the stain. Use a clean, dry cloth to buff off. If the stain does not come out, repeat the process. Clean and recondition the leather after the stain is gone.

Leather Polish

After cleaning your leather, apply a small amount of leather polish. This will keep the leather shiny and restore any oils that were stripped away during cleaning. Mix 1/2 cup of wheat germ oil and 1/4 cup of castor oil, and shake well. Use a soft cloth to apply the polish to the leather that was cleaned or to old leather that needs its shine restored.

Cleaning Solution for Soft Leather Clothing

For soft leather jackets and other clothing, mix 1/3 cup of castile soap, 1/2 gallon of water, 8 to 12 drops of grapefruit seed extract, 3 1/3 cups of olive oil and 40 to 60 drops of essential oil in your favorite scent in a gallon jug. Shake well and pour some of the mix in a spray bottle. Spray on leather clothing and clean with a soft cloth. Use another dry, soft cloth to buff and shine dry.