How to Clean Snakeskin

by Chelsea Fitzgerald ; Updated September 28, 2017

Snakeskin is transformed into many types of apparel.

Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Items made of snakeskin are often costly and require a cleaner and conditioner formulated for reptile skin. Use of smooth leather products may result in a buildup of residue that can cause the scales to fall off or crack. Whether the fashion accessory is a jacket, vest, purse, wallet, belt or shoes, proper cleaning results in the item lasting for many years. Snakes, lizards and crocodile skins require more frequent cleanings to keep healthy the membranes that hold together the scales.

Dust the leather every time you wear shoes or other fashion accessories made of snakeskin. Rub against the scales with a soft cloth to get rid of dirt, oils and debris before storing it.

Clean with a cleaner formulated for reptile or snakeskin. Read the instructions on the label and use only a minimal amount of the product. Wipe the cleaner on the snakeskin in the direction of the scales. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess.

Condition by using an exotic leather conditioner formulated for snake or reptile skins. Always rub in the conditioner with a soft cloth, and wipe in the direction of the scales. It only takes a small amount of the product to do an effective job.

Polish by applying a snakeskin or exotic leather cream polish in the same shade as the snakeskin. Rub on the polish in the direction of the scales. The frequency depends on how often you wear the snakeskin accessory. Polishing twice a year is acceptable if you only wear the item occasionally.


  • Avoid letting your snakeskin come into contact with moisture, oils, lotions or perfumes. This helps extend the life of the leather and keep it looking attractive. Pythons scales are large and lift up slightly. This is common for this type of snakeskin. A quick way to determine the direction of the scales is to run your fingers down the snakeskin. If it feels smooth, you are rubbing in the direction of the scales. If the snakeskin feels rough, this direction is against the scales. If your snakeskin apparel is footwear and it gets muddy, wipe off any excess mud with a paper towel or cloth. Allow any remaining dirt to dry, then wipe it off with a damp sponge or cloth. Clean, condition and polish the snakeskin in the normal fashion once it is dry.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.