How to Clean White Leather

How to Clean White Leather

This is a luxurious material that deserves to be well maintained. However, it is an organic and porous material, so when it comes to how to clean white leather there are some special things to bear in mind.

White leather is a versatile material and is produced by treating regular leather with chemicals, such as alum or salt. It can be found in many fashionable items including bags, shoes, purses, and belts. Cleaning your white leather is safe, so long as you are careful.

When there are any spills – always be quick – the first thing to do is clean up stains with an absorbent rag as quickly as possible. Avoid using paper products because they can scratch your leather as well as leaving more mess to clear up.


Perhaps you have a new item and you are reading this pro-actively. But if you need to know how to clean white leather right now, this may save your hide next time. There are many “stain and water repellent” products available and they are superb. Pick up some that is suitable for leather, then simply spray or wipe it over the surface and wait a few minutes. It does need reapplying every few months, or more often, depending on the specific spray and how often you use your item. We recommend sprays that do not seal the pores, which means the leather can still breathe.

How to maintain white leather:

How to maintain and how to clean white leather go hand in hand. With a carpet, the longer it’s left without cleaning, the more dirt particles work their way into it. Leather is similar in this regard, although it also needs oil to keep it at its best. You should periodically add moisture in the form of oils to the surface to the longevity of your white leather. Keep some leather dressing or leather cream handily in the cupboard.


Frequently dusting will obviously remove dust, but can draw your attention to other marks or dry areas that need attention. For larger items, you might find it easier to use a duster attachment on your vacuum cleaner. For smaller items, gently wipe with a microfiber cloth, which will collect the dust and loose dirt without embedding it into the leather’s pores.

Light clean

Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe over the surface without using too much pressure. This will assist with the removal of any dried dirt, however, if it still is not enough then read on.

Deep clean

You should avoid washing leather as much as possible because it can dry the material out. However, to keep your white leather looking its best we have included methods that contain the oils that are so important for leather’s longevity. Depending on what is at hand, there are several options for creating a homemade solution.

Do not soak the leather! You should aim for a sort of “even dampness”. Otherwise you might find that your clean white leather is more or less white in different places. Bleach and ammonia also need to be avoided.

  • Option 1: Take a small bowl and add a spec of liquid dish soap, add a sprinkle of white vinegar and mix with warm water. Dab an absorbent rag or wiper into the mixture and gently wipe across the leather.
  • Option 2: In a spray-bottle, add 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. This needs to be sprayed and left to rest for a few minutes. Gently wipe the leather with an absorbent rag or wiper.
  • Option 3: Store-bought leather cleaners, following the directions on the bottle.

Let the leather dry naturally, never apply heat.

How to spot-clean white leather

Cleaning white leather can depend on what you are trying to clean up. You can buy leather spot-cleaners from other retailers, but there are also home-brew solutions for specific spot stains and the best way to remove them from the material. You’ll also need a rag or wiper.

Tough stains – Mix one part lemon juice to one part cream of tartar. Dab a rag into this mixture and wipe onto the leather. Wait for half an hour then refer to the deep clean above.

  • Grease/Oil – Absorb and remove the excess with an absorbent rag or wiper. Take some baking soda, talcum powder or corn-starch and gently rub this onto the surface. Leave for a few hours or overnight and then brush away. Finish with the “deep clean” method above.
  • Ink – Using an absorbent rag or wiper, blot with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Although it may be tempting, do not rub. Continue to blot until the ink has been lifted and absorbed into your rag. Clean afterwards with the “deep clean” method from above.
  • Spills – Even if it’s just water, do not leave it! Remember that white leather is porous and water can cause stains. Simply wipe away with an absorbent rag or wiper. If your spill is sticky, refer to our “deep clean” section.

Beware of using “magic” eraser sponges to clean white leather; they should be used with caution. Whilst the results can be impressive, remember that these sponges are abrasive (they scrape off the top layer) and if overused, they will damage your leather.

Please Note: This is a guide and we cannot accept responsibility for any damage.