Pros And Cons Of Washing Leather. What Is The Best Way To Do It?

Cleaning leather is necessary for any leather owner, and there are many do's and don'ts when it comes to chemical leather cleaners. So, in this post, we'll answer the topic of whether you can clean leather with water and, if so, how.

How to Wash Leather

Cleaning leather effectively can be done using water, as it's chemical-free and suitable for all types of leather. Simply dampen a microfiber cloth with water and gently wipe the leather to remove stains, dirt, and debris. This method is safe for most leather surfaces.

wash leather jacket black

Cleaning leather with water: some pointers

Want to know whether cleaning your leather in washing machine is a good idea or not? Let’s have a look at the complete guide for your understanding:

  • When washing your leather, avoid getting it entirely saturated with water.
  • After cleaning your leather with water, use an excellent leather conditioner to condition the surface.
  • Always use a gentle motion while washing leather with water.
  • It's also a good idea to avoid using abrasive sponges or brushes when cleaning your leather with water.
  • If you have stubborn stains on your leather, mix a tiny quantity of dish soap into your water and massage the spots out with a little elbow grease.
  • After cleaning your leather with water, always let it dry completely.
  • If you're going to use warm water, be sure it's not too hot; otherwise, the leather may wrinkle or warp.
  • When washing your leather with water, always use a plain-colored or clean towel or rag. You don't want to use any colored clothes on your leather since they can create a color transfer.
  • After you've cleaned your leather item with water, let it air dry. You should never use a heat source to dry your leather. It might make your leather crack and dry out. 


Pros of cleaning leather with water

Here is a complete list of advantages that you can enjoy when you clean your leather with water: 

  1. Leather Can Be Cleaned Without Using Chemicals with water

Water is a fantastic alternative to chemical cleaners for cleaning leather items because you can't use them all the time. Wipe the surface of your leather with a moist towel or cotton.

Bleach and other chemicals found in chemical cleaners can react with the tanning processes in leather over time. Knowing how to clean your leather with water and a clean towel will help you avoid damaging it. Water will not only clear the dust, filth, and grime from your leather, but it will also keep the leather grain wet, resulting in flexible, smooth, and luxurious-feeling leather after conditioning.

  1. It's safe to use on any type of leather.

Cleaning leather with water is a universal method. Water may be used to clean any variety of leather, including smooth finished, semi-finished, and rough out/nap leather.

The pH of water is ideal for all varieties of leather. It's a neutral material, which means it won't hurt your leather in any way. As a result, you may use water on even the most valuable and fragile leather products. 

  1. It's a Low-Cost Leather Cleaner

As previously said, water is a chemical-free approach to cleaning your leather, which means you won't have to spend a lot of money on it.

You can clean your entire piece of leather with only a few pieces of cloth, and if you already have a worn-out piece of leather, you won't have to spend a lot of money on new cleaners because all it requires is water. However, test your leather items in a hidden place before cleaning them since some types of water might react with the tanning compounds in the leather and cause the color to fade. 

Fresh water is a natural deodorizer that will leave your leather smelling great. It may also leave your leather feeling fresh and clean, as well as preserving moisture in the grain, which is necessary for keeping it smooth and supple.

  1. Make careful to condition your leather after you've cleaned it with water.

To restore the natural oils in your leather, apply a leather conditioner. The advantage of using water is that it does not leave any chemical residues and does not harm the leather. The only thing to remember is that water can react with some varieties of leather, causing the color to fade.

  1. Cleaning Leather with Water is an Eco-Friendly Option

Water is a chemical-free method of washing leather, making it an environmentally responsible option. It will assist to protect your leather items by moisturising the grain of the leather, which is necessary for keeping it smooth and supple.

clean your leather goods by washing

Water will not be able to remove all filth, grime, and dust from your leather. But it's a solid start toward being able to clean your leather's surface. If you don't want to use water, there are alternative options for cleaning leather, and the best option is to keep your leather items always clean. 

Cons of cleaning leather with water

Here is a list of the disadvantages that cleaning your leather with water can cause:

  1. Fading

You don't even need harsh chemicals for certain types of leather. However, you may truly degrade the color of your leather by just applying water. So, if you have a colorful piece of leather and clean it with water, the color of your leather will fade.

To prevent this from happening, test the water on a hidden spot first before cleaning your leather products with water. It's also worth noting that, in the case of dyed leather, water might cause the dye to fade. As a result, you must exercise caution while putting water on colored leather products, as it may be quite hazardous. 

  1. Mold may grow on leather if it is exposed to water.

Another issue with cleaning leather with water is that it might lead to mold development on your piece. This is due to two factors: mold in the water and leather that hasn't dried correctly after cleaning. It's well known that certain water includes mold and mildew, which can cause mold to develop on your leather if it comes into touch with it. This is why most experts recommend only using distilled water to clean your leather products since distilled water has no contaminants that might cause Mould to grow on the surface of your item.

What is the best way to clean leather with water?

Now that we've discussed the benefits and drawbacks of using water to clean leather, let's look at how you may use water to clean your leather products.

The warm-water method

You may clean your leather products with warm water. And the greatest thing about utilizing warm water is that it will save you time since it will work as a disinfectant as well as loosen dirt from your item. 

However, if you're going to use warm water, make sure it's not too hot, as this might harm your leather. Here's how to clean your leather with warm water:


  • Leather Conditioner
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Warm Water

Begin by cleaning your piece of furniture of any dust, trash, or filth.

  • Make sure you do this carefully because you don't want to harm your leather products' surface.
  • Soak your microfiber cloth in warm water for a few seconds, wring it out, and then dampen the leather's surface for a few seconds more.
  • This will aid in the removal of any filth from the leather's surface.
  • Now massage the leather's surface with microfiber cloth to clean it.
  • To work on difficult stains, you may also use a soft brush.
  • Once the leather's surface is as clean as you want it, wipe it down with a dry clean microfiber towel to eliminate any extra water or moisture.
  • Apply your leather conditioner while the leather is still moist, following the directions on the specific type of leather conditioner you have.
  • Make sure the leather conditioner is applied in very thin layers.
  • Allow your leather item to air dry once you're finished.

How do you wash your leather clothes in the washing machine?

  • Wash your leather goods separately from your other clothes in the washing machine. (Protect exterior trimmings with a sheet or low-fiber towel; notice that the leather color may leak or transfer the garment at times.)
  • Use a standard liquid dishwashing detergent.
  • Use cold water alone and set the machine to delicate wash.
  • After washing, lay the clothing flat to dry if possible; hang drying is advised. (To speed up the drying process, you can dry the leather garment on the air dry setting with no heat.)
  • Wear your freshly cleaned leather appearance to your next party or night out with pals after it has dried.

Leather in the washing machine: important information

Leather Infusion has been thoroughly tested on a variety of leather clothing in a variety of colors and designs. However, the quality of the leather produced varies according to the tanning and coloring procedures used across the world. As a result, some leather clothes should not be cleaned by a machine. When washing some of the following items, extreme caution is advised:

  • High-fashion leathers or delicate "thinly cut" leather
  • Leathers in vibrant colors or clothing with a variety of colors
  • Lightweight threads and a delicate lining are used to manufacture leather clothes.
  • Ornate embellishments and delicate closures

Instead of washing your leather coat or purse or a jacket in a washing machine, try spot cleaning. When washing the entire jacket is not essential, spot cleaning is the best method to use on coats to get rid of relatively tiny, minor stains. Baby shampoo in the size of a quarter should be applied to a damp, soft cloth. Rub the stain with the soapy cloth gently and slowly in a circular motion until it disappears. After the stain has been eliminated, wipe the region with a clean, moist towel to remove the soap. A dime-sized dab of infant conditioner should be applied to a dry, soft cloth and rubbed over the coat where the stain was previously present.

To achieve the best results, pre-testing is required.

Do not forget to carry on some quick results before you:

  • Test For Colorfastness: Dampen a white cotton towel and massage it lightly over a concealed area of leather and lining to check if any colors "bleed." This is especially significant when it comes to multi-colored motorcycle leather outfits, since colors may travel to adjacent places.
  • Test Of Garment Strength: To confirm that the garment is sturdy enough to be machine laundered, lightly tug on seams, buttons, and lining materials. 

Because linings are made of a variety of materials, it's necessary to check if they're machine washable or shrinkable. If wool is cleaned, for example, great care must be taken to avoid shrinking by selecting wool washing machine settings. Please read the care instructions on the clothing label provided by the manufacturer.

Remove the article from the washer as soon as possible.

After washing, remove the object and shake it to reshape it. To avoid creases, place the garment on a flat surface and cushion it with towelling. To keep the leather from hardening, softly shake, reposition, and pat it several times during the drying process.

If you're looking for a unique (For Smooth Leather Garments ONLY)

ONLY for smooth leather garments: Apply Leather Infusion Rinse directly on leather with a clean sponge to assist keep leather flexibility while the garment is drying. 

Drying Suggestions

When the garment is nearly dry, gently stretch it on a well-padded hanger to restore its form and smoothness. Drying terry towels rolled up over the hanger and in sleeves can assist in minimising creases.



This was a guide to help you understand what you need to do when planning to wash your leather with water. Also, keep in mind to follow everything with a calm mind so that you can get the right output even if you wash the leather in a washing machine.

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