How To Clean Leather Sofa With Household Products

If you’re curious how to clean leather sofa with household products, we have three items to present to you. They are rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and dish soap. We have also written a separate guide on how to clean a leather couch with baking soda

The fantastic thing about this article is we will also discuss what items must not be used on leather. So by the end of this read, you should feel more confident maintaining the sofa at home. 

how to clean leather sofa with household products


What’s The Best Home Remedy To Clean Leather Furniture?


General cleaning

Before anything else, identify the type of leather on your sofa to know if it will be compatible with household products like rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and dish soap. It’s also best to test these cleaners on a hidden portion of the couch to ensure no reactions. The best cleaner for leather furniture would always be specially-formulated leather cleaning solutions at the end of the day. 

Before using any cleaning solutions, prepare your leather sofa by vacuuming it off. This will loosen the dirt build-up that might stain when wet. Also, don’t forget to use an upholstery attachment to reach the cracks and crevices easily. 


Rubbing alcohol

Some types of leather should be safe when cleaned with rubbing alcohol. This household remedy should also be excellent if you want to disinfect the leather couch. However, the emphasis is necessary on never oversaturating the leather material with rubbing alcohol because it can dry it too much. 

Target stains with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to lift them off the leather upholstery. Then, wipe the excess alcohol on the surface with a damp cloth. Finish by conditioning the leather couch with the proper leather conditioner.



Among the household products that you can use to clean leather is vinegar. When used correctly, it can restore the texture and brightness of dull leather upholstery. However, you must know how to clean a leather sofa with vinegar carefully to avoid drying the former. 

Dilute white vinegar with water at equal parts and soak a soft cloth in the solution. Squeeze the excess liquid and wipe the couch thoroughly. Then, wipe off the residue on the surface with a dry cloth and condition the leather. 


Dish soap

The safest household product for cleaning leather is dish soap. Compared to rubbing alcohol and vinegar, it’s not as risky in drying the leather material. Still, test an area of the couch before cleaning with dish soap throughout.

Mix several drops of dish soap and warm water for soaking a soft cloth. Squeeze off the excess liquid before wiping the sofa. Finally, rinse it with another damp cloth before wiping it with a dry cloth and conditioning the leather. 


What Should You Not Use On Leather?


Hair spray

Hair spray can contain ingredients and chemicals that can ruin the leather. It might leave a sticky residue, stain, or even fade the leather material. However, you can use it cautiously to remove hair dye from the leather couch


Nail polish remover

Nail polish removers, especially those that use acetone, tend to fade leather. They can also remove the finish on the leather couch. So if you want to get nail polish off the leather sofa, you need to dissolve it with rubbing alcohol. 


Disinfectant wipes

The ingredients in wet wipes and sponges might be incompatible with leather. They can cause stains, discolorations, or even change the texture of the upholstery. If you want to disinfect your leather couch, opt for the right cleaning products. 


Shoe polish

One would assume that shoe polish can restore the color and luster of the leather sofa since you use it on leather shoes. However, this product is not meant for leather upholstery. You risk leaving a waxy residue on the surface that can stain anyone sitting on the couch. 


What Household Items Can You Use To Condition Leather

Some people swear by household items like olive oil and vegetable oil for conditioning leather. However, it’s best to stick with the proper leather conditions such as Lexol, neatsfoot oil, and mink oil. Household oils are too heavy for the porous leather that you risk oversaturating the material.

They might seem like they are restoring moisture on the leather, but it’s only temporary. You will eventually notice dark spots as oils accumulate in some parts of the sofa. Remember that you want the right products to protect the couch and keep it moisturized for longevity. 


How Do You Make Leather Look New?

Restoring leather is possible after cleaning and conditioning it with the proper leather-formulated products. But if this doesn’t suffice, you might need to bring your leather sofa to an expert to avoid accidentally damaging it with other remedies. This might be a costly solution, but it should be reasonable, especially when the leather couch is of good quality and has sentimental value. 



We still recommend that you use the right leather products for maintaining your leather furniture. But if you genuinely want to know how to clean leather sofa with household products, you can test rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and dish soap. As discussed above, use these products in moderation and condition the sofa afterward as some can be drying. 

We hope you learned helpful leather care tips, so feel free to leave any questions if you have any!


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