Inexpensive and Effective Homemade Leather Cleaner Recipe (2024)

Modified: by Vanessa Goodpaster-Beaty · This post may contain affiliate links · 27 Comments

Inexpensive and Effective Homemade Leather Cleaner Recipe (1)

If you have leather furniture you probably already know how difficult it can be to keep it clean and shining. While there are many leather cleaners and wipes on the market to help you, these can get pretty expensive, particularly if you have a lot of leather to clean.

There is a great homemade recipe for leather cleaner that not only cleans but also conditions your leather to keep it healthier. This is a great recipe for those of you who use wood heat or have forced heat air in your homes and it works really well on leather car seats and even those great leather jackets that you have hanging in the closet.

The recipe is simple. You just need:

  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of regular vinegar
  • A spray bottle

Just mix the two ingredients together in your spray bottle and shake it well. Now you just have to spray the leather down and wipe it clean with a cotton cloth. Note that you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or your favorite essential oil if you want to give it a better smell than vinegar although the vinegar smell really doesn’t last long.

Please note that this recipe is perfectly safe for regular leather but is it not designed to be used on suede.

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  1. Nicole

    eorks very well. Added eucalyptus oil and made the house smell awesome. I also used this on my wood floors and it worked well for that too!


    • Richell Herman

      Let me guess, the overspray got on your floor. Yup me too!


  2. Laurie

    Didn't clean it but made it nice and soft.


  3. Nora Ryan

    I'm so happy I landed on your website! I like making my own cleaning products! But there is something I like more... I like my homemade products to be effective as well as commercial products are!!! And thanks to you I brought a life to my old leather coach! Thank you so much for sharing! Keep the great work!


  4. Frank

    I really appreciate knowinjackets of You have saved my Leather jackets of which I have spent a colossal amount with the dry clear outlets.


  5. Frank

    I really appreciate knowing You for you have saved my Leather jackets of which I have spent a colossal amount with the dry clear outlets.


  6. beverly

    A word of caution;

    The self-proclaimed leather-restoration experts over at Fibrenew argue that you're headed for disaster if you do. Sir Fibrenew, the Fibrenew mascot, explains:

    Although leather does indeed become a little suppler after applying olive oil, this instant gratification comes with a price. Olive oil, and every oily substance for that matter, will not "nourish" your leather, but actually accelerate its deterioration. Leather is extremely permeable, and will soak up any oils you put on it. When oil first saturates leather, it seeps to the back-to the part you can't see. Eventually, the oil ends up spreading throughout the leather and naturally resurfaces. Once this happens, your leather will have unsightly oil spots.


    • pEG

      So what is the alternative to this?


      • Anonymous

        Bee wax is best for nourishing leather


        • Paula

          How do you make it?
          I have the pellets?


        • Elle Buckle

          I have used beeswax on my leather furniture for over 30yrs now.
          I have replaced the the rubber cushion twice, having them custom cut to fit and using quality inserts. The two lounge suites and chairs have seen a family of 4 , 8 grandchildren and visitors without a mark or damage (luckily). A wash over any spills with warm soapy water has proven to remove wine, soft drinks and ice cream.

    • Brandi

      So then what do they suggest that is all natural?


  7. LASH

    How about cooking oil? It will be able to use it?


  8. ZEKA

    How about mineral oil? Like using it on wood and will not turn ranside. (Smell and spoil)


  9. Chris

    How long can I keep the mix stored ?


  10. boomdog02

    It's a good base for a nice vinaigrette!


  11. Shadykay

    My new blue jeans bled onto my beige leather car seats. This worked a charm on the seats. It removed the blue better than I expected. I hope it's not true about eventually ruining and staining the leather.


  12. susan jassim

    i use petroleum jelly to condition my leather but i've got a purse made of crocodile skin which has become very dirty it's ingrained. Does anyone know what i can use to clean ingrained dirt? thank you, Sue


    • Roky

      I use good quality pre moistened make up remover wipes for all my leather goods. I spent my 25+ year career in high end speciality retail. I was very fortunate to work for a retailer who offered a generous employee discount, a major purchase house account card, and who also awarded and rewarded employees with additional discounts that could be combined ( even with sale merchandise). Needless to say, I have a large collection of leather goods. As a retailer, we sent out all leather goods to a very well known, long time established, and respected Chicago family business who specialized in cleaning and repairing high end leather goods. I never felt when I picked up ( especially ) my limited edition Dior bags and wallets which are of which are made out of very delicate finely grained buttery textured calf skin, that they looked much better than when I dropped them off for cleaning. One evening over 20 years ago, I was hurriedly getting ready for a dinner date in the car when I dropped a wet mascara wand that rolled over my cheek, landed on my jeans then continued to roll over my Dior bag, my leather car seat, then finished it's journey on my tan car mat. Panicked, I used a makeup wipe on my face first, then out of desperation , I was shocked that the wipe removed the makeup from my jeans, the leather car seat.. And my bag. I loved the shine and the way my bag looked after using the wipe. I then tried a wipe on my wallet - looked amazing and got off some black tar like goo that remained despite the $30 I just dished out to have cleaned. I shares my discovery with colleagues at work and also with the folks who own the leather repair and cleaning business. Everyone was shocked at not just the dirt and ick that the wipes removed, but more than anything the appearance, and feel of the leather item after using the wipe. I recommend the regular or nighttime neutrogena wipes or the regular or nighttime WALMART house brand wipes over all others I have tried.


  13. Rudy

    I have tried your formula it does not work,should I increase the vinegar


  14. Rudy

    It doesn't work for my leather car seats or my wife's purse should I increase the vinaiger.


  15. Sol Man

    Is balsamic or white wine vinegar from Modena better?


  16. Anonymous

    For household use I just keep a gallon jug of white distilled vinegar for laundry and cleaning. Cheap, non staining and environmentally friendly. Save the nice stuff for cooking and consumption.


  17. Anonymous

    Please don't use vinegar on handbags. I ruined a gorgeous designer handbag when the vinegar etched the hardware finish right off.


  18. Anonymous

    Thanks for the info I have been paying ridiculous prices for spray leather cleaner. I guess your simple recipe is why they don’t try to make a generic to compete, but who knows? For a good price you just be the next billionaire! Good Luck!



  1. […] can buy leather cleaning solutions in your local automotive goods store. Better yet, you can make one yourself at home. If you’re only doing a superficial cleaning, simple house cleaning products or vinegar can get […]


Inexpensive and Effective Homemade Leather Cleaner Recipe (2024)


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