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Leather Cleaner

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Leather is a fantastic material, but it has to be looked after. Long-term daily use makes it look grubby, and dirty leather really doesn't hold the same appeal. And the longer you leave the dirt, the more difficult it is to remove. It can also lead to colour fading, making your leather look dull and washed out.

As leading experts in leather care, the Leather Colour Doctor offers advice, support and services relating to household leather goods of all types.

Our excellent range of leather care products includes a versatile leather cleaner that's perfect for many leather surfaces.

The following sections reveal exactly how the Leather Colour Doctor can help you get your leather goods looking clean and fresh once again.

Whether it's a leather sofa, a pair of boots or shoes, a treasured designer handbag, or car seats, all of these things attract dirt and grime.

The problem is that leather is porous, making it absorbent to a degree. This means that any small particles or liquids will become trapped in the fibres. Dust, food crumbs, sweat, and natural oils from the human body all contribute to the problem.

In the course of daily life, we spill drinks and food or have accidents that result in all kinds of stains on our leather products. Some are easier to remove than others, simply requiring a damp cloth. Others need a helping hand, like our cleaning solution, which is ideal for tough stains.

The following sections illustrate how and where our leather cleaner can be used.

Leather is used to make jackets, boots, shoes, trousers and all kinds of accessories, like watch straps, handbags, wallets and purses. It's also found in car interiors, luxury yachts, and private aeroplanes because of its luxurious look and feel. It's a tough and durable material with a long lifespan - if it's treated well. That means keeping it clean, and leather clothing faces a few challenges as it is worn close to the body and exposed to spills and stains.

Cleaning leather clothing is fairly straightforward, but here's a tip before we go further: never put a leather jacket or trousers in the washing machine, even on a cold setting. The water will ruin them and they'll never feel the same.

If you need to clean your leather clothing, use the Leather Colour Doctor's specially formulated leather cleaner.

How To Clean Leather Clothes

  • Place the item on a strong clothes hanger and hang it up where you can get to both sides easily.
  • Spray or rub the leather cleaner onto the surface - you only need a small amount, as a little goes a long way.
  • Massage the cleaner into the leather in gentle circular motions.
  • Leave it for two or three minutes to allow the foam to break down the dirt and grease.
  • Wipe away the foam, rinsing the cloth as necessary.
  • Allow the item to dry naturally.

Leather jackets don't need cleaning after every use, but they do easily pick up odours as leather is porous. One way to reduce this is by airing the jacket for several hours on a hanger before storing it in a wardrobe.

When the time comes to clean your jacket (or leather trousers), our leather cleaner is ideal and will protect your clothing against stains and odours. It's wise to apply leather care balm or leather protector and stain guard on top of this as an extra precaution.

And if you ever feel that your leather clothing no longer has that authentic aroma, you can always restore this with our leather scent fragrance mist spray.

Out of all leather items we own, boots and shoes potentially face more chances of getting dirty than others. They are also more prone to salt and water staining, which can ruin them if not treated in time.

Most people give little thought to cleaning their leather shoes, aside from wiping them over with a cloth once in a while and maybe using boot polish. However, they deserve better treatment and will last longer if you use a proper leather cleaner to freshen them up.

Our leather cleaning solution restores leather and protects against damage, but you can go one step further if you apply leather care balm.

Known as automotive leather, this usually refers to leather car seats but also extends to the dashboard and steering wheel cover. It brings a sense of luxury but it picks up dirt easily, especially where light-coloured leathers are concerned.

The main causes of stained and dirty leather in your car interior are spilt liquids, sweat and natural oils in your skin and hair. These accumulate over time to make the surface grubby. Sugary drinks can be wiped up but often leave a sticky residue. Eating food in your car can lead to grease stains and all kinds of stains.

The Leather Colour Doctor's professional quality leather cleaner will remove all this dirt with ease, leaving your car seats gleaming once again. And to protect your leather surfaces for the future, it's wise to apply a leather conditioner.

How To Clean Your Car Interior

Before you use the cleaning solution, it's always best to vacuum your car seats, especially around any dirt trap areas (such as creases, or seams where the stitches are). This will remove dust and loose dirt so it won't spoil the end result.

Always use a soft brush attachment so you don't scratch your car seats.

Apply the leather cleaner using a soft cloth or soft bristle brush and rub it into the surface in circular motions.

Leave it for two minutes or so, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Rinse the cloth out periodically to keep it clean.

Allow the leather surfaces to dry naturally.

Car Interior Colour Restoration

Our leather cleaner will keep your car seats looking fresh and clean, and free from stains, especially if you apply leather conditioner.

Even so, after a while, you may notice that the colours are fading, or that scratches and holes are spoiling the effect. The good news is that the Leather Colour Doctor has a superb range of products to help you out. Our leather restoration kits and repair filler pastes are perfect for making car interiors look amazing.

We can match the original colour of most prestige car brands, or you can choose to change the colour completely.

Whether you've invested in a designer brand or you simply have a favourite handbag (that maybe has sentimental value), you'll know that they can sometimes look grubby and tired.

Wallets, watch straps, purses and any other leather accessories face the same fate, often losing their freshness and appeal.

Once again, the Leather Colour Doctor's leather cleaner is the perfect solution. It cleans and restores leather to its former glory, making it look as good as when you first bought it.

You can proudly display your designer handbag or personalised wallet again.

Clean leather is one thing, but damaged leather is another. If your handbag is scuffed, scratched or faded, maybe with a broken strap or zipper, the Leather Colour Doctor can help with our handbag restoration service. Contact us via the website for further details.

A leather suite looks beautiful and feels amazingly comfortable. It can also get grubby very quickly, particularly in a home with children and pets.

Cream or white leather sofas are well-known to be dirt magnets, so they may seem as if they need cleaning more frequently. The truth is that no matter the colour, all leather furniture gets grubby, you just can't see it that well against dark colours.

Leather seats are always at risk, simply from daily use. Finger marks are the least of your problems, as spills are a common occurrence, no matter how careful you are.

Aside from these, dust and dirt seem to magically appear, making your furniture look grimy if it's not removed promptly.

Proactive Care

With a little effort, you can keep your leather furniture looking clean and smart. A weekly wipe with a microfibre cloth stops dust from accumulating, and any spills should ideally be mopped up immediately.

Humans, dogs and cats all have natural oils in their skin and hair or fur. This is deposited on the leather surfaces where it becomes absorbed, along with sweat.

While there's not much you can do about this (except to stop animals laying on your leather seats), our leather cleaner is the ideal way to remove dirt and get your leather furniture looking clean again.

The Leather Colour Doctor's leather cleaning fluid was originally formulated back in the 1970s for the world-renowned Gliptone automotive leather care brand. Since that time, it has been used extensively by leading car makers across the globe and is regarded by many as one of the best leather cleaners available.

It is water-based and non-toxic, so there are no safety concerns for the customer to worry about. There are no abrasives or solvents and, as it is water-based, there is no danger of damaging the chemically sensitive surfaces. In addition, it does not contain silicon (or other masking agents) that can leave an unpleasant feel on the surface.

The Best Leather Cleaner?

This amazing leather cleaner is designed to produce a foam that penetrates the surface of the leather to remove deeply ingrained dirt. As an added bonus, it has an appealing scent, leaving your leather smelling fresh and clean. It has a natural matt finish, so it won't bring a shine to your leather surfaces, but you can apply leather care balm to protect and enhance it.

We believe that our's is the best leather cleaner for the job, as many others are not suitable for household leather items and can only be used for automotive leather.

Instructions For Applying Leather Cleaner

As with all leather cleaners, it's a good idea to test it on a small area first for colour fastness (some dyes run when exposed to liquid). However, we are confident that in the majority of cases it will be fine.

Once you are satisfied that all is well, follow these easy steps:

  • Using a soft brush that's slightly damp, apply a small amount of leather cleaner to the surface of the leather.
  • Gently scrub in a circular motion until the foam is activated.
  • Leave the foam in place for several minutes to allow it to break down greasy residue and loosen any dirt or stains.
  • Vacuum your leather sofa or car seats regularly to remove dirt and as much dust as possible, as this becomes stuck in the grain. Always use a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Wipe away the foam using a soft clean cloth.

Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to apply the solution: spray leather cleaner sparingly onto a cloth and gently apply it to the leather surface. After a couple of minutes, you can wipe any remaining cleaner away with a clean cloth.

Important note: Leather Colour Doctor leather cleaner is not suitable for highly porous surfaces, like suede or unsealed leather. Perforated leather should be safe, though be sure to use the solution sparingly.

Red wine, grease and even water staining can be a real problem, to name but a few.

It doesn't matter what it is, stains on your leather goods are unsightly and spoil the effect.

The Leather Doctor's amazing leather cleaner can get rid of the majority of deep staining, although it might take several applications. In cases of severe stains that won't shift, you might need to consider one of our leather colour restoration kits or a leather dye.

Although our leather cleaner is perfect for most of these stains, some might need special attention, such as:

White Bloom Stains

Powdery white residue sometimes appears on leather. This white bloom typically has three causes:

Fatty Spue

Also called fatty spew or fatty bloom, this is caused by waxy fats and oils within the leather rising to the surface due to changes in temperature and humidity.

The Leather Colour Doctor has a product specifically for this problem; white bloom remover. This amazing stuff not only removes all traces of white bloom but also prevents it from returning.


Damp leather (shoes, boots, gloves and handbags are the most likely affected) can develop mould from fungus and bacteria in the air and water. This grows if the item isn't cleaned, dried and stored properly, forming white bloom on the surface.

To fix this, dry the item out thoroughly and use a damp cloth to wipe off any mould from the surface. While it might look clean, this rarely removes all the mould or bacteria.

Allow it to dry again, then apply the Leather Colour Doctor's leather cleaning solution and allow it to dry naturally.

Salt Stains

Salt is used widely in the tanning process. These salts soak into the leather and float to the surface when it gets wet, forming white crystals across the surface. Rock salt that is used to grit paths and roads in winter also adds to the problem as it is absorbed into the leather and dries on the surface.

Remove as much salt as possible using a damp cloth, then apply our cleaning solution to ensure that the stains are dealt with.

You could also use our white bloom remover for this as well as for the mildew problem above.

Many types of leather are at risk of becoming heavily stained with grease or oil from regular use. Most of the time, our brilliant leather cleaner will do the trick, but when the staining is severe and has built up over years, you might need some extra help.

As already mentioned, we deposit oils from our hair and skin on leather surfaces, particularly on car seat heads and armrests for sofas and chairs. Greasy food can also be an issue when it comes into contact with leather.

If you have deeply-ingrained grease stains that are spoiling the look of your leather, our leather degreaser is just the thing to remove them.

This excellent gel is powerful but gentle, breaking down and absorbing grease to allow easy removal.

Simply apply with a soft bristle brush and gently massage the gel into the stains. Leave it to soak into the stains and allow the active ingredients to do their work.

After a few minutes, the gel will form a dry powder on the surface. Wipe this away and repeat the process until the stain is completely removed.

For best results, apply our leather conditioner or leather care balm to prevent future stains from occurring.

Anyone with delicate leather items may be concerned that our leather cleaner will be too harsh and may damage them, and that's understandable.

However, the Leather Colour Doctor's water-based leather cleaner is safe, even for delicate aniline leather.

In fact, it is safe for all types of treated leather and perforated leather. The only exceptions are suede and untreated leather.

Most leather goods age well and look all the better for it. They take on a patina that adds character and appeal, but you don't want them to look dirty.

While our leather cleaner can remove dirt and stains, old leather sometimes needs more of a helping hand. Clean leather is one thing, but when it is faded by sunlight and long-term use, you might want to consider some of our other products.

The Leather Colour Doctor's leather restoration kit is exactly what you need for this job. It includes our fantastic leather cleaner, along with a recolouring balm and a leather conditioner that protects against stains and keeps the leather soft and supple.

You paid good money for your leather items, and although we can help you get them clean, there are ways to prevent them from getting too dirty in the first place.

There are two keywords when it comes to leather care; clean and protect.

Here are some tips on general leather care to guide you:

  • Wipe it regularly with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust.
  • Avoid home remedies: vinegar, cream of tartar, baking powder/bicarbonate of soda or lemon juice can do more harm than good!
  • Don't use furniture polish, abrasive cleaners or solvents, as these will attack the surface, eventually making it crack up and split.
  • Distilled water is better than tap water if you wipe the leather with a damp cloth.
  • Try to keep your leather products out of direct sunlight if possible as the UV rays make the colours fade.
  • Use a leather conditioner a couple of times a year to keep the leather supple, prevent colour loss, and stop dirt from sticking to the surface.

This is the best advice the Leather Colour Doctor can offer to keep your leather in great condition. Many websites suggest a variety of remedies and homemade 'natural' cleaning methods. The trouble is that natural doesn't always mean that it's safe or the right thing to use. Vinegar, for example, can attack the surface and strip out the essential oils that keep leather soft. After a while, the surface will begin to crack.

To avoid this eventuality, it's always better to use products specifically designed for cleaning and protecting leather.

Faux leather is often used as a cheaper alternative, and some modern examples almost mirror the look and feel of the real thing.

In most cases, our range of specialist leather cleaners and care products* can be used to look after faux leather too. Be sure to test a small amount on a hidden area first.

*Our leather degreaser is not suitable for use on suede, vinyl, plastic or leatherette

Although it is hard-wearing, leather requires special treatment to make it last longer and keep it looking great.

The Leather Colour Doctor can help you achieve this, with our excellent range of specialist leather care products. Our leather cleaner is just one example of this, removing grime, greasy residue and stains efficiently and easily, leaving you with beautiful clean leather once more.

For stubborn stains, such as white bloom or heavy grease, our degreaser and white bloom remover are perfect for the job.

As mentioned above, the two keywords in terms of leather care are clean and protect.

The Leather Colour Doctor has everything you need in order to keep your leather goods spotless and preserve them for many years.

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