cleaning vegan leather

How To Clean Vegan Leather

If you’re a Vegan Leather lover, you know how great it can be. Not only is it stylish and sustainable—it’s also incredibly easy to look after! Over time, however, your vegan leather items and faux leather furniture may become grimy and need a deep clean.

But don’t worry! Taking proper care of your vegan and faux leather goods doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. In this blog post, we’ll teach you the best methods How To Clean vegan leather items so they stay looking as good as new. Keep reading to learn our top tips on how to get your faux fur jackets, boots, bags and more in tip-top shape again!

Understanding What Vegan Leather Is

Before we dive into the cleaning methods, let’s first understand what is vegan leather. Vegan leather fabric, also known as faux leather or synthetic leather, is a man-made material that imitates the look and feel of real leather.

It can be made from various materials such as polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or cork and bark cloth. Because it’s not derived from animal skin, vegan leather is a popular alternative for those who follow a plant-based lifestyle.

Also, vegan leather is generally considered more environmentally-friendly than traditional leather, as it doesn’t involve the use of animal products or harsh chemicals in its production, (which is really bad for the environment!). However, this doesn’t mean that vegan leather is completely immune to dirt and grime build-up. So, let’s learn how to clean it properly!

weekend crossbody handbag
Vegan Weekend Crossbody handbag

How To Clean Vegan Leather Items

There are the main methods for cleaning vegan leather items: spot-cleaning, hand-washing, and machine-washing. The method you choose will depend on the type of item you’re cleaning and the severity of the stains or dirt.

Spot-Cleaning Method

Spot-cleaning is ideal for small areas that need immediate attention, such as a stain on a vegan leather jacket or bag. Here’s how to spot-clean your vegan leather item:

  1. Start by wiping the stained area with a damp cloth or sponge.
  2. Mix a small amount of mild soap (such as dishwashing liquid) with warm water in a bowl and swish it around until it bubbles.
  3. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water and gently rub the stained area in circular motions.
  4. Rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water and gently wipe away any soap residue from the item.
  5. Use a dry cloth to blot the wet area and leave it to air dry completely.

Hand-Washing Method

Hand-washing is suitable for larger items, such as faux leather jackets or boots that have dirt all over them. Here’s how to hand-wash your vegan leather item:

  1. Fill a large bowl or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap.
  2. Submerge the vegan leather item in the soapy water and gently move it around for a few minutes.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or grime, paying extra attention to any stains.
  4. Empty the soapy water and refill the bowl or sink with clean, warm water.
  5. Rinse the item thoroughly by submerging it in the clean water and gently moving it around until all soap residue is removed.
  6. Use a dry microfiber cloth dampened to blot away any excess moisture from the item and leave it to air dry completely.

Machine-Washing Method

Some vegan leather items, such as bags or smaller accessories, may be suitable for machine-washing. However, it’s important to always check the care instructions first and make sure that your washing machine has a delicate or hand-wash cycle before attempting to wash faux leather garments using this method. Here’s how to machine-wash your vegan leather item:

  1. Check the care instructions and make sure your item is suitable for machine-washing.
  2. Place the item in a mesh laundry bag to protect it during the wash cycle.
  3. Add a small amount of mild detergent (specifically designed for delicate items) to the washing machine.
  4. Set the machine to a gentle or hand-wash cycle with cold water temperature.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, remove the item from the mesh bag and hang it to air dry completely.

Moisturizing the Leather with Conditioner

Just like real leather, vegan and faux leather pieces can dry out and crack over time if it’s not properly moisturized. To keep your vegan leather items looking their best, use a small amount of specialized conditioner (specifically made for faux leather) to restore moisture and shine.

  1. Apply a small amount of conditioner onto a clean soft cloth and gently rub it onto the item in circular motions.
  2. Wipe away any excess conditioner with a clean microfiber cloth and leave the item to air dry completely.

Keeping it Clean With Regular Maintenance

To prevent your vegan leather items from getting too dirty, it’s important to regularly maintain and clean them. Here are a few tips for keeping your faux leather pieces in top shape:

  • Store your items properly: When not in use, store your vegan leather items in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid heat and harsh chemicals: Exposure to heat (such as from a heater or hair dryer) and harsh chemicals (like bleach or ammonia) can damage the material.
  • Always check the care instructions: Before attempting to clean your vegan leather item, always read and follow the care instructions carefully.
  • Use protective sprays: Consider using a specialized protective spray designed for faux leather to help repel dirt and stains.

Pros and Cons of Cleaning Vegan Leather

Like most things, there are both pros and cons to consider when it comes to cleaning vegan leather. Here are a few:


  • Overall, vegan leather is easier to clean than traditional leather.
  • It’s generally more affordable than real leather.
  • You can use mild soap and water to clean it, which is typically gentler on the material.
  • Many vegan leather items can be hand-washed or even machine-washed (depending on the item and care instructions).


  • Some vegan leather items may not hold up as well to frequent washing, causing them to deteriorate faster.
  • Depending on the type of faux leather used, it may not have the same durability and longevity as real leather.
  • Not all stains or dirt can be easily removed with spot-cleaning, and more severe cleaning methods may cause damage to the material.
  • The use of harsh chemicals (like bleach) should be avoided when cleaning vegan leather, as it may cause discoloration or other damage.

Overall, knowing how to properly clean and maintain your vegan leather items is important for keeping them looking great and lasting for as long as possible. With the right techniques and products, you can easily remove dirt and stains clean faux leather without causing damage to the material. Keep these tips in mind next time you need to clean your favorite vegan leather jacket or bag!

Insulated dock boots
Insulated dock boots


Can I use regular leather cleaner on vegan leather?

No, it’s best to avoid using traditional leather cleaner on vegan leather as it may not be suitable for the material and could potentially cause damage to artificial leather.

How do I know if a product is safe to use on vegan leather?

Always check the label or contact the manufacturer before using any product on your vegan faux leather clothing or item. Look for products specifically designed for faux leather.

Can I machine-wash all vegan leather items?

No, it’s important to check the care instructions first before attempting to machine-wash a vegan leather item. Even some genuine leather that may not be suitable for this method and could get damaged in the process. However, hand-washing is generally a safe option for most vegan leather items.


Cleaning vegan leather doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right techniques and products, you can easily keep your items looking great for years to come. Remember to always follow care instructions, avoid harsh chemicals, and take proper storage precautions to maintain the longevity of your faux leather items.

Additionally, don’t forget to regularly clean and moisturize your vegan leather to prevent build-up of dirt and grime. By following these tips, you can keep your vegan leather looking stylish and new for as long as possible.

Now go ahead and enjoy all the benefits of having stylish, cruelty-free fashion choices!

So next time you’re shopping for a new vegan leather bags or jacket, consider choosing vegan leather as an environmentally friendly and ethical option.

Happy cleaning!

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