How to Clean Faux Leather

Updated July 18, 2017

Whether for shoes, handbags, furniture or anything else, faux (imitation) leather is an excellent choice. Not only is it much cheaper than real leather, it is easier to take care of. Faux leather requires no conditioning and only needs to be cleaned occasionally.

Put a good squirt of soap in the bucket. Fill the bucket halfway with warm water. Mix until there are lots of bubbles.

Wet a rag in the soapy water and wring most of the water out. Your rag should be wet but not dripping. Rub a small portion of the faux leather clean. Re-wet the rag when needed.

Use a clean rag to dry off the portion already washed. Watch for drips. If water runs down into seams and doesn't get wiped up, it could damage the faux leather.

Continue to do this with the rest of the faux leather. Do not wet a larger area than you can wipe off before it dries.

Use faux leather polish with a dry rag after cleaning.


You can use moist baby wipes in place of a rag in soapy water.


Do not leave the faux leather wet for longer than necessary to clean, as this could damage it.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Rags
  • Faux leather polish (optional)
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About the Author

James Werning has authored books and articles on various websites. His scripts have aired for more than 15 years on radio stations across North America. He is a small business owner and a world traveler with a master's degree in communications from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.