How to clean pleather

Pleather is fake leather, or plastic leather. This synthetic fabric is used to make clothing, shoes, handbags and furniture upholstery. A less expensive alternative to leather, pleather provides a similar look and feel without the cost of real leather. Pleather requires special care to maintain its leather-like appearance. Most pleather surfaces cannot be machine-washed, and must be cleaned carefully to avoid shrinkage or damage to the fabric.

Stir 1/4 tsp washing up liquid into 474 ml (2 cups) of warm water in a bowl.

Dip a clean cloth in the mild washing up liquid solution. Wring out excess moisture so the cloth is only damp. Wipe off the pleather surface with the soap solution to remove dirt and surface stains. Rinse the cloth, as needed, before applying more detergent solution and continuing to wash.

Rinse the pleather by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Dry the surface with a clean cloth, then allow the pleather to air dry the rest of the way.

Deodorise pleather clothing and prevent odours from building up by turning the material inside out. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface and allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum the baking soda off the next morning.


Hang pleather clothing in an airy location or outside, out of direct sunlight, and allow the fresh air to deodorise it for a few hours. Use a diluted vinegar solution to clean and freshen pleather.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • 1/4 tsp. washing up liquid
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.