How to preserve faux leather

Updated February 21, 2017

A cheaper alternative to genuine leather, faux leather also takes less effort to preserve. Cleaning and maintaining faux leather does not require special cleaning materials. However, plan on using the appropriate methods to minimise the risk of damaging the faux leather in the process. Although not as vulnerable as real leather, faux leather can also crack if you treat it harshly. Ideally, you should keep your faux leather items as clean as possible so you do not have to wash them too often.

Mix 1 cup of dishwashing liquid into 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket. Harsh chemicals can damage faux leather, and using a mild detergent reduces the risk of damage.

Dip a soft-bristled brush in the soap solution and use it to gently scrub your faux leather item. Remove all dirt and debris that sticks to the material.

Rinse the faux leather with cold water to remove the soap residue.

Hang the faux leather to air dry.

Apply PVC moisturiser to any small areas on the faux leather that look dry and cracking. Faux leather is made from several synthetic materials, usually including a layer of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and a PVC moisturiser prevents damage from lack of moisture. Find a PVC moisturiser at stores that sell faux leather items, for example shoe stores, clothing stores and car accessories stores.


Test the soap solution on a small, hidden area of the faux leather before you wash the entire material.


Do not dry the faux leather in a tumble dryer; this will shrink, distort or melt the material.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup dishwashing liquid
  • Bucket
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Hanger
  • PVC moisturiser
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.