Home Remedies for Leather Cleaning

Written by chyrene pendleton
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It can feel a bit disappointing to discover the favourite leather shoes you stored away last season now have mould growing on it, along with that musty smell. Or perhaps you see an oil spot on your leather sofa. Fortunately, you may have some ingredients in your home now which can effectively and safely clean your leather goods. You will also save money cleaning the leather yourself.

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Clean and Condition Leather

One remedy to clean leather requires using a combination of white vinegar, cooking oil, rubbing alcohol and liquid soap and applying it using a sponge. Once you get your leather clean, condition it.

Jean B. MacLeod, a collector of practical information and author of "If I'd Only Listened to Mom: Hundreds of Household Remedies," suggests you "apply a small amount of castor oil or petroleum jelly with a soft cloth or the fingers. Rub in well, then remove excess with a soft cloth and buff."

Remove Stains

If you have a small oil stain on your leather, use cornflour to remove it. Rub some cornflour into the stain, then keep rubbing with your fingers until you feel the leather warm up. Brush off excess powder. This remedy requires patience; you may need to sprinkle more cornflour on the stain and rub again, but the cornflour does effectively absorb the oil.

Remove spots and ink stains from your leather by dabbing on a little cuticle remover, letting it sit up to 10 minutes. Rubbing the cuticle remover off with a soft cloth will remove most stains although you may need to reapply.

Linda Cobb, known as the "Queen of Clean", author of "How the Queen Cleans Everything: Handy Advice for a Clean House, Cleaner Laundry, and a Year of Timely Tips," suggests you remove grass stains from leather, such as athletic shoes, by massaging the grass stain with some molasses. Leave the molasses on overnight, then wash the shoes using soap and water. Cobb also recommends using a moisturising bath soap to wash leather athletic shoes or other leather items you may have.

Remove blood from leather by applying a little hydrogen peroxide, letting it foam up, then blotting it with a paper towel until gone.

Remove Mildew

Use a coat of petroleum jelly to remove mildew from your leather furniture or any leather items. Let the petroleum jelly sit for up to five hours, then rub it off using a soft cloth.

A solution of rubbing alcohol and water applied with a soft cloth cleans mildew from leather items. Let the leather air dry. Wash again in soapy water using a germicidal soap if the mildew remains then air dry.

Tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic and antibacterial essential oil, kills mould, mildew, bacteria and more. A solution of tea tree oil and water applied to mould on leather will effectively remove it. Use tea tree oil solution on mouldy leather shoes, handbags, wallets for example, and eliminate the mouldy odours at the same time.

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