How to Clean Faux Leather in 4 Simple Steps

There is something timeless about leather. From its look to its feel to its durability, the fabric blends rustic elegance with luxury, making it a favorite for home decor and fashion alike.

In terms of sustainability, second-hand leather offers a high-quality option, as does vegan (or faux) leather. Read on to learn about the eco-conscious benefits of the alternative and how to clean faux leather.

What is faux leather?

how to clean faux leather
Shown: mini crossbody bag in vegan apple leather

Faux leather, also known as vegan leather, serves the same purpose as traditional leather without the animal products. Brands like Dr. Martens and Volkswagen have added vegan options to their product offerings. And from a consumer perspective, faux leather is cheaper than the real stuff.

Some faux leather is still made from polyurethane (you’ve probably heard of “leather”), making it a better choice ethically, but not necessarily in terms of sustainability, as it can take up to a century to develop Plastic biodegrades in landfills. Luckily, the new faux leather protector is totally eco-friendly, made from apple peel, coffee, cork oak, pineapple leaves, cactus leaves and recycled plastic.

Regardless of the materials used, imitation leathers share a common goal: to be as durable as the kind born from animal skins. And there are steps you can take too! Vacuum or wipe faux leather goods regularly, keep them out of the sun to increase longevity, and spray with an eco-friendly protectant for extra protection.

Need a deeper cleaning? Read on to learn how to clean faux leather.

How to clean faux leather

how to clean faux leather

When cleaning faux leather, avoid soaps with antibacterial or degreasing agents, which can dry out the vegan products quickly. Instead, reach for castile soap, which is biodegradable and made with minimal (and largely natural) ingredients.

How to clean your faux leather, prevent it from peeling and tearing, and keep it in prime condition for years to come.


Castilian soap
Warm water
soft clothing


1. Combine castile soap and water in a bowl.

2. Using a soft cloth, dab the mixture onto your faux leather and gently wipe in a circular motion. (If the leather is light-colored, spot test first to avoid possible discoloration.)

3. When finished, repeat the process with a clean cloth and plain warm water to remove any soap residue.

4. Dry with a fresh cloth or towel and enjoy your freshly polished piece!

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