How to Clean Faux Leather in 4 Simple Steps

Leather has something timeless about it. From its look to its feel to its durability, the fabric combines rustic elegance with luxury, making it a favorite for home decor and fashion.

In terms of durability, used leather offers a quality option, as does vegan (or faux) leather. Read on to learn more about the eco-friendly benefits of the alternative, as well as how to clean faux leather.

What is faux leather?

Pictured: mini crossbody bag in vegan apple leather

Also known as vegan leather, faux leather serves the same purpose as traditional leather, minus the animal products. Brands like Dr Martens and volkswagen have incorporated vegan options into their product offerings. And from the consumer’s point of view, faux leather is cheaper than the real thing.

Some faux leathers are still made from polyurethane (you’ve probably heard of “pleather”), which makes them a better choice from an ethical standpoint, but not necessarily in terms of durability, as plastic can take up to a century to biodegrade in landfills. Luckily, the new leatherette protection is completely eco-friendly, made from everything from apple skins, coffee, cork oak, pineapple leaves, cactus leaves and recycled plastic.

Regardless of the materials used, leatherette products share a common goal: to be as durable as those born from animal skins. And you can take action too! Vacuum or wipe down leatherette items regularly, keep them out of the sun to increase their longevity, and spray an eco-friendly protectant for extra protection.

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

How to Clean Faux Leather

how to clean faux leather

When cleaning faux leather, you’ll want to avoid soaps that contain antibacterial or degreasing agents, which can quickly dry out vegan products. Opt for Castile soap instead, which is biodegradable and made with minimal (and largely natural) ingredients.

Here’s how to clean your faux leather, keep it from chipping and cracking, and keep it in pristine condition for years to come.


castile soap
Hot water
soft cloth


1. Mix Castile soap and water in a bowl.

2. Using a soft cloth, dab the mixture onto your leatherette, wiping gently in a circular motion. (If the leather is light, do a spot test first to avoid potential discoloration.)

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

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

Hi! Want to help us change the world every day with easy, doable, and eco-friendly tips and tricks? Sign up for the Brightly Spot and join our movement of over a million changemakers.

Previous 2022 BMW M850i ​​xDrive Coupe MY Edition - 4.4L V8, 12.3-inch Dual Live Cockpit Professional; RM1.1 million
Next Check out the shoes Travis Kelce wore before the Kansas City Chiefs game