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How to Clean Dirt Off Leather

by Constance Barker

Leather, a durable and strong material, is made into a variety of items, including purses, clothing, boots and car seats. Leather material, although tough, needs special treatment to keep the exterior soft and supple. When leather becomes dirty, you cannot toss it in the washer. Certain products and tools help clean the leather, while maintaining the integrity of the material.

Brush loose dirt from the leather with a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush.

Mix 1 tsp. mild liquid dish soap into 1 qt. of water. Dip one corner of a lint-free cloth into the mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Blot the embedded dirt from the leather with the damp cloth. As the dirt releases onto the cloth, fold it and rewet another area with the soapy liquid. Wring the cloth, and continue lifting the dirt from the leather until completely removed.

Wipe the leather dry. Spray a leather conditioner on the leather, and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.


  • Use a damp, not a wet cloth on leather.

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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

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