There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about leather care. One of the most common is that degreaser will damage leather. Is this true? Or can you safely use degreaser on your leather furniture or car seats? In this article, we will explore the truth about using degreaser on leather and answer the question once and for all: does degreaser damage leather?
To hit the nail right on the head, using a degreaser will not damage leather. You can use it on your leather furniture or car seats without any worries. In fact, using a degreaser is actually good for leather. It helps clean tough grease and oil stains and conditions the leather, keeping it looking its best.
While degreasers are great for cleaning leather, you should avoid using them on suede or nubuck leather. These types of leather are more delicate and can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals. If you have suede or nubuck leather, stick to cleaning it with a mild soap and water solution.
So as you can see, there is a bit more to the story than just a simple yes or no answer. So in the rest of the article, I will share with you;
- a few details about what a degreaser is,
- when to use a leather degreaser,
- the benefits of using a degreaser,
- Dos and don’ts of using a leather degreaser,
- how to safely use a degreaser on your leather items,
- some product recommendations,
- how to make your own leather degreaser at home, and tips.
By the end of this article, you will know exactly how to use a degreaser on leather without damaging it. Let’s get started.
What Is A Leather Degreaser?
A degreaser is a cleaning product that is used to remove tough grease and oil stains. Degreasers are usually made with harsh chemicals, which is why you should avoid using them on delicate surfaces like suede or nubuck leather. Some of the active ingredients in degreasers include:
- Sodium hydroxide
- Potassium hydroxide
- Glycol ethers
While these ingredients are effective at removing tough stains, they can also damage delicate leather if not used correctly. That’s why it’s important to know when and how to use a degreaser on leather.
When To Use A Leather Degreaser
The best time to use a degreaser is when you have tough stains that are hard to remove with soap and water. Degreasers are also great for cleaning heavily soiled areas.
For example, if your leather jacket has grease stains on its arms or collar, you can use a degreaser to remove them. Also, if your leather furniture or car seats are starting to look dull, a degreaser can help restore their original color.
Degreasers are also effective at eliminating oil-based stains like makeup or lipstick. But, in general, you should only use a degreaser on leather if soap and water aren’t doing the trick. And when you do use a degreaser, be sure to spot-test it in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the leather.
The Benefits Of Using A Leather Degreaser
There are several benefits of using a degreaser on leather.
- Removes Tough Grease And Oil Stains Easily
First, it helps to remove tough oil, grease, and any stains that regular soap and water can’t remove. Although it’s known as a degreaser, degreasers are not only meant for cleaning greasy areas.
But they are also pretty darn good at getting rid of water-based stains like makeup, food, and even blood. So talk of your greasy leather steering wheels, armrests, seats, leather jacket collars, belts, etc. Degreasers will make light work of them and have them looking clean in no time.
- Restores Leather’s Original Color And Shine
Second, it can help to restore the leather’s original color and shine. Over time, leather can start to look dull and faded. But using a degreaser can help bring back its original luster.
Just be sure to follow the instructions on the degreaser bottle and test it in a small area before using it on the entire piece of leather.
- Conditions The Leather
Another benefit of using a degreaser is that it can help condition the leather and keep it looking its best. Degreasers usually contain ingredients like lanolin, which help to moisturize and protect the leather.
This is especially important for leather that gets a lot of wear and tear, like car seats or furniture. By using a degreaser regularly, you can help extend the life of your leather items.
Possible Issues With Using Degreaser On Leather
Although your leather goods generally stand to benefit immensely from using a degreaser on it there are some instances where a degreaser may damage your leather. This is usually common when;
- The degreaser is not diluted properly
- The leather is not rinsed off completely after using the degreaser
- The wrong type of degreaser is used on the leather
- The leather is left in direct sunlight after using the degreaser
When one or a combination of any of the above-mentioned is not adhered to, it could lead to the one if not all of the damages below.
1. Degreasers Can Remove Dye From Leather
If you’re not careful, degreasers can remove dye from leather. This usually happens if you do not dilute the degreaser properly, you apply too much. So if you’re using a degreaser on colored leather, be sure to test it in a small area first to see how it reacts.
2. Degreasers Can Also Fade Leather
Another possible issue with using a degreaser on leather is that it can fade the leather. This usually happens if you leave the degreaser on for too long or if you don’t rinse it off properly.
If you do use a degreaser on leather, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and rinse the area thoroughly afterward.
3. Leather Can Become Brittle And Dry
Another potential problem with using a degreaser on leather is that it can make the leather brittle and dry. This usually happens if you don’t condition the leather after using the degreaser.
To avoid this, be sure to follow up with a good leather conditioner after you’ve used the degreaser. This will help to replenish the natural oils in the leather and keep it looking its best.
4. Degreasers Can Remove The Finish On Leather
One last thing to be aware of is that degreasers can remove the finish on leather. This usually happens if you use an oil-based degreaser on finished leather.
If you do use a degreaser on finished leather, be sure to test it in a small area first to see how it reacts. You may also want to consider using a water-based degreaser instead.
As you can see, there are both benefits and potential issues that come with using a degreaser on leather. So if you do decide to use one, be sure to dilute it properly, use it sparingly, and follow up with a good leather conditioner. By doing so, you can help keep your leather goods looking their best for years to come.
Dos And Don’ts Of Using A Leather Degreaser
Now that you know when and why to use a degreaser on leather let’s go over the dos and don’ts of using one.
- Make sure to properly dilute the leather degreaser before use.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to dilute the degreaser.
- When in doubt, use a ratio of 5 parts water to 1 part degreaser.
- Spot-test the degreaser in an inconspicuous area first.
- Test the degreaser on a small area before using it on the entire piece of leather.
- Apply the degreaser to a clean, dry cloth.
- Wipe the degreaser in a circular motion.
- Always use a dry clean cloth to remove degreaser residue after cleaning leather.
- You can also use a damp cloth to rinse the leather surface after using the degreaser.
- Dry the area with a clean, soft towel.
- Don’t use a degreaser on suede, nubuck, or bicast
- Do not spray the degreaser directly on the leather surface.
- Don’t try to get all of the grease stains in one pass. You can do up to 3 passes with the degreaser if necessary.
- Don’t forget to spot-test the degreaser before use.
- Don’t put too much pressure or scrub too hard when using the degreaser. You want the degreaser to remove the stain, not your elbow grease.
Leather Degreaser Product Recommendations
Now that you know all there is about degreasers, let’s look at some of my favorite recommendations.
Meguiar’s Leather Cleaner and Conditioning Spray
This is one of my favorite degreasers because it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off. Plus, it contains lanolin, which helps condition the leather and keep it looking its best. You can check it out over here on Amazon if you’re interested.
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner & Conditioner Kit
This is another great degreaser that comes in a kit with a conditioner. The cleaner works great at removing tough stains, and the conditioner helps keep the leather looking its best. Again, you can check it out here on Amazon if you’re interested.
How To Make Your Own Leather Degreaser At Home
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make your own leather degreaser at home. All you need is some rubbing alcohol and dish soap.
- Step 1: Mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol.
- Step 2: Put 5-10 drops of mild dish soap into the rubbing alcohol solution.
- Step 3: You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for scent (optional).
- Step 4: Apply the degreaser to a clean, dry cloth and wipe it in a circular motion.
- Step 5: Always use a dry clean cloth to remove degreaser residue after cleaning leather.
- You can also use a damp cloth to rinse the leather surface after using the degreaser.
As you can see, there are a few different ways to degrease leather. You can use a store-bought degreaser, make your own at home, or just use some rubbing alcohol and dish soap. No matter which method you choose, just be sure to follow the instructions and spot-test the degreaser before use.
So, does degreaser damage leather? The answer is no, as long as you use it properly. Just be sure to Dilute the degreaser before use, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and spot-test in an inconspicuous area first.
There is a lot of information I have shared with you in this blog post. A few noteworthy highlights include:
- Degreasers are safe to use on leather as long as you follow the instructions and spot-test first.
- You can make your own degreaser at home with rubbing alcohol and dish soap.
- There are a few different ways to degrease leather, so find the method that works best for you.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. If it has, feel free to share it with your friends and family. As always, thanks for reading!
Q: Can I use a degreaser on my car’s leather seats?
A: Yes, you can use a degreaser on your car’s leather seats. Just be sure to follow the instructions and spot-test in an inconspicuous area first.
Q: Can I make my own leather degreaser at home?
A: Yes, you can make your own leather degreaser at home with rubbing alcohol and dish soap. Just be sure to follow the instructions and spot-test in an inconspicuous area first.
Q: Where can I buy a leather degreaser?
A: You can buy a leather degreaser at most hardware stores or online. I would recommend checking Amazon if you’re interested.
Q: What is the best leather degreaser?
A: Choosing the best degreaser really depends on what you’re trying to clean. If you have a tough stain that won’t come out with soap and water, then you may need a degreaser. But be careful – some degreasers can damage leather.
To find the best leather degreaser for your needs, it’s important to read the labels carefully. Look for a degreaser that is safe for use on leather, and follow the directions carefully. Be sure to test the degreaser in an inconspicuous spot before using it on the entire piece of furniture.
Q: How do I use a leather degreaser?
A: You can use a leather degreaser by following the instructions on the label. First, dilute the degreaser with water. Then, apply it to a clean, dry cloth and wipe it in a circular motion. Finally, remove any residue with a damp cloth or dry clean cloth.
Q: How do I remove a degreaser from leather?
A: You can remove a degreaser from leather by using a dry clean cloth or damp cloth to rinse the leather surface.
Q: Is degreaser bad for leather?
A: No, degreasers are not bad for leather. Just be sure to follow the instructions and spot-test in an inconspicuous area first.
Q: How often should I degrease my leather?
A: You should degrease your leather as often as needed. If you notice a build-up of dirt or grime, then it’s time to degrease.
Q: What else can I use to clean my leather?
A: In addition to using a degreaser, you can also use soap and water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap to clean your leather.