Leather is a very durable material and it comes in a variety of colors. Comparatively, light-colored items will generally be a lot more susceptible to stains and discoloration than dark-colored ones. So in this article, I’m going to show you a couple of easy methods you can use to make your white leather items white again using ingredients around the house.
So how do you make white leather white again? You can make your white leather white again by:
- The Baking Soda Plus Dish Soap Method
- Liquid Dish Soap And Vinegar Method
- Olive Oil And Vinegar Method
- Baking Soda And Vinegar Method
- The Magic Eraser Method
- The Micellar Water Method
- The Toothpaste Method
I researched and experiment with as many methods as possible so that you will definitely find a method suitable for your situation and the things you have available. To learn more about how to make your white leather white again, keep reading this article.
1. The Baking Soda Plus Dish Soap Method
Using baking soda and dish soap is a simple home DIY technique you can use to make your white leather white again. The best part of this method is that it involves using common household items that you may already have on your kitchen shelves.
Baking soda is a magical powder, that not only lifts off all kinds of stains and can also absorb moisture and oils – which makes it perfect for cleaning porous surfaces, like leather.
Baking soda is also great for cleaning as it is able to remove all kinds of stains from all kinds of materials including leather. It’s perfect for leather because baking soda works like magic especially on porous materials like leather.
Dish soap on the other hand can also be used as a general cleaner for leather items. When combined with baking soda, dish soap can bring a little bit of lather that helps to pull out any kind of discoloration from your leather.
Apart from these two main ingredients, here are a couple of other things you need and the steps you need to follow for this method.
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Lint-free Rag or Microfiber Cloth
- Leather Conditioner
Make a mixture of 1 part baking soda to 1-1/2 parts dish soap.
Dampened your white leather item with some of the solution and leave the solution to sit on your leather for about 3-5 minutes.
You would want to dampen the entire leather surface. If you’re cleaning or restoring a white leather couch, you will want to dampen small sections at a time.
You will typically do this if you have some stubborn stains or discoloration.
Dampening the white leather with the baking soda and dish soap solution for sometime before proceeding to the next step will help to weaken tough stains and any sort of discoloration.
Dip your rag or sponge into the solution, wring it out slightly, and begin to scrub the surface of the white leather.
For white leather items like shoes or boots, you can use an old toothbrush to give it a very good scrub.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned and covered the entire surface of the leather wipe off the surface with a water damp cloth.
Put 1-2 drops of the dish soap into a bowl of warm water. Dip your rag into the dish soap solution and begin to wipe the leather surface again.
This will help stop and remove the initial baking soda and dish soap reaction on the leather. Be as thorough as possible.
Once you’re done, wash and wring out your rag in clean water and wipe the surface of the leather to remove any soap residue.
Finally, use a dry clean cloth to dry off the surface of the leather, leave it to air-dry, and condition. VOILA!
Related Article: 5 Saddle Soap Alternatives (Without Causing Any Damage!)
2. Liquid Dish Soap And Vinegar Method
Vinegar is another great household item used to clean and restore leather items. It is also a great way to deep clean your white leather to restore it to its original pure white look.
White vinegar in particular is an awesome remedy for cleaning and restoring leather while at the same time giving the leather a nice natural smell.
Here’s how you use this method to make your white leather white again.
- White Vinegar
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Warm Water
- Rag or Microfiber Cloth
- Leather Conditoner
Using a 1:1 ratio, put two parts (drops) of white vinegar and two parts of liquid dish soap into a bowl of warm water.
Dampen your rag into the solution and start to wipe down the surface of the white leather item.
Emphasis on damp. You do not want to get the leather too wet with the solution.
Thoroughly wash your rag with clean water and wring it out. Wash it about 2 times to completely remove any liquid dish soap and vinegar residue.
Clean the surface of the leather with your water-damp rag.
Leave the leather to air-dry thoroughly.
The Liquid Dish Soap And Vinegar Method should restore your white leather to its original color without causing any damage to the leather. This method will particularly leave your leather with a nice clean smell.
Condition the leather with your regular leather conditioner.
3. Olive Oil And Vinegar Method
Another great recipe to make your white leather white again and also help maintain a clean white appearance of the leather is by using olive oil and vinegar.
Here’s how to use this method to make your white leather white again.
- Olive Oil
- White Vinegar
- Spray bottle or Refillable Spray Can
Mix 1/2 the size of a coffee cup with 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a spray can or bottle.
Spray the solution all over the white leather item and allow the solution to sit on the leather surface for about 5-10 minutes.
With a dry lint-free rag or microfiber cloth, wipe the surface of the leather.
Leave the leather to air-dry.
Tip: The good thing about using the Olive Oil and Vinegar Method is that you can from time to time apply the mixture to the surface of your white leather items to help maintain the look of the leather.
It’s also great because it will not dry out the surface of the leather and may not require any conditioning afterward.
4. Baking Soda And Vinegar Method
Using baking soda and white vinegar is also another method of making your white leather white again.
It’s also a very simple home DIY treatment you can give to your white leather items to help restore its look.
Here’s how to go about it and the items needed.
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide
- Rag or Microfiber cloth
Using a 2:1 ratio, put two tablespoons of white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of water.
If you’re going to be using hydrogen peroxide, you much use 1/2 tablespoon and one tablespoon baking soda.
Dampen your rag with the solution and begin to scrub the surface of the discolored white leather.
If it’s a pair of white leather shoes, you can use an old toothbrush instead of a rag so you could give your leather a very good scrub.
Allow the solution to sit on the surface of the leather for 10-15 minutes.
While waiting, wash the rag and wring it out. Once 10-15 minutes has elapsed, use the damp rag or cloth and wipe the solution off the surface of the leather.
You can repeat this step 2 or 3 times to make sure the solution is completely removed from the surface of your leather.
Use a dry cloth to dry off any excess water on the surface of the leather and leave to air-dry.
5. The Magic Eraser Method
If you have been skimming through this article, looking for a method of making your white leather white again without using cleaners or any of the items that have been mentioned above, then the magic eraser method will work just fine for you.
The magic eraser is a small white foam that can remove any kind of stains, scuffs, or marks. It’s a cleaning tool that is great for cleaning leather. It can be used not only to make your white leather white again but can also be used to clean rubber, plastic, and any different material part of leather items like the soles of leather shoes, fittings & fasteners (zippers, eyelets, etc), etc.
The best part is the magic eraser method is very easy to use and here’s a step by step guide on how to carry out this method.
- Magic Eraser (preferably Mr. Clean Magic Eraser)
- A Bowl of Water
- Microfiber cloth
- Leather Conditioner
Put the magic eraser into a bowl of water. You can also put the magic eraser under a running faucet.
Make sure the magic eraser gets thoroughly wet.
Give the wet magic eraser a good squeeze so that it’s damp.
Use the magic eraser to rub the surface of the leather. Rub any visible dirt, grime, or discoloration on your white leather.
Since the magic eraser is great for all kinds of materials, you can use it to clean other parts of the leather item which is not leather.
Wipe off any foam residue if there’s on the leather after cleaning. You can use a slightly damp clean microfiber cloth.
Leave the leather to air-dry.
Condition the leather with a good leather conditioner.
6. The Micellar Water Method
I know some of the gentlemen reading this section may go like “what now?” or “micellar what?”. But most women are familiar with micellar water as it’s commonly used to safely and gently remove makeup even from the most delicate skins.
Using micellar water is a great hack for making white leather white again. I will particularly recommend this method if you have white suede leather that you would like to make white again. It’s usually one of my key ingredients when I’m looking to restore white suede leather and other types of leather and I do not want to buy any products.
I know the sound of water on leather as most experts advise is always a no-no but micellar water is not just water. It’s specially formulated with water, oil, and surfactants to form an oil molecule suspension in water.
Because of its formulation, the micellar water is gentle and light on the skin and this makes it perfect for leather as well.
Pro Tip: Before you use any micellar water on leather, make sure it’s alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and more importantly it’s micellar water for sensitive skins.
Here’s how to use micellar water to make leather white again.
- Alcohol-free and fragrance-free Micellar Water
- Microfiber cloth or Lint-free Rag
Dust off any form of loose dust or debris from the surface of the leather. You can use a soft brush or a rag.
This is very important because you will be rubbing the leather and you wouldn’t want any dust lingering on the leather that can cause scratches.
Dampen your microfiber cloth with some micellar water and begin to rub the surface of the leather. You must rub gently and in a circular motion so that you do not remove the finish on the leather.
Rub thoroughly! If you notice your applicator rag is drying up, dampen it again with the micellar water and continue rubbing.
Once you’re satisfied with the restoration, leave the leather to air-dry for 10-15 minutes.
7. The Toothpaste Method
I’m sure by now you would have learned about the potency of toothpaste also as a household cleaning agent. You will be able to remove dirt and debris with toothpaste to make your white leather white again.
The only catch is that do NOT use gel toothpaste or colored toothpaste. While gel toothpaste usually does not do well with white leather, you may be able to use certain colored toothpaste.
This is why it’s very important to test out the toothpaste you decide to go for. You can do a test by putting a small amount of toothpaste on an inconspicuous part of the leather.
Leave it for about 15-20 minutes. Use a clean damp cloth or rag to wipe the toothpaste off. Now observe if the leather did not get stained, then you can go ahead and follow my step-by-step guide below on how to use the toothpaste method to make white leather white again.
Testing out the toothpaste first before using it on your leather is very important because different types of toothpaste contain different ingredients.
Although all toothpaste will have the same goal of cleaning the teeth, not all will treat leather equally as some can actually damage or worsen your leather.
The best toothpaste that will give you the best results is the non-colored and non-gel toothpaste.
- Microfibre cloth Or A Lint-Free Towel
Dampen your cloth or rag and use it to moisten the surface of your leather. Do not completely soak the leather with too much water.
If it’s a large leather item like a leather sofa, visually divide the surface of the leather into sections so that you will be able to thoroughly cover the entire affected area.
Load some toothpaste on your rag and begin to scrub the leather. You would want to particularly focus on areas where there’re discolorations or stains.
Put small amounts of toothpaste at a time on your rag and continue to scrub the leather.
For much tougher stains, you can use a toothbrush to give the leather a little bit of a robust scrub.
After you have thoroughly and carefully given the surface of the leather a good scrub, wipe the toothpaste residue with a damp lint-free towel, rag, or cloth.
You will notice how clean and white the leather will be. If you find there’s still a little bit of stains and discolorations left, you can go over this step once again.
With the help of a clean dry cloth or rag, dry the surface of the leather.
Let the leather air-dry and your white leather item will be good as new!
Using toothpaste on your white leather items will also remove scuffs.
Tips On How To Maintain Your White Leather Items
- Always check the manufacturer’s specific instructions on the recommended way of cleaning the leather items you purchase.
- Before you apply any leather cleaning products or any of the above-mentioned DIY leather cleaning and restoration hacks, wipe or brush off any loose dirt, debris, or dust.
- Also, before you use any leather cleaning product or method (especially DIY methods or products you’re not familiar with) always test it first on an inconspicuous part of the leather item.
- Do clean your white leather items regularly and always use a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth. How frequently you clean your white leather will generally depend on how often the leather item is used. However, a general rule of thumb when it comes to white leather is at least once a week using a water-damp rag or leather wipes.
- Always try as much as possible to clean all spills and stains from your leather as soon as they happen to minimize the chances of staining. Usually, a quick wipe with a damp microfiber cloth would do the trick. Or at the very least, a mild cleaner like dish soap will also help remove fresh stains.
- Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. They can damage your leather.
- You would as want to keep your white leather items away from direct sunlight as it can cause the leather to turn yellow.
- Always leave the leather to thoroughly air-dry before you use it.
- One of the best ways of maintaining your white leather items is by using cover in the case of leather upholstery for car seats and other furniture. For white leather shoes, bags, etc, you can use protectors.
- Try as much as possible to avoid using white leather when you’re in jeans or vice versa.