How to clean faux leather

Learn how to clean faux leather jacket in a washing machine and clean a faux leather sofa by hand.


A person's hand cleaning faux leather sofa

Key steps

Follow these steps when cleaning faux leather:

  • Check the care label first.
  • Do a patch test on an inconspicuous area then wash with the appropriate method.
  • Wipe off excess water then leave to air dry.

Cleaning faux leather can be a confusing process. Does it need the same cleaning care as leather, or something completely different? We’ll show you how to remove stains from faux leather jackets and clothes in the washing machine, and from faux leather sofas by hand.

When out and about in your faux leather jacket, keep a packet of baby wipes with you, so you can remove any stains quickly, before cleaning it thoroughly when you get home.

How to clean faux leather: general tips

Before we move onto the specifics of how to clean fake leather jackets and how to clean faux leather couch cushions, there are some general guidelines that come in handy for both:

  • Check the care label. Particularly with faux leather clothes, the manufacturer will have provided guidance about the best way to wash it on the care label.
  • Do a patch test. It’s a good idea to test any new cleaning method on a small area first that is inconspicuous, to check for any adverse reaction.

How to clean faux leather jacket

If you’ve owned a real leather jacket in the past, you might be concerned about how to wash faux leather jacket and clothing items yourself. The good news is it’s actually pretty easy to clean faux leather clothes, as you can machine-wash most pieces. The care label will let you know if you can pop it in the machine.

If so, here’s a general guide on how to clean faux leather clothes:

  1. Turn your clothing item inside out.
  2. Place the faux leather item in a delicates/mesh washing bag.
  3. Select a cold cycle, low spin, delicates setting on your washing machine.
  4. Use a gentle detergent.
  5. Lay the item flat or hang it up to air dry, rather than using the tumble dryer.

So that’s how to wash faux leather jacket and clothing items, but what about cleaning faux leather items that are bigger and can’t go in the laundry, like how to clean faux leather sofa cushions? That’s what we’ll move onto now.

How to clean a faux leather sofa

Of course, you can’t put a faux leather sofa in a washing machine! So we’ll need to consider how to clean faux leather couch cushions by hand. You can also clean other faux leather items, like bags and accessories, using this method.

When you’re just giving your sofa a regular clean to maintain it, you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth that’s been dipped in warm water and then wrung out. Remember to dry it off afterwards with a dry cloth. But what about how to remove stains from faux leather? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Add a little bit of mild washing up liquid to warm water.
  2. Dip in a non-abrasive cloth and wring it out so that it’s just damp.
  3. Wipe over the stain gently unless it disappears.
  4. Rinse the soap out of the cloth, wring out again and use to wipe any soap residue off the faux leather.
  5. Finish by drying your couch with a soft microfiber cloth.

With these tips on how to clean fake leather jackets and sofas, you can feel confident that you’re taking care of your faux leather items. Regular maintenance will help keep your fake leather looking better for longer, and taking quick action on stains will make it easier to remove them.

Originally published