DIY 2 Ingredient Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

February 21, 2014 30 Comments | Disclosure

I love my leather couches. I’ve had them for around 13 years and lately they have been looking a little worse for wear. I have tried a number of commercial cleaners over the years with mixed results. I decided to look for a homemade cleaner. When I saw this one I knew it was perfect because I had everything on hand and it used just 2 ingredients (that I LOVE).

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You need: 1/2 Cup of Olive OIl

3/4 Cup of White Vinegar

Spray Bottle


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Mix the olive oil and vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well. {Some people call it salad dressing cleaner} If you don’t like the vinegar smell you can add some essential oils to mask the scent. I don’t mind the vinegar spell and it dissipates pretty quickly.

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Here’s some pictures of my scratched up and dirty furniture. You will want to to a test spot in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t ruin your leather.

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It took me a while to get the right spray from my spray bottle, you want a good mist, not a stream. You also want to be constantly shaking it.  I found it worked best to spray about a square foot and wipe with a cloth in circles.

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The vinegar cleans the leather and the olive oil moisturize it. I changed my cloth when it got really dirty and wet.  It took me about 3 refills to clean my couch, loveseat, chair and ottoman.  It dried pretty quickly too.  If you have carpet, I would lay an old towel on the ground to catch the over spray. I have concrete floors so I just wiped off extra spray that got on the floor.

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I was amazed at how much better my furniture looked. I think it is something that would be great to do every month or so to keep my leather soft and supple. It didn’t remove pen marks, I’ll have to find something else for those!

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The scratches don’t completely disappear, but they are a lot less noticeable. It was a lot cheaper than any of the cleaners I have bought in the past and I know exactly what is in it. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

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  1. rebecca says:

    I used this on my seats in my truck. I did not care for it. I did use coconut oil and loved it. Leaves my truck smelling great and my seats are conditioned.

  2. Looking to bring some luster to my old car seats and discovered this post. I don’t have coconut oil so I’ll try the original recipe for this. I wonder if most oils will work?

  3. Gene Smith says:

    Any oil will make leather look good until it dries. (Yes, all oils evaporate, some faster then others.) After drying, vegetable oil, leaves a sticky rancid smelling film while coconut and mineral oils leave no undiserable residual.

    • Good points Gene! Thanks!

    • I used coconut oil on a leather handbag and unfortunately when the weather is cold the oil solidifies in the crevices of the leather, looking like a white powder is all over the leather. I wouldn’t use the coconut oil myself, but there has to be an oil that won’t get rancid.

  4. your furniture looks great and you mention pen marks..

    There are sites that suggest rubbing alcohol, also if you have pen marks on your clothes, pour full strength on stain and wash out with soap and water

    it works great and I have have used it on pen marks also..hope this helps

    • OH! I’ll have to try that! Thanks so much Wendy!

    • Jeannie Marie says:

      Isopropyl alcohol works great on sharpie too, since it’s an alcohol based dye. I sharpie labels on most plastic tubs, storage containers and ziplocs. A simple swipe of isopropyl takes it off. This sometimes works on fabric with mixed results. Don’t forget to do a test patch first.

  5. Can I use (mineral oil based) Baby Oil?

    • you can use coconut oil in place of and am not sure of the baby oil

      you can experient with the baby oil on a small area you can’t see and try it out.

      if you don’t have olive oil, try a lighter oil like veggie oil or corn oil

      hope this helps..wendy

  6. Would this work on a coat as opposed to furniture?

  7. The general consensus is that you shouldn’t use plant oil on animal products, and definitely not mineral oil (like baby oil)

    probably the best thing to use is saddle soap to clean and neatsfoot oil (which is made out of cow shinbones) to condition

  8. Olive oil is horrible for leather. It rots it from the inside out.

  9. Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it in the future. However, I currently have a lot of unused hair conditioner….I heard this could be used as a conditioner for leather. Anyone try it?

  10. I don’t think Olive oil is the best choice here. I would recommend 92 degrees coconut oil (or mineral oil) mixed 75/25 with distilled water with 1-2 drops (teeny tiny drops) of liquid Castile soap. This would condition the leather and the soap would help keep the mixture emulsified.

  11. Sharon White says:

    as for the scratches on your leather, the service man that came to look at mine used the colored markers used on wood. Then he wiped excess with a soft cloth (old t shirt), would test in a hiden place firsst. He also used two or three colors to blend. Hoe this helps.

  12. I get pen out of leather using after shave. Try it on a spot first to make sure your leather will take it but its the only thing thats worked for me.

  13. I used this and i love it. My couch and chairs look amazing and I like the smell too haha

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