DIY 2 Ingredient Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

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} 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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Types: Cleaning, Adult
Categories: Frugal, Inside The House, Natural


  • rebecca

    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.

    • Marji

      Thanks for the tip, I love coconut oil and will have to try it!

      • John

        I have heard a few drops of your favorite essential oil is a nice touch.
        when using either olive oil or coconut oil do you think it would be a good idea to leave the furniture in a warm room, say 80 deg. F (to simulate human body heat) for a few hours unused. Then wipe down furniture in broad circles to prevent the oil and possibly loose dirt and or die from getting on your clothes? Your thoughts…..Yes, No?

        • Francesca

          I used essential oil in mine and used it on my car leather. I washed and rinsed with dawn and then used this leather conditioner recipe with lavender essential oil added. Looks and smells amazing!

    • Raina

      Did you use coconut oil only or mixed with the vinegar like above?

      • rebecca

        I only used coconut oil and an old t shirt. I let it soak in and wiped off excess. With the warm weather it soaked in nicely.

    • Juanita

      Hairspray takes out ink.

    • Cindy Clark

      Did you use straight coconut oil or did you mix it with vinegar or what?

      • Cathy Yoder

        Rebecca said, “I only used coconut oil and an old t shirt. I let it soak in and wiped off excess. With the warm weather it soaked in nicely.”

    • Tina Ruise

      What about white leather

      • Cathy Yoder

        You might want to test it out in an inconspicuous spot on your couch and see if it causes any issues on the white leather. Let us know how it goes!

  • Felicia

    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?

  • Gene Smith

    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.

    • Becky

      Good points Gene! Thanks!

    • Lydia

      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.

  • Wendy

    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

    • Becky

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

    • Jeannie Marie

      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.

  • Jen

    Can I use (mineral oil based) Baby Oil?

    • wendy

      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

  • Angela

    Would this work on a coat as opposed to furniture?

  • Gary

    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

  • Adam

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

  • Jacq

    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?

    • Becky

      I haven’t personally… but a LOT of peeps I know use conditioner to shave their legs 🙂 Might be something 😀

  • Elysia

    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.

  • Sharon White

    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.

  • Carolyn

    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.

  • Eva

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

  • Jane

    Olive oil should not be used on leather because it rots and in turn will rot your leather.

  • Kimberley

    don’t use saddle soap / glycerine based cleaner on good furniture leather. it is too harsh and will ruin your couches. I learned this the hard way.

  • Petra Harrell

    I have used Avocado oil, vinegar and a couple of drops of lemon essential oil. Cleaned and conditions well. Give your furniture time to dry as well. I recommend overnight.

  • John J

    I stopped at the part that said test a spot. Leather can be ruined by the wrong product. I have no problem paying a few bucks for a quality product. If leather was cheap it would be a different story.

  • Bonnie Banks

    WOW! So MANY great comments here on this simple DIY. I like to buy vintage leather handbags and have several that desperately need cleaned. I think I may hesitate on using the olive oil or the coconut oil as there were noses turned to the various outcomes. Mineral oil, used sparingly with distilled water, actually sounds to be the best option. Castile Soap is an olive oil based soap for folks that don’t know…use that sparingly too. Also, I am amazed that nobody mentions any variations for using these DIY cleaners on brushed leathers versus the slick shiny leather. Just really curious about that twist on the DIY cleaning. Thanks!

  • Laura

    Spray bottles just get clogged up when using oils. I mixed this in a bowl and simply dipped a rag into and rubbed away. Worked just fine! My leather chair looks beautiful!

  • Jenna

    Olive oil or any kind of oil for that fact is horrible on leather. It will rot it from the inside out and destroy your leather. Vinegar and water cleans it. The essential oil drop of lemon or tea tree is the best.

  • De Paul Oberbreckling

    I have a burgundy colored couch and it is very stained from my hair and back of my neck where I sit back against the back of the couch. My guess is it is stained from sweating. Any advice on how to clean this dark stain. Thank you.Dr

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