How to Make Leather Look New

Do you ever feel like your leather items have seen better days? Whether it’s a beloved, worn-in leather jacket that has been through everything with you or the perfect brown bag that now sports an array of stains, it can be tough to part with well-loved articles of clothing and accessories.

How to Make Leather Look New

Keeping your leather items looking new and beautiful takes a bit of hard work, but it’s worth the effort for the timeless fashion statement they provide. You can make your leather last considerably longer than expected with just a few simple steps.

Instead of saying “see ya later” to these treasured pieces, why not try giving them some extra TLC? With just a few easy steps, they can look almost new again! Keep reading for our tips on how to make leather look new.

Necessary Items

  • Soft cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • Water and vinegar mixture (optional)

10 Steps on How to Make Leather Look New

Step 1: Cleaning the Surface

Before doing anything, it’s important to clean the surface of your leather item. Use a soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated on the surface. If your leather is stained, you can mix a small amount of water and vinegar and use this solution to wipe away any marks or discoloration gently.

Use a Soft Cloth

Step 2: Check for Colorfastness

Before applying any cleaner or conditioner, it’s important to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather to ensure it won’t affect the color. Apply a small amount of cleaner or conditioner and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Cleaner

Various leather cleaners are available on the market, so make sure to choose one specifically designed for the type of leather you’re cleaning. For example, suede may require a different cleaner than smooth leather.

Step 4: Applying the Cleaner

Follow the instructions on the cleaner and use a soft cloth to gently apply it in circular motions, working from one side of the leather item to the other. Ensure not to press too hard or scrub aggressively, as this can damage the leather.

Step 5: Removing Excess Cleaner

After applying the cleaner, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess product from the leather. Again, do not rub too hard or apply too much pressure.

Step 6: Drying the Leather

After cleaning, allow the leather to air dry completely before moving on to the next step. Avoid using a hair dryer or placing the leather item in direct sunlight, which can cause the leather to crack or fade.

Step 7: Conditioning the Leather

Once the leather is dry, it’s important to condition it to restore moisture and prevent it from cracking. Apply a small amount of leather conditioner on a soft cloth and gently rub it onto the surface of the leather in circular motions. Make sure to cover all areas evenly.

Step 8: Letting the Conditioner Set

Allow the conditioner to sit briefly before wiping away any excess with a clean, dry cloth. This will give the leather time to absorb the conditioner and restore its natural shine.

Step 9: Buffing

You can buff the leather with a soft cloth after removing excess conditioner for an extra shiny finish. This will help bring out the natural luster of the leather.

Step 10: Repeat as Needed

Depending on how dirty or worn your leather item is, you may need to repeat these steps a few times before seeing the desired results. Always test any products on a small area first, and use gentle motions when cleaning and conditioning your leather items.

Overall, taking proper care of your leather items can significantly extend their lifespan and keep them looking new for years to come. Regular cleaning and conditioning will make your leather look great, protect it from damage, and ensure it stays soft and supple. So next time you’re tempted to toss out a well-loved leather piece, remember these simple steps and give it some much-needed love and attention instead. Your leather will thank you!

Happy cleaning! After following these steps, your leather items should look almost new again! But to keep them looking fresh, it’s important to continue regular cleanings and conditioning. Additionally, avoid exposing your leather items to excessive heat or sunlight, which can cause the material to dry out and crack.

Your Leather Items Should Look Almost New Again

8 Care Tips for Your Leather Items

1. Store Leather Items in a Cool and Dry Place

Heat and humidity can cause the leather to break down and grow mold. To avoid this, store your leather items in a cool, dry place where they won’t be subjected to extreme temperatures or moisture.

2. Keep Leather Away from Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can not only fade the color of your leather but also dry it out and cause it to crack. Store your leather items out of direct sunlight and avoid wearing them for prolonged periods in the sun.

3. Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning your leather, use products specifically designed for leather and avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners that may damage the material. Always test the product on a small area if you need more clarification.

4. Don’t Overload Leather Bags

While leather bags are sturdy and durable, overstuffing them or carrying too much weight can put unnecessary strain on the material and cause it to tear or stretch. Make sure only to carry what is necessary in your leather bag.

5. Hang Leather Clothing Properly

When storing leather clothing, hang them on wide, padded hangers to prevent any creases or marks. Avoid using metal hangers, as they can cause indentations and stretching in the material.

6. Use a Protective Spray

Consider using a protective spray to protect your leather items from water and stains. These sprays create a barrier on the surface of the leather, making it easier to wipe away any spills or marks.

7. Regularly Clean and Condition

As mentioned earlier, regular cleaning and conditioning is key to maintaining the appearance of your leather items. Set aside some time every few months to give your leather some TLC.

8. Invest in Professional Cleaning and Repair

For more delicate or valuable leather items, it’s best to leave the cleaning and repairing to professionals. They have the expertise and tools to properly care for your items without causing any damage. 

Valuable Leather Items

By following these tips, you can ensure that your leather items stay in top condition for years. With proper care, your leather can last a lifetime and even age gracefully, giving it a unique and beautiful character. So, next time you consider tossing out an old leather piece, remember that a little love and care can bring it back to life.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I Use Household Cleaners on My Leather Items?

No, it’s best to avoid household cleaners as they may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the leather. Stick to products specifically designed for leather.

Can I Use Water to Clean the Leather?

Yes, you can use a small amount of water for spot cleaning. However, dry the leather thoroughly afterward and avoid soaking it.

How Often Should I Condition My Leather Items?

It depends on how frequently you use the item and its exposure to heat and sunlight. Generally, aim to condition your leather every 3-6 months. However, if the leather is starting to look dry or cracked, it’s best to condition it more frequently.

Can I Use a Hair Dryer to Speed Up Drying?

It’s not recommended, as direct heat can cause the leather to crack. It’s best to let the item air dry naturally at room temperature.

What Should I Do if My Leather Gets Wet?

If your leather item gets wet, use a dry cloth to gently soak up any excess water and then let it air dry at room temperature. Avoid using a heater or hair dryer to speed up the drying process, as this can cause damage to the material.

Can I Store Leather in Plastic Bags?

No, storing leather items in a breathable fabric bag or wrapping them in a soft cloth is best. Plastic bags can trap moisture and cause the leather to grow mold.

How Do I Remove Stains from Leather?

First, try wiping away the stain with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t work, use a mild soap specifically designed for leather and gently rub the stained area in circular motions. Avoid using too much pressure, as this can damage the leather. If the stain remains, it’s best to seek professional cleaning services.

Proper care and maintenance of your leather items are essential in preserving their quality and longevity. By following these tips and taking the time to regularly clean and condition your leather, you can ensure that your items remain in top condition for years to come.

Maintenance of Your Leather Items

So, instead of throwing out your well-loved leather pieces, show them some love and give them the care they deserve. Your leather will thank you with a beautiful and lasting appearance.


Taking the time to clean and condition your leather goods regularly is an essential element of keeping them looking timeless. With these simple tips and tricks on how to make leather look new, you’ll be able to extend the life of your leather goods for years to come!

So why not take a few minutes today to give your leather extra love and care? Your belongings will thank you for it! In addition, consider investing in a trusted brand of products specifically formulated for use on leather.

Doing so can also help ensure the finish remains shiny and new while protecting against premature aging, fading, cracking, or drying out. Who knew taking care of your favorite leather items could be so easy? Now, go out there and show off your newly refreshed look!

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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