So, you’ve got a faux leather sofa looking a bit dirty, but how do you wash the material without shrinking it? I will tell you how to wash faux leather step by step to keep that couch looking great.
Washing faux leather is using various methods to clean faux leather without damaging the material. Faux leather can be washed with mild soap and cool or warm water, diluted white vinegar, or leather cleaner. Minimal skill other than basic leather care is needed, and it only takes about an hour.
Do you have a faux leather chair with a stain and are unsure how to wash it without damaging it? Let’s explore how faux leather can be washed at home with little effort providing clean results that won’t shrink the material.
What Is Washing Faux Leather?
Washing faux leather is using various techniques to clean and remove stains while protecting the material from damage. There are a few methods for washing faux leather that are effective and easy, but it is important to know what type of faux leather one is working with and which techniques are effective for each.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- Reasons You Might Choose to Wash Faux Leather
- Variations or Styles of How To Wash Faux Leather
- How To Wash Faux Leather Overview Table
- Skill Level of Washing Faux Leather
- Tools and Supplies Needed To Wash Faux Leather
- How to Wash Faux Leather Step by Step
- How to Get Better at Washing Faux Leather
- My Personal Research on How To Wash Faux Leather
- Helpful Insights on How To Wash Faux Leather
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
One misconception about faux leather is that it is waterproof. While faux leather is made of different plastics, including polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), it is water-resistant and not waterproof.
Another misconception regarding faux leather is that they’re all made the same. This is also untrue because many different types of faux leather exist, and some require more special care than others when washing or cleaning them.
Reasons You Might Choose To Wash Faux Leather
When faux leather is used or worn daily, it will likely collect dirt and odors. Over time this can lead to cracks, stains, and potentially mold if moisture is involved. Faux leather should be washed regularly to prevent problems and keep it looking great for longer. Some other reasons one might choose to wash faux leather include the following:
- Water damage
Variations or Styles of How To Wash Faux Leather
A few ways to wash faux leather exist, and all are easy and can usually be done with supplies already in the home. A mild dish soap, laundry detergent, or Dove soap can be mixed in cool or warm water to form suds for cleaning faux leather. A commercially prepared faux leather cleaner can also be used as it is formulated especially for faux leather.
White vinegar diluted in water is another option for cleaning faux leather and removing stains. Always check the label to see if the faux leather should be dry cleaned only, in which case washing it should be left to the professionals.
Mild soap and water or a leather cleaner will typically not disturb faux leather fibers while they clean, which keeps it soft and in good shape.
How To Wash Faux Leather Overview Table
|Area of Preparation
|How To Wash Faux Leather
|Overall Level of Skill (1–5)
|Time to Complete (minutes/hours)
|30 minutes to 1 hour
|Basic leather care
|Tools and Supplies Needed
|Water, mild soap, microfiber towels or old t-shirts, leather cleaner, leather conditioner
|Key Helpful Tip
|Avoid using too much water, avoid direct sunlight and heat
Skill Level of Washing Faux Leather
Washing faux leather takes a little skill. It does help to have some knowledge of basic leather care and understand that even faux leather is a complex material that requires some special care. Mild soap and water or a leather cleaner will typically not disturb faux leather fibers while they clean, which keeps it soft and in good shape.
Any products used on faux leather should be tested first in an inconspicuous area to test for colorfastness. Then just don’t use too much water and condition once completely dry. That is all the skill needed to wash faux leather!
Tools and Supplies Needed To Wash Faux Leather
Only a few tools and supplies are needed for washing faux leather. Most important are microfiber towels or old t-shirts because these are soft, lint-free, and will not scratch faux leather. Also required are a bowl of cool or warm water, mild dish soap or detergent, and a leather conditioner.
If one chooses to use leather cleaner, one will need a faux leather cleaner, microfiber towels or old t-shirts, and a leather conditioner. Leather conditioner is important for restoring essential moisture and keeping faux leather supple and in good condition.
How To Wash Faux Leather Step by Step
Now that the supplies have been gathered let’s go step by step on how to wash faux leather and prevent shrinking or any other damage.
- Remove any loose dirt or dust with a soft, bristled brush or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment on low suction.
- Stir one teaspoon of mild soap in two cups of cool or warm water and make suds.
- Dip a microfiber towel or old t-shirt into the soapy water and squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Wipe the faux leather with the dampened microfiber towel, carefully avoiding getting it too wet.
- Allow the faux leather to air dry completely away.
- Apply leather conditioner.
For more insight on deep cleaning a white faux leather couch using mild soap and water, watch this helpful video.
How To Get Better at Washing Faux Leather
Washing faux leather isn’t difficult, and regular washing is necessary to keep the item in good shape and get better at cleaning it. However, one may find that one method doesn’t work as well or doesn’t produce the desired results, so simply try other methods.
Also, try learning what types of faux leather are present because, according to research by Ujevic et al. published in the Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management, some types of faux leather are easily washable while others get stiff with some cleaning solvents.
With regular use, it’s good to wash faux leather about once every couple of months, and using the right products and the right water temperature can prevent shrinking and a host of other problems that can occur when cleaning faux leather. So keep doing it and use the best method for those faux leather items.
My Personal Research on How To Wash Faux Leather
There are several ways to wash faux leather; however, some faux leathers cannot withstand certain solvents or cleaning methods. I have compiled a list of the more common types of faux leather and the best cleaning methods for each here.
|Faux Leather Type
|Best Method for Washing
|Polyurethane (PU) leather
|Soap and water, leather cleaner, diluted vinegar, dry clean
|Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) leather
|Soap and water, leather cleaner, baking soda
|Soap and water, leather cleaner
|Soap and water, leather cleaner
|Soap and water, leather cleaner
Helpful Insights On How To Wash Faux Leather
Can you wash fake leather?
Yes, one can wash fake leather using a few different methods. The easiest method for washing fake leather is with mild soap and water. A leather cleaner or white vinegar in water can also be used. Always use cool or warm water to wash fake leather, as hot water can cause the material to shrink and warp.
What is the best way to clean faux leather?
The best way to clean faux leather is with mild soap and water. It is the easiest and safest way to clean faux leather and protect the material. Just be sure to use cool or warm water, and don’t get the faux leather too wet to prevent any damage or shrinking.
Can I use detergent on faux leather?
A mild detergent can be used on faux leather unless the item is labeled as dry clean only. A teaspoon of detergent in about 2 cups of cool or warm water is safe and gentle for faux leather. Avoid getting faux leather too wet, and don’t use hot water to prevent shrinking, warping, and molding.
What liquid cleans faux leather?
Faux leather can be cleaned with a commercially made leather cleaner in liquid form. Many options are available to clean both faux leather and real leather. Water with a mild detergent can also be used to clean faux leather.
How do you clean and deodorize faux leather?
Baking soda can be sprinkled on faux leather to deodorize the material and absorb odors. Leave the baking soda on the faux leather for a few minutes, brush or vacuum off, then clean with mild soap and water and apply a faux leather conditioner once the item is entirely dry.
- Faux leather can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
- Use cool or warm water to prevent the faux leather material from warping and shrinking.
- Always apply leather conditioner after cleaning faux leather and allowing it to dry completely.
Hopefully, this answers your questions about how to wash faux leather and prevent shrinkage. Faux leather is durable that can last a long time, and keeping it clean is a good way to preserve it. Always use cool or warm water, test any new products in an inconspicuous spot, and apply leather conditioner when faux leather is dry. Follow these tips to prevent your faux leather from shrinking when washing it and keep it looking great.
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