Ask DeAnn: How Do I Clean Leather?

leather beltAfter publishing a recent piece on cleaning sex toys, several readers wrote in to ask how to clean real leather goods.

If you’re inexperienced with leather, know that it cannot be washed or even rinsed off. It also shouldn’t be allowed to “dry out” – it’s animal skin, and needs oils to stay supple and shiny. Faux leather, on the other hand, is much more forgiving to running water, since it’s essentially plastic.

Real leather goods are more common in the BDSM scene and it’s used to make many specialty harnesses. They need special care when they encounter bodily fluids.

Step 1: Wipe it off

Wipe down the item as soon as possible with a dry cloth, paper towel, or toilet paper to remove any fluids or dirt from the surface.

Step 2: Clean it

There are several ways to accomplish this. Try to do this quickly, as you’ll usually be working with water-based fluids or surfactants that can dry out the leather if left for too long.

Soap Method – Lightly dampen a soft cloth and apply a small amount of mild liquid hand soap or dish soap. Agitate the cloth so the soap foams. Gently wipe down the dirty areas of the item with the soap foam. Then, follow up with another slightly damp (not wet) clean cloth. Wipe off the excess moisture.

Cleanser Method – There are specialty leather cleansers, but for some applications toy cleaning wipes work just fine. Remember to wipe off any excess moisture.

Step 3: Condition it

This is the most important step, because leather needs to stay moisturized to maintain suppleness and flexibility. There are a number of specialty conditioners out there, but you can also use a small droplet of olive oil. Some cleansers condition as they clean, but be sure to wipe off all the excess of whatever you use to condition your item.

Real leather is durable, comfortable, and when you take great care of it, will last you for years of sexy fun!