Leather Cleaning and Care

Leather Cleaning and Care

Rustico leather is made to be rugged. However, the fine handmade quality of our leather products can sometimes be intimidating to people who are reluctant to use their items that have been carefully crafted. Don't be afraid to let your leather scratch and scuff. These are the marks you're leaving by putting your Rustico item to good use. The oils from your skin will also shape the leather’s patina over time. You'll come to love that "used" look that develops as it builds memories with you. There will be times, however, that you'll want to put in a little cleaning to keep your leather in top condition. For those special times, we've made some quick tips for keeping your leather looking nice.

How to Clean Leather

Begin by using olive oil, soap, and a towel. Test a small inconspicuous area first to make sure that it doesn’t change the color of the leather in any way. Use a damp towel with a little soap to clean the leather. Ring the towel of excess water so that it’s only damp. Gently wipe the leather until spots are gone. Once you’ve cleaned the leather rinse the towel and wipe any soap residue that remains.

Homemade Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

Several products can help you clean and condition your leather and you’ve probably got these items in your kitchen right now. White Vinegar is perfect as a basic homemade leather cleaner. It is used for regular cleaning and maintaining the health of the material. Also, a small amount of lemon juice mixed with cream of tartar is excellent for removing unsightly stains.

Removing Stains

Remember that when you are cleaning leather the main thing is to avoid drying out the leather. If working with finished leather you can usually use products and leather care solutions that you might already have on hand. Unfinished leather requires more attention.

Removing Very Old Stains

Pen ink will quickly stain leather since it’s a dye. Usually, any product that dissolves the ink can also dissolve the color of your leather. If possible seek out a professional for help removing older stains you’ve stumbled upon. For small stains, some rubbing alcohol might do the trick. Test it on a small out-of-the-way spot first. Use a cotton ball and apply the rubbing alcohol in a gentle circular motion. The stain should slowly disappear. This will remove some of the leather’s moisture so be sure to apply leather conditioner afterward.


Leather Care

Rustico leather is raw and unique. Over time you will find it will develop its own character. Don’t be afraid of a scuff or scratch marks. Those become signs that your leather is wearing well. The oils from your skin will also shape the leather’s patina over time.


It's best practice to avoid leaving leather in direct sunlight or extreme heat for long periods of time. We recommend when cleaning your leather to use Rustico’s Custom Designed Leather Cleaner for additional cleaning and conditioning of your Rustico items. We also offer high-quality Leather Protector that will safeguard and preserve your items as you use them.

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