How to Clean Nubuck Leather?

How to Clean Nubuck Leather?

In order to enhance its water-resistant properties, durability and lifespan, it is recommended that you take the time and clean nubuck leather regularly. Even though the nubuck leather feels soft on the exterior, this outcome is obtained by sanding the outside of an animal’s hide.

Sanding the leather will also make the nap shorter and gives this type of leather its resilience. As you probably noticed, the items made from nubuck leather are refined and luxurious and since the amount of work needed to create them is greater, it is generally one of the most expensive categories of leather out there. However, the problem with nubuck leather is that it can get stained easily if you do not take the proper precautions.

Avoid Water

The durability of the Nubuck leather is attributed to hours of meticulously treating and sealing the material. The primary function of the treatment and sealing is to add an extra layer of protection against water and food spills.

However, the sealing also protects the appearance of the Nubuck leather, which is often stained or dyed. Because of the color treatment, it is contraindicated to use water on Nubuck leather, regardless of how much trouble a stain gives you.

Besides altering the color, water can also dry unevenly and create watermarks or can shrink and warp the leather causing irreparable damage.

Brushing to Remove Simple Stains and Spots

Considering that Nubuck leather is obtained from the exterior of a hide, it implies that its surface consists of thousands of short fiber hairs.

In order to maintain the shape, fluff and color of the multitude of fiber hairs you will need to use a napping brush to clean your nubuck leather items.

Even though you can use the napping brush similarly to any other cleaning brush, it is best to avoid insisting on an area for more than a few seconds.

Dealing with Stubborn Spills and Stains

If the stain or spill is persistent and brushing is ineffective, then try cleaning the leather with a nubuck cloth wrapped around a dry sponge. Removing a difficult spill or stain from nubuck leather with this cleaning tools implies using a back and forth motion.

Once you notice the leather becomes cleaner, remove the Nubuck cleaning cloth and rub the dry sponge on the leather as if you were wiping the countertops in the kitchen.

The latter phase is necessary because the motion and the texture of the sponge will help restore the nap of the leather.

Using Suds Method

In the eventuality that the nubuck leather becomes very mucky, then you can clean it using the suds method. First off, use a soft brush to remove the large chucks of debris without scrubbing and make sure you are not spreading the dirt on the clean leather.

Afterwards, create a blend of water with liquid detergent and mix it in a container until you notice suds. Apply the suds directly on the leather for a few hours until the dirt appears to loosen up.

How to Handle Oily Leather?

Even though it is notorious for its durability and waterproof coating, nubuck leather is very susceptible to oil stains.

If you act immediately on a small oily stain or spill, you have high chances of removing it with a nubuck brush. On the other hand, if the oil has penetrated the leather, you will mostly likely need to use a leather degreasing product.

To clean Nubuck leather, apply the leather degreaser and brush the damaged area gently several times until you remove the stain.


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