How to Clean Old Leather


Old leather typically begins to look aged and dried out when years have passed without properly caring for the leather. A main problem with leather is its quick ability to dry out, making it important to nourish the leather. Without moisturizing the leather properly you end up with cracked leather that is irreparable. By mixing a cleaning solution that both removes dirt while also restoring the crucial moisture needed to the old leather, you will make it look almost brand new again.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Cleaning rags
  • Bowl
  • Pour one cup white vinegar and two cups linseed oil into a bowl.

  • Saturate your cleaning cloth in the mixture, and squeeze the cloth out over the bowl to release excess cleaning mixture.

  • Wipe the mixture over the old leather, leaving behind a thin, even layer of film.

  • Allow the mixture to sit on the old leather for at least three hours, but preferably overnight when possible.

  • Wipe off the excess the following morning with a clean cloth, just as you would to buff a surface. Rub in small circular motions until all excess cleaning mixture is removed.

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  • Photo Credit brown leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from
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