Do you have a leather couch or chair that could use some TLC? Are you looking for an affordable and natural way to clean it? If so, you may be wondering if it’s safe to use baking soda on leather. In this article, I will explore the answer to that question and provide some tips on how to clean leather with baking soda.
To answer our question of the day briefly, Yes, you can use baking soda to clean, treat stains, and deodorize leather goods such as furniture, shoes, leather car seats, etc because baking soda is a gentle abrasive and has natural cleaning properties.
When it comes to cleaning leather, you don’t want to use just any old cleaner. You want to be sure to use something that is gentle and won’t damage the leather.
Baking soda fits that bill perfectly. It’s a gentle abrasive that can safely be used on leather items without damaging them.
However, it’s important to take some precautions and follow some simple tips in order to avoid damaging your leather furniture. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Baking soda is a gentle abrasive: This means that it can help to remove dirt and grime from the surface of your leather furniture, but it can also scratch the leather if you’re not careful.
- Use A Soft Cloth With Baking Soda: When cleaning with baking soda, always use a soft cloth or sponge. This will help to avoid scratching the leather.
- Rinse The Leather After Using Baking Soda: Make sure that you rinse the area well after cleaning with baking soda.
- Baking Soda Is Fast Drying: Baking soda is a drying agent, so if it’s left on the leather for too long, it can cause the leather to become brittle and dry.
Now that we’ve gone over a few tips, let’s take a look at how to actually clean leather with baking soda.
Now that I have covered a few important tips, let’s move on to a few other important things you need to know about using baking soda on leather items.
The Benefits Of Using Baking Soda On Leather
Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits of using baking soda on leather.
1. Baking Soda Is A Natural Cleaning Agent
My husband and I have been trying really hard to reduce the chemical footprint in our home.
We have been making a lot of our own cleaning solutions and have found that baking soda is a great natural alternative to many conventional cleaners.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally occurring crystalline chemical compound that is often available in powder form. When baking soda is mined, it is in its natural state.
Baking soda has a wide range of uses, including cleaning, deodorizing, and fire extinguishing. It is also used in food preparation and as a leavening agent for baking.
2. Baking Soda Is Effective At Removing Stains
Baking soda is also an effective stain remover. When mixed with water, it forms a paste that can be used to remove stains from leather clothing, upholstery, and carpeting.
Baking soda is especially effective at removing coffee stains, wine stains, and other tannin-based stains. It is effective on these types of stains because it is alkaline and tannins are acidic.
Baking soda can also be used to remove grease stains, ink stains, and blood stains. It does a wonderful job of lifting stains from the surface of leather without any damage.
3. Baking Soda Is A Natural Deodorizer
Another great benefit of baking soda is that it can be used as a natural deodorizer. Leather is a porous material and as a result, it can absorb smells over time.
If your leather goods are starting to smell a little bit, sprinkle some baking soda on them and let it sit for an hour or two (the longer the better).
The baking soda will help to absorb the smells and leave your leather goods smelling fresh and clean.
Baking soda can also be combined with other ingredients such as lemon juice or essential oils to create a natural leather cleaner and deodorizer.
Just mix together equal parts baking soda and lemon juice (or water for that matter) and apply it to the leather with a soft cloth.
Rub it in well and then let it sit for about 15 minutes before wiping it off. Your leather goods will be clean and smell great!
4. Baking Soda Can Be Used To Clean Leather
In addition to being a great deodorizer, baking soda can also be used to clean leather. This means that you will be able to use baking soda for your day-to-day cleaning needs.
I do this very often and it works like a charm on both faux leather and real leather goods. What I usually do is to put about a teaspoonful in a bottle of warm water and then add my favorite essential oil and shake it until it is dissolved.
Once that is done, I apply it to a clean cloth and wipe down my leather goods. It does an amazing job of removing everyday dirt, dust, and grime.
5. Baking Soda Can Be Used To Protect Leather
Another great benefit of baking soda is that it can be used to protect the leather from water damage and odors. This is because baking soda is naturally absorbent.
When applied to leather, it will help to absorb moisture and protect the leather from water damage and those pesky odors. How?
I like to put 2-3 tablespoonful of baking soda into an old sock and then place it on the leather item before I put them away for storage.
This helps to keep them in good condition and prevents them from becoming water damaged or smelly.
6. Baking Soda Is A Cheap Alternative
Another benefit of baking soda is that it is a very cheap alternative to many of the commercial leather cleaners and conditioners on the market.
One 16-ounce box of baking soda typically costs less than $0.50 and can last for months (or even years).
Simply open your kitchen cabinet, take a teaspoon of baking soda, and put it in a spray bottle with water BOOM! You already have a powerful leather cleaner.
Add a 1/4 part coconut oil and 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda solution and KABOOM! You have yourself a leather conditioner.
You can save a lot of money by using baking soda to clean and protect your leather goods. This is also because a little goes a long way with this product.
7. Baking Soda Helps To Lock The Natural Color Of The Leather
Last but not the least, baking soda also helps to lock the natural color of the leather. It does so by providing a protective layer on top of the leather.
This is especially helpful if you have light-colored leather furniture or clothing. By using baking soda, you can help keep your leather looking new for longer.
The Cons Of Using Baking Soda On Leather
While I still stand by all the good baking soda has to offer, I also want to be upfront about the cons. Trust me, for most people these downsides are totally worth the upsides.
But I still want to mention them so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use baking soda on your leather goods.
1. Baking Soda Can Dry Leather
First of all, baking soda can be a bit drying for leather. This is because it is absorbent and will pull moisture away from the leather.
If you live in a dry climate or your leather is already dry, this can cause cracking and damage to your leather items.
2. Baking Soda Can Be Abrasive
Another downside of using baking soda on leather is that it can be abrasive. This means that it can scratch the surface of the leather if you are not careful.
To avoid this, do not rub or scrub the surface of your leather when you have baking soda on it. You want to vacuum or brush off the baking soda instead.
3. Baking Soda Might Not Remove Tough Stains Or Odors
Baking soda might not be strong enough to remove tough stains or odors from leather. If you have a really tough stain that you can’t get out, you might need to use a stronger cleaning product.
The same goes for tough odors. If your leather item smells bad, baking soda might not be enough to get rid of the odor. You might need to use a different product, like vinegar or alcohol.
4. Baking Soda Can Leave A Residue
Finally, baking soda can leave a white powdery residue on your leather if you do not wipe it off properly. This is because baking soda is not completely water-soluble.
To avoid this, make sure to vacuum or brush off the excess baking soda before you condition or polish your leather item.
How To Clean Leather With Baking Soda (Instructions)
Now that you know all about the pros and cons of using baking soda on leather, you might be wondering how to actually do it. Here are some simple instructions for cleaning leather with baking soda.
Step One: Start with a small area
- When you first start cleaning your leather with baking soda, it is important to start with a small area. This will help you get a feel for how the baking soda is going to react with your leather.
- It is better to start small and then do more if you need to, rather than starting big and making a mess.
Step Two: Make a paste or solution
- Next, you want to make a paste or solution out of the baking soda and water.
- To make a paste also known as poultice, mix together a teaspoon of baking soda and enough water to make a paste.
- You can always add more water if the paste is too thick, or more baking soda if it is too thin. Just make sure that the paste is not too runny.
- To make a baking soda solution, mix together a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water.
- You can adjust the amount of water depending on how much you need to clean.
Step Three: Apply the paste or solution to the leather
- Once you have made your paste or solution, you want to apply it to the leather.
- If you are using a paste, you can apply it with your fingers or a soft cloth.
- Just make sure that you are not rubbing or scrubbing the leather, as this can damage it.
- Let it sit overnight before scraping it off.
- If you are using a solution, you can apply it with a spray bottle or a damp cloth.
- Again, make sure that you are not rubbing or scrubbing the leather.
- For the baking soda solution make sure to wipe the solution off immediately.
Step Four: Condition Leather
- Once you have applied and removed the baking soda solution from your leather, you want to condition your leather. This will help restore moisture and protect your leather from future damage.
- To condition leather, simply apply a small amount of leather conditioner to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather.
- You can find leather conditioners at most stores that sell cleaning supplies or online.
Step Five: Let the leather dry
- After you have conditioned your leather, you want to let it dry.
- Leather can take a few hours to fully dry, so make sure that you give it plenty of time.
- Do not put anything on the leather until it is completely dry, as this can damage it.
Step Six: Polish the leather (optional)
- Once the leather is dry, you can optionally polish it.
- This will help restore shine and protect the leather from future damage.
- To polish leather, simply apply a small amount of leather polish to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather. You can find leather polish at most stores that sell cleaning supplies or online.
Additional Tips For Cleaning Leather With Baking Soda
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when cleaning leather with baking soda:
- Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so it can damage leather if you are not careful.
- Make sure to vacuum or brush off any excess baking soda before you condition or polish your leather item.
- If you have a lot of dirt or grime on your leather, you might need to repeat the process a few times to get it completely clean.
- Cleaning leather with baking soda is a great way to clean your leather without damaging it.
- Make sure to condition your leather after cleaning it with baking soda to restore moisture and protect it from future damage.
Alternatives To Baking Soda For Cleaning Leather
If you do not have baking soda or if you are looking for an alternative to baking soda, you can also use:
Dish Soap: Dish soap is a mild cleanser that can be used on leather. It has similar properties to baking soda and is even better but can be used in the same way.
- To use dish soap on leather, simply mix together a teaspoon of dish soap and a cup of warm water.
- Apply the solution to the leather with a spray bottle or damp cloth and let it sit for several minutes.
- Rinse and wipe it off with a clean cloth and condition your leather as usual.
Vinegar: Vinegar is a great alternative to baking soda because it is also acidic and will help remove dirt and grime from leather.
- To use vinegar, simply mix together a cup of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.
- Apply the solution to your leather with a spray bottle or a damp cloth and wipe it off immediately.
- Do not let the vinegar solution sit on your leather for too long, as it can damage it.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is another great alternative to baking soda because it is gentle and will not damage leather.
To use olive oil, simply apply a small amount of olive oil to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather.
Let the olive oil sit on the leather for a few minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. You can find olive oil at most grocery stores or online.
Cleaning leather can be a delicate process, but it is important to do it regularly to keep your leather in good condition.
Baking soda is a great way to clean leather without damaging it. There are a lot of advantages to using baking soda over other cleaners.
Baking soda is a natural cleaner that is non-toxic and gentle on leather. It is also very effective at removing dirt and grime. Not forgetting the few downsides that come with it.
Make sure to vacuum or brush off any excess before you condition or polish your leather item. Baking soda can also damage leather if you are not careful.
But all in all, baking soda is a good way to clean leather. Make sure to condition your leather after cleaning it with baking soda to restore moisture and protect it from future damage. Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful.
Q: How long can I leave baking soda on leather?
A: Baking soda paste or poultice can be left on leather overnight or for up to 24 hours. If you are using a baking soda slurry, it should be rinsed off after 3-5 minutes.
Q: Can you sprinkle baking soda on leather?
A: You can sprinkle baking soda on leather, but it will not be as effective as using a paste or solution or slurry. Baking soda will not penetrate the leather as well and might not remove all the dirt and grime. However, sprinkling baking soda on leather can help to deodorize the leather of an unpleasant smell.