Is your leather sofa, chair, or car seat looking a little too shiny? It’s time to take matters into your own hands and make it matte again!
So, how do you make leather matte again? The best way to make leather matte again is to clean it with a leather cleaner and then conditioning it with a residue-free leather conditioner. You can also use vinegar to wipe over the surface of the leather to make it matte again.
Vinegar works great in making leather matte again because it has acidic properties that can break down oils and make the surface of your leather matte.
There are plenty of products out there that will help with the process, but I’m going to reveal some secrets so you don’t have to buy them. Here are 5 different ways to make your leather items surface matte again;
Is Leather Supposed To Be Matte?
Leather is a very durable and versatile material that can be made into many different things such as shoes, bags, belts, and much more.
Naturally, leather that has not been given a glossy or shiny finish will have a matte finish. The matte feel of leather is what gives the leather a rich luxurious feel that is simply ideal for a variety of different items.
Many leather items from furniture to car seats get a glossy or shiny finish, which is not what it should be. However, a clear protective coating is applied to some types of leather so that the material will last longer and not get ruined. The protector will give the leather a glossy finish.
While some leather is made shiny on purpose to make the product look nicer, more expensive, and a way to give the leather a protective surface, others become shiny with time.
Why Does Leather Get Shiny?
As mentioned before, leather will sometimes become shiny with time, especially if it is in high-traffic areas often.
Natural oils from hands will make surfaces become shiny over time. Also, when the leather surface accumulates a lot of dirt and dust, the surface will become shiny.
Leather that has been treated with a protective coating can also get shiny over time as well.
If the leather surface is not cleaned on a regular basis, it will become shiny. The leather conditioners, cleaners, and protectors can also make the leather shiny.
All these and more can cause leather items to get shiny against their original matte finish.
How To Make Leather Matte Again – Methods For Every Budget!
The best way to make your leather surfaces matte again is by cleaning them with a good leather cleaner and then conditioning the leather surface with a conditioner that will not leave any sticky residue on the surface of your leather.
While using a leather conditioner and cleaner will often be the ideal way of making your leather matte, it is also very expensive.
Also, you can get a wax remover and use it to make your leather matte again. Wax removers are great for stripping the leather surface of any grease, wax, or dirt that may have accumulated on your leather making it shiny.
This will usually be a bit cheaper when compared to getting both a leather cleaner and conditioner.
Before you use a wax remover, make sure that the surface is completely dry before applying it. Make sure to follow the application procedure indicated on the product you buy.
There are several ways to get your leather items matte again that range from simple to more complex.
All of these methods are affordable and easy enough that anyone can do them at home without any expensive tools or products.
Here are some of the most effective and natural ways to get your item matte without having to spend too much money.
1. Washing And Wearing To Break In
The easiest way to make your leather matte again is by wearing it for a couple of weeks. You can also wash the leather item before wearing it for the best results.
This is a great way to make your new leather items matte again and makes the item appear more worn in or broken into than it actually is which can give the item a more natural, worn-in look.
You can also use this method if you wish to make your leather matte again and want to avoid using any chemicals which can be harmful to the leather.
Here’s how you break in your new leather item so that they are matte-looking.
- Start by cleaning the new leather item using mild dish soap and water. Put a few drops of the mild dish soap in a bucket of warm water.
- Dampen your microfiber cloth with the soapy water and then wipe the leather item down with it.
- Make sure that you wring out the cloth well to remove excess water and continue to clean the leather.
- Use a different microfiber cloth with plain water to wipe off the soapy residue from your leather.
- Allow the leather to dry completely before wearing.
- Wear the item for a couple of days to break it in and give it that matte appearance.
- Once the surface of the leather looks the way you want, you can wash it again following the process again and finish of by applying your regular leather conditioner.
2. Using Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a great and natural way to make your leather matte again. It works by removing any dirt, grease, or wax that may have accumulated on your leather.
Rubbing alcohol also helps remove any stickiness that might be present which can make your leather glossy or shiny.
There are many ways of using rubbing alcohol to make your leather matte again. Here is how I personally use this method.
- Fill up a spray bottle with the 99% rubbing alcohol solution.
- Spray it on your leather items.
- You can use a microfiber cloth, cotton towel, q-tip, or brush to apply the rubbing alcohol on hard-to-reach places on the leather item.
- Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then make sure to wipe off the excess alcohol with a dry cloth or towel.
3. Using Cornstarch
This is a simple trick that involves using household items to make your leather matte again.
All you need is cornstarch to make your leather surface matte again. This is effective because cornstarch can absorb oils and make the surface matte.
You can use this method when you’re about to clean your leather items. And as to whether it is safe for your leather, it is. The only downside is that it may take a long time for the cornstarch to get absorbed.
Cornstarch can also be used to clean your leather items, so it’s a double whammy! Here’s how you go about it!
- Mix equal parts cornstarch with water until it has a paste-like consistency.
- Rub the paste onto your leather surface with a sponge.
- Let it sit for about half an hour.
- Remove the paste with a damp cloth and enjoy your matte leather surface again!
- You can repeat the process a few times if your leather is especially shiny.
4. Using Vinegar
Another simple and effective way to make your leather matte again is by using vinegar. Vinegar has acidic properties that can break down oils and make the surface matte.
Another quality that makes vinegar the perfect recipe for making leather matte again is that it doesn’t leave any residue behind.
The best part is vinegar is a very common household item that you probably already have at home. Here’s how you make your leather matte again, using vinegar.
- Just like using rubbing alcohol, fill up a spray bottle with the vinegar solution.
- Spray it on your leather items and then wipe off the excess using a microfiber cloth or cotton towel.
- Leave it on and let the vinegar work its magic! And in just a few minutes, you will see that your leather is matte!
- Remove the vinegar with a damp cloth. You can then dry it off using another cotton towel.
- Apply some leather conditioner to keep your leather soft and supple. And you’re all done! Enjoy the matte leather again.
- You can repeat the process a few times if your leather is especially shiny.
5. Using Wet Steel Wool Or Wet Sandpaper
This one is for the leather purists. If you want your matte leather to look really natural, and have a worn-out look then you can use wet steel wool or sandpaper to get the desired result.
This method is especially good for vintage-looking leather items. Using the wet steel wool or wet sandpaper is essentially going to distress the leather surface to give it that nice worn-out look.
The downside of this method is that it can damage your leather item if you’re not careful, so be sure to use a light touch. Here’s how you do it!
- Dampen the steel wool or sandpaper to make it nice and abrasive.
- Gently rub the steel wool or sandpaper onto your leather surface maintaining a back and forth motion.
- You will immediately see the leather distress and get a matte finish! If you want it more distressed, simply rub more!
- If you’re satisfied with the distress, simply wipe off any excess steel wool or sandpaper. You can then dry it off with a cotton cloth or towel.
- Enjoy your matte leather surface! You can repeat the process as many times as you like.
Note: This is a great way to distress leather boots or belts, and make them look vintage!
How To Prevent Leather From Losing Its Matte Effect
To make sure your leather does not lose its matte effect, here are a few things you can do.
- Avoid Frequent Direct Sun Exposure
One of the best ways to keep your leather matte is by keeping it away from direct sunlight. Direct exposure to the sun can cause your leather items to fade and lose the matte effect.
So if you’re leaving or drying your leather items in direct sunlight, try to avoid it as much as you can.
- Apply Leather Conditioner Regularly
Leather conditioners work by keeping the leather from drying out. So if your leather is moisturized, it’s less likely to lose its matte effect compared to dry leather which will quickly fade away.
So to make sure your leather stays matte, try applying a conditioner on it from time to time but not the kind that leaves behind a sticky residue.
- Store Leather Items In A Proper Condition
The best way to make sure your leather items stay matte all the time is by storing them properly. If you store them in a dark and dry place, you can be sure that they will maintain their matte look.
So the next time you want to store your leather jacket or handbag, make sure to keep them in a dark and dry place. Doing so will help your items maintain their matte finish.
- Wash The Leather Regularly
If you’re wearing leather jackets or shoes, you want to make sure that they are clean.
When your leather items get too dirty or you allow too much dirt to build up on your leather it can cause them to lose their matte effect much quicker than usual.
So to make sure your leather items always look matte, try washing them regularly. You can use a gentle cleaning solution or even just plain water with a clean and soft brush.
How Do You Clean Matte Leather?
It’s very easy to clean matte leather. Even easier than you think! You can use a cleaning solution or just plain water (distilled) and a soft microfiber cloth or brush, such as the ones used for cleaning shoes or clothes.
Cleaning leather with distilled water is recommended because it’s one of the gentlest ways to clean your pieces without causing damage. In addition, cleaning leather with water is very easy and only takes a few seconds to do.
- First, take off any dust or residue on your leather piece using a soft cloth or brush.
- Dampen your microfiber cloth or cleaning brush with water and gently wipe the leather surface.
- Dry the piece using a dry cloth or leave it to air-dry completely.
- After cleaning your leather, it’s a good idea to apply a thin layer of conditioner. This helps keep your leather moisturized and prevents it from drying out.
- Repeat the process as much as needed to keep your leather items clean and matte.
Note: Never use chemicals or cleaners on your leather pieces especially if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. Using the wrong chemicals can damage the surface of the leather and cause them to look shiny instead of matte.