Can You Use Clorox Wipes on Leather? (Read Before Use)

Over the years, I’ve worked with countless leather materials, both genuine and synthetic, and have seen my share of cleaning mishaps. Let me share some insights on a common query: Can you use Clorox wipes on leather?

You should not use Clorox wipes on leather. The harsh chemicals, such as alcohol and bleach, in the Clorox wipes, will cause the leather to dry, crack, and fade in the long run. Leather is a natural product that has been treated with oils and dyes to keep it soft and protect it from stains. If you’re looking for an easy way to clean your leather, avoid using Clorox wipes and try a light dish soap or hand soap instead.

Fact: Leather has a natural pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Harsh chemicals can disrupt this balance, leading to premature aging.

The Nitty-Gritty: Why Clorox Wipes and Leather Don’t Gel

Ah, Clorox wipes. Convenient, right? While they’re great for cleaning a variety of surfaces, genuine leather isn’t one of them. Leather, being the wonderful, natural material it is, has been treated with oils and dyes. This maintains its suppleness and protects it from stains.

  • Chemical Composition: Ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol can strip the protective oils from leather. And trust me, once the natural oils are gone, the leather loses its sheen and softness.
  • Color Fading: I’ve seen Clorox wipes fade the color of genuine leather. Imagine spending a fortune on a leather couch, only to find it discolored after a cleaning spree!
  • Potential Damage: Remember that genuine leather is, well, skin. Using harsh chemicals can lead to cracking and peeling over time.

Here’s the thing: the chemicals in Clorox wipes can be rather harsh for leather. Using them is akin to exposing your precious leather items to a desert sun – they’ll dry out and get damaged in no time.

White cracked leather seats.

Synthetic Leather: A Different Ballgame

On the other hand, synthetic leather, made of plastic resin-coated fabric, is more forgiving. It’s non-porous, meaning harsh chemicals don’t seep in as easily. So, yes, you could use Clorox wipes on synthetic leather, but even then, I’d advise caution.

Natural Cleaning Alternatives: The Leatherworker’s Choices

Why resort to chemicals when natural alternatives work just as well?

  • Vinegar-water Mix: A tried and tested method. I’ve used this mixture to clean many leather items in my workshop.
  • Light Dish Soap: This can work wonders. Just ensure you don’t soak the leather. Always use a damp cloth, not a wet one.
Pro Tip: Always test any cleaning solution, natural or otherwise, on a small, hidden patch before applying it to the whole item.

Understanding Leather & Disinfectants

Leather, as we all know, is porous and delicate, and just like our skin, it can get damaged if exposed to harsh chemicals. If you’re curious about how to properly disinfect leather without damaging it, check out our guide on How to Disinfect Leather.

A Simple, Safe Cleaning Solution

I always advocate for a gentle, homemade concoction that I’ve been using for years:

  • Equal parts of water and white vinegar
  • Mix in a spray bottle

Not only does this lack any harmful chemicals, but it’s also safe for most of your cherished leather goods.

The Concern with Alcohol-Free Disinfectant Wipes

While these wipes don’t contain alcohol, they might still contain chemicals that aren’t leather-friendly. They’re gentle, yes, but not necessarily the best option for all leather types.

Lysol Wipes & Leather: Not the Best Combination

Using Lysol wipes on leather, especially car seats, can be risky. They have an alcohol base and also contain ammonia, known to irritate the skin and discolor dyed leather items.

Caring for Different Leather Types

  1. Genuine Leather: Always opt for a specialized leather cleaner. After cleaning, ensure to condition it, replenishing the natural oils.
  2. Faux Leather Furniture: A mild soap solution should do the trick, but avoid Clorox wipes.
  3. Leather Upholstery: Never use Clorox wipes. They break down the leather fibers, leading to potential cracks and fading.

Maintaining Leather’s Beauty Post-Cleaning

After cleaning, there’s a vital step many forget — conditioning. Just as we apply lotion after washing our hands, leather requires conditioning to maintain its sheen and softness. Especially if you’ve mistakenly used a harsh cleaner, conditioning becomes even more crucial. It helps restore the suppleness and guards against drying and cracking.

Fun Fact: Leather has been around for more than 7000 years, and our ancestors certainly didn’t have Clorox wipes to clean them. They relied on natural methods, and so should we!

To Wrap It Up

When it comes to leather, always remember: natural is best. Avoid harsh chemicals and instead opt for gentler cleaning methods. Your leather items will thank you by looking better and lasting longer!

If you found this guide helpful, do let me know. And for more leather wisdom, keep reading!

Andre from leatherninja.com

Andre is a passionate leatherworker who spends his spare time working with leather. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.