How to Clean Nubuck Leather

To clean nubuck leather, use a nubuck-specific cleaner and brush. Nubuck leather requires special care to avoid damaging the delicate material.

Nubuck leather is a type of leather that is made from the top grain of cowhide and has been buffed to create a soft, suede-like texture. It is often used in high-end footwear, and requires care and attention to maintain its quality.

However, it is susceptible to stains, water damage, and other forms of wear and tear. Proper cleaning can help extend the life of your nubuck leather items. In this article, we will walk you through how to clean nubuck leather properly to ensure that your items look great and last longer.

How to Clean Nubuck Leather


Understanding Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a popular material used in making clothing, shoes and accessories. It’s durable, elegant and stylish, making it a favorite choice among fashion enthusiasts. However, you might be wondering what exactly nubuck leather is and how it differs from other types of leather.

We’ll be discussing everything you need to know about nubuck leather.

What Is Nubuck Leather?

Nubuck leather is a type of top-grain leather that has been buffed to create a soft, velvety surface. It is made by sanding the outer surface of the leather hide, which exposes the fibers, creating a texture similar to suede.

The texture and appearance of nubuck leather sets it apart from other types of leather, making it more versatile and visually intriguing.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Nubuck Leather

Like any material, nubuck leather has both advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of nubuck leather:


  • Soft and supple texture that feels great on the skin
  • Elegant and stylish appearance
  • Long-lasting and durable, can withstand wear and tear
  • Resistant to water and stains (when treated with a protective spray)
  • Breathable material that makes it ideal for warm weather


  • Requires special cleaning and maintenance
  • Vulnerable to scratches, scuffs and discoloration
  • Expensive compared to other types of leather
  • Susceptible to fading and aging without proper care
  • Can be difficult to restore its color if damaged

Characteristics And Properties Of Nubuck Leather

In addition to its unique texture and appearance, nubuck leather has a few other characteristics that set it apart from other materials. Here are some of the properties of nubuck leather:

  • Made from the outer surface of the hide, which is the strongest part of the leather
  • Soft and velvety texture due to its raised fibers
  • Thickness may vary based on the quality of the hide and tanning process
  • Can range in color from light beige to dark brown
  • Can be water-resistant when treated with a protective spray
  • Nubuck leather is breathable, making it comfortable to wear

Nubuck leather has a timeless appeal and adds a touch of luxury to any outfit. By following the correct cleaning and maintenance techniques, you can keep your nubuck leather accessories looking stylish and elegant for years to come.

Pre-Cleaning Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a delicate material that requires proper cleaning to maintain its quality and shine. There are several ways to clean nubuck leather, but before you proceed with the actual cleaning, there are essential pre-cleaning steps you need to take.

These steps will ensure that the cleaning process is successful and that your nubuck leather will not be damaged. Here, we discuss the important points under the subheading: pre-cleaning nubuck leather.

Preparation Tips For Cleaning Nubuck Leather

Before you start cleaning your nubuck leather, you must prepare yourself and the material properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning product and to avoid leaving fingerprints on the leather.
  • Choose a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling any harmful fumes from the cleaning product.
  • Brush the leather to remove any loose dirt and debris.
  • Test the cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather to ensure it does not cause discoloration or damage before using it on the entire surface.

How To Protect Nubuck Leather Before Cleaning

To protect your nubuck leather before cleaning it, follow these steps:

  • Apply a nubuck leather protector spray to create a water-resistant barrier and prevent water damage during the cleaning process.
  • Cover any hardware or buckles on the leather with masking tape to avoid damage from the cleaning product.

Things You’Ll Need To Clean Nubuck Leather

To clean nubuck leather effectively, you will need the following:

  • A nubuck leather cleaner that is specifically designed for this type of leather.
  • A soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or a nubuck brush, to use with the cleaning product.
  • A nubuck eraser to remove any stains or scuff marks from the surface.
  • A microfiber cloth to wipe the leather gently after cleaning.

By following these pre-cleaning steps, you will ensure that the cleaning process is successful and that your nubuck leather material will remain protected and intact. In the next section, we will discuss the actual cleaning process in detail.

Cleaning Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a popular choice for shoes, jackets, and bags due to its soft texture and stylish appearance. However, cleaning it can be challenging, and using the wrong products can cause irreversible damage, leaving you with an expensive and unattractive item.

In this post, we will guide you on how to clean nubuck leather safely and effectively.

Basic Steps For Cleaning Nubuck Leather

  • First, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any surface dust or dirt. Be gentle, and do not rub the material vigorously as it can cause further damage.
  • Use a nubuck cleaner or a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to clean the leather. Apply it lightly onto the leather, and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub gently.
  • Wipe off the excess cleaner using a clean, damp cloth, and allow it to dry naturally away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Do not use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.

How To Remove Stains From Nubuck Leather

Removing stains from nubuck leather requires a gentle touch. Here are a few tips to help you handle different types of stains:

  • Oil and grease stains: Use a soft cloth to blot out the excess oil or grease. Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the affected area and let it sit for several hours to absorb the grease. Use a soft brush to remove the powder gently.
  • Ink stains: Dip a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently blot the ink stain. Do not rub as it can spread the ink. Repeat the process until the stain disappears.
  • Water stains: Wet the entire surface of the leather with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry naturally for at least an hour or more until the leather is completely dry.

What Products To Avoid When Cleaning Nubuck Leather

To avoid damaging your nubuck leather, you should avoid using the following products:

  • Water: Do not use water to clean nubuck leather as it can cause discoloration and watermarks.
  • Soap and detergents: These products can strip off the natural oils from the leather, cause discoloration and make it dry and brittle.
  • Harsh chemicals: Bleach, ammonia, and other harsh cleaners can cause irreparable damage to your nubuck leather.

Cleaning nubuck leather requires careful handling and gentle products. Using the right techniques and avoiding harmful substances can help you maintain your nubuck leather looking pristine and stylish for years to come.

Drying And Maintaining Nubuck Leather

How To Clean Nubuck Leather: Drying And Maintaining Nubuck Leather

When it comes to cleaning nubuck leather, drying and maintenance are crucial steps that you shouldn’t skip. Nubuck leather is a type of suede that is made using the outer part of a cowhide. It is soft and velvety, but it can also be delicate and susceptible to damage if improperly cared for.

Here’s what you need to know about drying and maintaining your nubuck leather items.

How To Dry Nubuck Leather Properly

If your nubuck leather item gets wet, the first thing you should do is to dab it gently with a clean, dry cloth to remove the excess moisture. Afterward, follow these steps to dry it properly:

  • Stuff the item with paper towels or a clean cloth to help it retain its shape.
  • Allow it to air dry naturally away from heat sources, direct sunlight, or fans. Do not use a hair dryer or heater to dry nubuck leather as it can cause damage such as shrinkage, cracking, or discoloration.
  • Once the leather is dry, use a nubuck brush or a soft-bristled brush to restore the leather’s texture. Brush gently in a circular motion to lift the nap and remove any dirt or dust. Make sure to brush in the same direction to avoid creating unnecessary wear patterns.

How To Prevent Fading Of Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather can fade quickly if exposed to direct sunlight or other sources of uv radiation. To prevent fading and discoloration of your nubuck leather items, you can follow these tips:

  • Avoid exposing them to sunlight or other sources of uv radiation for extended periods of time.
  • Keep them in a cool and dry place when not in use. Excess heat and moisture can cause leather to fade, crack, or mold.
  • Use a leather protectant spray that contains uv inhibitors to protect your nubuck leather item from fading and other damages caused by sunlight exposure. Make sure to test the spray on a small, inconspicuous area first before using it all over the item.

How Often Should You Clean Nubuck Leather?

The frequency of cleaning nubuck leather depends on how often you use them and the environment they are exposed to. Generally, you should clean your nubuck leather items at least once a month to prevent dirt buildup and damage. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a nubuck cleaner or a mild soap solution that is specifically designed for nubuck leather to clean your items.
  • Test the cleaner or soap solution on a small, inconspicuous area first before using it all over the item.
  • After cleaning, follow the drying process mentioned above to dry the item properly.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your nubuck leather items remain in top condition for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Nubuck Leather

How Do You Clean Nubuck Leather?

To clean nubuck leather, start by brushing it with a soft bristled brush to remove debris. Then, use a nubuck cleaner and apply it to a damp sponge to gently clean the leather in circular motions. After, use a damp cloth to remove any remaining product, and let it air dry.

Can You Use Water To Clean Nubuck Leather?

Yes! A damp sponge can be used to clean nubuck leather. However, be sure to use only a small amount of water and gently apply it in circular motions, though it is recommended to use a nubuck cleaner instead of water to avoid damage.

How Often Should You Clean Nubuck Leather?

How frequently you clean nubuck leather depends on how often you use it. It’s a good practice to frequently remove small stains and dirt. However, giving it a deep clean every six months gives it a fresh and neat appearance.

Can Nubuck Leather Be Restored After Cleaning?

Yes, nubuck leather can be restored after cleaning. Once it’s clean, a nubuck cleaner and conditioner can be used to restore its natural texture and color. The cleaner and conditioner will refresh the leather and also protect it from future damage.

Can You Remove Stains From Nubuck Leather?

Yes, you can remove stains from nubuck leather. For mild stains, a white vinegar and water solution can be applied. For more stubborn stains, a nubuck stain remover can be used. Apply gently in circular motions to avoid damaging the leather.


After reading this post, you are now armed with the knowledge and tools to clean and maintain your valuable nubuck leather items. Remember to always use a gentle touch and avoid using harsh chemicals. Regular maintenance and proper storage will help prolong the life of your nubuck leather products.

Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also keep your items looking stunning for years to come. With these tips in mind, you can confidently go about cleaning your nubuck leather goods with ease.

So go ahead, tackle those tough stains and blemishes, and enjoy the beauty and durability that your nubuck leather items offer.

Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews is a cleaning expert with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field. With his expertise in various cleaning techniques, he has become a trusted specialist in the industry. Daniel's mastery lies in the art of vacuum cleaning, where he excels in utilizing the latest advancements in technology to ensure impeccable results. Additionally, his skills in stain removal are unparalleled, as he possesses an in-depth understanding of different types of stains and the most effective methods to eliminate them. Daniel Methews is dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning solutions, leaving spaces spotless and customers satisfied.

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