All types of leather require essentially the same cleaning methods. Leather is a hardwearing and durable material but still requires careful cleaning with appropriate products and tools to prevent damaging or staining it. The specific techniques you should use depend on the leather product you want to clean, whether it is a sofa, jacket or pair of shoes, but the basic method is the same. And you don;t need to buy expensive commercial leather cleaners.
Use a soft, dry cloth to dust all the surfaces of the leather item and remove surface dust and grime. If you are cleaning a sofa, use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any trapped dust and debris from underneath the cushions and in the sofa's nooks and crannies. If your leather item has buttons, piping or other detailing, use a dry, soft toothbrush to dust them.
Fill a bucket or basin with warm water and a squirt of dish-washing soap. Saturate your cloth with the soapy water, then ring it out thoroughly so that the cloth is damp but not dripping.
Wipe down all the surfaces of the leather item with the damp cloth. Be careful not to saturate the leather with water--you just want to dampen the surface. Replenish the cloth with soapy water often as you clean.
Let the leather air dry, then examine it for stains and marks.
Apply a dab of dish-washing liquid to a damp cloth. Rub this directly into the mark or stain, applying gentle pressure. Wipe the soap off with a damp cloth, taking care not to saturate the leather. Allow it to air dry. If the stain remains, proceed to step 2.
Apply a small dab of toothpaste directly to the stain and rub it in with a damp cloth. Rinse the cloth with clean water and wipe away the toothpaste. Allow the leather to air dry. If the stain remains, proceed to step 3.
Use a non-acetone nail polish wipe to rub the stain, then allow the leather to air dry. If this does not work, take the item to a specialist leather cleaner.
Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle.
Lightly spritz the surface of the leather all over with the water-rubbing alcohol solution, but do not soak it. If you are refreshing a leather jacket, hang it from a coat hanger in a well-ventilated area while you spritz it.
Wait for a few minutes, then wipe the mixture off the surface with a damp cloth. Allow the leather to air dry. This should remove any mildew or mold from the surface of the leather, and also remove any unpleasant odors.