Caring for leather clothing or furniture can require expensive polish and cleaners. However, you can make your own leather cleaner and polish at home with a few simple ingredients. Homemade leather cleaner is gentle and inexpensive, and you can even keep it organic by choosing natural ingredients. Cleaning and polishing leather necessarily go hand-in-hand because dirt must be removed before you apply polish, but cleaning leather will remove its natural oils, and so must be followed up with a polishing agent.

Keep your leather furniture clean and shiny with a homemade leather polish.

Step 1

Make a simple leather cleaner by mixing one part white vinegar to two parts linseed oil or olive oil. Alternatively, mix 1/4 cup vodka with 1/4 cup distilled vinegar and several drops of olive oil. Shake the mixture to combine the ingredients.

Step 2

Clean your leather object before polishing. First rub the leather with a dry rag to remove any loose surface dirt. Apply your homemade leather cleaner with a rag and gently buff it into the leather. For difficult stains, let the mixture sit on the leather overnight. Buff the surface after it dries with a clean, dry rag.

Step 3

Apply lemon juice or vinegar directly to any remaining stains, and scrub gently with a rag.

Step 4

Clean greasy stains with baby shampoo and warm water if desired. Be careful with this mixture, because water can stiffen leather.

Step 5

Polish your leather by rubbing olive oil, linseed oil or petroleum jelly into the surface with a clean rag. Natural oils such as olive oil or linseed oil work best for natural-finish leathers, while petroleum jelly works best for patent leather by giving it a high shine and protecting it from cracking during dry weather.

Step 6

Let the leather item rest for several hours after applying polish, and perform a final polish by buffing the object again with a clean, dry rag.