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How to Clean Faux Leather


Faux leather, also referred to as vegan leather, pleather, or simply fake leather, can be an affordable, environmentally friendly, and attractive alternative to real leather. As an added bonus, it's often easier to clean and care for than genuine leather. Here's what you need to know about cleaning faux leather.

Can you wash faux leather?

While genuine leather typically needs to be dry cleaned, you can usually wash faux leather. Dry cleaning faux leather can actually be damaging to the plastic used in the process of manufacturing material.

How to wash faux leather

Even if you find your vegan leather garment can be machine-washed, you shouldn't just toss those items in the laundry on the normal cycle. Washing faux leather at home still requires extra care.

  1. Before washing pleather pants, jackets, or dresses, the best strategy is to turn the item inside out first.

  2. Next, put your faux leather garments into a mesh laundry bag. This will protect it from catching on anything that might snag or tear the material.

  3. Set the washing machine on the delicate cycle, and choose cold water and the lowest available spin speed. You should also use a detergent formulated for delicate items. 

How to dry faux leather

While faux leather items usually do fine in the washer, do not put your pleather in the dryer. Instead, arrange the item on a drying rack or hang it on a hanger to air dry. 

How to remove wrinkles from faux leather

If you notice wrinkles after your vegan leather garments dry, you have a few options to smooth them out.

Use a steamer on faux leather

A steamer is your best option for removing wrinkles from faux leather. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use an iron set to the steam setting. Just hover over the item so that the steam can do its work. Do not let the iron make contact with the faux leather.

Use freshening spray on faux leather

You can also use a commercial freshening spray to relax wrinkles or to freshen the item between washings.

Your faux leather items may not need to be washed after every wearing, but if you don’t, a freshening spray that eliminates odors and bacteria is a must. 

Try professional laundry services