20+ Tips On How To Clean Leather – Keep Your BDSM Gear Shinning

Leather – probably one of the most iconic BDSM materials.

And, whether chaps, harnesses, or sexy accessories, real leather isn’t going to be cheap. Especially if you plan on having custom pieces that will eventually be counted as valuable as any family member.

The last thing you want is to open your closet and find a cracked, dried-out, misshapen lump of animal skin that was once something beautiful.

Let’s learn how to clean leather and care for your beloved BDSM pieces, so they can stay with you for years to come.

 

1. REAL LEATHER, FAKES, AND ALLERGIES   


        

  • This guide does NOT to the artificial stuff. Fabric + plastic combos have their own set of cleaning rules (which are a lot for forgiving).
  • There’s also an important distinction between treated leather vs. the thinner dermis of the animal, like suede – which also has different cleaning rules.
  • It might be rare, but some people can be allergic to leather– although it’s more toward any dyes or chemicals that are used to treat it. Ask the seller or manufacturer if you’re concerned or planning on dropping a fair amount of cash.

 

2. UNDERSTANDING LEATHER


 

Pices of leather and leather working tools

Remember (as one person described), “leather is a living fabric”.  We can’t treat it like the plastic items we shove in our closet.

Think of your own skin.

It needs oxygen, moisturizer, and hates being in the sun for too long. It can dry out, crack, and look pretty bad after many years of neglect.

It’s no different for your leather harness or bitch boots. And, since it’s no longer attached to the animal that would care for it, you need to be its protector.

It’s also POROUS.

This means that it will be infinitely harder to sterilized after you’ve finished your bedroom/dungeon sessions. Bodily fluids, mold, mildew, and other nasties can grow in micro nooks and crannies if not addressed properly.

 

3. HOW TO CLEAN AND CARE FOR LEATHER


 

The rules are the same for clothing and toys (things like whips, blindfolds etc.)…

Blue soap suds

WASHING

Warm water and mild soap will be more than enough for regular care. The key is to avoid anything that uses scents or harsh chemicals.

Also, avoid anything that leaves behind any residue. If it does, wipe it away with a damp cloth and discontinue using that particular soap.

Some users have suggested baby shampoo because it’s mild and won’t leave anything behind.

 

NOTE: NEVER use washing detergent.

 

DRYING

Leather loves oxygen. And, aside from the drying process, it will be another layer of help in the disinfecting process.

However, DO NOT leave it in the sun, use a hairdryer, or throw it in the clothes dryer.  This kind of heat will dry out the fabric and leave it cracked or possibly misshapen.

All you need to do is hang it out to air dry completely.

 

CONDITIONING

The gorgeous luster that makes us drool will come from proper conditioningFor this, there are a couple of go-to products.

 

Can of Saddle Soap, how to clean leather

First, is SADDLE SOAP.

This is one of the best choices because it’s designed to clean, nourish, and protect your leather. All you have to do is wipe down the item with a clean, damp cloth and then use a second clean cloth to apply the saddle soap – use small, circular motions (it will clean as well as help take out impurities.

Second is MINK OIL.

The palmitoleic acid found in mink oil is similar to human sebum, which will help condition as well as increase the level of water resistance.

 

NOTE: Some users say that you only need to condition leather once or twice a year. That’s more for street clothes that having a protective lining. BDSM gear will be washed after every use and therefore need more conditioning.

 

4. CLEANING VS DEEP CLEANING


 

How deep you clean your leather depends on how hard or long you’ve played.

Light use (like putting it on to take some photos) might only need a wipe-down and some saddle soap.

Anything heavier you’ll probably need to wash it with soap and water and possibly condition afterward.

Always err on the side of caution (and care).

 

5. SPECIFIC CLEANING ISSUES


 

You’re going to get all sorts of “you and your partner” on your fetish-wear. Here how you deal with each of them…

 

SWEAT

This will be your biggest culprit. It will also cause itchiness and irritation if you let it build up. Soap and warm water will do the trick just fine.

 

LUBRICANT

Oil-based lubes are great for sex but a pain in the ass to clean, especially from leather. Slowly spot washing with soap and water should help. Although I did see one trick of using ground chalk – you grind it into a powder and let it sit on the oil stain overnight, then wash as normal.

 

MOLD AND MILDEW

Use a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol. Dip your cloth in the solution, wring out the excess water, and then wipe away the mold.

 

WAX

Take a piece of blotting paper or brown paper, and then lift and stuck-on wax by gently using a low-med heat iron over the paper. Repeat to remove any addition wax (until the paper isn’t absorbing it anymore.

 

NOTE: I would avoid playing with wax and wearing leather altogether – mostly because it’s a pain to clean and you need to use heat – which leather doesn’t like. Or use leather items you don’t care about as much.

 

URINE

If you’re into watersports, make sure you clean things immediately after. The acid content in urine could permanently damage the material if left for a long time (or even overnight).

 

BLOOD

The same goes for bloodplay or accidental cuts. Wash things right after because if the blood is allowed to dry, it will stiffen the leather and cause it to smell. It might also stain.

 

FECES

This can be a mix of who-knows-what – clean thoroughly and immediately after to avoid stains and smells.

 

VAGINA SECRETIONS, SQUIRTING FLUIDS, OR SEMEN

Vaginal secretions and semen should be wiped off then washed normally. What comes out of a woman if she’s squirted will have to be treated similarly to urine – it’s not pee, but it does share similar qualities.

 

6. STERILIZATION


 

First, understand that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to completely disinfect leather.

As I mentioned before, leather is POROUS and acts like a sponge – soaking up anything it comes in contact with.

NOTE: This is especially important when dealing with bodily fluids because STIs can stay within the material for MONTHS.

I have heard suggestions of washing it in a rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide solution before your regular care regiment. However, I haven’t tested this, nor will it completely disinfect things.

 

7. PLAYING WITH OTHER PEOPLE


 

black flogger

The porous nature of leather is something we can’t change.

What you CAN do is …

Keep your leather play exclusive with someone you trust.

Or, if you’re going to play with many people (and dangerous bodily fluids might occur), don’t use your personal leather items on them. Instead, use THEIRS.

 

8. STORING LEATHER


 

  • Make sure it’s in a cool, dry place. Remember, leather doesn’t like heat or moisture.
  • Do not store leather in plastic bags – it needs to breath
  • Leather clothing should be hung on sturdy hangers to maintain shape and allow it to breath

 

9.  ATTENTION TO DETAIL


 

Get into all those nooks, crannies, seams, folds, or hard-to-reach areas around metal fitting or adornments.

These will be the areas that can have the worst build-up and effect on your leather-babies.

 

10. OTHER CLEANING TIPS


 

  • Box of baking soda
  • Odors can be taken out with a baking soda and water soak (don’t soak for very long though)
  • Metal sections could rust. Watch them carefully or cover with a few coatings of clear nail polish – you’ll have to reapply when it wears away.
  • Surface rust can be cleaned with a chrome cleaner.
  • Make sure your partner doesn’t have nickel allergies (for metal parts like rivets or buckles)
  • Some suggest Nubuck cloths apply conditioners and all-around care
  • Keep your leather dust-free
  • Never use harsh chemical agents

 

FINAL THOUGHTS


 

No one wants to play with a stiff, blood-encrusted, urine-smelling piece of leather.

So, remember…

How you take care of your BDSM clothing and toys is a reflection of you as a BDSM partner.

If you’re the kind of person that pays attention to the little things and takes excellent care of your closet or toy chest, you’ll probably put the same care into your partner.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Have any other care tips you want to add? Or, what’s your favorite piece kinky leather? Share in the comments!

Spread the love