How to Clean Leather Phone Cases

How to Clean Leather Phone Cases

The beauty of leather phone cases really stands out among other phone cases. With this premium look, uttermost care must be done to keep your leather phone case clean. In this article, we will show how to clean your phone cases, and keep them looking good as new.

Compared to other phone cases, leather is a more sensitive material than other phone case varieties like plastic, silicon, and rubber. Leather is sensitive to many substances- oil, makeup, sunlight, heat and moisture.

Moreover, studies show that your phone may be contaminated with thousands of germs and gathers microorganisms from anything you touch. This makes cleaning not only an issue of preserving your phones, but for safety and hygienic reasons as well.

The research tested phones of high school students and found there were more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies found on each phone, among these microorganisms, including pathogens.

There are various materials to clean your phone cases. For leather alone, there are specialized cleaning agents and solutions, however simple household cleaning materials will do.

Materials for Cleaning Your Leather Phone Case

1. Mild hand soap or dish soap: 

Mild soaps such as hand soap or dish soap are a general cleaner for leather.

2. Damp cloth/ microfiber cloth: 

Any smooth cloth would work well, but using a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth can be a better option. These cloths are smooth and soft materials that do not scratch the surface. They are made with microfibers that are smaller than dust and can reach into cracks and holes of porous leather surfaces. 

3. Leather Cleaner

Leather Cleaners are solutions that loosen and remove dirt and grime when applied to the leather. When choosing a leather cleaner, select the one with neutral PH and alcohol-free. Alcohol is not a safe material for leather as it can cause discolouration and crack. 

If you want to clean a stain, using a leather cleaner is the best way to clean your phone case. 

4. Leather conditioner or mink oil (optional)

This conditioning product is obtained from mink fat and is used to create a waterproof layer, conditioning and shining the leather at the same time.

Steps in Cleaning Your Leather Phone Case

  1. Remove the leather case from your phone and empty all pockets if your case contains cards, cash, etc. 
  2. Dampen the cloth with water. 
  3. Add a small amount of your cleaning solution to the wet cloth. Either mild hand soap, dish soap, or leather cleaner. Mild soap can be used for general cleaning, but for stains and heavy spots, leather cleaner often cleans better. However, for either solution, use only a pinch, and then squeeze to make the soap spread evenly across the cloth.
  4. Rub the cloth on the phone case following a circular motion. Apply little pressure, but DO NOT press too much because it can cause the leather to stretch. 
  5. Wipe off the excess water with another cloth or a paper towel. 
  6. Let the leather phone case dry, but do not expose it to sunlight or heat, before returning your phone into the case. 

Maintaining Your Leather Phone Case

Since leather is a biodegradable material, it can degrade quicker than other phone cases. Moreover, leather is a porous material that can absorb and release moisture. 

What Ruins Leather


Neglecting leather cases can make them deteriorate quickly. You may want to keep it from the following:

Sunlight/Heat: Drying leather to intense heat can cause it to fade, or worse, shrink and crack. Doing these on leather products is irreparable. Light-coloured leather can become darker if exposed to direct sunlight. On the other hand, dark-coloured leather can fade if placed under the sun for a long time.  

Sharp objects: You do not want to mix your leather phone case in the same pocket as keys or coins, which can scratch the surface of your phone case, might as well as your phone, too.

Oil, Water and other liquid substances: Leather is porous, and can absorb liquid substances. When cleaning them, do not apply water or soap directly on the leather surface. 

Alcohol: Do not use alcohol to clean your leather, as it can strip the colour from leather. Applying alcohol-based cleaners can discolour your leather cases. Although this can be fixed, restoring leather’s colour will need a leather repair kit, which should be unnecessary if you instead used alcohol-free leather cleaners.

Makeup and dyed materials: Same as above, these materials can stain your leather case, especially since these are very fine materials that contain oil.

Using Leather Conditioner

Apple iPhone 5S Leather

Every few months, you may want to apply some leather conditioner or mink oil. In applying leather conditioners, test a small region of the case first, i.e. the side of your leather case. Although not damaging, do not over apply the conditioner as it can darken light-coloured leather.

Applying a leather conditioner can help preserve natural oils in the leather. This will prevent cracks and other damages. Also, conditioners can help cover up scratches on your phone case. It does not completely ”heal” a scratch, leather conditioners will make scratches less obvious to the naked eye.


As your leather phone case ages, you may notice that the leather starts to lightly obtain a soft lustre. As you use your leather phone case over time, the scratches will gradually soften, and the leather will develop a patina due to different elements such as the oils from your skin

This property of leather really makes your phone case more unique as it ages while keeping its premium and high-quality look. 


Phone leather cases really stand out among other phone case variants. But with this gorgeous and premium style they bring, leather phone cases should be given special care. In the long run, leather cases become more beautiful and more unique. 

We hope you have learned tips on how to clean your leather phone case. Furthermore, take note that maintaining your phone case can also help with “healing” your leather case against scratches, and keeping them away from harmful conditions will keep them preserve their quality. 

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