Deerskin leather is soft and flexible, making it comfortable to wear. It is naturally thin and the tanning processes to goes through also help to preserve its natural suppleness, making it a great material for gloves, boots, and handbags.
While cowhide leather is more resistant to normal wear, deerskin leather requires more care, as it’s more delicate. The best way to clean deerskin leather is to first remove surface-level impurities, followed by using saddle soap or a soft leather cleaner.
It’s also important to properly dry and store your deerskin leather articles to prevent damage and preserve them for years to come. We’ll explore all this and more in this comprehensive guide. Let’s get to it!
1. Remove Dust & Surface-Level Stains
The first step to cleaning deerskin leather involves removing all surface-level impurities, specifically dust and stains. For this, you will need a microfiber cloth. Start by using it to brush away any signs of dust and dirt.
If you notice any tough stains or scuff marks, use a damp microfiber cloth instead and gently rub it across your deerskin leather article. The reason why you’ll need to remove stains first is so that you won’t accidentally rub them into the deerskin leather during the cleaning process.
2. Select a Soft Leather Cleaner
When it comes to cleaning your article made of deerskin leather, it’s important that you use products that are suitable for soft leather, to avoid possible damage and discoloration.
We recommend either using an off-the-shelf cleaner that contains leather-friendly ingredients or a saddle soap that does not discolor leather. Let’s explore both options in more detail.
Using a Leather-Friendly Cleaner
One of the most convenient ways of cleaning your favorite deerskin leather products is to use a dedicated cleaning product. There are various off-the-shelf cleaners that you can choose from, as long as they are compatible with soft leather.
We’ve had great results using the Bick 4 Leather Conditioner & Leather Cleaner, as it works well on deerskin leather and contains vital ingredients that replenish its natural oils.
If you opt for another type of leather cleaner, ensure that it does not contain wax, seal pores, or leave a sticky or oily residue. You should also make sure that your preferred cleaner does not lighten or darken the leather material.
Using Saddle Soap
If you want to clean your deerskin leather with natural ingredients such as neatsfoot oil, you can opt for saddle soap. Saddle soap contains mild and nourishing ingredients that can remove scuff marks, dirt stains, and even grime.
Take note that some saddle soaps may darken deerskin leather, therefore you’ll need to select one that is formulated not to. For example, Fiebing’s Saddle Soap is yellow and does not darken your deerskin leather article if used correctly.
3. Clean Your Deerskin Leather Article
After having selected your preferred leather cleaner, it’s time to start the cleaning process. Start by pouring a moderate amount of the product on a clean microfiber cloth.
Then, rub the product into the leather and work around all areas. Use enough product so that you get a thin, but even layer across your entire leather article.
Ensure that you pay special attention to parts that are stained. Due to the soft and thin nature of deerskin leather, it’s important that you don’t use too much pressure when rubbing in the product.
4. Wipe Off Excess Product
Once you’ve completed cleaning your leather article, use a clean, and dry microfiber cloth to remove any excess product from it. Similarly, use gentle pressure when removing product and ensure that you’ve covered all areas.
5. Let Your Deerskin Leather Article Dry
After your leather article has been cleared of any excess product, allow it to dry properly and absorb the conditioning ingredients. It’s important that you do not let deerskin leather dry under direct sunlight as this can damage the material.
Instead, let it dry naturally in a shaded area for a couple of hours. Here are some optimal spaces where you can do this:
- On a balcony
- On a verandah
- Near an open window
After the deerskin leather has dried, you will notice a glossier texture. It’s now also coated with a protective layer that prevents dirt from entering its fiber structure and makes cleaning in the future more convenient.
Our Readers Also Asked
Finding reliable resources for deerskin leather maintenance can be difficult. Therefore, we have shared answers to some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about the cleaning process.
What’s the Best Cleaner for Deerskin Leather?
There are a wide variety of products that you can choose from when it comes to cleaning deerskin leather. However, you’ll need to make sure of the following:
- It should be leather friendly
- It should not discolor your deerskin leather
- It should not contain harsh ingredients
It’s safe to stick to the recommendations we’ve provided in our guide above, which include saddle soap and dedicated leather cleaners. However, you’re free to try similar types of products if they’re safe to use on this type of leather.
Can You Wash Deerskin Leather in the Washing Machine?
Although we’ve read that some people wash their deerskin products in the washing machine, we strongly advise against doing so. This is because deerskin leather is delicate and can quickly get damaged.
Similar to cowhide leather, deerskin leather can also show water damage and dry out. In fact, you should not wash any type of leather in a washing machine. It’s best to stick to safer methods using the right products.
Co-Founder, Researcher & Writer At Leatherskill
I’m a leather enthusiast who spends most of his free time crafting, researching, and writing about the many facets of this versatile material. Thanks for reading!