If you don't like the idea of leather, or the price tag is a bit too hefty, then you may have found yourself looking into faux leather jackets, boots, and even furniture. Should you purchase a pair of faux leather boots, you will still need to care for them as you would care for ordinary leather boots - which is not something everyone considers.
With insights from The Leather Colour Doctor here's everything you need to know about faux leather and how to keep your faux leather looking as good as it did on day one.
What is faux leather?
Faux leather is a synthetic material that is a type of plastic. It is embossed with a leather like grain and then backed with fabric. The most common type of faux leather is PVC, but there are also polyurethane and polyamide microfibres. PU, polyurethane, is considered to be more breathable than PVC. Although all types of PVC are considered to be non-porous.
Faux leather, sometimes referred to as synthetic leather, can be used to create:
- faux leather shoes
- faux leather clothing
- faux leather furniture
- faux leather interiors
How can you care for faux leather?
You might be wondering, if it's just plastic, what can you actually do to maintain faux leather? After all, surely plastic leather doesn't behave like real leather? Well, there are lots of things that you can do, many of which you should also do for real leather, as the two materials do have many similar traits.
To care for faux leather shoes, faux leather garments and other faux leather products, you should:
- clean your faux leather shoes and other faux leather pieces regularly
- store your faux leather items correctly and in a way that helps to maintain them
- keep faux leather items out of direct sunlight when storing them
- avoid scrubbing a faux leather surface
- never use bleach on a fake leather surface
- always do a patch test on your synthetic leather shoes before introducing a cleaning solution
- use real leather polish on the faux leather garments or faux leather shoes
How to clean faux leather
The best way to clean faux leather differs depending on what type of faux leather product you have.
Cleaning faux leather boots
Cleaning faux leather boots is pretty simple. you will need to:
- Remove any dirt and dust from your PU leather shoes using a damp cloth. You should only use cold water or warm water on artificial leather, and ensure that the cloth is damp not wet.
- Use a dry cloth to gently wipe the moisture away. Make sure this is a clean cloth.
- Use leather polish to remove large stains, spreading it around the leather shoes using a clean microfiber cloth in a circular motion. Be sure not to scrub.
Cleaning faux leather jackets
If your lovely artificial leather boots have made you want to venture into other PU leather items, you may be considering a jacket. To maintain this, you will need to:
- Fill a sink or container with cool or warm water
- Add a natural detergent to the water - the natural ingredients are less likely to damage your item
- Turn the vegan leather garment inside out and place it in the soapy water
- Stir and swish it around, cleaning it carefully with your hands
- Rinse with cool water
- Lay flat or hang to air dry
Cleaning faux leather furniture
If faux leather clothing has surprised you, you may be looking at vegan leather furniture, too. To maintain vegan leather furniture, you will have to:
- Vacuum all debris off the surface, using a small nozzle to reach nooks and crannies
- Dampen a cloth using cool water and a tablespoon of detergent
- Use the soft cloth to wipe the faux leather
- Once dry, use melted coconut oil as a moisturiser and rub it in using a white microfiber cloth
How to remove stains from faux leather
Sometimes, faux leather gets dirty. When this happens, vegan leather can develop stains. These can be annoying and unsightly. To remove stains, you should:
- Wet the vegan leather with a damp microfiber cloth (remember, cool water only)
- Wipe the mark gently
- If needed, use gentle detergent and water and spot treat the stain
How to remove odours from faux leather boots
Just like any shoes, faux leather boots and faux leather shoes can develop quite severe odours. If you've found that your vegan leather shoes are getting a bit pungent, here's what you need to do:
- Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the faux leather shoes, inside or outside, wherever you think the scent is coming from
- Place the vegan leather shoes in a sealed container or bag and leave them for up to a day
- Remove the vegan leather shoes from the bag and remove the baking soda. You can do this using a soft brush, a soft cloth or a vacuum
- You may find that you need to repeat this process on your vegan leather boots multiple times before the smell disappears
Will faux leather boots last as long as real leather if they are looked after?
Unfortunately, vegan leather is not quite as durable as the real thing. Caring for your artificial items will make them last longer, but it is unlikely that a faux leather item will last as long or longer than a leather item would, no matter how well looked after. If you're looking for durability, leather is the way to go.