How Do You Clean Nubuck?

Clean nubuck leather by brushing the item to remove dust, removing stains as soon as they form and preventing future stains with a leather protector. Proper care restores the soft look of nubuck leather and prevents it from looking slick and shiny.

  1. Brush to remove dust

    Use a stiff nylon brush to remove dirt. Pay particular attention to seams and areas that wear easily. The process creates dust that includes bits of leather. Remove this dust by wiping with a clean cloth. Make sure you brush the pieces in the same direction.

  2. Remove tougher stains

    Manufacturers create nubuck leather by sanding top grain cowhide. It withstands sanding at home to help remove stains the brush cannot eliminate. Use 600-grit sandpaper to remove slick areas, and wipe away any dust you create. Darker stains are often oil based. Apply a small amount of cornstarch, and allow it to absorb the oil overnight. Brush the cornstarch away, and use sandpaper on the leather. For stubborn stains, use a suede stain remover.

  3. Apply a leather protector

    A nubuck leather protector prevents future stains. Once the item is clean, apply the protector per the manufacturer's directions. You still must brush the leather regularly to remove normal accumulations of dust and dirt.