How To Care For Vegan Leather?

By Divya Kashyap. Updated: August 2022.
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The design, quality, and manufacturing of vegan leather play an important part in its durability. Vegan leather lasts for about two to five years. But did you know that proper maintenance can considerably increase their lifespan?

Caring for vegan leather includes proper usage, care, cleaning, and maintenance. The type of vegan leather indicates the amount of care required. For faux leather made of plastic, the type and amount of care may be less compared to vegan leather made of plant material. 

How To Clean Vegan Leather?

For faux leather and vegan leather, some common methods of cleaning can be used. In case of evident dust or light dirt, wiping on the surface with a damp, soft cloth with warm water should do. For some textured surfaces, a damp toothbrush can be used to clean between the grooves. 

For tough stains or marks, using a cloth or sponge with some dish detergent is recommended. When detergent does not help, a small amount of eucalyptus oil can be rubbed with a small cloth on the surface. However, this is to be verified based on the type of surface and quality of leather. 

Harsh cleaning products can damage the surface and are not recommended. Post cleaning, the vegan leather material should completely dry to prevent the growth of mold.

How Do You Keep Vegan Leather From Cracking?

How Do You Keep Vegan Leather From Cracking

The clue to keeping vegan leather from cracking lies in the coating material. The most common forms of coating are polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. PU and PVC are plastic and are affordable and easy to mass produce. 

Faux leather such as PU or PVC leather is thermally sensitive. Exposure to a longer duration of sunlight or heat can cause thinning and cracking of the material as it is not heat resistant. The UV rays in sunlight break down the molecular structure of the material, making it brittle. 

Since vegan leather is thinner compared to real leather, it dries out easier. This leads to the formation of a brittle texture and eventually causes cracking. The fragile synthetic material cracks and breaks in response to wear and tear. 

To keep vegan leather from cracking, maintenance is key. There are dozens of products in the market designed for vegan leather. The protectant needs to contain silicone, as it sits on the surface of the faux leather material. 

This prevents it from cracking, fading, or drying out. Buying a silicone-based vinyl protectant. The protectant also contains UV protection.

Vegan leather is used in sofas, jackets, and materials that are exposed to heat or direct sunlight. In such cases, the protectant needs to be reapplied every 3-4 weeks. It is recommended to avoid using products with oil or petroleum as they can contribute to cracking.

What Are Some Vegan Leather Care Products? 

Silicone-based protectants come in the form of sprays or moistened wipes. These are used to protect the top layer of vegan leather. The liquid can be sprayed on a cloth, or the moistened wipe can be used to wipe the vegan leather. 

Chemically derived disinfectants such as Lysol or Clorox should not be used on vegan leather. As they contain alcohol, they can quickly dry out the material. Vegan leather-friendly products include mild detergent, dish soap, or vinegar diluted with water.

In the case of spills and stains, it is best to use a lint-free, soft, and microfiber cloth. Rough fabrics such as Terry cloth are not recommended care products to clean spills or stains. While cleaning stains, using a white cloth is preferable, as darker colors may be transferred onto the vegan leather. 

Conditioning vegan leather is optional but can contribute to maintenance. Using baby oil, olive oil, or coconut oil with a dry cloth to massage onto the vegan leather is recommended. 


The maintenance of vegan leather has its set of advantages over real leather. Real leather requires rigorous maintenance, with coats of protectants and hefty charges. Vegan leather is easier on the maintenance part. 

The ease of its cleaning process is due to the availability of products. With the right research and methods, one can extend the durability of vegan leather. Due to this, vegan leather is user-friendly and cost-effective.  

Hence, purchasing vegan leather contributes to cruelty-free alternatives. When poorly cared for, vegan leather can add to growing landfills frequently. Given the pocket-friendly ease of care, vegan leather can be maintained. Using helpful, easy tricks and the right products, one can extend the longevity of vegan leather. 

See also: Is Vegan Leather Waterproof?

Image Credit: Yatay Vegan Leather Sneakers

Divya is a content crafter at Vegan Avenue. She is a long-term happy vegan who is also enthusiastic about slow, mindful living in the company of cats.