Nubuck Leather


Basic Nubuck Cleaning


A nubuck leather will have a varied hue, will be soft and will scratch readily with a fingernail. Complete stain removal may be more difficult on nubuck. The lighter the color, the more they will show. You need to watch for fading and evaluate the evenness of the nap of the leather. The nap can rub off wherever there is a lot of friction. 


  1. Test for safety and results. Clean an inconspicuous panel of leather, usually the side of the cushion. Wrap NUBUCK cloth around a sponge and rub back and forth on the leather. Look to see if the nubuck cloth scratched the leather. You may need to break in a nubuck cloth in inconspicuous areas. Use gently on some nubuck leathers. Apply a strong cleaner to a sponge and squeeze repeatedly to create foam. Rub foam onto the panel of leather in a circular motion and wipe off dirt with a terry cloth towel. Dry panel with hair dryer. Inspect your sponge to see if the color of the leather came off on the sponge. If no color is seen, proceed with the cleaning. Some nubuck leathers can only be safely cleaned with a nubuck cloth.
  2. Clean entire sofa with a nubuck cloth to remove as much soil as possible.
  3. Use Strong Cleaner and clean from panel to panel, drying each as you go with hair dryer or heated blower. After the entire sofa is cleaned, re-clean any panels that appear to be dirtier than others.
  4. Apply Eco-Protector and dry each section as you go. It is better to apply two light coats than one heavy coat.
  5. After the protector is applied, brush the leather to raise up and even out the nap. You may use a clean dry sponge, brass velvet brush, or a horsehair brush.
Helpful Hint – 
  • Restorative cleaning may be necessary due to a collection of oil and food stains, partial fading and ink marks (to learn more attend a leather specialist class.
  • Many pieces may have heavy soils in arm and headrests that do not come out in normal cleaning. An application of Leather Degreaser may be necessary to remove these soils

Caution – 

  • Nubuck will require more time and product to clean/protect than protected leather. In heavily soiled areas, “like-new” results may be more difficult to achieve. Suggest to the customer more frequent cleaning to avoid the necessity of restorative measures.

Procedure – 

  1. Pre-inspect and clean an inconspicuous panel with strong cleaner.
  2. Clean entire piece with nubuck cloth.
  3. Clean with Strong Cleaner and dry each panel as you go.
  4. Apply Eco-protector evenly over piece and dry. Apply second coat to heavy use areas.
  5. After the protector is applied, brush the leather to raise up and even out the nap using a clean dry sponge, Velvet Brush, or a horsehair Brush.
  • Strong Cleaner  
  • Nubuck Eco-protector
    Download PDF nubuck
    Download PDF
  • Nubuck Cloth
  • Sponges
  • Terry Cloth Towel
  • Hair Dryer
  • Velvet Brush
  • Horsehair Brush
  • Heated Blower

Courtesy of Leather Care And Maintenance Procedure Guide

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