A piece of luggage sitting on top of a suitcase

How to Clean and Condition Leather

There’s nothing quite so lovely as soft, supple, beautiful leather. I’ll take it in a handbag, shoes, car seats, jackets, and furniture. I love fine leather, which means I need to know how to clean fine leather.

A piece of luggage sitting on top of a suitcase

With that in mind, try to imagine this scene from my real life: Me in my comfy chair, my favorite handbag on the floor next to me and a hot cup of coffee on the table to my left.

I stand up and somehow—I could never re-enact this feat in a million years—I turn to the left in such perfect form, I launch that entire large cup of coffee into the air where it makes a flawless entry into my purse. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like a 100-year flood in my Dooney. Everything inside was bobbing up and down, gasping for air.

Insider information

I credit a conversation with a friend who owns a used car dealership with the fact that my favorite leather bag (I’ve had it for almost 20 years) came through unscathed following my heroic emergency rescue.

He told me the secret of how to clean leather. His dealership cleans, conditions, and protects leather car seats and interiors to make them look like new. Since then, I’ve been treating this bag like the interior of a fine Italian sports car. I had no idea I was also protecting it against the stains and torment of future flooding.

And now for the many readers who’ve written to ask me how to clean their dirty, stained, grimy, dried out, sticky leather car seats and interiors; chairs, sofas, handbags, jackets, and shoes: KevianClean Leather Cleaner & Conditioner (formerly BooYah Cleaner and Conditioner, more on that in a bit).

Once this professional car dealer spilled the beans, I began using BooYah on this purse and lots of other leather things, too, including the interiors of our vehicles. Here’s my pithy review: Wow!

Clean leather like a pro

My car dealer friend was right on the money. KevianClean does clean and restore leather—and like magic. He also told me the dealership charges hundreds of dollars to clean and treat a car’s interior with KevianClean.

KevianClean is fantastic, non-toxic and chemical-free, made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients. It’s not at all oily, greasy, wet, or sticky. It has a light scent that makes you think you’re on a Polynesian island.

Stained leather

KevianClean is easy to use and cleans old stains, ground-in dirt and even that sticky build-up of spills, splatters and whatever else seems to buildup on the arms and seats of leather chairs, bags, and shoes. While I haven’t encountered super extreme stains myself, I’ve read reports of KevianClean removing ink stains, melted crayon stain and other such mishaps that happen from time to time.

I have to admit that when I learned BooYah Cleaner and Conditioner had undergone a name change, I was like whaaat?! It’s such a cool name. And I wondered, what else has changed?

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This need-to-know prompted me to contact Laura, one of KevianClean’s owners. I learned that she and her husband have two boys, Kevin and Ian. (You’re way ahead of me, right?) Bottom line, the family decided that BooYah, while a fun word to say, is meaningless. Combining the boys’ names to create Kevian, that’s meaningful and memorable. And she assures us, only the name has changed. The product remains as always—perfect!

I have to say I really like the name. It’s easy to remember and I love knowing that secret, too.

KevianClean is available at Amazon. When you get there, be sure to read the reviews. You’re going to learn what KevianClean can do—how to clean leather—but mostly that I’m not the only KevianClean fan!

First published: 11-10-16; Updated and Republished 1-17-20

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6 replies
  1. Nancy says:

    Last year I bought a car with ivory leather seats. My dark wash jeans are creating some trouble for them. I’m looking forward to trying this Kevian.

  2. Emily Booth says:

    You always have great recs, Mary! I use Lexol on my purses, shoes and boots. I have not had to clean any serious stains or grime, tho.

  3. Lisa McCormick Lavery says:

    Dear Mary,
    Thank you for sharing this. What did you do to clean the interior lining of your bag? I have a favorite leather tote that’s in good shape. Unfortunately the fabric interior is really stained and I was just about to toss it. Would love a suggestion to clean it.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Hi Lisa … Of course the coffee (with cream, did I mention that?!) completely drenched the lining. I did an extreme rescue … I dumped it all out in the sink, fished out all of my stuff (thankfully I’d just cleaned out my purse so no wads of tissue etc.) and then I turned on the tap and “hosed” it out! Really, I did. Then I took a clean kitchen sponge to it and scrubbed the life out of it. I figured the leather was already wet and leather being what it is (the skin of cows which were created to endure an occasional rain storm) more liquid wouldn’t make things that much worse. I even hit the most stubborn-stain areas with my trusty Spot Shot carpet stain remover. Then I hosed it out again to get rid of all traces of “soap” and yuck. Then I took a dry towel and blotted it out best as I could to remove as much water a possible. I couldn’t turn the bag inside out, so I turned a chair over on my sunny deck and hung the bag upside down on one of the chair legs to air dry in the Colorado sunshine. Wow … what a long explanation! It took about 24 hours to fully dry and honestly, it really does look like new. I’m sure KevianClean protected the outside leather from any water marks, stains (hard to stain black I guess) or other telltale signs. Had I known how well this would turn out I would have snapped a photo of THE FLOOD. It was so disgusting. Fortunately I keep all of my electronics (chargers, earbuds etc) in a zipper cloth bag. I yanked it out first and got everything out of that bag before anything was ruined. My phone was in one of the outside pockets.

      • Barbara says:

        I pull out all the fabric from the purse, having a bowl with warm water, a drop or few of Dawn and a few spashes of white vinegar. I hold the purse up in the air with my left hand and with my right dip the fabric in this and squish, squeeze it for a while, then with clean water rinse it. Towel dry fabric then hang it by the fabric on a line to dry. Purses, especially interiors, are really filthy when you think about dropped money, keys, etc. and all the stuff we put in there. This is an easy way to make it fresh again.

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