Can you Clean Leather with Hand Sanitizer?

You must have regularly used a Hand Sanitizer for cleaning your hands and killing germs like a lot during the pandemic. It is very much useful for cleaning hands and killing germs. The alcohol in it is effective against the covid-19 virus as well. That’s why suddenly, during the pandemic hand sanitizer has become very popular. However, have you ever wondered if you can clean your leather bags, gloves, furniture with hand sanitizer? If yes, then this article is for you.

Don’t clean leather with hand sanitizer as the presence of alcohol in it might damage any leather material. This alcohol present in hand sanitizer can cause discoloration and cracking of leather material. It will also dry leather out. So repeated use of hand sanitizer might reduce the longevity of anything made of leather.

Once I tried to clean and disinfect my leather bag with hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer left stains on the bag. I did some research, and I was able to remove the stain. Removing hand sanitizer stains from leather can be tricky, but it is possible. If you want to know more about this in detail, keep reading!

Hand Sanitizer:

Hand Sanitizer is very popular due to the COVID 19 pandemic nowadays. We can define Hand sanitizer by saying that it is a liquid or gel-like substance which is used to disinfect hands. This thing has the potential to kill many viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

Chemical Composition of Hand Sanitizer:

We mostly use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and these hand sanitizers contain around 60-70% of isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol by volume. The rest 30-40% is water. Isopropyl alcohol is simple secondary alcohol, and it is also well known as a drying agent. This alcohol is also widely used as a disinfectant.

Cleaning Leather with Hand Sanitizer: 

Cleaning leather material with hand sanitizer is probably a bad idea. Hand sanitizer contains 60-70 percent of alcohol. If you use hand sanitizer to clean or disinfect anything made of leather, it will be decolorized and the leather material will become drier. If you clean your shoes, gloves, bags or anything made of leather with hand sanitizer, you will definitely notice that the longevity of the leather material will be decreased and the color will be faded.

Alcohol present in the hand sanitizer will remove and damage the color of the leather, and any place where you have applied hand wash will leave behind a bleached-like spot. Always keep in mind that alcohol is a major enemy of leather. That makes hand sanitizer also an enemy of leather as alcohol in hand sanitizer will destroy leather for sure.

Therefore, you should not clean leather with hand sanitizer. So, keep your hands clean and free of germs with hand sanitizer, not your leather shoes or furniture.

How Does Hand Sanitizer Leave Stain on Leather and Damage it?

As I have noted earlier, hand sanitizer contains alcohol. We know that alcohol is an organic compound, and it is miscible (can mix evenly) with oils and other organic compounds. Due to this property of alcohol, hand sanitizers have the tendency to decompose the finish.

Also it will make the leather dry by removing moisture due to its dehydrating properties. Due to this reaction, stains are formed on leather if it comes in contact with hand sanitizers.

As I told you earlier, I cleaned my leather bag repeatedly with hand sanitizer to disinfect it during the lockdowns, everytime I went out. I have experienced stains on the places I have used hand sanitizer on and the color of the leather faded badly. I think this discussion makes things clear on how hand sanitizer can leave a stain on leather.

Remove Hand Sanitizer Stains from Leather:

The hand sanitizer stains are tough to remove. You can try different leather cleaners online, but as far as my knowledge goes, most of the leather cleaners will fail to remove the stains from hand washing on your leather furniture or bag or shoes, etc. This is probably because the hand sanitizer might go through the leather and destroy the color of it.

So, the next best thing is to colorize leather with a darker shade of your leather’s color. For leather boots, couches, chairs, bags, and any other thing made of leather, you can buy the Dark Brown Leather Recoloring Balm. This is a good and cheap one. You can find it on Amazon for around 20-30 bucks. Check it out here.

After recoloring, it doesn’t use hand sanitizer again!! Use a good cleaner and conditioner that is made just for leather only. If you want your leather furniture or boot to last longer, then try using a leather conditioner as well. Using a leather conditioner helps to restore the moisture of leather and reduces the possibility of peeling and cracking.

I have found a good leather cleaner and conditioner from Chemical guys, I think you should try it. Check it on Amazon Here.

Bonus Tips To Clean Leather:

Clean Leather

Using saddle Soap: Saddle soap is a great choice and much effective for cleaning leather. If the saddle soap is glycerin-based, it’s even better. Saddle soaps remove all the dirt from leather, but this soup does not react with leather color or finish. In fact, people say that cleaning leather with saddle soup even re-moisturizes leather. 

Using Dishwashing soap: You can also clean leather with few drops of dishwashing soap and little warm water. It’s probably okay to make leather a little bit wet. It won’t harm the leather. But don’t soak leather completely on soap water. If you don’t want to invest 10-20 bucks on leather cleaner, I think this is the next best thing to do. But I recommend using a leather cleaner, designed for the purpose of cleaning leather only.

Can hand sanitizer be used as a cleaner?

Hand sanitizer can be used as an effective cleaner for cleaning household items. I have tried hand sanitizer to clean dirt from my computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and as well as my mobile phone. I have found that hand sanitizer cleans these items very effectively. It just takes a few drops of hand sanitizer and a piece of cloth to clean the things I have mentioned.

I think due to the high alcohol content in hand sanitizer, It can clean hard surfaces very easily. But don’t clean items made of leather or fabric with it. 

Final Thoughts:

The bottom line is, alcohol is terrible for leather and for you as well. This makes Hand Sanitizer bad for leather. So, don’t clean leather with hand sanitizer. There are better ways to clean leather, as I have noted earlier in this post. Use those instead. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

That’s all; I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any queries, let me know in the comments below.

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Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.