How to clean, care and protect Nubuck & Suede

Nubuck and suede (split from flesh side) have a sanded and velvet-like surface. Nubuck has a finer structure. Nubuck and Suede leather feel warm, soft and natural. However, they are also extremely sensitive. The leather becomes shiny and greasy with time, spots remain visible and it tends to fade.

New nubuck and suede should be treated with COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector. It protects the leather against drying and fading and keeps the leather soft. The leather should additionally be protected with COLOURLOCK Waterproofing for Leather & Textiles after the use of the Aniline Protector. If the leather is in use every day, this process should start no later than one year from the time of purchase (assuming furniture is new) and then be repeated at regular intervals.

To make the surface even again and to erase stains, the COLOURLOCK Leather Sanding Pad and the COLOURLOCK Nubuck Eraser are recommended. Wet cleaners don`t work very well on nubuck and suede and there is a high risk that visible stains remain on sensitive leather. Removable leather covers can be washed entirely with LEDER FEIN Leather & Fur Wash Concentrate by hand or in the washing machine. COLOURLOCK Waterproofing for Leather & Textiles is recommended after each washing process.

If greasy areas cannot be cleaned satisfactorily with the Sanding Pad and Nubuck Eraser, use COLOURLOCK Degreaser. Always test in a hidden area first. Don`t rub too hard and always let dry first.

The colour of dark and only light faded surfaces can be refreshed with COLOURLOCK Nubuck Fresh. As the leather is absorbent, usually one litre is required for a complete set of furniture.

Suede and Nubuck are sensitive materials and will never look like new after cleaning and repair. However, with our recommended treatment you can achieve the best possible result without having to consult a specialist.

In case of heavy fading and too many stains and extremely greasy areas, contact us so we can assist you further or put you in touch with a technician near you. However, some extreme cases are beyond repair.

Some nubuck leathers have an embossed colour design. The light areas are the original velvet-like nubuck surface, and the darker surfaces are embossed and colour-coated. In such cases, be careful when using the COLOURLOCK Sanding Pad and COLOURLOCK Nubuck Eraser. You might rub off the embossed colour layer. In most cases, this design is already worn in areas of use. The aim should be a surface as uniform as possible.

Recommended products

Leather Sanding Pad
The Leather Sanding Pad is ideal for:  Smoothing rough areas before applying COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh or COLOURLOCK Liquid Leather. Cleaning greasy areas on nubuck and suede. Careful sanding during professional colouring in the workshop. Amount: Pack of 5 Application Rub the leather gently with the pad in a circular motion. Avoid gouging and deep scratches. Both faces of the pad can be used. It can be washed out with water.  Before colouring nappa leather, the surfaces should be sanded carefully. Our Leather Sanding Pad is ideal for this step.

Variants from US$5.99*
Suede & Nubuck Eraser
The Nubuck Eraser, along with the Leather Sanding Pad, will remove stains from suede and nubuck. The Sanding Pad should be applied to larger areas, while the Eraser is more appropriate for individual crusty stains. The Eraser can also be used to remove dirt on hard surfaces (such as shoes) and sleeve/collar edges of leather clothing.  Application Localized soiling is often not easy to remove. Using a corner of the Eraser, rub the affected area in a circular motion. If a stain proves too resistant, you may have to stop to prevent damaging the leather surface.

Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner
Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner is suitable for open-pored, fine-grained smooth leather, aniline leather, suede, velvety buffed leather and nubuck leather, as well as oiled and greased leather. They must be re-oiled or greased after cleaning. In particular, nubuck and aniline leather are very susceptible to stains and dirt and quickly become greasy. The leather absorbs liquids very quickly, which often results in water marks. With this product, which is a further development of the popular COLOURLOCK Aniline Cleaner, water residues almost never form on the leather after cleaning, even with a "wet" cleaning. COLOURLOCK Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner is used in the furniture and automotive sectors. Aniline leathers and nubuck are open-pored smooth leathers. Nubuck absorbs moisture and dirt more quickly due to its extremely opened surface. These open-pored leathers are more sensitive to soiling than surface-dyed leathers. COLOURLOCK Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner frees aniline and nubuck leather from dirt without leaving water residues on the leather. The cleaner does not contain any solvents. It is made with plant-based active ingredients and does not contain synthetic odors. COLOURLOCK Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner is gentle yet effective. It is gentle on both colors and materials. Because leather types are very sensitive, test the product on a hidden area before first use. If you are unsure, contact our customer service by phone and send us photos to We will be glad to help you! Application As the product is easy to apply, both private customers and commercial customers can use it comfortably. Nevertheless, if you have very heavy soiling, contact a specialist company in order to avoid even greater damage. Here, too, we will be happy to help you with recommendations. Although the product is gentle, test it in a non-visible area when using it for the first time. After testing, use COLOURLOCK Aniline and Nubuck Cleaner as described below. DO NOT apply the cleaner directly to the soiled area. Instead, apply it onto a sponge or a leather cleaning brush wrapped with a microfiber cloth, cotton cloth or terry cloth, lathering it up slightly. Apply the product “wet” and work carefully in a circular motion from seam to seam to avoid streaking. This process can be repeated if necessary. CAUTION: When using a leather cleaning brush, do not rub too hard in order to avoid damaging the sensitive leather and to avoid rubbing off the color of open-pored leather. Check for color abrasion during use. After cleaning is complete, let it dry at room temperature. Due to a small addition of a neutral synthetic resin, the product binds with the dirt in a fine crystalline form. As a result, the cleaner acts as a drying aid as well as an anti-soiling agent and prevents the formation of water spots. Make sure that the leather is completely dry before applying a care or re-greasing product. After it is dry, use the appropriate care products to nurture it and protect it against new soiling. With the correct products, the leather becomes less sensitive, and the next cleaning will be easier. The appropriate care product depends on the type of leather. We carry a range of products such as Aniline and Nubuck Protector and Elephant Leather Preserver. Ask us for advice! Hazard statements In case of contact with eyes: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove existing contact lenses if possible. Continue rinsing. Shake before use! Do not allow to freeze! Keep away from children!

From US$27.19*
Leather and Fur Wash Concentrate
Before washing please note: Heavily soiled garments or greasy collars, cuffs etc. should be pre-soaked in luke-warm water and the problem areas pre-treated with the Wash Concentrate and a soft brush. With leather garments of more than one color, or those made from a mixture of leather and textile, or with a light colored lining, some color-bleeding can occur. In such cases always soak in LEDER FEIN® Leather Fixative before washing. Never wash two different garments together. Always wash the two or three parts of a dress or trouser suit, together. Fading and scuff marks may be hidden by the soiling and can become visible after cleaning. On some leather types the dyes have not been fixed to the fibre. Others are coated with oils or waxes. Such garments will be clean after washing but will have a changed surface or appearance. Loose buttons or too loosely sewn decorative applications must be removed or secured before washing. Sheepskins with a white underside: Always cut off a small piece and use it for a test. If it becomes hard, it means the garment has been subject to a kind of tanning that is washed out in water. In which case, do not wash. Leather Fixative Pre-treatment LEDER FEIN® Leather Fixative is used to fix colors on leather garments during washing. It can also be used for the removal of water stains on natural and aniline leather. For leather-textile mixtures, multi-colored garments, single-colored garments in black, red, blue, bordeaux and green: Always pre-soak in a basin with Leather Fixative! Effect: Fixes tanning agents, colors, and lipids inside the leather. Prevents the colors from washing out. Use preferably prior to washing.  Soak in a basin or bathtub, not in the washing machine. Add half a bottle to approx. 10 litres hand hot water, max. 30 °C until covered. Motorcycle suits: use a full bottle. Soak the garment thoroughly for approx. 60 minutes, moving occasionally. Put it into the washing machine, without rinsing. Careful: The product contains natural volatile acids. Avoid skin contact, use rubber gloves. Wash off skin or eyes with generous amounts of water. Keep away from children.  Leather & Fur Washing Concentrate Hand Wash Instructions Suitable for hand-washing all suede and nappa leathers, including jackets, coats, shirts, trousers, motorcycle suits and gloves. Depending on the garment size use ⅓ – ½ bottle + approx. 12 litres of warm water. Cover the garment. Keep the temperature below 35°C (95°F). For a complete motorcycle suit or large coat, use 1 bottle and enough water to cover. Soak for about 30 minutes and wash by hand. Treat heavy soiling with a soft brush. When clean, remove and rinse once in clean warm water. Surface Cleaning: using a thin concentrate 1:50, wipe the surface or use a brush.  Leather & Fur Washing Concentrate Machine Wash Only use the delicates or wool program and do not exceed 35°C (95°F). Suitable for all suede and grain leather, such as jackets, coats, shirts, trousers, folklore costumes, motorcycle clothing and gloves. Also ideal for leather/textile-combinations. Depending on garment size add ⅓ – ½ bottle to the machine. Motorcycle suits or large coats will need one whole bottle. Heavy soiling: soak for 1 hour and pre-treat with a soft brush dipped in concentrate. Wash with the delicates or wool program at no more than 35°C (95°F). At the end of the wash-cycle, only spin for about 30 seconds. Remove the wet garment, shake and stretch out the folds. Hang or lay the wet garment on a towel at room temperature away from sun or heat. This can sometimes take several days, depending on the leather…but it’s worth it. Important: Never dry in a drier or with heat! After drying, the leather fibres will be stuck together. Pull and stretch the garment into shape in all directions and, if needed, cold tumble dry (inside out), for about 15 - 30 minutes. Do not use heat. Nubuck and suede should be brushed with a soft brush.   The Care of Leather Garments Coated Top-Grain Leather Many top-grain leathers (such as motorcycle leather) have pigmented protective coatings to make them waterproof and more resistant to fading and staining. These leathers are easy to recognize, as rubbed-on moisture will not sink in and darken the leather. Care instructions: Scuffs and wear can be easily repaired with COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh in the correct tone. Top-Grain leather clothing should be protected and nourished by wiping with LEDER FEIN® Leather Care & Waterproofing Oil at least twice a year. This prevents cracking, shrinkage and stains.  Open Pored Top Grain Leather (napa, aniline) These are leathers which are dyed throughout but, in order to maintain their look and feel, their surfaces have not been coated. A little pressure or rubbing with moisture will darken these. Care instructions: Regular treatment with COLOURLOCK Aniline Cream (every 2-3 months) will prevent water or fat stains. Older aniline leathers can be revitalized by regular treatment with our COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector. This adds softening oils, anti-oxidants, UV-filters and intensifies the dyes. For heavy fading consult a leather professional.  Suedes and Nubucks These are leathers with a velour (slightly furry) surface. Typical are pig, goat, cow-hide, nubuck or suede, deerskin, elk and lamb. Care instructions: treat at least 1-2 times per year with our COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector, an aerosol designed to protect against fading and dryness. It is also ideal for re-conditioning suedes and nubucks after washing. It restores the freshness of the color. Heavy fading of all kinds of leather can only be restored by a professional. Do not forget to waterproof the open surface of such leathers with LEDER FEIN® Leather Waterproofing Pump Spray. To remove light soiling, brush with our soft Leather Brush or use the Nubuck Eraser.
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