leather chairs

The best leather cleaning brush

The best leather cleaning brush

Taking proper care of your leather is important- it’s what this entire site is dedicated to. The one thing that separates the folks that really care about their leather and those that are just going through the motion is their choice of leather cleaning brush.  I’d say there are three types:

  1. Those that don’t own a brush
  2. Those that own a single brush
  3. Those that own a brush for each type of leather they have

…which are you?  Do you start cleaning your leather by using a brush first, brushing the leather to get the dirt and grime off of the surface and as deeply as possible out of the pores and fabric of the leather? Do you have a single leather cleaning brush that you use for any and all leather?  Do you have a suede brush for your suede, a crepe brush for your nubuck and a horsehair brush for your analine leather?  Where do you fall? Did you realize that there are, in fact, specific brushes for different types of leather? We’ll take a look at each and make some recommendations.  Paying twenty dollars for a brush may seem outrageous but if it can help you care for your leather jacket or books or automobile interior…enabling it to look more beautiful for longer…isn’t it worth it?

There are a few things to take into consideration – if you really want to care for your leather and you have different types of leather to care for, then there is no one-size-fits-all approach.  You’ll want to consider different brushes for suede, as an example. A few quick points to consider:

Crepe brushes are often used for suede leather items but are targeted for use on nubuck shoes.  These brushes are different from others in that they usually have natural rubber bristles that somewhat resemble noodles, of all things.  This is exactly what is needed to clean and care for the delicate pile of nubuck, which is finer than suede.  Using a normal brush on nubuck can damage the texture so a high quality crepe brush is recommended.  As a fine point, it is recommended to use crepe brushes at room temperature as that ensures the bristles are soft and will not damage the nubuck.

Horsehair brushes are the preferred brush for general leather care but not for leathers such as nubuck (see Crepe brushes above).  Horsehair is well known for it’s ability to be tough enough to stand up to long-time repetitive use and yet be gentle enough to not damage the leather.  These brushes can be used for jackets, automobile interiors, convertible tops, etc.

How to use a leather cleaning brush

Vacuum first.  This is always the best first step to pick up as much debris or dirt as possible.  Removing this first ensures you aren’t adding the amount of damage done by rubbing or scrubbing that dirt into the leather.  It won’t get everything, of course, but what does get picked up are the larger items that could have caused more damage.

Never scrub aggressively.  It’s far better, whether using a brush or a cloth, to rub gently for a longer period of time rather than aggressively scrubbing any kind of leather.  Keep in mind, it’s skin.  What happens if you aggressively used a brush on your own skin? Also keep in mind that some leathers have protective coatings that can be affected by aggressive scrubbing.

Top rated leather cleaning brushes

Here’s a few leather cleaning brushes to get you going. The links below will take you to Amazon so you can check on the latest prices:

Chemical Guys Premium Select Horsehair Brush

Leather cleaning brush

Chemical Guys have a well deserved reputation for excellent products to help you take care of your leather and this brush is one of the best.  With natural horsehair bristles, a large surface and a comfortable contoured handle that is made of plastic composites to resist leather cleaners and conditioners over the years, this brush will give you the very best ability to care for your leather for a very long time.

Shacke Suede & Nubuck 4-Way Leather Brush Cleaner

Suede and Nubuck leather cleaning brush

A great alternative is the four-in-one brush from Shacke that provides for suede and nubuck cleaning.  With two edges that give you the ability to hit the corners and other nooks and crannies of your leather in addition to more traditional brush surfaces, this brush gives you a great tool for various applications.  However, it’s a bit too small to do large areas of leather.  If you are brushing an entire jacket, this may be tedious.

Simple Shine Premium Suede Brush, Nubuck Cleaner Crepe Brush and Suede Eraser Set

Suede and Nubuck leather cleaning kit Several  great items in one, this kit provides you with a crepe brush for your nubuck leather, a suede brush for your suede, and an “erase” for you suede to help remove marks and scuffs.


We hope this is useful information for you – keep in mind that spending a couple of extra bucks on the best leather cleaning brush to help you keep your leather in the best possible shape is money well spent – extending the life of your leather while at the same time ensuring it maintains a great look is the ultimate outcome and we believe is money well spent.