How to Clean a Leather Belt

Leather belts aren’t cheap—some luxury belt brands cost upward of $1,000. When you’re spending that much on fashion accessories, you should also know how to take care of your items. If not, dirt and stains will ruin your expensive leather belt.

Some signs that it’s time to clean your belt are:

  • It Feels Tough: Don’t wait for the fibers on your leather belt to stiffen. Regularly clean and moisturize your leather belt to keep it fresh and flexible.
  • You See Visible Stains: Get rid of stains as soon as possible, or it might permanently damage the surface of your leather belt.
  • There Are Sweat or Water Marks: Over time, sweat and water stains are bound to appear, but it’s nothing a thorough cleaning can’t solve.
  • It Stinks: Deodorize your belt regularly—your leather piece should exude style and power, not sweat and dirt.

Different Ways of Cleaning Your Leather Belt

There is no fixed way to clean your leather belt correctly, and the method and materials will vary based on your needs.

Daily Cleaning and Maintenance

It’s important to do standard maintenance on your leather belt every time you wear it. The process removes any contaminant or impurity that might damage the surface of your belt before it can settle into the material.

What You’ll Need:

  • two clean rags
  • saddle soap or leather cleaner
  • a bucket of warm water


  1. Submerge one rag in warm water and wipe down the surface of the belt to soften the stains and dirt accumulation. If the belt isn’t too dirty, use a dry rag as too much water might damage it.
  2. Next, pour saddle soap or leather cleaner on the other clean rag to remove any tough dirt on your belt.
  3. Keep going until you’re satisfied with the way your belt looks. Don’t rub too hard and only wipe along the grain.
  4. Remove excess cleaner solutions with a slightly damp rag.
  5. Don’t wear the belt right away; let it dry overnight. Otherwise, the polish might leave a stain on your clothes.

Deodorizing Solution

Does your belt smell terrible? Try these simple deodorizing solutions to restore your belt’s “new leather smell” that no one can resist.

Activated Charcoal

Seal your belt in a bag of activated charcoal to get rid of unwanted odors. You can buy these in pet stores, usually in the fish supplies section.

Baking Soda

Submerge the leather belt in baking soda to remove the smell.

Note: this option might be more expensive since you’ll need ten to twenty boxes of baking soda, depending on the size of your belt.

Kitty Litter

Are you a cat owner? Use the spare kitty litter to deodorize your leather belt.

Submerge it for at least 24 hours, but feel free to keep it there longer if needed.

Stain-Removing Mixture

Here are some of the common household items you can use to get rid of tough stains:

  • Damp Cloth: You can easily remove sweat and water stains with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Cornstarch: Rub cornstarch on oil-based stains—the powder will absorb the oil and leave it looking fresh.
  • Rubbing Alcohol: Do you need a quick remedy to belt stains? Try rubbing alcohol. These work for all kinds of minor stains and marks.