How to Disinfect Leather

How to Clean or Disinfect Leather and Surfaces from the COVID-19 Coronavirus

These instructions for how to disinfect leather and other surfaces are written so that even a 5th grader can understand (no offense if you’re a 5th grader). I am summing up here what scientists and cleaning professionals have recently written about virus dwell time on surfaces. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that cleaning refers to removing germs from surfaces and disinfecting refers to killing germs. Both work.

These recent studies on the Coronavirus COVID-19 are from the New England Journal of Medicine, the National Institute of Health, the CDC and articles from other really smart people who specialize in virus and pandemics. And I threw in a couple of ideas that I thought were pretty logical common sense ones too. But unlike fearing a toilet paper shortage, overreacting is better than under-reacting right now.

What kills or neutralizes the virus is when its outer shell dries out or is damaged. The shell is a thin protective gel-like fat layer that this coronavirus has around it. If you can dry it out, then it’s kind of like popping a water balloon. With the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, the virus can be neutralized as fast as in 15 seconds. But sometimes, when you just disinfect a surface with a cleaner, it can take up to 5 to 6 minutes for that protective layer to deteriorate. I’m not really sure exactly what makes it go faster or slower. So disinfecting AND cleaning is your best bet.

Seems to me, the best way to get rid of the novel coronavirus from any surface is to actually remove the virus with soap and hot water. Ummm… am I missing something? I don’t believe the COVID-19 actually bonds to any surface very well. It just kind of sits there. That’s why it’s so contagious. It comes off really easily when you touch it. It is not loyal. It’ll date whoever touches it next. So, if it comes off that easily, then it should clean it off with a course rag pretty easily too.

A recent study from scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the Coronavirus can live for 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on steel or plastic. And the Coronavirus can live for up to 3 hours in the air. Epidemiologists say that viruses live longer on smooth surfaces that don’t have many pores in them, like glass doors, doorknobs and tables. The reason porous surfaces like leather, wood, money, cardboard, hair and fabric don't allow viruses to live as long is because the small holes or spaces in them can trap the microbes and keep them from transferring. 

Scientists say that colder temperatures, no air movement and humidity are friends of the virus and keep that protective layer strong. In fact, cold temperatures actually harden the gel-like protective shell around the virus particles. The Journal of Hospital Infection put out a study that says when temperatures go up, the lifespan of coronaviruses goes way down. They said when the temperature goes from 68 degrees to 86 degrees, the lifespan of the Coronavirus lasted on steel surfaces about half as long. So I say, put on some deodorant and open the windows of your home on hot days. Heat up the house with your central heat system because that dries out the air and therefore will dry out the gel-like fat layer of the virus microbes sooner. Cook out the house if you have a wood stove. Get that stove glowing red. The CDC says that the COVID-19 Coronavirus dies if exposed to 132 degrees Fahrenheit for a time. Wash everything on HOT and set it on Extra Rinse. Why not use Blowdryers to disinfect your leather couch or briefcase or wallet. If you dry out that outer protective shell, you’ll kill the virus sooner.

If you disinfect your leather harshly, then be sure to condition it harshly afterward. I recommend Chamberlain Leather Milk to do that best. Do not use bleach or rubbing alcohol on leather because it may discolor. I suggest rubbing it down with a HOT cloth that you can barely hold, along with a dab of light shampoo because it’s PH balanced for the leather. For generally dirty leather, I recommend just hot water. To learn how to clean leather of anything that sticks, stinks or stains, click here.

Read our List of 17 practical ways to disinfect or clean leather or surfaces of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19.

These tips and tricks will teach you how to beat the deadly virus’s “coronavirus” and drastically shorten its lifespan or kill it quickly.

  1. Keep the floor mopped because droplets that come out of the mouth or from farmer blows, land on the floor.

  2. Get things into the sun.

  3. Leave things outside for air movement.

  4. Open doors and windows for air movement.

  5. Remove the Coronavirus COVID-19 by wiping instead of just spraying.

  6. Wipe surfaces with soap and hot hot water.

  7. Don’t shake dirty laundry.

  8. Set washing machines to use HOT water and extra rinse.

  9. Blow Dry things with a blowdryer.

  10. Turn up the heat in the house to dry out the virus’s gel-like shell.

  11. Use one cap of bleach when cleaning hard surfaces, but not porous surfaces like leather.

  12. Get Hepa-filters for Heat and A/C systems to suck virus particles out of the air.

  13. Leave mail packages in the sun outside for 48 hours if they’re not urgent.

  14. Don’t bring mail into the house. Open it outside and toss packaging because the postman may be contagious. 

  15. Park in the sun and roll your windows up so the heat will kill or weaken the virus.

  16. Boil it for at least 5 minutes.

  17. Dilute ⅓ cup of bleach to one gallon of water to clean.

Remember, at times like these, overreacting is the loving thing to do and is far better than under-reacting. You’ll NEVER say, “Man, I wish I never would have disinfected my leather and other surfaces”, but you may say the opposite.