How To Clean An Oily Leather Desk Mat

How To Clean An Oily Leather Desk Mat

By Jeanne Huber – See original article on WashingtonPost HERE.

Q: I have a leather desk mat next to my computer. Oils from my hand and forearm build up on the leather. Do you have any suggestions for removing these unwanted marks?

Silver Spring

A: Use Chamberlain’s Straight Cleaner No. 2, suggests Vanessa Shropshire, a spokeswoman for Saddleback Leather in Fort Worth (210-858-5210;, which sells leather items, including desk mats. This cleaner, also labeled as Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, sells for $12 for a six-ounce bottle on the Saddleback website and the manufacturer’s website,

This product contains alcohol, which lifts the oils but can also dry out leather. So it’s recommended that you follow up with a leather conditioner, such as Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment No. 1 ($17 for six ounces).

Instructions for using the cleaner say to “massage” a small amount into the leather, using a terry-cloth applicator that’s included with the product. But you might want it to be a gentle massage, because another company that sells leather desk mats, JKS Marketing in Unionville, Ontario (905-475-7451;, warns against rubbing when you clean. “Sponge gently until all grime and stains are absorbed,” according to the company’s website. It says to use a “gentle cleaner” but makes no recommendation about which one.