Does Polyurethane Leather (PU) Peel?

Figuring out whether your faux leather goods will peel or not can be tricky sometimes. Do you have PU leather items and don't know if or why they can peel and how to stop it from happening? We have done plenty of research to find you the answers.

PU leather will peel as it ages. Whether you have polyurethane leather clothing or furniture, the more you wear/use it, the more likely it is to develop peeling. That said, preventing PU leather from peeling is usually as easy as conditioning your leather and making sure to clean it with the right products.

As we begin, we will cover all things PU leather and discuss how to keep your items in good shape. Whether you have started to notice peeling or want to get ahead of it, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

PU leather knit brown lacquered polyamide, Does Polyurethane Leather (PU) Peel?

What Causes PU Leather Peeling?

Generally, polyurethane (PU) leather will start to peel as it ages and stretches. Although every faux leather item is different, cleaning plays a huge role in why peeling happens.

Most times, washing/drying your PU leather in hot temperatures will cause premature peeling and cracking, so it's best to keep your washer and dryer settings low. Another cause for peeling PU leather is using harsh chemicals to clean and maintain it, which can damage your leather and cause it to peel.

Detail of leather jacket peeled

Can You Fix Peeling PU Leather?

When it comes to fixing a peeling PU leather item, this is possible but will take some work. Depending on the severity of your leather peeling, deep conditioning and a little bit of sanding should do the trick.

With that said, if your PU leather is of lower quality, it might not be repairable, so not all pieces are the same.

How Do You Keep PU Leather From Peeling?

There are steps you can take to avoid a peeling PU leather item. Most importantly, you want to avoid using high heat on your PU leather and shouldn't stretch it past its normal shape.

Another good way to keep PU leather in good condition is to moisturize it regularly, using wax or conditioner formulated explicitly for faux leather. Storage also plays a part in synthetic leather peeling, so try to keep your PU leather out of the elements.

Rejuvenate High-Performance Leather & Vinyl Conditioner

This faux leather conditioner works on all surfaces, won't leave residue, restores aging PU leather, contains natural oils, and comes in a 16-ounce bottle.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon here.

How Often Should You Condition PU Leather?

In general, you want to give your synthetic leather items deep conditioning a few times per year. Depending on how often you wear/use PU leather, you want to hydrate them every so often to avoid peeling and cracking.

According to APOL, if you have a PU leather chair, you should be conditioning it every two months to keep it in good shape. We would recommend a similar timeline for PU leather clothing and accessories you might have, especially if you wear them frequently.

TriNova Vinyl And Faux Leather Cleaner & Conditioner

This cleaner plus conditioner restores synthetic leather, is tough on dirt and stains, dries quickly, and comes in an 18-ounce bottle.

See it on Amazon here.

Does PU Leather Tear Easily?

Crack spot on the arm-rest of an arm chair or sofa

Although your PU leather shouldn't tear easily, it won't be as durable as the real thing. Generally, synthetic leather is more prone to tearing than authentic leather and doesn't age as gracefully.

Of course, if you keep your PU leather conditioned and don't use harsh chemicals on it, you shouldn't run into tearing until your faux leather is much older.

What Is PU Leather Made Of?

PU leather is essentially a plastic-coated polyester or cotton fabric using polyurethane as its leather-looking top layer. PU styles have become quite popular in recent years because consumers are more eco-conscious and it costs less than genuine leather products.

That said, PU leather does come in various forms, but you can expect it to mimic the appearance of natural leather while being much thinner and shinier.

How Often Should You Clean PU Leather?

Keep your PU leather cleaning schedule to a minimum. Unlike a pair of jeans or a suede piece of furniture, PU leather doesn't like to be cleaned too often and can begin to peel if you wash it too frequently.

Of course, if your polyurethane leather is stained or you haven't cleaned it in a while, you are certainly fine to do so. Generally, as long as the products you use to clean PU leather are gentle and formulated to work on them, you shouldn't have any issues.

Leather Cleaner By Leather Honey

This cleaner works on synthetic leather, eliminates stains and odors, is fragrance-free, American-made, and makes up to 32 ounces of cleaner per bottle.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon here.

How Do You Clean PU Leather?

For those wanting to clean their PU leather, this is pretty easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Grab a damp cloth and mix it with a PU-friendly cleaner.
  2. Gently wipe down your clothing/furniture until any stains are gone.
  3. Using a soft, dry cloth, wipe your PU leather until it is dry to the touch.
  4. If you'd like, apply a conditioner to your PU leather and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.

Although this is a general cleaning guide, you can also wash PU leather in the machine on low heat, so don't feel obligated to hand clean it every time.

Is PU Leather Waterproof?

Water rain drops on dark leather

When it comes to PU leather being waterproof, this is partially true. Most times, the top polyurethane coating on your faux leather items will have a waterproofing agent, but this depends on what chemicals are used to make them.

With that said, polyurethane won't absorb water, so you should be fine to get your PU leather wet now and then. Of course, if you are worried about your PU leather getting wet, you can always use a waterproofing spray on your clothing/furniture.

Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent

This water repellant spray works on synthetic leather, won't stain fabric, is residue-free, and has a satisfaction guarantee.

Click this link to check it out on Amazon.

Can I Put PU Leather In The Washer?

For those with PU leather clothing, yes, they are ok to go into the washing machine. Like we covered earlier, synthetic leather is machine washer-friendly, as long as you keep it on a lower heat setting.

Washing your PU leather in super hot water can cause it to peel and crack, so it is important to double-check your machine's settings before turning it on. Of course, if you prefer to hand wash your synthetic leather items, we also recommend using warm or cold water and then letting them air/line dry.

How Long Will PU Leather Last?

Typically, you can expect PU leather to last you anywhere from three to five years. This material, in particular, can be somewhat flimsy depending on how thin it is, so not all PU leather will last the same amount of time.

That said, if you regularly condition and maintain your polyurethane leather products well, you should get to enjoy them for a while.

Is PU Leather Any Good?

PU leather will usually be more durable and last longer than other synthetic leather materials. Generally, polyurethane is relatively hardy and won't peel or tear as easily as its faux-leather counterparts, hence why it is such a popular leather alternative.

According to DAN & MEZ, PU leather is one of the best synthetic leather options you can find and won't wear down anywhere near as fast as other synthetic leather products will.

To Wrap It Up

Whether you have a PU leather jacket or even a piece of furniture, knowing if it will peel is important. Polyurethane leather will begin to peel as it ages, so this is normal.

Typically, the more you wear/use your PU leather, the more likely it is to peel and crack, but you can prevent this with good upkeep. With that said, we recommend regularly conditioning your PU leather items to keep them in good shape and prevent any peeling from happening. Regardless, remember to use warm or cold water to wash your PU leather, and don't be afraid to give your pieces a good conditioning treatment now and then.

Before you go, check out these super helpful home posts below!

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