How to Clean Leather Furniture

leather couch

Once you learn how to clean leather furniture properly you won't feel the need to drape your couches with sheets or plastic tarps to protect them from visitors.

For the Love of Leather

Leather is one of the most popular furniture choices in the world. Some people absolutely love the smell and feeling of leather furniture and fill their houses with everything from leather love seats and chairs to leather ottomans and sectionals.

Leather is durable, functional and fashionable, which is why many homeowners are attracted to leather furniture. The downside to stuffing your home with leather goods is that it can be tricky to clean. Keeping your leather furniture looking as luxurious as it did on the day you bought it is possible, provided you follow some simple tips.

How to Clean Leather Furniture

The first step you must take in learning how to clean leather furniture properly is to determine the type of leather you're working with. This information can be found on the tags attached to your leather furniture or in the pamphlets that came with your purchase. The tags typically include cleaning tips for your particular piece of leather furniture. However, if the tags are missing or are no longer legible, then contact the retailer you purchased your furniture from. Another option is to simply contact the manufacturer of your leather piece either by phone or online.

Basic Cleaning

Leather furniture should be cleaned regularly. Vacuum or dust your leather pieces at least once a week to help maintain the material's integrity. Though, be sure to use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum so you don't scratch the leather. Also, keep leather furniture away from heat sources. For example, don't sit your leather couch in direct sunlight and avoid placing it near a fireplace or heating vent.

To remove every day dirt and grime from your leather upholstery, use liquid hand soap. Place some soap on a soft cloth and mix with water to form a generous lather. Then, wipe off any dust or dirt from your leather furniture. However, be careful not to completely saturate the leather. Dry the leather surface thoroughly with a clean rag, and then treat the surface with a commercial leather conditioner.

Deep Cleaning

Stains and spills can really do a number on leather furniture. However, you don't want to cover up your beautiful leather goods just because you are afraid of a few accidents. Rather, follow these simple leather furniture cleaning tips:

  • Ink: These types of stains can be easily removed in a few minutes. Simply dip a cotton swab into some rubbing alcohol and rub it over the ink stain. If the stain remains, then apply a thick coat of cuticle remover and let it stand for a few hours. When you wipe off the cuticle remover the ink stain should lift off as well.
  • Protein: Blood and food stains can turn your light-colored leather upholstery to an unattractive dark shade. To remove protein stains from leather, mix together one part cream of tartar with one part lemon juice to form a paste. Next, apply the paste to the stain and let is sit for about 10 minutes. Finally, wipe the area with a clean, damp sponge and some hand soap.
  • Grease: Never mix water with grease. Instead, wipe the grease stain off your leather furniture with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Newspaper: If newspapers sit on leather furniture for an extended period of time, it can leave an ink stain. To remove, spray the stained area with hair spray and then wipe clean with a damp, soft cloth.

Additional Tips

One of the keys to learning how to clean leather furniture properly is to act fast. The quicker you try to remove a stain from your leather furniture the more likely you will be met with favorable results. If you let a stain soak in, then you might not have success with the aforementioned cleaning tips. In that case, you may have to contact a furniture-cleaning professional who will charge you to restore your leather upholstery to its original condition.

Finally, before attempting to clean leather furniture yourself, be sure to test the cleaning product in an inconspicuous spot. Since no two pieces of leather furniture are the exactly alike, you might not have success with a particular cleaning method.

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