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How to Clean and Care for Your Leather Couch

Updated on:
April 30, 2024
How to Clean and Care for Your Leather Couch

Image Source: Canva

The first thing to do when you buy a new leather sofa is to make sure you know how to care for it and maintain it. Without proper care, a leather couch will simply not last, and may age much quicker than it would've done otherwise.

How important is looking after a leather sofa?

Proper leather care and maintenance is vital for any leather item, but it is especially important for a leather couch. Leather furniture has to remain flexible and comfortable, and refusing leather proper care can lead to the leather becoming brittle and stiff, uncomfy and hard to use.

What does taking care of leather furniture look like?

There are a few things that you can (and should) do to care for your leather couch. The Leather Colour Doctor says that doing these things will help to maintain your leather sofa and keep it looking brand new, even when you've had it for years.

Conditioning the leather sofa

One of the most important things to do with any leather item, but particularly something like leather upholstery, is to condition the leather. Leather conditioner helps to keep the material soft and pliable and prevents it from losing its moisture. Regularly applying a leather conditioner to your leather couch can help make sure it remains comfortable, and keeps it looking the luxury furniture part. It can also bring the shine back to leather, giving your leather sofa that day one look.

Being careful where you place the leather couch

Another very important factor in leather care is being sure that your leather furniture is not placed wrong. You should ensure that you never place your leather couch too close to a direct heat source. Direct heat sources will pull all the moisture out of the leather sofa, and this will cause it to become dry and brittle.

Likewise, you should never put leather furniture in direct sunlight. This will have the same effect as placing it near a radiator or fire, and will pull out any moisture in the material and leave it fragile and dry.

A dry leather sofa is much more likely to crack, rip and break, and will be much less comfortable.

Not wearing anything that could damage the leather upholstery

It is important to keep anything that might damage leather off of the leather sofa. Clothing that has buckles, bells, studs, zips or anything else attached to it may be a risk as the metal could pierce or slash the leather. It is safest to avoid having these near the leather at all.

Keeping pets away from the leather couch

If we're looking at keeping things away from the leather that could lead to it being torn or damaged, keeping pets away from the leather sofa is a must. Claws, teeth, collars - all of it can cause damage to a leather couch.

Image Source: Canva

Everything to know about cleaning a leather sofa

The biggest thing that you can do to care for a leather sofa is to clean it on a regular basis. Once a month or so you should be sure to clean leather furniture properly.

What can you use to clean leather furniture?

Most of the time, leather furniture can be cleaned using simple soapy water or even just warm water on its own. It is important not to use too much water, though, as liquid can damage leather.

Alternatively, saddle soap and others designed specifically for leather soaps and detergents can be great at removing things like a grease stain or soap mark from your sofa.

A step by step guide to cleaning leather:

You will need:

  • microfiber cloth
  • saddle soap
  • dry cloth
  • vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
  • cotton buds
  • water

How to:

  1. Remove dust and debris. Using a dry cloth, and then the soft brush vacuum attachment, remove any pieces of dust or debris from the couch. You may also need to use the cotton buds to sweep out dust and debris from the nooks and crannies of your leather couch. A good leather cleaner makes sure that all the areas are properly clean!
  2. Using water and a microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the surface of the leather. You should have a damp cloth, but it should not be dripping. Damp cloths are best for when you clean leather as they will not damage the material.
  3. For stubborn marks, use saddle soap or a different specialist product designed to clean leather. Wipe it into the leather carefully and rinse, again, using minimal water.
  4. Once done, wipe the surface down with a dry cloth, removing as much moisture as you can.

All leather is different

It is important when you're cleaning leather that all leather furniture is different. There are so many types of leather, and faux leather, and each type needs handling differently. It is crucial to pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions and seller's notes when you clean and condition leather furniture.

Test patches are important

When you get a new leather conditioner or leather cleaner you should always test it out on the leather furniture. Find a place on the leather sofa that is discreet and hidden and do a patch test. This will allow you to see if the leather cleaner or conditioner does any damage to your material. That way, you can avoid stains and discoloration.

Things to avoid

When cleaning and caring for your leather, there are a few things that you should try to avoid. Namely, ammonia or bleach-based cleaning products. These are most likely to cause discoloration.

You should also avoid rubbing alcohol or anything too liquidy when you clean a leather sofa. These products will cause harm and discoloration to the leather.

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