How to Clean Leather Couches, Chairs, and Other Furniture
Leather is notoriously difficult to clean. You aren’t supposed to get it wet, so how can you possibly clean it? We spend enormous sums of money to purchase a new jacket or sofa, but the first time it gets dirty, it’s often considered ruined. Leather is a very expensive natural product, so when an item made from this material acquires a stain, it would be nice to be able to remove it yourself. After all, you already spent a bunch of money on it in the first place, so you probably don’t want to spend more just to keep it clean.
The same can be said for cleaning your leather sofas, all in all, it is relatively easy in comparison to fabric upholstery.
- CLEAN OFF SURFACE DIRT
Start by removing throws and cushions and checking down the sides and back for any loose change, sweetie wrappers, and so on. Use the brush attachment on leather upholstery to avoid scratching it.
Slowly suck up all the crumbs and dirt that have accumulated on the surface, using a slow sweeping motion. Switch over to the crevice tool to get anything from the edges your fingers couldn’t reach, as well as clean the seams. Repeat on the cushions.
- CHECK THE LABEL
If your upholstery still has its label or a sticker attached to the underside, check it first before using any cleaning products. W means you can only use a water-based cleaner.
S or P means it can only be cleaned with solvents (dry-clean only). SW or WS means that you can use either a water-based detergent or solvent cleaner. A steam cleaner will be fine to use, too. Finally, X means that you can’t use any water or detergent on the surface – get it professionally cleaned instead.
- PREPARE YOUR CLEANING MATERIALS
The best tip for cleaning a leather sofa is to clean it using saddle soap or leather dew (a combo of soap and oil usually available from shoe repair shops and good furniture stores) once a week with a soft cloth.
- HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LEATHER
Most sofas will be finished leather and it’s fine to use a slightly damp cloth with a small amount of gentle soap to give it a quick clean. However, make sure the cloth is only damp and not wet otherwise a watermark will be left.
- HOW TO CLEAN A LEATHER SOFA – THE NATURAL WAY
White vinegar is a great natural stain remover for most types of upholstery. Start by blotting the stain with equal parts water and vinegar solution, then wipe the stain away gently using a microfibre cloth (only use a new cloth or make sure it’s completely clean).
Follow this up with a mixture of mild detergent and tepid water to remove any lingering vinegar smell. Leave it to dry naturally. As a rule, you should always tackle stains as soon as they happen.
- TREAT YOUR LEATHER SOFA TO A CONDITIONER
Once a lather has been built up, wipe it away and polish the leather with a dry cloth. Then treat it with a leather conditioner just before it completely dries.