How to Clean and Maintain Your Leather Furniture

Posted by Lyndsay Romeo on

Knowing how to clean and maintain your leather furniture is critical when trying to preserve pieces made of this material.

By:Lisa Roberts

With so many styles and materials out there, selecting the right type of furniture might seem like an impossible task. If you are thinking of making a purchase, you are probably looking to buy something durable, easy to maintain, yet pleasing to the eye. That makes me wonder, have you considered leather furniture, by any chance? Despite some people claiming it as incredibly impractical, there's little truth in that. Sure, it requires a bit of regular maintenance to retain its original glory, but considering its longevity when shown proper care, that seems like a fair compromise. In this article, we touch upon how to clean and maintain your leather furniture so that, if you decide to go with the said material, you'll know all there is about the matter.

Why Is Leather the Right Material for Your Furniture?

Leather is a popular choice of many for a variety of reasons. For starters, it oozes luxury, plus it ages well. Some would say it even looks better old than it does when it's new. But that isn't all! Here are additional traits of leather that ultimately make it a perfect choice of material for your furniture.

  • Longevity - Need a piece that could very well last you forever? It sounds like leather might be the perfect fit for you. It's incredibly long-lasting, making acquiring such furniture a wise investment.
  • Endurance - Leather isn't as susceptible to regular wear and tear as some other materials. Unless you've got a cat who can't keep its claws from it or a dog that sees it as something to chew on, you should be good to go for quite some time.
  • Simple maintenance - Cleaning requires a bit of previous informing, but once you are all caught up on how to clean and maintain your leather furniture, you'll have absolutely no issues doing it. Conditioning is typically necessary only once in a couple of months. Spills are easy to take care of, too, and require the use of nothing else but clean cloth.
  • Temperature - If you've got leather seats in your car, you've probably noticed how they get scorching in summer. It's quite the opposite situation for the leather pieces you've got at home, though. During the hottest months, they remain cold, allowing you to keep cool, while in winter, they adapt to your body's heat, thus warming you up in the process.

Of course, apart from the positive characteristics mentioned above, there are plenty of others we haven't talked about, one of them being that leather furniture is not all that complicated to store as well. There is, however, the right way to do this, which includes following specific steps. In addition to ensuring everything is kept in a climate-controlled and dry place, the pieces must be covered with cotton blankets. They must also be adequately cleaned before being put away, which is a process we'll now discuss further.

Proper Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Leather Furniture

Your leather pieces absolutely can't look their best without you providing them with regular care. Ideally, it would be best if you dedicated a bit of time to clean your furniture at least once a week. For pieces such as sofas that see a lot of daily use, a weekly clean-up doesn't cut it. Frequently used furniture is better off being tidied up twice per week. It's also essential you pay attention to cleaning every single part of your furniture. The areas you neglect may change color, and the last thing you want is to have pieces with mismatched tones.

Below you'll find the steps to follow when cleaning your leather:

  1. Dust the dirt and dust off the upholstery using a soft piece of cloth. If a bit of debris has managed to get inside the corners of the furniture, use a soft brush attached to a vacuum cleaner to clean it all off.
  2. Give your piece a gentle wipe by damping a cloth. Avoid tap water, as it contains chlorine that damages leather. Opt for distilled water instead. In general, leather doesn't take kindly to vast amounts of liquid. That's why using just a tiny bit is advised, provided you spot treat a part of the piece to see how it behaves.
  3. Once or twice a month, use a product specifically designed for leather to clean and maintain your leather furniture. All-purpose cleaners are a definite no, though! Certain chemicals they contain could do more harm than good.
  4. Let the furniture air-dry before you continue using it. If you wish to fasten up the process, you can even open a few windows.
  5. Leather, much like skin, contains oils. It tends to get drier with time, so it is a must to replenish the oils every now and then. There are many oil-based conditioners out there that help keep dryness at bay, thus preventing cracks.

Keep Your Leather Furniture Away From Heat

We've just mentioned that leather is prone to becoming dry with time. But what is it that partly causes it to become that way? Well, believe it or not, it's sunlight. For that reason, keeping your pieces as far away from the Sun as possible is vital. However, it's not only natural heat that damages leather but also the heat emitted by fireplaces, radiators, and other sources. In addition to drying out the upholstery, it also leads to color fading. Of course, it's utterly impossible to fully keep your furniture shielded from high temperature. Just make sure it isn't directly exposed to it.

Buff your Furniture Regularly

Use a buffing brush to buff the leather upholstery every couple of times a week. It will help preserve its natural shine longer, thus keeping it looking new for a long, long time.

What When You Can't Clean the Furniture Well?

Although taking care of your leather pieces is generally easy, tough stains could slightly complicate the cleaning routine. But don't despair! When unable to clean and maintain your leather furniture yourself, seek professional help instead! There are loads of companies out there that deal with leather maintenance. They are capable of taking out even the toughest of stains and thus, making your life a whole lot easier.


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