How to Care and Clean Leather Furniture

Fine leather is soft and luxurious, making it an ideal choice for furniture. With the right care, leather improves with age, providing many years of enjoyable use. However, without proper care, even the best leather is subject to damage.

So how do you clean your leather furniture? Different types of leather require different care and maintenance products. If you are uncertain about the type of leather you have, check with your sales representative or contact the store where you purchased the item. As a general rule of thumb, pretest all of the care products in a hidden area to make sure they are compatible with the leather.

To maintain the rich, natural look of your leather furniture, follow these general leather care tips.

• Avoid using or placing sharp objects on leather goods. Leather is very durable, but not accident or damage proof.

• Place your furniture a minimum of two feet from radiators and other heat sources.

• Protect your mint and clean leather furniture from direct and even indirect sunlight. Some leathers, such as full and semi-aniline, will fade over time.

• Avoid air pollution such as cigar or cigarette smoke and cooking fumes, which can cause leather to fade or change color.

• Keep leather free from dust by dusting with a cloth, preferably once a week.

• Clean leather with a leather cleaner, preferably once a month if the furniture is used daily. Minimally, this needs to be done four times a year. Don’t rub! Sponge gently until all grime and stains are absorbed.

• After cleaning leather furniture, treat each piece with leather protector/conditioner, to retain its softness and attractive appearance.

• Blot spills up immediately. Use leather cleaner to remove the spill. Keep in mind, many common household cleaning products can cause severe damage and costly repairs.

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Accidents happen. When a stain is discovered on your leather furniture, make sure to clean and treat it correctly to ensure success of removal and avoid further damage.

  • Pretest all of the care products in a hidden area to make sure that they are compatible with the leather.
  • Water-based spills and stains such as coffee, ketchup, milk, etc. may require leather cleaner.
  • For oil-based spills and stains such as popcorn grease, salad dressing or other non-water-soluble spills, wipe the leather clean with a clean, dry cloth. Allow for the remainder of the stain to dissipate into the leather over a 24-hour period. Do not use a leather cleaner, leather protector/conditioner, water or soap on oil-based stains.
  • Never use saddle soaps, oils, all-purpose cleaners or solvents. Use of these products could damage the finish. Modern tanning techniques do not require such products. Most spills will blot up easily with a dry cloth or paper towel.

When in doubt, contact the sales representative who sold you the piece or reach out the furniture manufacturer. Caring for and cleaning your leather furniture may take a little extra time and effort, but it will ensure that you will have a quality, gorgeous piece of furniture for years to come.

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