Leather furniture requires regular maintenance in order to keep it looking as new as the day you got it. There are several measures you can take to keep those lovely furniture pieces from aging/cracking. Leather endures longer than upholstery, and with proper maintenance will not only remain attractive, but will also improve with time. This article provides tips on cleaning and conditioning your leather furniture as well as advice about removing stains and repairing scratches.
1. General Cleaning Tip
Only use good quality moisturizing soap when cleaning leather furniture. Dove is a good choice. Use a soft cloth that is slightly dampened with the soap to remove the dirt, and be careful not to soak the leather too much as that would only ruin the furniture. Use a soft dry cloth to gentle dab the furniture, allowing it to be moisturized by the soap. For that brand new look and the best results, polish the leather after it dries.
Key Advice: Test a bit of the leather on the back or in a hidden area before wiping the entire piece of furniture. If it absorbs the water then only use a dry cloth for cleaning.
2. Keep Away from Heat
Avoid placing leather furniture close to a furnace radiator or an area where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. Heat will cause the leather to dry up, and the material is not resistant to fading.
3. Feed the Leather
That’s right – your leather furniture also needs its nourishment. Use a good conditioner which you can find in any furniture store or supermarket. Apply the conditioner in a circular motion to obtain the best results. Rub it in thoroughly then allow it stand for 10 – 15 minutes before buffing with a soft cloth to bring out the shine.
4. Dealing with Stains
i. Water-based Liquids
Liquids that spill on your sofa can leave a stain. You can prevent or minimize this by acting quickly. Dab up as much of the liquid as you can, and do not rub, as this will only cause the spillage to spread. Do not stop dabbing until the stain is no longer visible, and then allow the furniture to air dry.
ii. Butter/Grease Stains
Do not use water to clean butter or grease stains. Use a soft cloth or even some soft absorbent paper to dab away at the stain until the stain is gone. You may not get everything, but allow it to stand for a day before giving it any more attention. By this time, most of the oil may have settled into the leather, but if it is still visible, apply a specialized leather sofa cleaner to remove any excess oil.
iii. Pen Ink
It is not uncommon to get pen ink stains on a leather sofa, especially when there are children around. The solution to this problem is the use of some cotton wool dipped in alcohol or vinegar to rub away at the stain. Dry the area with a fan or blow dryer, and if the stain is still visible, it’s time for some acetone-free nail polish remover. Only use a small amount on a soft cloth and the stain should be gone.
Leather furniture really does add class and elegance to a living space and is an investment. These simple methods can help you protect your investment and keep your furniture looking as good as new for a very long time.
Leah Woodward grew up in her family’s furniture store business and knows a thing or two about leather. She enjoys sharing her tips and insights on various furniture blogs. Click on the link to visit Multiyork’s furniture catalogue.