Many people believe that leather is much more child and animal proof than a fabric suite. While this is true as spills and dirt can easily been cleaned off, it is also a piece of furniture that needs to be looked after properly to maintain its beauty and elegance. It is important to use the proper cleaning techniques on leather as it can be easily damaged if improper methods are used.
Before you attempt to clean your leather furniture take note of the type of leather you are working with. Leather is a porous material by nature and some types of leather cannot tolerate water and can only be professionally cleaned. Read the tags and any information you got with your purchase as they will usually provide you with the best cleaning techniques for the particular piece of furniture you bought. The information will inform you what type of cleaning products to avoid. Always abide by the information on the leaflet before trying the cleaning methods mentioned in this article.
Leather Furniture today is made with a top- coat protected layer which is normally safe to clean using the method below. Although Leather is a durable material due to its porous nature harsh chemicals should be avoided. It is recommended you deep clean leather between 2 and 4 times a year.
What you will need
- A handheld vacuum cleaner or your regular vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
- Cleaning solution (a commercial leather cleaner mixed with water)
- Distilled Water
- A couple of soft microfiber cloths(white preferably)
- 2 buckets
- A water based leather protector
- Vacuum the leather suite carefully with a handheld vacuum cleaner (if possible), a normal vacuum suction may be too strong and leave marks on the leather so try to use a soft brush attachment on a lower power setting if using your usual household vacuum. Make sure to vacuum all dust and dirt particles from any crevices in the suite as they are abrasive in nature so can damage the leather when they come into contact with moisture.
- Mix your cleaning solution into a bucket.
- Test the solution on a small inconspicuous area of the suite first to make sure it isn’t removing any of the colour from the leather.
- Dip one of the soft white cloths into the cleaning solution and wring out thoroughly. You don’t want to have any excess water on the cloths as it will seep into the leather.
- Work in sections, in circular motions from the top to the base.
- Using a different clean cloth, dip it into the distilled water and wipe away any soapy residue.
- Use another cloth to dry the surface of the leather.
- Finally use the fourth cloth to polish the leather and return it to its former luster.
- At this stage you can use a leather protector or conditioner on the suite if needed. It is recommended to use a leather protector every 6-12 months.
Due to the porous nature of leather, the quicker you get to any spill on your furniture the more chance you have of salvaging any harm done. For spillages try blotting the spill instead of wiping as you want to absorb the spillage into your cloth instead of spreading it across the surface of the leather.
ALWAYS test below methods on a small inconspicuous area of your furniture before using these methods on any visible stains.
Ink and pen is one of the hardest things to remove from leather. Depending on the severity of the stain you may need to contact a professional leather cleaner.
For Pen marks try dipping a cotton swop in rubbing alcohol and gently blotting the affected area.
Note: alcohol has the potential to damage the colour of some types of leather.
Never use water to clean a grease stain. Using a dry cloth blot the grease stain from the leather.
A newspaper left on leather can leave an imprint ink stain. Spray a small amount of hairspray and wipe with a soft microfiber cloth.
A Helpful Tip
Keep Leather out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources such as radiators as leather can dry up, fade, and crack when placed close to hot spots.