How to Clean Leather Furniture: The Key Steps to Take

May 15, 2020
how to clean leather furniture

Your morning is going great until you spill your coffee all over your nice leather couch. You’re going to need to act fast if you don’t want a stain to set in. Part of buying leather furniture is learning how to clean leather furniture.

There are a few extra care steps involved compared to other couch materials. The good news is that you have most of what you need to clean ink, grease, and other stains out of your couch sitting in your cabinet.

Check out this cleaning guide to learn more about how to get stubborn stains out of your luxurious leather couch.

Vacuum it First

Before you can start going at your couch with cleaning products, you’ll need to vacuum up any dirt and debris. Grab a vacuum with a brush attachment and go over the entire couch.

Be sure to get between the cushions as well. Once you’re done, shut off the vacuum and wipe the furniture with a microfiber cloth. This will do two things.

It will get any dust that the vacuum left behind and you’ll be able to spot all the stains and problem areas on the couch if you didn’t know where they were at already.

Apply Your Cleaner

Cleaning leather isn’t so hard if you get the right cleaner. There are two methods you can use. The first one is vinegar and distilled water. Create a solution that’s equal in vinegar and water and dip a cloth into it.

Wring the cloth out so it’s damp and wipe up stains. Dip your rag back into the water every so often to refresh it. This will stop you from smearing the dirt around your couch.

Vinegar does have sort of a strong smell. If you don’t want to use it for that reason, you can use leather soap and water instead. It will work sort of the same way.

Dip your rag in the soapy water and wring it out. Go over the problem spots with it and you’re done.

Dry the Leather Off

Once the stains are lifted, go behind yourself with a fresh cloth to dry off the leather. If you don’t get your couch nice and dry it will cause mildew which is another problem in its entirety.

The best thing you can do for your couch is to let it dry overnight before you sit on it again.

Recondition Your Couch

Soap and water have this tendency to pull the natural oils out of leather. To avoid this, you’ll need to condition your couch after it’s dry. You can buy a leather cream and apply it using a rag.

If you don’t have leather cream, you can make your own right at home. In a bowl, combine vinegar with some kind of natural oil. Both flaxseed and lemon oil will do just fine.

Dip a cloth into the bowl and wring it out. You want it to be damp with the solution. Be careful not to overdo it.

Wipe the sofa down with your oil mixture and let it sit overnight. The next day, wipe the couch down with a dry cloth.

Cleaning Up Grease Stains

The instructions above will help you remove basic stains from leather. There are some stains that are a little tougher to cleanout. Grease stains are one of them.

Whatever you do, don’t try to use water to remove a grease stain from a leather couch. It will only help the grease soak into the sofa further. If the grease has already dried into the couch by the time you get to it, don’t worry.

You can sprinkle baking soda on the stain to draw it out. Let the baking soda sit for about an hour before brushing it away with a cloth.

Cleaning Ink Stains

You have to handle ink stains carefully and quickly. Pour a little rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and dab at the stain. Whatever you do, don’t rub it.

Repeat this process until you can no longer see the stain and wipe the area dry with a cloth.

What About White and Beige Furniture?

The problem with white and beige leather couches is that everything shows up on them. They’re pretty vulnerable to dark spots but these spots are no match for lemon juice and cream of tartar.

Create a paste using lemon juice and cream of tartar and rub it on your couch. Let the paste sit for around ten minutes and then wipe it away with a rag. The dark spots should be gone.

Other Important Tips

As soon as the spill or stain happens, clean it up ASAP. This will prevent it from setting into the material. Even if your couch isn’t stained, you still want to clean it on a regular basis.

It will stop dirt from building up and make your life easier when you do get around to cleaning. Lastly, most couches come with a care manual of some kind. Always consult that before cleaning leather.

How to Clean Leather Furniture Without Damaging it

Nothing will make your living room look luxurious quite like a leather couch. The tricky part of owning one is learning how to clean leather furniture.

It comes with its own unique set of care instructions. If you’re not careful you may end up destroying it.

If you’re afraid of doing it yourself, we can help you out. Contact us to find out about our services and ask for a quote.

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