Best Ways to Clean Leather

Leather furniture is a popular choice for many homeowners, and while it can be expensive, it will last for a very long time if cared for properly. Regular cleaning with the proper leather cleaning products, and taking care of spills and stains immediately will ensure that you get your money’s worth from your leather furniture.

Routine Cleaning
First and foremost, consult the manufacturer’s directions for the best way to clean your leather furniture. Different types of leather require different cleaning methods so it is important that your method is safe for the specific type of leather. As with many cleaning tasks, always test an inconspicuous spot on the furniture first to be sure you won’t ruin the leather.

Barring any disastrous spills or stains, leather is easy enough to maintain. Wiping it regularly with a microfiber cloth should remove any dust. If dirt or dust has built up, you can dampen the cloth before wiping the surface. Be careful not to soak the cloth. Follow up with leather cleaner to deep clean the surface. Much of the information I read regarding caring for leather advised against using saddle soap, as it may be too harsh for the leather, causing serious damage or discoloration.

It’s also a good idea to vacuum your leather furniture periodically just as you would any other upholstered furniture. Use the soft brush attachment as leather can scratch easily.

Grease Stains
For grease stains, use only a soft, dry cloth. Do NOT wet the cloth as water will not remove grease stains. Use the dry cloth and press down to blot as much grease as possible. If this does not remove the stain completely sprinkle some talcum powder or cornstarch on the surface and let it sit for a while. Using a soft bristled brush, wipe away the powder, but do not rub. Repeat this process if necessary.

Water Stains
As soon as the spill happens, blot it with a soft cloth. However, if the water has dried before you notice it, slightly dampen the soft cloth and gently wipe outwards from the stain towards the edges of the cushion in every direction. Do not scrub and use less moisture as you wipe outward. This will minimize the stain and allow for a uniform effect on the surface.

Ink Stains
Ink stains are tough and you may need to get some professional help depending on how bad it is. As with any stain, if you can get it before it sets in; it will be easier to remove.

Small marks from something like a ball point pen may disappear in time. If you don’t have the patience to wait, you can use a solution of a gentle facial or body soap and distilled water. Distilled water is best because tap water may contain chlorine which can damage the leather. Add a few drops of the soap to the distilled water and mix until suds form. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and wring it out thoroughly. Test an inconspicuous part of the furniture first to make sure it is safe for the leather.

Once you feel like you have removed the stain, use a damp, fresh rag to rinse away the soap residue and then use a third rag to dry the area completely.

For a large ink stain, your best bet is to call a professional. Never use alcohol on your leather furniture as it may damage the color.

If you ever have any doubt about how to properly care for you leather furniture, call a professional. You’ve paid enough for your furniture that it may be worth it to pay a little more to keep it in good shape.

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