How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

Leather is one of the most durable and low-maintenance surfaces that you can use in your home. Keeping the leather surfaces of chairs, sofas, and ottomans is relatively easy if you follow the correct steps. However, different types of leather furnishings require different cleaning methods.


This is why it is important to know what kind of leather you have. Here are a few tips on how you can identify the different types of leather upholstery and maintain it correctly.


Different Types of Leather Upholstery


We are a premium furniture store in Las Vegas that carries a wide variety of leather furniture. The manufacturer labels on all pieces have detailed information about the type of leather used and the care instructions for it. Here is some information that can help. The two main types of leather include:


  • Unprotected Leather- Also referred to as unfinished or pure aniline leather, it has a soft and luxurious feel to it. It’s also far more sensitive to stains than protected leather and is normally pricier as well. The natural markings and surface grains give it a very distinctive look.


  • Protected Leather- This is also labeled as semi-aniline, pigmented or aniline plus pigmented leather. The protected surface is much more stain-resistant and durable than pure aniline and most modern furniture is made with this variety.


Different Ways to Take Care of Your Leather Upholstery


When it comes to cleaning leather upholstery, it’s best to give DIY treatments a miss. Homemade solutions might impact the condition of the product rather than cleaning it. Aside from this, using the wrong conditioners or cleaners will void the warranty of the leather product as well. Only use products that the company endorses to clean your furniture. Some of the cleaning materials commonly used in leather furniture cleaning include:


  • Distilled water
  • A vacuum cleaner brush attachment
  • Non-detergent liquid soap like Dove or Neutrogena
  • A special cleaner that is designed for furniture upholstery
  • Tarps and drop cloths
  • Soft clean microfiber cloths
  • Leather conditioner


Cleaning Unprotected Leather

Dust the furniture with a clean, dry cloth or vacuum unprotected aniline leather regularly. Another commonly used cleaning method is to wipe the leather surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in distilled water or an approved leather conditioner. Take extreme care while cleaning as the natural look of the furniture is sensitive to scratching & staining. You can also consult the manufacturer or a cleaning professional if you have any inquiries, before using any other products.


Cleaning Protected Leather

Pigmented or semi-aniline leather can stand up better to heavy use than aniline leather. However, it is advised that you stay away from products that contain ammonia or alkalis that can damage the product rather while cleaning it.  It’s also important to avoid detergents, saddle soaps, furniture polishes or oils with caustic ingredients.


Steps to Follow…

Here are a few tips to clean protected leather upholstery:

  • Use the vacuum brush attachment; it helps remove dirt effectively.
  • Adding a few drops of non-detergent soap to distilled water can be used to create a mild soap solution.
  • Make sure that there’s no discoloration from the soap solution by testing it on an inconspicuous spot of the furniture piece.
  • While wiping the surfaces, work your way from top to bottom.
  • Dampen a cloth with distilled water and clean the furniture again
  • Dry all the surfaces with a clean towel.


How to Deal with Spots, Stains or Spills

It is important to know that leather is extremely sensitive to stains, especially liquid spills. This is why it should be dealt with as soon as it touches the surface. This will help prevent the liquid from soaking into the leather and creating a hard-to-remove stain. Take a look at how to deal with spills on unprotected or protected leather:

  • Unprotected Leather- When dealing with stains on pure aniline leather, blot the spilled substance with a clean and dry cloth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or a cleaning professional before proceeding with anything else.
  • Protected Leather- Some stains can be prevented from becoming permanent on protected leather. If the spill is minor (water-based drink, juice or a soda spill) it can be dealt with without too much trouble. However, if the spill is large and stubborn, use a clean cloth dampened in distilled water and a mild non-detergent solution. The use of an air dryer is not recommended to dry the surfaces. It's best to allow the leather to dry out naturally.

Oil-based stains like body oil or butter can be cleaned using a dry white cloth and no water is required in the process. The stain will slowly dissipate over time. However, for the removal of difficult stains, it’s best to consult a cleaning professional.


Is Conditioning Required?

To keep the leather soft and supple you can occasionally apply a commercial leather conditioner after cleaning. By applying a good conditioner every six to 12 months, the leather will maintain its own oils which will help keep it soft for a number of years. This suppleness helps prevent cracking in leather surfaces and increases the longevity of the furniture piece as well. As mentioned earlier, before using any commercial product, it is necessary to check the furniture care lable.


Some Pointers to Keep in Mind

Avoid conditioners that have any type of oils or waxes, as they will make the surface of your furniture permanently sticky. Keep your furniture away from direct sunlight and heat as the UV rays of the sun can cause the leather to dry and start cracking. If the furniture is in a dry climatic environment, it will require more conditioning to keep it from drying and cracking.

As you can see there are a number of different problems you can face when it comes to caring for your leather furniture. However, by keeping these simple points in mind, your leather chair, couches or loungers will remain in pristine condition even after a number of years. We have a wide variety of high-quality leather furniture and our sales team will provide you with all the information you need related to proper maintenance and care. Visit Jubilee Furniture today and view or collection of living room sofa sets! 

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