Here are some quick helpful hints for maintaining your leather furniture:
-Test any leather spray on a hidden area
-Dust leather weekly
-Vacuum leather to keep pores clean
-Use "spot cleaning" method
-Soak with water
-Use soap on leather
-Clean with furniture polishes or oils
-Use cleaning solvents or abrasive cleaners
The care and upkeep of your leather furniture is extremely important to ensure
a long lifespan and timeless look. Proper maintenance can dramatically increase
the number of years that you will have to enjoy your leather, while also
improving the overall feel and appearance of the piece. If you happen to rip,
tear, burn or scratch your leather furniture, it can be repaired rather easily
by a professional leather technician. In most cases, leather can be repaired so
effectively that you won't be able to see where the original damage was. Should
you find yourself in a situation where you need your leather repaired, you
should consult with a professional because different types of leather will
require different techniques for repair.
Stains and Scratches
If you spill on your leather, blot the excess liquid as soon as possible with a
clean absorbent cloth. Always remember to wipe the spot from the outer edge of
the spill to its center to prevent cleaning rings. If necessary, gently wipe
the spot with a clean cloth and lukewarm distilled water. Dry it by blotting
the spot with a clean towel and then allowing it to air dry.
If the stain persists, use distilled water solution, make sure not to saturate
the leather and do not rub the spot. Dry any excess moisture with a clean cloth
by blotting it until the cloth comes back dry, and then let the spot air dry.
Make sure you test this cleaning method on an inconspicuous place prior to
cleaning the stain to make sure your leather is colorfast. Never allow spills
to set, as moisture can cause discoloration of the leather.
Scratches on your leather may also occur, especially if you have a pet. If
there are surface scratches, they can be rubbed gently with your fingertips.
The warmth of your hand releases natural oils that help marks disappear. If the
scratches appear to be deeper or your leather is punctured, call a leather
In the event that your leather is accidentally stained by oils, butter or
grease, do not use water! Blot the spill with a dry clean cloth until the towel
comes back dry. Leave the spot alone for a day or so, allowing the stain to
“cure.” Often the oil will dissipate into the leather and become unnoticeable.
If the stain is still visible, call a leather technician and have it
professionally evaluated. You should also call a leather specialist if you find
a newspaper or ballpoint ink stain. Both of these products have some aniline
dye in the ink formula, and if left alone may dye the leather.
Chemical Cleaners to Avoid
Avoid using abrasive cleaners, furniture polish, varnish, detergents, and
alcohol-based or ammonia-based products because they can discolor or possibly
even damage the leather. Also never use saddle soaps or mink oil. Oil-based
cleaning products can stretch the leather near the seams and pull it away from
the stitching; it can also discolor the leather as well. During the tanning
process the leather has been permanently preserved, making it unnecessary to
maintain it with a lot of products. It only needs the simple cleaning that is
It is best to refrain from placing leather goods too close to windows or other
places where they will be in direct sunlight, as natural leather may fade under
extensive exposure. Also, do not place your leather furniture any closer than
two feet away from a radiator or similar heat source, as direct heat may also
Sometimes the patina that aniline leather acquires can be confused with a
defect in the leather. Over time your leather will develop a luster or shine
which will enhance the natural beauty of the leather. This is a natural process
that adds to the value of your furniture and cannot be prevented.
The key to maintaining beautiful leather is proper care and conditioning. While
all furniture ages with time, neglect and harsh conditions are the primary
causes of damage and deterioration of leather goods. By following the steps
above, and by taking care of your furniture, you can go a long way to extending
the life and beauty of your valuable leather furniture.
Taking care of your leather furniture does not have to be a major chore. With
these helpful hints, and general up-keeping, your leather furniture will look
as great as the day you bought it.
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