Leather furniture can add a pop of luxury to any living space. And did you know that if well-maintained, it lasts longer than any other upholstery fabric?
That said, leather furniture can be deemed tedious to care for, especially if you have kids and pets.
The fact is leather furniture needs a monthly application of leather cream to keep the material soft and moisturised, and it’s important to understand the different types of leather used to make upholstery.
Most leather upholstery is made from fully finished leather. This kind is dyed using opaque colours and finished with a surface coating resistant to sun damage. The second type uses aniline leather, usually coloured with a transparent dye to highlight the leather grain. It doesn’t have a surface coating. The last type is semi-aniline leather and is generally softer than the first two. It’s also more prone to sun damage, scratches and stains as it has a thin surface coating and a transparent dye.
So, what’s the best way to clean and care for your leather furniture? This collaborative post reveals all!
Tried & tested ways to clean & care for leather furniture
Buff using a soft & dry cloth
It’s important to wipe off dirt and dust from the furniture once a week to avoid dust accumulation and maintain its natural shine. Use a soft cloth, for example, those made from microfibre, to prevent scratching the surface. Buffing is also a great way of reducing the appearance of scuffs and scratches.
Wipe off spills & stains immediately
The secret to maintaining the lustre of leather furniture is to blot out stains and spills immediately. Spills like juice, water or wine can damage the leather material if left to sit on the surface for a long time. Be sure to use a dry and soft microfibre cloth. And if you must use a damp cloth, squirt a small amount of leather cleaner. The idea is to absorb the moisture instead of spreading it. If the stain persists, ask a professional leather cleaner to help you.
Cleaning leather furniture
Leather material is quite sensitive and if you want to keep it looking new, avoid cleaning with soap and water, detergents and ammonia-based cleaning solutions. Also, avoid soaking the material heavily in water. All such products damage the furniture. Many homeowners are tempted to use a glasses cleaner instead of leather cleaning solution. It shouldn’t be the case. Window cleaners contain alcohol which breaks down the protective topcoat on the leather surface.
Plump the cushions
Apart from cleaning the sofa, it’s crucial to maintain its shape for maximum support. Plumping goes a long way in keeping the cushion’s natural shape and preventing creases from developing. This step is imperative if the cushions have light fibre filling which can’t bounce back like foam.
Keep leather furniture shaded
The best way to protect your leather furniture is to keep it away from direct sunlight. The intense rays cause the leather to fade out within four to six months and crack because the heat makes the natural oils evaporate. If you’ve placed your leather furniture near a window and can’t move it to a shaded spot, close the blinds, curtains or shades. Alternatively, you can cover the sofa using a decorative blanket during the hottest time of the day. You can also apply a tinting film to the windows to block the UV rays.
Condition leather furniture regularly
Leather has oils that need to be replenished regularly to keep the surface soft. A special conditioner is applied to prevent the leather upholstery from drying out and cracking. It also re-fortifies the material and creates an invisible coating resistant to spills and stains. The extra layer makes it easy to clean the leather furniture and minimises dye transfer.
- Avoid placing leather furniture close to heat sources like fireplaces, heaters or vents. Like wood, leather can dry up
- Vacuum the crevices when wiping the rest of the surface
- If working the surface with dye and waxes, use your hand. Some leather materials are meant to look more lived-in and usually develop a rich patina over time
- Avoid placing printed material in leather furniture because they absorb dyes quickly. The ink leaves stains that are difficult to remove
This is a collaborative post.