Guide to Safely Caring and Cleaning Leather Furniture
You’re now educating in the varieties of leather after reading “Selecting the Right Leather Furniture for Your Home”. The Alamosa Home Team takes great pride in selecting quality leather pieces that will serve as a stunning focal point to your home for years. The key to keeping your leather furnishings in excellent condition is proper cleaning and care. We’ve put together a go-to guide for handling everything from leather maintenance to treating stubborn stains.
Protect and Clean
- Remove any dust or debris. This safeguards against the dust and dirt not being pressed into the leather. Pay special attention to any “nooks and crannies” where build up can occur. Then wipe the entire piece with a clean, dry soft cloth. Dusting your sofa regularly will make cleaning easier. Wipe down your leather sofa once a week with a dry cloth to keep it clean.
- Next you want to bring out the natural richness in your leather. There are a variety of leather cleaning products on the market, including Zinolin Leather Soap; however, you can use the following (and easy) homemade method as well. Use a mild, all-natural soap that does not contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Harsh soaps will cause the leather to dry out and age at a faster rate. Using a damp (not wet) microfiber or other lint-free cloth, wipe down the leather by working in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse the cloth as often as needed depending on the dirt level. Be sure that your cloth is wrung out very well…too much water on leather can leave water stains.
- Once your leather furniture has been cleaned, buff with a soft cloth to bring the shine to the surface. If possible, keep your leather out of direct sunlight to prevent drying and cracking.
Kids, pets, guests…the possibilities for an “oops” spill is a reality for all furniture owners. No need to panic, we have several options for removing everything from your little one’s artwork drawn in pen, accidental greasy food and red wine spills, to sticky stains such as gum. Getting to the stain asap will help remove it from your leather. Always test stain removal methods in an inconspicuous area first to test for color-fastness. Bleach and ammonia-based cleaners should be avoided.
Red Wine: Always blot the stain, never rub! Begin with a clean, dry cloth and blot the spill to absorb as much of the wine as possible. Then use a cloth moistened with white wine to again blot the stain. Finally, cover the spot with baking soda (the baking soda will absorb the red color) and allow it to sit for approximately 20 minutes. Complete the stain removal by gently cleaning off the baking soda with a clean, dry cloth.
Ink: Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) works best for removal of ink stains from leather. Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and begin gently rubbing the stain. Remember not to get the leather too wet. As the ink comes out, replace the cotton swab with a new one and continue the process. Leather is porous, making stains sink deep, so the faster you are able to clean up the ink stain, the better. Once you’re finished, dry and buff the leather with a clean cloth.
Gum: Take a clean, dry cloth and add a small amount of olive oil. Gently dab the gum with the olive oil dampened towel in a circular motion. Continue to the process until the gum is released. Never use sharp items to scrape gum or other sticky items off of leather as they can rip or scratch the piece of furniture.
Grease: As with all other stains, treating it when it’s fresh will increase your chances of removing the stain. With a clean, dry cloth, blot the grease from your piece of leather. Next, entirely cover the grease spot with talcum powder or corn starch. Either of these powders will soak up the excess grease. Allow the powder to sit on the stained area overnight and gently brush off with a clean, dry cloth in the morning.
Have you battled a stubborn stain on your leather furniture? What was your secret to success? Share with the Alamosa Home Community in the comments below!