How to Care for Leather Furniture

Leather furniture makes a beautiful addition to many room designs, but it takes a little more loving care than fabric furniture. You’ll want to dust it regularly, vacuum out the crevices, and clean spills immediately.

Check the manufacturer’s tag for specific instructions and never use chemicals or cleaners not designed for leather. Place your furniture away from air conditioners, heat sources, and prolonged direct sunlight. Use a leather conditioner regularly to keep it pristine and if you must store it, take precautions including never wrapping leather furniture in plastic.

  1. Cleaning Leather Furniture
    Wipe leather furniture down regularly with a clean, dry cloth. Use a microfiber cloth. Incorporate wiping the furniture into your weekly household cleaning routine. Keeping dust from building up is the best preventative cleaning measure.
  2. For more stubborn dust, dampen the cloth with distilled water. Make sure that the cloth is not soaking wet. Never let water soak into leather.
    Always be sure to use a soft cloth and never use an abrasive brush or scrubber as this can scratch and damage the leather.
  3. Vacuum the furniture’s crevices. All furniture builds up some dirt and debris, so leather is no exception. Use your vacuum’s hose attachment with a soft bristled brush. Gently run the brush across the entire surface. Vacuum in between and under all of the cushions.
  4. If you can remove the cushions, do so to make vacuuming more effective. If you can’t remove them, get in the crevices as best you can. You might also use a narrow angled attachment to get deeper into the furniture.
  5. Clean spills immediately with a dry cloth. When anything is spilled onto the leather upholstery, blot it away as soon as possible. Use a dry cloth or sponge to absorb as much of the spilled liquid as possible, only resorting to a moistened cloth if necessary. Use as little water as possible to clean the spill, and wipe the area dry afterwards.
  6. Wiping at a spill will only spread it further, so be sure to blot it. Take the dry cloth and set it on top of the stain and leave it there for five seconds or so while it absorbs the spill.
  7. For non-water spills, you may need to use a tiny dab of gentle soap with warm water. If the stain is bad enough, it’s best to consult a professional so you don’t make it worse.
  8. The most important thing is to clean the spill up quickly so that it does not have time to soak into the leather.
  9. Use cleaners designed for leather. Detergents, solvents, all-purpose cleaning sprays, ammonia, bleach, and furniture polish can all be harmful to leather furniture. Do not apply these products in an attempt to clean the furniture or remove stains. Keep a leather-specific cleaner on hand for occasional cleaning and emergencies
  10. You may feel that buying a cleaner ahead of time is not a good use of your money, but if you do need it, you’ll appreciate having it on hand rather than needing to go out and buy it. Cleaning up a mess quickly can save your leather.
  11. Read the manufacturer’s label or provided care instructions. General care guidelines are useful, but it is always good to read any information provided by the manufacturer or distributor about specific care suggestions for your piece. Some leather furniture may have specific care instructions based on qualities it has.
  12. Some manufacturers may provide or sell a product that is designed to be used on their furniture. If this is the case, buy it since it is made specifically for your furniture.
  13. This can be especially helpful to determine if the leather has been treated in any specific way that would be affected by cleaning it incorrectly.