Top 5 Tips For Cleaning Leather Furniture

Leather furniture and leather upholstery in general add a certain charm to any room. The elegance of a leather décor adds to the appeal of the entire house, while boosting its market value. However, as luxurious as a leather sofa might look, it is also equally difficult to clean. When stubborn stains are involved, or you need to make an antique sofa look brand new for selling purposes, the cleaning process becomes even more demanding. Using a simple damp cloth is not a viable solution. Cleaning supplies that contain harsh chemicals will also most likely completely damage your sofa beyond repair. A cleaner that contains bleach should also be kept away from your leather upholstery around the house. As sturdy as leather might be, it is also very porous, so it requires special care when it needs to be cleaned. Your best bet is to thoroughly follow the detailed cleaning and maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer. Below you will find 5 tips that should teach you how to correctly and efficiently clean your leather furniture every few months, or at least twice a year.

Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid To Use The Vacuum Cleaner

It’s not only your floors and carpets that require regular vacuuming. Make sure you attach the small brush to the vacuum cleaner and run over all the crevices to suck all the dirt, dust, and bacteria. When cleaning your sofa using a cleaning solution without vacuuming first, you will be doing nothing more but spreading all the gunk over.

Dust that reaches the sofa is highly abrasive and can damage the leather if your sofa is periodically exposed to it, along with moisture.

Tip #2: Make Your Own Leather Furniture Cleaning Solution

  • mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, and add some over-the-counter leather cleaner if you need to;
  • use a microfiber cloth and dip it into the mix, but make sure the cloth does not get completely wet;
  • Wipe the sofa or other pieces of leather furniture and start from the top.
  • Use a clean towel to dry the sofa; avoid using blow dryers as you will dehydrate the leather.

Tip #3: Maintain Your Leather Furniture Using A Homemade Conditioner

Use two parts of linseed oil and one part white vinegar; take a soft cloth and apply the mix using circular motions. Let the mix act overnight, then buff the furniture using a clean rag. This should make your leather sofa shine again.

Tip #4: Clean Stains Using Rubber Alcohol

If you are dealing with nasty mold and mildew stains all over your expensive leather sofa, try a mix of water and rubbing alcohol in equal parts. Rub the affected areas with this mix with the help of a clean cloth. Rubbing alcohol is also known to work well on ink stains. Use a cotton swab, rub it on the stain and let is work its magic.


Dealing with permanent marker or ballpoint pen stains? Spray some aerosol hairspray or eucalyptus oil. Baby wipes and toothpaste may also help you get rid of stubborn stains on your leather furniture. Remember to use an inconspicuous areas to test these homemade cleaning solutions on your sofas.

Tip #5: Follow The Manufacturer’s Cleaning Instructions

Carefully read the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer and follow them accordingly. These instructions target specific types of leather your sofa and furniture pieces are made of. If you cannot access them, look for them online or get in touch with the seller of the furniture or the manufacturer. They will save you from a lot of headache later on, especially when dealing with various types of stains.

If you cannot come across any instructions, the best cleaning approach is to use a small amount of mild soap – make sure it is very mild. Test a hidden area and let the soap dry.

Extra Cleaning Tips

  • If you are dealing with dark colored stains on your white or beige leather sofa, use a mix of tartar cream and lemon juice and leave it for ten minutes. Use a damp sponge to wipe the paste clean.
  • Use baking soda to remove grease stains off your sofa and dust the baking soda off after letting it sit for a few hours.
  • Use a dry cloth to dust off the sofa on a weekly basis for good maintenance. You can also rely on your vacuum cleaner. Constantly turn and fluff the cushions and avoid exposing the sofa to direct sunlight and sources of heat.
  • In case of accidental spills, immediately blot all spills.

Finally, consider hiring an expert cleaner for the most stubborn stains you cannot get rid of on your own. The NYC Steam Cleaning service specializes in advanced furniture cleaning services for homes and businesses at affordable rates and fast speed. Schedule an appointment today and let us assess your needs and make your leather furniture look brand new.

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