How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

Do you have any leather furniture, or are you considering to buy some? Although that type of furniture needs a little more attention when it comes to maintenance, generally it’s a really good investment. If you tend to do it properly, it will age wonderfully and look better with each year. Caring for it is relatively simple – after you purchase leather furniture, check the tag for any special information and then stick to these tips, and you’ll always have a top-notch leather sofa or couch.


Clean spills fast

Small spills can’t hurt your leather much, you only need to act quickly to prevent discoloration. Don’t use any detergents, just a simple soft cloth or paper towels will do. Wipe it off and leave it to air dry, and it will be like nothing happened.

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 Oily stains

If dry blotting isn’t enough, you can always try with a wet cloth, but never use a wet cloth on grease or any oily stains because it can make it worse. Oil soaps stain darken the leather so they’re out of the question. They can clean the leather, but it will eventually make the furniture brittle, dry and damaged.

Keep away from sunlight

Avoid putting your leather furniture in direct sunlight, as it can accelerate the natural ongoing discoloration process. Like any upholstery material, leather can fade to some degree if exposed to the sun. Also, extreme temperatures can cause the leather to dry and crack. Whether it’s too cold or too hot, it doesn’t matter – if it bothers you it probably bothers your sofa, too. Therefore, don’t place leather next to air conditioners or radiators.

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 Stretched leather

Leather stretches, after all. To avoid disfiguration you need to turn reversible seats and back cushions weekly, and seats, arm and back cushions should be regularly plumped up to maintain the shape of your suite. If your leather got stretched beyond plumping or turning it around try this simple trick – a hairdryer. Slowly heat the stretched out area with a hairdryer set on the highest setting and then just leave it be. As the leather cools, it will shrink back to its original size and shape.


It is almost inevitable to have a few scratches on your leather furniture. You can’t keep pets and children away from it forever, can you? It’s made to be sat on, after all. Small scratches can fade away by just rubbing them with the tips of your fingers. The oil on your fingertips will blend with the natural oils on the couch, filling in the scratch like it was never there. However if the scratches are a bit deeper, a shoe polish that matches your leather can fill in the scratches and blend it with the rest.

Check which products you can use

The leather in furniture can vary a lot, so not all leather cleaning products are good to use. Even formulas that claim that are appropriate for any kind of leather can have a different effect.

Domu designer furniture Australia experts advise to always test any new cleaners or conditioners before applying them. You can do this by dabbing a small amount of the product on the leather, in a spot that is normally hidden from view. A small corner on the back of a piece is a good place for a spot test, and you will see the effects without ruining your furniture.

Regular care

To keep your leather furniture looking sharp, you need to dust it and vacuum it regularly. By dusting you will prevent any dirt being worked into creases, and a vacuum cleaner can reach crumbs and other debris hidden in tiny crevices. You can do that any time you’re vacuuming your house, so it becomes a habit, and then you’ll never forget to take care of your furniture. You can do that especially before it’s time to clean and condition the leather.


These are the tips on how to care for your leather furniture. If you follow them, you will probably have no problems keeping it in top-notch for years to come. However, accidents happen sometimes, so if you’re not sure how to deal with it, it’s best to leave some things to the professionals.

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Revitalizing Your Furniture to its Former Shine

It’s a simple fact of life that, unless you cover your furniture with plastic covers, wear and tear will eventually make it look shabby and worn. With apologies to all of our dear aunts who still think that plastic-covered furniture is fine, you can use a few techniques to bring back the look of some furniture without the expense of restoration or the bigger expense of replacement.


Of course, there are times that no matter what you do, a piece of furniture needs professional help, but until it reaches that point there are plenty of things that you can do to fix the small problems that make your furniture look shabby.

Alternatives to expensive restoration for wood furniture

When it comes to refurbishing furniture on your own, the first step is to clean the piece. No matter how small the problem is if it is not clean there is nothing you can do to make it look better. For wood furniture that means washing it with a non-abrasive cleanser and lightly going over it with very fine steel wool.

Once it is clean, check the piece over for nicks, scratches and stains. There are a few tricks to take care of those:

  • Stains can be taken out of wood with a mixture of canola oil and vinegar. Mix ¾ of a cup of vinegar to ¼ cup of canola oil and rub it into the wood with a cotton cloth. The mixture will lift the stains out of the wood and begin restoring its natural luster.
  • Scratches on wood can be covered by applying a layer of coffee grounds – for dark furniture – or by rubbing it with a walnut – for light wood – and then wiping it off after letting it set for a few minutes.
  • Water rings, caused by glasses left sitting on a table, can be removed with mayonnaise. All you have to do is spread a thin layer on the damaged surface and let is sit for a half an hour. All you have to do is wipe them mayo up and the ring goes with it.
  • If you have a dent in your wooden furniture you can pour water on it then place a towel or shirt over the water and set a hot iron on the cloth. The heat from the iron will cause the water to be absorbed by the wood and within a few minutes the dent should be gone. If it doesn’t disappear after a couple minutes, set the iron back down on it and continue until it has.

You can stop there, but on advice from the experts at Eastern Suburb antique restoration once you have cleaned the piece, give it a light rub of furniture oil – it doesn’t matter which brand – and let it soak in. You might have to repeat this step a couple of times to see a difference, but once the oil soaks in it will really bring out the pattern in the wood. Go over the piece again with fine steel wool and then seal it with Tung oil. Once the Tung oil has dried, give it a light coat of wax and polish it.


Different materials require different solutions

What works with hardwoods, won’t work with other materials. Damage to plywood and veneers can be a lot more difficult than hard woods while damage to plastic furniture can be quickly and easily fixed. When it comes to plastics, for example, the best way to clean any piece is with bleach. If you can’t get it clean using a mix of ¼ cup bleach to a gallon of hot water, it probably won’t get clean. Bleach is a very caustic chemical and gloves should be worn when cleaning with it. After it has been cleaned remember to wipe the entire piece with a dry, white cloth to get all of the bleach off. From there, the new plastic-formulated paints make it easy to give plastic furniture a brand-new look.

Every material has its own peculiarities and there are plenty of places that will show you the best ways to clean and refurbish any material. The most important thing to remember is that you like the piece of furniture – for whatever reason – and if you want to restore it, have a ball.

How to know if something is worth saving

Knowing when you need help is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. Some furniture restoration projects need more than just cleaning and a fresh coat of oil or paint. Sometimes a piece needs expert care or at least expert advice on fixing a problem.

Modern technology is bringing that expert advice into your home in a very personalized manner. More and more restoration companies are willing to work off of photos or streamed video to give potential customers an idea of the scope of projects and whether it can be done at home or if professional help is needed. The best part of that is you don’t have to wait for your local shop to get the time.

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Your Healthy Home Checklist

It’s strange how we often fear the pollution and other harmful influences outside, and never even stop to think of the safety of our homes. You instantly assume that the very fact that you call your house a ‘home’ makes it a healthy and a safe place to live in, but that is far from being true. Nothing good ever comes without effort, and in order to clean your house of toxins and other dangers, you have to invest some time and work. Since there are different health hazards lurking from different areas of your home, you have to devote special attention to each of them. Here is a short checklist, so that you don’t miss out any of them.


Clean Up Your Cleaning

You think that your house is actually clean after cleaning? Think again. Most of the products contain pesticides and other dangerous chemicals that pollute the indoor air and worsen (and perhaps even cause) various health problems, such as asthma. Get rid of all of them, and use organic products or homemade cleaners. Baking soda, lemon, essential oils and vinegar can replace most of the conventional cleaners.

Is Your Furniture Safe?


Your furniture may be baby-proofed when it comes to covering the edges, but does it contain any toxins? Plastic chair can add a modern charm to your dining room, but they can emit polybrominated diphenyl ethers and other toxins. Stain-resistant fabrics might be very useful, but they can contain perfluorinated compounds. The best materials for furniture are certified sustainable wood, reclaimed wood, and bamboo. Look for materials that are treated only with natural substances, like naturally tanned leather and natural wood finish. If you own any foam stuffed furniture, make sure you keep it well-covered.

Another View on Healthy Cooking

Healthy cooking includes preparing organic and nutritious produce, but that is only one side of the coin. The pots, saucepans and other cookware will also impact the quality of what ends up on the plate. It doesn’t matter how handy non-stick or Teflon cookware can be, if overheated, it can release dangerous toxins into your meals. Don’t take that chance and replace it with glass, stainless steel or cast-iron whenever possible.

Purify the Air


Indoor air is burdened with many pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can be found in wall paint, dust mites, mold and mildew, carbon monoxide and radon. First test your home for radon and carbon monoxide and take steps to reduce them. After, get rid of carpets (since they collect dust mites), and steam clean the furniture and the drapes. Mold is a common problem in households and it can lead to allergies and troubles with respiratory system. To resolve it, find the best air purifier for mold, while keeping in mind the air quality in the room and the price range.

Check Water Quality

Water is another essential resource that can be contaminated with various toxins. City water may contain led if the pipes are older and well water can be exposed to impurities from the soil. Bottled water isn’t always the best solution, as there are no special regulations determining whether it’s healthy enough or not. Your best way to healthy drinking water is installing water filtration systems.

Minimize Sound Pollution


Noise is annoying, there is no denying, but it can also be very harmful. In fact, it can seriously impact the mood and increase stress levels. Although there are no ways to fully eliminate noise from your surroundings, you can do your best to minimize it. Turn off the electronics when you’re not using it, soundproof your home (sealing window frames, putting furniture against the walls, use rugs to dampen the sound) and mask the noise by running a small water feature or a white noise machine.

Follow these tips and your home will become your safe haven, instead of a source of constant threats for you and your family. A healthy home will show its worth by contributing to sustainability, minimizing waste and optimizing the use of resources.

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How to Properly Vacuum Your Furniture

Everyone knows carpets need to be vacuumed regularly. But if you want your furniture to remain fresh, new and clean, it must be cleaned often too.

In this article, we’ll go through the five steps to keeping your furniture looking as good as new. While we focus on sofas, the same steps can be used for other types of furniture – including mattresses and chairs. The process takes less than 15 minutes but can make a big difference to the appearance and lifespan of your furniture.

Start with the Upholstery Brush

One of the most common vacuum attachments is the upholstery brush. The form of this often-overlooked tool varies depending on the brand of vacuum, but it is usually a wider attachment than crevice or dusting brushes. Some upholstery brushes also come with a strip of fabric to remove dust from fabric covers.

Start vacuuming the furniture with a side-to-side motion and short strokes. Each stroke should overlap the last, as this removes dirt ingrained into materials such as velvet and suede. Don’t be afraid to apply some pressure to the tool either, as this helps the vacuum provide a more thorough clean.

Spend a few minutes with the upholstery brush until you’ve vacuumed the entire piece. This is probably the most important step in the process and should be repeated at least once per week.

Clean Under Cushions

Next, use the vacuum’s hose to quickly clean underneath cushions and along edges of the furniture. Dust and dirt can quickly build up unnoticed in these areas, but they only take a few minutes to clean.

If you can’t remove cushions from your furniture (some sofas have them built-in), use the crevice tool to remove dust and dirt that’s fallen down the sides.

Get Rid of Pet Hair

Dog and cat hair can be frustratingly difficult to remove from cushions – especially if your pet has a habit of sleeping on the sofa. A typical upholstery brush or hose may struggle, which is why pet vacuums tend to come with a motorised attachment. These provide more power and are almost essential for removing stubborn hair.

After going over your furniture with an upholstery brush, clip on the pet hair attachment and complete another pass with short strokes. If you don’t have a pet, you can skip this step – although using a motorised tool can remove much more dirt and dust.

It’s recommended that pet owners clean sofas and carpets at least every other day, with a more thorough clean once per week. If you don’t have time to vacuum this often during sociable hours, consider getting a quiet vacuum cleaner you can use in the mornings or evenings without waking the neighbours.

If someone in your household suffers from pet allergies, however, then you may want to clean daily. Regular vacuuming can keep pet dander to a manageable level while relieving allergy symptoms.

Note: make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions before using a motorised tool. While these are safe to use on most furniture, they may scratch materials such as leather.

Don’t Forget Underneath and Behind Furniture

Once you’ve vacuumed the furniture itself, it’s a good idea to clean underneath and behind. The amount of dirt and hair that can build up is frightening, and in extreme cases these areas can be suitable locations for mould.

This step is usually easier with a cylinder vacuum, as the floor heads have a larger range of motion. There are, however, upright vacuums with a low profile and handles that can tilt almost to the floor, allowing you to vacuum under furniture more conveniently.

The good news is you can use a regular floor head for these areas, so this job doesn’t take long. You also don’t need to clean behind furniture every week – once a month is probably fine for most houses.

Tackle Stubborn Dirt Sports

Vacuums are great for quickly getting rid of the majority of hair, dust and dirt from furniture. But what if there’s a stubborn area your vacuum is unable to remove?

The easiest way to get rid of dirt spots is to use a soil release product. These are sprinkled onto the affected area and rubbed into the fabric to help loosen dirt. Once the product has done its job, you can use your vacuum to suck up the dirt. Make sure you test the product on a small hidden area of your furniture first though.


Vacuuming your furniture doesn’t take much time, but can have a dramatic effect on the longevity and attractiveness of the piece. While the exact methods vary depending on the shape, size and material, the five steps in this article can be applied to almost any type of furniture. Give them a try and let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

How To Remove Musty Smells From Wood Furniture

The musty smell of mold, mothballs, or other contaminants is one of the major problems with buying used furniture. Especially for antique enthusiasts, nothing is worse than finding an amazing piece of furniture at a thrift store for a bargain price, but with an odor that makes it unusable. Luckily, this is something that can be fixed!

antique-chairAntique enthusiasts have long known about the tricks to remove odors from furniture. With enough experience, restoring old furniture can even become a source of income when you are on the hunt looking for lovely furniture and then, fixing it up and making it like new. Or you just may have found a lovely piece that you want to use for your home. We will go over the steps you can take to remove odor to restore an older piece of furniture and get it into top shape.


Wiping off a piece of wood furniture might seem obvious, but there are more surfaces than meet the eye. With an old desk or dresser that smells bad, the bacteria causing the smell could be hiding anywhere. Step one to solving this problem is to take all the moving pieces out and wipe off everything. The insides and outsides of drawers, the places where the drawers sit, the undersides of surfaces, and every other place where wood touches air. Good cleaning products for this include plain vinegar, a specially designed wood soap or an anti-fungal detergent. For extreme cases, use all three!dresser


If the smell persists after step one, the next step is to use chemicals that soak odors out of the wood. Good substances for this step include vinegar, cat litter, charcoal, coffee grounds, or baking soda. Fill a bowl with your odor absorbing substance of choice for each enclosed area, and leave it there for a few days. This means the inside of drawers, cabinets, or any other space that can be closed up.


old-furnitureSome stubborn smells may be related to accumulated moisture from the environment. Wood and fabric are prone to taking on moisture from the ambient air, which creates a breeding ground for odor-producing mold and bacteria. This is identifiable if a piece smells like an attic or a basement. The solution to moisture related odors is to let the piece sit in the sun and fresh air to dry out for a day or two. For humid areas, outside might not be the best idea, so instead the piece should be left in a small enclosed room with a dehumidifier.


If the odor still persists after all the previous steps, a more intense approach is required. If the odor is caught in the original finish of the piece, the only solution will be to sand that finish off and reapply it. This is a much more labor intensive process but worth it in the end. Sand all the surfaces until the natural wood is showing and then, let the wood breathe until the smell goes away. If the odor still persists, using step two of absorbing the odor with vinegar or similar should remove it. After the odor is gone completely, apply a new stain or finish of your choice.table

Most of the time, an odor can be removed by fairly mundane means. However, sometimes a piece with extensive damage will need to be sanded off and redone. Either way, almost no piece of furniture is completely ruined to the point that an odor cannot be removed. If you have an expensive piece of furniture that you just can’t get the smell out of, try these steps to return it to like new!

Joe Crivello is the owner of AmeriDri, assisting customers with water damage and mold removal and inspection. In business for 25 years, his firm is IICRC certified and holds an A+ rating with the Colorado Better Business Bureau. If you are in Colorado and need assistance with water or mold damage, learn more by visiting

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