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.

Image 1

 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.

Image 2

 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.

Find more useful articles in our blog at

Useful cleaning tips for leather furniture

Usually leather furniture cleaning seem to be difficult and even challenging. But these efficient cleaning techniques will help you see how quick and easy it can be. Moreover you will be amazed and fully satisfied by the results. Follow the steps below and enjoy your leather sofa again!

01Tips To Refresh Leather Furniture

Step 1 Remove all dust thoroughly by vacuuming the leather

Carefully vacuum all the cushions and be very gentle, not to damage the leather while cleaning. Do not forget to vacuum the crevices too. After that grab a microfiber cloth and wipe down. It is important to prevent pressing the dirt and dust into leather before next cleaning step.

Step 2 Prepare your own detergent

Your next step is to create your own leather cleaning solution. All you have to do is to mix an equal portion of water and white vinegar in a small bowl. If you already have some commercial cleaner you can mix a few drops in the water, instead of the white vinegar.

Step 302

Dip a piece of microfiber cloth in the liquid but wring it well – be sure the cloth is not too wet. Wipe the leather sofa with the rag, starting from the top with gentle moves and keep working all the way down. After that take a clean cotton towel and dry the leather.

Step 4 Conditioning

It is time to mix again. Take one part of vinegar and two parts of some oil, for example,  linseed, flax seed or olive oil. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and apply the mix with circular motions on the couch surface using clean and soft cloth. Leave the furniture through the night.

03Step 5 Buff time

Next day polish your leather settee with a rag and enjoy your brand new sofa!

Tips To Remove Different Stains

Grease stains

These grimy stains are not more persistent than any others. You can easily absorb them using little baking soda. Just sprinkle the affected area and take it off after two hours.

Mildew and Mold on the sofa

Remove them with equal parts of rubbing alcohol and cold water, mixed together.

Permanent Marker

To remove these irritant stains you can use aerosol hairspray. Rubbing alcohol is also appropriate for ink spots and stains. If you scribbled something on your coach with a ballpoint pen try to get rid of it with eucalyptus oil. No matter of the dirt clean it delicate without any pressure.

Dark Colored Spots

If you have light colored leather sofa you better rub the dark spots with 1:1 mix of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Leave the mixture for no longer than 10 minutes and then apply it again. Finally, you can wipe the mix off with a wet sponge.

04In addition

  • Always read the tags on your furniture and when find a proper cleaning method, test it on a hidden spot before applying the solution on the entire surface.
  • To prevent your leather furniture from cracking and discoloration never expose them on direct sunlight and keep them away from air-conditioning or heat sources.
  • If you have any doubts you can always leave the cleaning to the professionals, instead of experimenting with your expensive leather furniture.

Article provided by

Special Small Repairs You Can Do

At Furniture Works, we of all people know that it’s worth it to fix it rather than haul it. Some simple repairs that we enlist around here are listed below for your personal use.

 Refinishing Wood – Easier Than You Think

 Everyone loves solid wood furniture, but none of us love scratches, dull finishes or discoloration. Most, but not all of these problems can be solved instantly with Howard’s Restore-a-Finish.

Continue reading

Buying and caring for leather furniture

“What’s on that sofa?”



“Hide. Hide. A cow’s outside.”

“Why, I’m not scared of a cow.”

OK, it is a stupid joke but I’ve always like it.

Where it comes from: All leather is a by-product of the meat and dairy industry. No animal died just to make your sofa. There’s a valid concern that it supports an industry that can be cruel to animals (by making it more economically viable) but it is not a direct cause of that industry. On the other hand, it is flexible, durable, ages well (I’ve seen 100 year old usable leather) and sustainable. Although the tanning process can be environmentally hazardous (especially if they use the traditional chromium process), it is changing significantly and need not be.
Since WWII, and the shortage of vegetable tannins, many skins are converted to leather with synthetic polymers, like Novolac or Neradol. These are variations of the same thermosetting resins used to created pool balls or circuit boards.

All leather is expensive (at least compared to other fabrics) so the industry has several methods it uses to keep down the costs. First, pretty much all leather is split. So it is possible to get full-grain leather, where the hair has been removed & it is buffed to remove some of the natural markings, but it is pretty uncommon and uncommonly expensive.

Top-grain leather is, not surprisingly, the outside of the skin and so it has a few more marks and scratches (barbed wire fences, etc.) which gives it a more rustic look. Split leather is the name for the underside of the skin and sometime more than one split can be obtained from a hide. If you see a suede that’s fuzzy on both sides, it is one of the middle layers.

Most leather is stained or dyed which helps provide a uniform color and hides the differences in the material/skin.

How it is used: So much for the product, on to the application. To keep costs down, there are some variations in leather furniture. There’s leather match or leather mate furniture, where it is leather on the seat and back (the parts you use) but vinyl on the sides. My experience is that leather and vinyl are colored in different ways and in time the colors shift and the two can start to look different from each other, so I’m not very fond of this type of furniture.

Then there is bi-cast (or bycast), where the leather gets a coating of vinyl (polyurethane) over the top. This gives the leather an extra shine, probably some extra durability and sometimes manufacturers can get by with stretching the leather a little thinner (or using a thinner split). At home, I’ve got a bi-cast loveseat that I’ve had for 10 years, so it doesn’t necessarily mean less durability.

Lastly, there’s bonded leather. This is a collection of leather scraps and fibers which are affixed to a coating of vinyl. Sometimes the vinyl is stamped with a pattern, to make it look more like a natural hide. It actually sounds worse than it is. The industry was concerned at first that bonded leather wouldn’t hold up and that customers would feel some differences between bonded leather and “real” leather. Turns out that sales of bonded leather have soared (maybe because it is so much cheaper) and there haven’t been any/many complaints about the durability of the product. It does tend to be a little more environmentally friendly in production.

Bottom line: You should know what you’re getting. It is OK to get any one of these products as long as it isn’t advertised as something it isn’t. My experience is that the manufacturing process is so good these days that it can be very difficult to tell the difference. I even have a hard time telling whether the product is vinyl or leather, because the quality of the vinyl products have improved so much.

Pros/Cons: As I’ve mentioned, nothing wears like leather. Although cat claws are sharp enough to scratch it, none of my dog’s claws have done any damage to mine. As it wears, it gets a more comfortable, broken-in look, unlike more traditional fabrics that just get worn out. On the other hand, some folks find leather to be cold when they first sit down on it. It is pretty impervious to the environment of the house but I have seen leather furniture that was set close to a fireplace (or wood stove) that let the leather dry out too much & it began to crack.

Care: Wash it with a soft soap like a glycerin-based soap, a saddle soap or Dr. Bronner’s to keep it clean. It is possible for body oils to stain leather and there have been some reports that bonded leather is especially liable to this problem. A paste of equal parts of cream of tartar and lemon juice have been recommended as a cleaner, just wash it off afterwards and dry it.