Leather is a durable material that has long been used for clothes, shoes, bags, wallets, horse saddles, car interiors, and furniture. All of these popular uses exposes the material to dust, dirt, and stains, which threatens to ruin the unique finish and beauty of leather products. However, since leather has been used for some time, people have learned many different tips and techniques to cleaning the material, particularly when it comes to cleaning leather furniture.
A majority of the leather furniture that can be bought today is made with top-coated protected leather. Despite this general trend, there are some pieces of furniture that do not use this type of leather. These are the types that must always be cleaned professionally because the leather is sensitive to water. So before getting started on your cleaning, you always have to double check on the kind of leather you have.
Basic cleaning of your furniture will require to to either wipe the furniture two or three times a week with a soft rag or vacuum the furniture once a week using the vacuum's soft brush attachment. Soft materials must be used when cleaning leather because it can scratch easily, affecting it's distinct grain or finish.
For more general cleaning, which is usually needed by pieces that do not get cleaned often, there are several techniques you can follow. The first technique works well for leather furniture made with top-coated protected leather. This process can be found in the article Cleaning Leather With Water-Based Cleansers. Another technique involves creating an oil mixture, though some types of leather does not respond well to this and the oil only leaves stains. Others swear by commercial leather cleaners, many of which are actually quite effective. Cleaning your furniture in any of these ways (ideally with the system that works best) at least once or twice a year is one of the best ways to maintain your pieces. Follow your cleaning regimen with a leather conditioner. This will make sure that the leather stays supple and doesn't dry out despite the cleaning.
When it comes to cleaning leather furniture, the best thing to do is to ask the retailer how to clean the specific product you are purchasing. They will know exactly what kind of leather was used for the product, and they can often suggest what is the best method of cleaning or which commercial leather cleaner is most appropriate for your furniture. You should also try to keep the tags that come with your furniture as well as any care guide or booklet it may come with as this will often contain details for cleaning.