When it comes to furniture upholstery, leather is considered a classic. There are just some situations which call for leather furniture. For example, large leather chairs fit in well with dens and libraries, while dark leather couches seem meant to be sat on in game rooms, TV rooms, and bars. Among the many different types of upholstery, however, leather is one of the materials that are more difficult to clean. If you're new to leather cleaning, check out the eight tips below:
1. Use a Leather Protector.
Protect your leather from stains, dirt, stiffness, and spouting by applying a leather protector soon after purchase. This should be reapplied once or twice a year or as recommended by the retailer of your leather furniture.
2. Look For Manufacturer Tips
Try and look for the cleaning and care tips provided by the manufacturer of your product. You will usually find these tips in the care guide that comes with the product or on the website of the company. If you don't find the information you need in either of these sources, try finding a toll-free number for the company. Getting tips straight from them will assure that you are doing what is right for your particular piece.
3. Clean Your Leather Two to Three Times a Week
Leather should be dusted or wiped with clean rags two to three times a week. This will help prevent dust and dirt build up, especially in the crevices. Don't rub down on your furniture too hard as you may accidentally scratch the surface.
4. Clean Spills Right Away
Spills shouldn't be a problem if you've applied a leather protector, but you still have to clean them up right away, just in case the protection is starting to wear off and the moisture does get absorbed by the leather.
5. Use Soft Items for Cleaning
It's easy to scratch leather when using abrasive cleaning tools. Always use soft rags or soft bristled toothbrushes when cleaning.
6. Perform General Cleaning
Once or twice a year (or as recommended), give your leather upholstery some general cleaning by using a vacuum cleaner and a cleanser.
7. Always Condition
Conditioning leather is very important as this will help prevent dryness and cracks. Try to condition leather after each general cleaning and after repairs have been made.
8. Always Repair Before Cleaning
If your leather upholstery needs to be repaired, make sure you repair the damage before proceeding to cleaning, protecting, and conditioning. Though it is rare, you may have to follow a different cleaning method after repairs, so be sure to always do this first.
Remember to make sure you know what kind of leather you are dealing with before you apply any of these leather cleaning tips. The eight tips above are meant for top-coated protected leather, which is the kind used for most leather furniture these days. Other types of leather, such as aniline, suede, and nubuck are not often used for upholstery. However, if you do have alternative kinds, they will require a different cleaning method.