Thanks to their easy to clean covers, leather sofas are perfect for homes with messy children or pets
Leather sofas are an elegant addition to your living space. However, the maintenance of these classy pieces of furniture is not as simple as just wiping them down with a wet cloth.
Even worse, bleach and ammonia-based cleaners can destroy the surface of your sofa. Leather may be hardy by nature, but it absorbs all and any cleaning liquids you may use on it.
The normal recommendation for cleaning a leather sofa is once every three months, or a minimum of once every six months.
Here’s what to do:
Clean any obvious dirt
Begin by taking off all throws, blankets and cushions and then check down down the crevices of the sofa, removing any rubbish, coins, etc. Carefully use a vaccuum cleaner to get rid of all the dirt and crumbs that may have gathered underneath the cushions or throws, remembering to use the brush attachment to prevent any damage to the leather.
Always check the label
Always, (always!) remember to check for a label before using any cleaning products – this simple step could prevent irreversible damage to your furniture. ‘W’ indicates that only a water-based cleaner may be used. ‘S’ or ‘P’ indicates that only a solvent-based cleaner may be used. ‘WS’ or ’SW’ indicates that you can use either a water-based or a solvent-based cleaner. If your label has an ‘X’, then you should not use any conventional cleaning methods, and must get it cleaned professionally.
How to clean your leather
Generally speaking, the best tools for cleaning your sofa will be saddle soap or leather dew, using a soft cloth. Sofas are often made with finished leather, which means that using a tiny amount of water and soap on a soft cloth could be an acceptable way of giving your sofa a speedy spruce up. Be aware: enough water for the cloth to drip could create unwanted water stains, so be careful!
Choose a test area for your cleaning products
Pick a small test patch on your sofa that would be invisible from most angles (underneath cushions, etc.), and attempt your chosen cleaning method here first. Make sure you wait until the area is dry to ensure everything is okay before trying it out on the whole sofa. Better to be safe than sorry!
How to clean a leather sofa – the natural way
Saddle soap and water
To remove light stains, use a clean, damp washcloth dipped in warm water with saddle soap. This should be all it takes to remove these marks.
Ensure the leather is left dry
Make sure you dry the upholstery thoroughly with a second clean, dry cloth to prevent mould or mildew. Refrain from using the sofa for 12 hours (or overnight) if possible.
Rub leather cream on the sofa to moisturise it, using yet another clean cloth. Allow the leather time to absorb the cream.
They are called ‘professionals’ for a reason…
If those stains are too tough to budge, ask a respected leather care expert for their service. It may be best to avoid your local cleaner with an item of such value, as any small error from their part could cost you dearly.