Leather furniture adds a rich texture to any home in addition to being extremely comfortable. Because leather is so durable, many people forget that leather requires gentle and frequent cleaning to maintain its beauty and luster. Leather furniture can last for a long time provided that careful attention is paid to maintaining and cleaning leather furniture. Just as it is a “don’t” for leather furniture to be placed in direct sunlight, there are certain do’s and don’ts for cleaning leather furniture.
Don’ts for Cleaning Leather Furniture
1. Don’t use tap water when cleaning leather furniture. The chemicals (such as chlorine) may discolor leather. Use distilled water to clean leather furniture for better results.
2. Don’t use oils such as mink oil or lemon oil, furniture policy or any product containing wax or silicone (i.e. car wax) as these will make leather furniture sticky and cause damage to the leather.
3. Don’t use baby wipes to clean leather furniture. The alkaline in baby wipes (and other alkaline products) can damage the leather.
4. Don’t use harsh chemicals or products that contain them such as varnish, ammonia-based cleaners or bleach to clean leather furniture. They will discolor the leather and cause serious damage.
Do’s for Cleaning Leather Furniture
1. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning leather furniture. If you do not have an owner’s manual, contact the store where you purchased the furniture or the manufacturer for instructions for cleaning your leather furniture.
2. Purchase a high quality leather furniture protectant and use this to help prevent damage, wear and tear to leather furniture.
3. Immediately wipe up any spills on leather furniture to keep them from soaking into the leather.
4. To keep leather looking great and in good condition, mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil and apply to leather furniture with a clean white cloth. Work in small sections, applying mixture in a circular motion and buffing after ten minutes.
5. Dirt and body oils will be absorbed by leather furniture; therefore, regular cleaning is a must for leather furniture. First, dust the leather furniture to remove any loose dirt and dust. Next, clean by using a mild, moisturizing soap (neutral soap with a pH of 7 as acidic soaps can damage the leather) mixed with water. Working in small areas, apply the soap suds with a clean sponge, immediately wipe off suds with another sponge and dry the leather thoroughly. Never allow the soap or water to sit on the leather.
6. If you have stained your light-colored leather furniture, try removing the dark stain with lemon juice and cream of tartar. Mix one part lemon juice and one part cream of tartar to make a paste. Apply the paste to the dark stain, allow to sit for ten minutes and apply another layer of paste. Use a damp sponge to work the paste into the dark stain, then remove with damp sponge, and dry thoroughly. Test on a hidden site first!