CozyHome Magazine


A Piece of Luxury in Your House and its Care. Leather Furniture Cleaning Tips

Photo: © Kurhan -

Photo: © Kurhan -


  1. The Rules of a Regular Care of Leather Furniture
  2. Required Materials
  3. Kinds of Spots and Cleaning
  4. Care for Leather Chairs

Leather furniture looks impressive in any living room. However, over time, even with regular care, this natural material is covered with a thin film of ingrained dust. Then the owners of such furniture begin to wonder how to best clean a leather sofa or chairs.

The Rules of a Regular Care of Leather Furniture

First of all, do not stint special care products that you can buy in the furniture store where you have chosen your sofa. After you put a new piece of leather furniture in your living room follow the simple guidelines.

  1. Once a week, during the deep cleaning, you should thoroughly clean the sofa with a vacuum cleaner. It will pull all dust leaving the skin pores clean.
  2. Do not let the appearance of tears or cuts in the upholstery.
  3. Periodically wipe the sofa with a damp cloth, especially if it is white. Pay careful attention to the most used parts of the surface.
  4. Do not rub the skin and do not let it absorb a lot of liquid. Your movements should be light and cautious.
  5. Do not forget to clean the joints as the dust “loves” them most of all.
  6. If you have spilled a liquid on the surface then immediately collect it with a dry pile cloth. If the water has soaked into the upholstery then do not dry it with a hairdryer. It’s better to sop it up and let it dry on its own.
  7. Do not place the leather sofa or chairs near the window: the bright rays of the sun in the summer and warm from heating radiators in the winter will lead to early cracking of the surface.Several times a year (depending on the manufacturer's recommendations) treat the furniture with special means for gloss retention.
  8. Over time, the leather loses its softness and elasticity, so it is necessary to moisten it now and then. You can use one of the means available in the stores or make a homemade cream. To prepare it, mix two parts of linseed oil and a part of white vinegar. This mixture is applied in a circular motion (repeatedly if necessary) and after 10 minutes, the surface is polished with a woolen cloth.
  9. ADVICE! Do not use alkaline-based agents, such as aggressive soap or baby wipes. They will leave marks on the leather furniture.
  10. For furniture that has lost its color, there are special paints to help to restore it.
  11. Keep leather furniture away from pets. Their claws leave deep scratches and drooling – unpleasant stains. Do not sit on leather furniture after shampooing or oil massage. Always sit on the furniture dressed.

Remember about normal humidity in the room. This will not only protect your interior but also keep your health.

Required Materials

Use a variety of materials for stains removing depending on the complexity of the latter.

You will need:

  • sponge,
  • flannel cloth,
  • cotton pads,
  • alcoholic solution,
  • ammonia,
  • dishwashing detergent,
  • glycerol,
  • baking soda,
  • castor oil,
  • potato starch,
  • warm water,
  • small plastic container for cleaning.

You will also need leather care products (conditioner and polish). You need them to eliminate tears and scuff marks, protect against moisture, as well as to create an attractive appearance. 

Never apply oil-based agents, wax and other substances that are not intended for furniture. They can leave irreparable traces and permanently damage the appearance of the furniture.

Moreover, it’s better to test even recommended care products on a small hidden area of the upholstery.

Kinds of Spots and Cleaning

A method of cleaning the leather couch and other furniture will depend on the type of stains.

Grease stains

To clean this spot, you first need to remove all traces of grease with a flannel cloth. After that, you should wet a cotton pad with an alcohol solution and wipe the couch. Thanks to alcohol, the grease cannot absorb into the upholstery and be easily removed, let the leather be in excellent condition. This solution is perfect to remove stains from ballpoint or gel pens, as well as felt-tip pens.

Common stains

They include drops of juice, juice, coffee, sauces and more. To clean them you just need to take a flannel cloth and moisten it with a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water, and then wipe the furniture. This solution will quickly and carefully remove light stains.

Problem stains

They are stains that had been absorbed a little and are not removed with a simple soap solution. To remove them, you need a solution of turpentine and alcohol mixed in equal quantities. When the solution is ready, take a sponge, soak it in the mixture and apply on the dirty surface. You should leave it on the spot for about 30 minutes, and then wipe it with a sponge steeped in alcohol.

Ingrained stains

They are best removed with potato starch, which is mixed with water to form a thick slurry. Apply the mixture to the contaminated areas and leave it thus for 30 minutes. Then remove the slurry and wipe the surface with a cloth soaked in glycerin.

Care for fair leather

It is better to clean light upholstery with a solution of ammonia, baking soda and warm water. All substances must be taken in equal quantities. You should moisten a sponge with the mixture and wipe the surface. After 15 minutes, the leather surface should be wiped with a damp flannel cloth.

Care for dark leather

ADVICE! You can use the same means as for the light leather, except vinegar, acetone and other substances that can damage the color. In any case, test how the agent affects color on small hidden area of the sofa or chair.

Natural cow milk is a perfect means to care for any leather type. Warm it up, moisten a clean cloth in it, carefully screw it and try to clean your leather furniture. The upholstery will be soft and shiny.

Care for Leather Chairs

Leather seats are known as solid and durable pieces of furniture, so they are often used in home interiors. However, they gained great popularity in the offices as their owners want not only to emphasize their taste but also indicate the status of the company, because leather furniture both prestigious and expensive. Thereat, you should always remember that neglect or improper care for a leather chair can have negative consequences.

When using leather chairs, you should remember the following tips:

  1. When you spilled something on your chair, then try to remove it immediately, so it has no time to absorb into the surface and joints. First, blot it with a sponge or absorbent cloth, then wipe the place of contamination with a cloth soaked in clean water, wring it beforehand. If the spilled liquid was sweet and sticky, first use soap and water, and only then clean water. Dry the surface with a soft towel.
  2. If there are crumbs, you should gently remove them with a soft brush or cloth without strong pressure on the surface.
  3. If a chewing gum stuck on your chair, apply an ice pack to the spot. When the gum hardens carefully remove it with a blunt tool.
  4. If there is a trace from a ballpoint pen, then use adhesive tape. Stick it to the painted surface, press, and then delete.
  5. You can get rid of ink traces with a cotton swab soaked in a special cleanser or just alcohol.
  6. If the upholstery loses its elasticity, then periodically use a special conditioner or wipe the leather with a damp cloth. Before using special means, you should wait for the complete drying of upholstery.

Before cleaning, study the instructions on how to care for this type of leather. Some types can be cleaned only by special means (you can find it out at the store where your furniture was bought).

If there are no special requirements, you can use homemade products.

How to clean leather chairs

To clean leather chair, you need buckets with water, soap and a soft cloth.

Start by test how the water affects the leather. You should put several drops on a small hidden part of your chair. If it is absorbed, then everything is ok; if not you can use only special means geared for leather furniture.

To clean the chairs with the help of water, you should do the following:

  1. Fill the buckets with warm distilled water. Add the soap in the ratio of ¼ cup of soap for 2 liters of water in one of the buckets.
  2. To remove dust and prepare the surface for cleaning, wipe it with a soft, dry cloth chair.
  3. Next, soak the cloth in a bucket with soapy water, wring it out, and then gently wipe the surface in circular motions, making thick foam on the spots.
  4. When the cleaning with a detergent is finished, remove the excess foam with a dry cloth.
  5. Then dip a cloth in clean water, wring out and gently wipe the upholstery, repeating the procedure until you completely remove all soap.
  6. Clean the leather with an absorbent cloth – it will be enough for its drying. In any case, do not use hair dryer or other sources of heat.
  7. After the cleaning procedure, it is desirable to use a special leather conditioner.

These rules allow to get rid of unpleasant odors that do not wear off their own. If the smell is too strong, you may have to repeat the procedure several times.

Expensive, smelling with "luxury" leather furniture boasts a lot of advantages. It is not only durable and convenient, but also tells about the sense of style of its owner and has an ability to match almost any interior, from classical to Art Deco. With proper care, leather furniture will last a long time.

Author: Anna Wallace