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The Ultimate Guides on How to Clean Leather Sofa

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Leather couches are one of the luxurious types of furniture in our homes. However, keeping them clean and maintaining them properly is their priority for long-lasting use.

This article is going to provide you with the details on how to clean and care for your leather sofa.

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What Is the Best Way to Clean a Leather Sofa?

Generally, a leather sofa or rather leather furniture requires proper care and maintenance including the method of cleaning them. With proper and regular care and maintenance, leather sofas are designed to provide long-lasting usage.

On the other hand, there are various reasons why your leather sofa will require cleaning, for instance, routine cleaning, spills, among others.

The following are some of the best ways to clean your leather sofa/chair.

  • Remove debris

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Debris, dust, soil, and other forms of dirt are a usual thing with leather chairs that occur from time to time, forcing you to clean your leather chair before the planned time for routine cleaning.

The following are the steps of cleaning your leather sofa in such a case.

  • Step 1: Vacuum to remove the large debris

This step involves using a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris from your leather sofa.

Note that most debris accumulates around the folds and creases of the sofa, therefore, focus more on these places.

  • Step 2: Clean the leather using the brush attachment

Mount the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner and then clean the leather sofa by running the brush on it.

Note that the brush bristles should be soft to prevent the brush from scratching the leather surface.

  • Step 3: Dust the leather couch

Dust the entire leather sofa using a microfiber duster. This should be done lightly to avoid scratching the surface.

Make sure that all the debris is removed from the sofa before you continue to clean the sofa as debris can easily scratch it.


  • Routine cleaning

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Unlike clothes where we clean them now and then, leather chairs can not be cleaned every time, instead, they have a routine cleaning.

During the routine cleaning, the leather couches require a thorough cleaning. You can either use a homemade or commercial cleaner for your routine cleaning.

The following are the steps for leather sofa routine cleaning, using a homemade detergent.

  • Step 1: Prepare a homemade cleaning solution

Prepare your homemade solution by mixing water and white vinegar, in equal amounts, in a bucket.

Note that distilled water is better than tap water at room temperature as tap water might contain chemicals that can damage your leather sofa.

  • Step 2: Soak the cleaning rag in the solution

The next step is to soak the cleaning rag into the solution that you just prepared. Then remove the rag and wring it thoroughly.

Make sure that the rag is not drenched, instead, it should be only damp as the excess solution can destroy the leather.

  • Step 3: Lightly scrub the leather sofa

Now start cleaning the sofa by scrubbing it lightly using the rag. Ideally, it is good to start cleaning it beginning from the top and move downwards and work in small parts.

Note that you should rinse the rag in the cleaning solution after a few moves, and always remember to wring the rag after every time you deep it in the solution.

  • Step 4: Dry the leather sofa

Dry the sofa by wiping using a clean dry rag.

Note that this should not be done after you are done cleaning the whole couch. Instead, wipe each part of the couch after proceeding to clean the next part.

  • Condition the sofa

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This is an important step after cleaning your leather sofa or any other leather furniture.

  • Step 1: Prepare a homemade conditioning solution

Put 2 cups of white vinegar in a bucket, and then add about 10 – 15 drops of tea tree oil or lemon to the vinegar. Stir the mixture lightly to create a uniform solution.

Note that you can also use a commercial conditioner for leather surfaces.

  • Step 2: Apply the conditioner to the leather sofa

Dip a small piece of clean cloth or rag into the solution, or rather dip one of the corners of the clean rag.

Then rub the conditioning solution gently on the surface of the leather surface in a circular motion.

Leave the conditioning solution to dry for about one night. Ensure that you do not soak the leather or leave it too wet as it can get damaged.

  • Step 3: Use a clean cloth to buff the leather sofa

On the following day, buff the leather surface gently in a small and circular motion, using a clean cloth to regain the shiny leather surface.

This should also be done from the top of the couch and move downwards.


How to Remove Stains from a Leather Sofa?

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Generally, stains are very disgusting on our leather couches and can force you to clean the couch before the planned time for routine cleaning.

Also, it is advisable to remove stains from the leather chairs immediately they occur to prevent them from damaging the leather or becoming permanent and very hard to remove.

The following are steps for cleaning various stains from the leather sofa.

  • Ink stains

Step 1: Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and then blot the ink stain carefully starting from the edges towards the center of the stain, to prevent the stain from spreading further.

Step 2: Make sure that you don't soak the leather. Once the ink stain is completely removed, use a damp rag to clean the surface.

Step 3: Finally, dry the surface thoroughly using a clean dry rag.

  • Grease stains

Step 1: Use a leather cleaning solution to wipe the leather surface around the stain and then thoroughly dry the surface. In case the stain is not yet out, use cornstarch or baking soda to remove it by sprinkling either all over the stain.

Step 2: Let it stand for some hours to allow the baking soda to absorb the stain.

Step 3: Brush the baking soda residue, or rather, vacuum the baking soda.

  • Liquid stains

Step 1: Once the spill is removed, use a leather cleaning solution to gently clean the area around the spill or stain.

Step 2: Squeeze the cloth and wipe the sofa fully such that no drops are visible.

Step 3: Dry the surface thoroughly using a clean dry rag.


Best Ways to Prevent Stains on Leather Couch

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Leather couches can become stained due to various reasons and sources including spills, mold and mildew, discoloration, even dirt and dust if not cleaned regularly.

There are various ways of preventing stains on leather couches based on the cause of staining. They include:

  • Prevent mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are usual things that grow in our homes, including leather couches, especially in warm and humid areas.

The growth of mold and mildew on leather couches can result in stains on the leather couch.

The following are ways of preventing this kind of stains.

  • Using an exhaust vent or fan

These devices help in circulating the air inside our homes, thereby preventing the spores that cause the growth of mold and mildew from settling on the leather couches.

  • Using wax or anti-fungicidal silicone resin

A thin coat of these substances helps in keeping mildew away from the leather couches.

  • Using a homemade protective solution.

You can create a homemade solution to prevent mold and mildew by mixing rubbing alcohol with salicylanilide in the right amounts.

  • Using Paraformaldehyde

This is a chemical used for keeping away mildew due to its anti-mildew properties.

  • Prevent normal stains

These are the regular stains from liquid spills, grease, ink, blood, and other stains. Generally, the first way of preventing this kind of stains is by being careful about what you place on the leather couches.

These stains can be prevented in the following ways.

  • Cleaning the spills immediately when they happen to prevent them from developing stains.

  • Dabbing the spills instead of rubbing.

To prevent stains from developing, you should dab the spills instead of rubbing them.

  • Using a clean cloth to blot the spill immediately after pouring on the leather couch.

  • Prevent dirt and dust

Dirt and dust are other sources of stains on a leather couch if left unattended for a long period. To prevent this kind of stains, ensure that you dust and clean your leather sofa quite often.

  • Using a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the couch after a few weeks.

  • Using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris from the couch from time to time.


Tips on How to Care for Leather Couch

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You should maintain your leather couch to prevent it get tough stains or other damages, clean and care for your couch as the following:

  • Clean regularly

Cleaning your leather couch regularly is one of the best ways of maintaining your leather couch. Make sure that you use the recommended cleaning solutions to prevent damaging the leather.

  • Condition your leather sofa often

Conditioning your leather couch is another way to care for and maintain your leather.

Leather conditioning solutions are used to restore the supple touch and shiny look of the leather.

This should be done after cleaning your leather couch or as instructed by the manufacturer. Ensure that you use the recommended conditioning solution.

  • Keep a lookout for other dangers

Apart from spills, there are many more hazards prone to leather sofa.

First, always be careful of non-color-fast clothes and other fabrics, meaning that their material does not keep their hair dye very well, and can transfer the dye to other materials.

It is quite problematic when these materials are wet or damp.

If by any chance you own any items like this, you should keep them well away from your new leather couch.

  • Take care of items that scuff your leather couch

Items like clothing studs, buckles, keys, scissors, and buttons can all cause damage that you might not anticipate.

It is your obligation and duty to always have a keen eye if you want to preserve your beautiful new sofa.

  • Position your sofa couch away from sunlight

Extreme thermal conditions may harm your couch from being soft and supple.

Many people don’t realize that extended exposure to sunlight and other thermal sources is one of the root causes of dryness and cracking.

Try at most to place your leather sofa far from windows that grant direct sunlight, or any other item producing heat including fireplaces and radiators.

This is because failure to this will not maintain the look and condition of the leather couch.

It’s quite hard to maintain the standard stated above that is light and heat complexity, though minimizing contact can prolong its lifespan.

  • Buff to preserve the natural shine

One of the most crucial things in a leather sofa is the natural shine which contains its gorgeous look from far away.

The most effective way of preserving the quality is to regularly buff the upholstery with a microfiber or soft cloth. This helps to keep the leather shining.

The best and easiest way to recall this task is by carrying it out once your sofa is dry after cleaning.



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Can I use washing up liquid to clean my leather sofa?

Washing up liquid is also used to clean leather couches by various individuals.

However, washing up liquid can cause your leather sofa to crack and wrinkle, therefore, avoid using it to clean your leather sofa.

Can I use baby wipes to clean the leather sofa?

Yes, baby wipes can be used and are quite effective in cleaning stains on the leather sofa.

However, some baby wipes consist of ingredients that can damage the leather and cause peeling and cracking after a long period of using them, therefore, avoid using them as much as possible.



In conclusion, the above article has described various information about cleaning and maintaining leather sofa/chairs. Now all that is left is for you to follow them and have your leather sofa for a long lifespan.