How to Clean Leather Furniture

Beautiful, elegant leather furniture can decorate and add solidity to any interior. It perfectly complements the office, living room, and leather chairs perfectly dilute the interior of the kitchen. Cleaning leather furniture is a must if you decide to buy such furniture. In order not to damage the structure of the material during cleaning, it is worth knowing the basic rules of work with leather, choose the right tools, as well as take into account possible factors of damage.

Rules for working with leather

Sofas and chairs made of leather not only have an attractive appearance, but have a lot of other advantages. They are durable, hard-wearing, unaffected by moisture. Pleasant aroma of leather gently fills the room where the product is installed. Modern manufacturers use special impregnations in the workshops, not allowing the furniture to fail quickly. Depending on the raw material from which the furniture is made, it will matter the selection of cleaning products and the choice of cleaning techniques for products.

Referring to the instructions that come with the furniture, you can learn about the composition of the material, as well as the type of impregnation, located on the surface. This information will help in the future not to spoil the coating and perform cleaning correctly at home. Before you perform the cleaning of the surface, it is important to know the rules of working with leather. They also include the specific conditions of the models, daily care of the furniture. If you perform a daily light cleaning, it will take less time for the general treatment:

  1. When cleaning furniture at home, you should not rub the surface of sofas and armchairs heavily every day. Such care is excessive and will lead to scuffing of the covering, which will cause unsightly light stains on the surface;
  2. Careful cleaning of seams. The joints and seams of the material often form deep crevices. In them visibly settles dust and accumulates dirt. It is best to vacuum these areas once a week with a narrow slot nozzle;
  3. Wiping. It is advisable to wipe the surface of the skin with a soft, damp cloth. After that, it is advisable to wipe the surface dry;
  4. Using special products, folk methods. There are developed for the care of leather products cleaning compositions – they are of several kinds and are designed for different stages of processing. In addition, it is recommended to use orange peel to mask scuffs. This should be done only after information about the real leather on the furniture has been obtained.

Clean synthetic materials, such as leatherette, should be cleaned with other products. They are more gentle than compositions for leather.

Materials and tools needed

The first thing to do before you start cleaning is to find out what material is to be worked with. Study the label and find out if the manufacturer allows cleaning procedures, what recommendations he makes in this regard.

Some types of leather cannot be cleaned with water. It is worth contacting professionals to work with such furniture.

If when buying furniture, the manufacturer offers to buy special cleaning products designed specifically for this furniture – it is better to choose them, because the manufacturer knows exactly what is necessary for the products. To work on cleaning sofas and armchairs made of leather, you will need the following tools:

  • Vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft brush head;
  • A quality liquid soap with a mild composition;
  • Purified water (distilled water can be used);
  • Several containers of water – to rinse the rags;
  • Four scraps of soft cloth, such as viscose;
  • Leather conditioner or other types of products used for this furniture: rinses, shampoos, polishes or balms.

In addition to the tools and materials listed above, special components may be needed. For example, if you need to clean the sofa from mold stains – you need alcohol; if the surface is stuck to chewing gum – you need ice in bags. Note: to remove grease stains from leather, you do not need to use water. They are removed with a simple dry napkin.


How to properly clean

The method of cleaning furniture will be different if it is upholstered with leather of different colors. For example, to clean white furniture, it is recommended to replace ordinary water with milk – this natural component will not allow the leather to darken and will gently and gently clean the upholstery.

The entire procedure for cleaning leather furniture consists of several stages:

  • Preparation;
  • The cleaning process;
  • Post-treatment.

Let’s consider each phase separately, highlighting the main nuances of the work.


Before proceeding to the main phase of cleaning leather sofas, chairs and armchairs, their preparation. Professional craftsmen use specialized tools and materials for this purpose. For cleaning with your own hands at home you will need a vacuum cleaner. He will help to remove the top layer of dirt to access the surface and treat it with compositions. Stages of work:

  1. Fix the narrow slot nozzle on the device and turn it on;
  2. Vacuum the entire surface of the furniture where there are seams and joints. Try to reach the hardest to reach corners. If necessary, recline your sofa or recline an armchair;
  3. Cleaning leather furniture implies preliminary preparation of the entire plane of sofas. Take the second type of nozzle vacuum cleaner – the one that is similar to the main brush, but has a small size. On its surface, there are soft fluffs, which do not damage the coating. Using this nozzle, clean the entire plane of sofas and chairs: seats, backs, sides;
  4. After the furniture is prepared for further treatment, you need to decide: will be made routine cleaning or cleaning is dedicated to the removal of different types of stains. For standard cleaning will require materials and tools listed above, for specialized – other compositions.

At the output after cleaning with a vacuum cleaner should get a clean surface, without impurities of dust and dirt.

Cleaning process

For normal cleaning, you should use the following method: mix a few drops of liquid soap with 0.5 liters of water until foam forms in a container. Cleaning begins with an inconspicuous area, where it is necessary to try the resulting product. The rag is dipped in the solution with soap, wipe the furniture. Then take the second rag, dipped in a container with clean water, remove the remnants of soap. After that, take a dry clean rag and completely removed traces of dirt, soap and water.

Before cleaning leather furniture at home from other types of dirt use the same preparation. Methods of cleaning will be applied with other means. 

Home remedies for stain cleaning:

  • Traces of felt-tip pens can be removed with hairspray. On the soiled surface you need to spray hairspray, then wipe the remains with a dry rag – there will be no trace of felt-tip pens.
  • Ink stains can be removed with isopropyl alcohol. Moisten a cotton pad with alcohol, gently wipe the damaged piece of furniture.
  • Starch or talcum powder will get rid of grease stains. Sprinkle the white substance on the furniture surface where the stain is located for 4 hours. After the time has elapsed, wipe off the residue with a dry cloth.
  • Traces of blood can be washed off with ordinary soap and water. If the stain is long dry, use cool water and soap. If you have a fresh blood stain, use plain water.
  • Remove pigmented paint stains with purified gasoline. It is recommended to use the product carefully – first test its action on an inconspicuous area. Do not rub the skin strongly, it’s better to gently blot the area with paint.

After performing a complete cleaning of leather furniture, you need to proceed to its polishing and other methods of post-treatment – this procedure gives sofas and chairs shine and creates a protective layer.


After the work of home cleaning of leather furniture is over, it is necessary to proceed to the post-treatment of the material. It involves polishing the surface, making it shiny, soft. You can do this with an ordinary rag, as well as using a variety of products for leather.

To carry out the procedure yourself, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the steps step by step:

  1. A dry cloth should be wiped the entire perimeter of the leather sofa or chair. It is best to start with the seats where the person spends the most time. It is necessary to polish the leather carefully, but it is not necessary to apply a lot of force – there may be scuffs;
  2. Acquired care product is applied to a soft cloth and gently rub it into the structure of the surface. It is important to make sure that the composition does not leave traces on the surface of the furniture, otherwise stains will be visible.

Choosing a polishing composition, pay attention to the conditioners for leather. They have not only protective properties, but also give a beautiful appearance and provide the material with breathability. Particular attention should be paid to the places of seams and joints, where the manufacturers have made tucked material. It is best to read the instructions before using the purchased product.

Side effects and defects

A new leather sofa over time can fall into disrepair if its surface is quickly torn. To avoid further deterioration of the surface, it is imperative to patch the hole before cleaning the furniture. For such a case, it is worth contacting a salon or repair shop.

Below are a few recommendations for taking care of furniture that has defects on the surface:

  1. Never use baby wet wipes to remove stains of various kinds. The use of such means will lead to damage to the coating, but do not despair – it can be restored. To do this, special paint for leather is sold in stores. It is diluted according to the instructions and gently masks the defect;
  2. If after every cleaning you find that the skin has lost its elasticity, you can fix it with a folk remedy: 1 part vinegar, add 2 parts linseed oil. The resulting mixture should be rubbed into the skin in a circular motion, and then polish with a dry rag.

If even after cleaning at home the furniture has lost its attractiveness, this is a reason to turn to professional dry-cleaning. It is better to do it twice a year. Masters use special impregnations that do not allow the leather to crack and dry. It retains its external characteristics for a long time.

During the use of upholstered leather furniture, do not allow its frequent contact with animals and tufted plaids, blankets. Such textiles clog the pores of the structure of the leather, creates particles of debris on the seams, as a result – they are difficult to remove from the surface. Weekly wet cleaning will facilitate the general cleaning of leather furniture.