How to maintain your leather furniture

It is a great feeling bringing home that gorgeous leather couch or sinfully cozy La-Z-Boy. Leather is a wonderful material and that piece of furniture is going to last for years and years. Before you get too comfortable though, make sure you clue yourself up on how to maintain leather furniture properly. That way, your leather pieces will last even longer, forever looking great.

Basic maintenance

Regularly wipe the leather down with a clean, dry cloth. This will remove dust from the leather and keep it looking its best. Over time, it will also occur that dust collects in crevices and under cushions. Vacuum this dust and debris by using your vacuum's hose attachment.

Beware of cleaning products

Many detergents or cleaning aids that are harmless to your other furniture are deadly to leather. For example, oil soap will stain and darken leather. Soap or detergent will remove the leather’s natural oils so eventually becomes dry and brittle. Even the mildest soap just might remove the colour on the leather along with the stain.

Rely on dry towels or sponges as much as possible to clean your leather, and if you must use something more, make sure it is specially designed for leather furniture.

What about spills?

As much as we try avoiding it, accidents do happen. Whether it was your best friend spilling her glass of pinot while telling you about her latest Tinder mishap, or a two-year-old terror that probably shouldn’t be trusted with liquids, ever, it can be agonising watching something spill on your upholstery. It will probably happen in slow motion. Thankfully, stains are generally less of a worry with leather, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be savvy.

Blot spills quickly using clean, dry paper towels. If the spill is grease or oil-based, use talcum powder or baking powder to absorb the spill. You might want to invest in leather-furniture cleaners for times like this.

Avoid soaking in water

Unlike fabric upholstery, leather should not be cleaned by soaking in soap or water. This can damage the leather even more than the initial stain you were trying to remove.

Avoid direct sunlight

It’s not only vampires that don’t like being in direct sunlight. Do not put your leather furniture in areas where it will receive a lot of harsh, direct sunlight. Aim for a more shaded spot. Also, avoid extreme temperatures that can cause leather to dry and crack. In other words, don't place leather next to air conditioners or radiators.

Buff small scratches

Leather is made from animal hide, and therefore it can occasionally dry out and develop small cracks. What’s more, scratches are a normal part of general wear and tear. These marks can be coaxed into healing themselves if you buff them gently with a microfiber cloth until their appearance fades.

Apply a leather conditioner

Finally, use a leather conditioner every so often. Leather conditioners have a creamy consistency and are designed to be buffed into the leather top keep it from drying out and developing cracks. Application guidelines will vary from product to product, so be sure to read the guidelines carefully, but in general you should condition your leather furniture once every 6 to 12 months.