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Caring for Leather Furniture: Your Ultimate Guide to Best Care Practices

We love hearing stories from happy customers, telling us how they’ve finally found the perfect leather sofa, recliner, or sectional for their home. 
One thing we’ve found, though, is some customers can get a bit confused once they have their furniture delivered. 
They’ve done all kinds of research ahead of time, looking intently through online resources to find the best pieces for the best price. But once they get their furniture home, they’re not sure what steps to take next. 
If you love your new leather furniture as much as we think you do, we know you’ll want to do all you can to protect it. 
This is why we wanted to create the ultimate how-to guide for caring for your leather furniture. With the recommendations provided, we’re sure your leather pieces will look amazing many years from now. 

Part I – How to Prepare for Your Leather Purchase 

The very first thing to do when it comes to caring for your furniture is to prepare your home for your new pieces. This preparation begins before you even make your purchase. 

Measure and Protect

For example, make sure you double check your measurements to ensure your room, doorways, and/or hallways are large enough for your furniture. There’s nothing worse than the let down you feel when you order a couch which doesn’t fit.
The next step is to determine how you’re going to protect your floors. If you have carpeted flooring, this isn’t a big deal. But if you have hardwood floors, you’ll want to get some coasters to put under the legs of your new couch or chair. 

Set Your Expectations

Finally, you’ll want to get an idea of what to expect once your furniture arrives. We’ve had a number of customers contact us because their furniture doesn’t look 100% like the photo on the website. 
For instance, the cushions may look bigger than expected. It’s totally normal for them to start out extra-fluffy. They’ll settle over time after you used them for a while. 
Another concern people often have is their leather changes over time. They worry they’ve ruined the leather. Actually, leather colors will change due to exposure to the sun. This is natural, as are leather stretch marks, healed scars, and color variations which usually develop with use.
Remember: Leather hide is a natural product. No two pieces are exactly alike, and it’s likely to go through some changes over time. This is one of the things which makes leather furniture so unique and such a great addition to your home. 

Part II – Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of Leather Furniture 

Finally – your leather furniture arrives. What now? 
After you get your living area situated just right, you’ll want to make sure to stick to a schedule of regular cleaning and maintenance. 
Don’t worry – it isn’t as involved as you might think. In fact, caring for leather is actually fairly easy.

Start with Regular Cushion Rotations

When you get your gorgeous new piece of leather furniture, you’ll notice the cushions are likely evenly plump. As you sit on them, the material in the cushions will eventually flatten a bit. 
If you end up sitting in one spot all the time, one cushion will get flatter than the others. Therefore, it’s best to rotate the cushions approximately once a week for the first month. This should provide you with a nice, even result. 
After this, you’ll want to rotate them once or twice a year and fluff the cushions whenever they’re looking a little flat. Avoid adding a filler to your cushions, though, as this will make them look and feel lumpy. 

Regular Cleaning Should Happen Once a Month

Cleaning should occur on a monthly basis. Simply wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth if you have an aniline plus leather or protected leather. If you have a pure aniline or natural leather you will just use a dry colorfast cloth.  There’s no need to use soaps or saddle soaps, and you’ll definitely want to stay away from products with ammonia. 
Of course, you’ll want to clean up any spills, crumbs, or visibly soiled areas with a damp rag as soon as possible.

Condition Your Leather at Least Twice per Year or As Needed

Every six months or as needed, we recommend you condition your leather. Doing so will keep the leather supple and able to withstand regular use. Pure aniline leathers are more likely going to need to be conditioned as they are more porous than an aniline plus leather or leather with protection on the surface. 
There are plenty of leather conditioners on the market. And according to Bob Vila, you can even make your own homemade conditioner
Whether you decide to go for store-bought or homemade, make sure to test the conditioner out on an inconspicuous spot. This will ensure if the product does cause some damage it’s only to a small test area, as opposed to the entire piece. 

Part III – How to Avoid Damaging Your Leather

Let’s look at some ways you can avoid damage. 
  • Avoid using or wearing sharp objects while sitting on the leather. This includes pens, jewelry, etc. 
  • Avoid or reduce the time spent in direct sunlight.
  • Avoid/reduce time spent near a heat source (it dries out the leather).
  • Don’t sit on the arms of your chair or couch. 
  • Don’t sit on the back pillows, as it can cause zipper damage. 
What should you do if your piece sustains damage? You can patch scratches with a leather repair kit. However, if the damage is extensive, you may have to talk to a professional about repairs or reupholstering.  

For Best Results, Choose the Highest Quality Piece(s) You Can Afford

Of course, none of the tips provided here are going to do much good if you don’t first invest in quality furniture.
This isn’t to say you have to spend a ton of money. It’s completely possible to buy good quality furniture at affordable prices. 
Unfortunately, some people think they’re getting a good deal and end up with a leather piece which falls apart because it wasn’t made with quality materials or craftsmanship. 
At Wellington’s Fine Leather Furniture, you can be sure you’ll get some of the best leather furniture available in the U.S. We take pride in what we can offer to our customers. And this is why we want to do all we can to ensure the pieces you purchase from us will last you a long time. 
Follow the tips above and we’re sure your sofa, loveseat, sectional, or recliner will remain in excellent condition no matter how long you have it.
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