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Wellington's Fine Leather Furniture

How to Ruin a Leather Sofa

Overexposure to UV rays

Oil saturation

Permanent marker

Using improper cleaners to name a few.

There is nothing more beautiful than the timeless elegance a genuine leather sofa brings to a home.  Leather furniture when cared for properly will last generations. 

Taking Care of Leather Furniture

Leather furniture really requires very little maintenance.  In fact, much less than a fabric sofa.  But mistakes can ruin a leather sofa fast.  Genuine leather is hardy and sturdy and that is why it is used for the soles of shoes, horse saddles and car seats.

Proper care of your leather furniture will keep it looking good, keep it soft and supple for decades if you don’t make cleaning mistakes.

Sun and Your New Leather Sofa

Always avoid direct UV rays from hitting your new leather furniture. Especially if you have a pure aniline sofa.  Pure aniline leathers will fade the fastest.  A finished or semi-aniline leather will resist fading longer but any leather sofa overtime will see the effects of the sun.  Once this starts you will notice the color fading lighter and the leather drying out.  This is hard to reverse after it has been going on for months.  Be diligent if your furniture is sitting near a window and keep the window covered.

Oil Saturation on Your Leather Furniture

Nothing will cause a leather chair to crack faster.  Oil is responsible for color change and hairline cracks that you see on leather furniture.  This comes from oil saturation that goes down to the suede then comes back to the surface causing hairline cracks.  It takes a lot of time for this to occur but once it starts it cannot be reversed. 

The Number One Thing That Causes Leather to Fail Is Improper Treatment

Never use household cleaners.  Wood polish may seem like a good thing to add a patina to your leather furniture but don’t.  The chemicals in furniture polish can break down a cell structure of the hide and cause significant damage to your leather sofa.

Only use cleaning products or conditioners that are endorsed by the leather tanneries.  If you fail to do this, you might void your warranty with the furniture brand. 

Understand leather before you shop.  Discuss your needs with your salesperson, so they only show you leathers that fit your lifestyle.  The Definitive Guide to Buying Leather Furniture is a must read before you buy.

Do not buy wipes or cleansers from big box stores. This is what will happen.  The photos that we show above is where our real customer wiped the seat cushions to try and remove something and it completely removed the color of her sofa.  You can even see drip marks on the back pillows where the wipe dripped and removed the color.  This sofa was only six months old and there is nothing that can be done.  You do not want to use products that are not endorsed by the tanneries.  Always remember to try anything you plan to use on your leather on an underlying area first to test the results and always clean up any spills immediately.

Different Leather Types

Different leather types have different ways to clean:

Always dust your leather when you dust your other furniture.  This does not matter which type of leather you have.

Once you spill something on your leather, first get a colorfast towel and blot the area.  Now, here is where the differences come in.

A finished or protected leather you can clean using mild soap and water.

A pure aniline leather, no!  Blot up the spill.  If you use water, it could cause a water ring.  To avoid this, you can also use a blow dryer to dry the leather on low heat.

Either of these leathers can be cleaned with approved cleaners and conditioners without worry.  It is always a good idea to have these on hand rather than panicking after the fact.

Remember you can do the most damage to your leather furniture by not being prepared.


Real leather furniture is a perfect addition to any home.  When cared for properly it will grace your home for decades.  A good leather sofa is soft and supple and gorgeous! 

Wellington's Fine Leather Furniture has been educating folks for 40 years on how to maintain their new leather furniture.  Let our experts help you choose and educate you on how to buy the perfect leather sofa that meets you and your families needs.

After all, leather furniture is an investment that will be around for decades if you want to make the right decision.


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