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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Keeping Your Leather Sofa Clean

Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Quality Leather Furniture

Leather upholstery is beautiful and with care and maintenance can last a lifetime. Depending on the type of leather, the most obvious items to think about in order to keep it in tip-top shape. Make sure the leather upholstery is out of direct sunlight and carry out a careful and regular cleaning process. There are many features to consider before you dive into a deep clean of your leather furniture. Though quite beautiful and earthy, leather requires a lot more work to maintain than that of synthetic materials. In addition to the upkeep on your leather furniture, leather, in general, is very easily damaged if treated incorrectly when using improper cleaning methods.

Before you get out the cleaning supplies for your leather furniture determine what type of leather your furniture is made with. This will determine the proper technique, products, and tools for the cleaning process. This information is found on the inside of your furniture, written on a specific tag. If you can't find a tag indicating the manufacturing material details, contact the retailer or manufacturer of your furniture or high-quality leather retailer, who will assist you in discerning the leather type.

The best leather furniture requires the best leather cleaning techniques. Most of the leather used today is made with a top-coat protective layer, which will deter moisture and water damage. Before cleaning, make sure that you know whether your furniture is water resistant or not. Leather which is all-natural and made without a protective coat will be ruined simply by cleaning with water. Consider enlisting the services of a professional leather cleaning service near you if this is the case.

Tools You Will Need

There are no real specialist tools, cleaning products, cleaning agents, or leather conditioners required for cleaning. To begin with, you will need a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum will need a soft bristle brush attachment and adequate suction. For the disinfection of the material, use a mild liquid facial soap or a mild body soap. Dove is a common solution for your soap disinfectant, as well as Neutrogena facial soap.

These soaps ensure the leather will not become dried out in the air post-cleaning. Do not use tap water on your fine leather furniture. Tap water can contain chlorine and other trace contaminations which will affect the aesthetic quality and feel of the leather material. Instead, use distilled water which will leave no residue at all. Perhaps your furniture came with a leather protector or conditioner. If not, these are found in the majority of furniture stores which sell high-quality leather furniture. Finally, grab two clean buckets and four to five clean cloths.

Cleaning Your Leather Sofa

The first order of business of leather sofa cleaning is to clean the leather surface of dust, crumbs, and other contaminants using a vacuum. The soft bristle brush should keep the leather from being scratched, however, if the vacuum's suction is too strong, use a hand vacuum or find a way to decrease the power. Vacuum every surface of the sofa including the backside of pillows, beneath the seat cushions, and top surfaces of the backrest and arm rests. Leather is easily scratched, so go slowly and gently.

Using the suds from mixing the liquid soap and distilled water, test a small out-of-sight piece of the leather to be sure all your work will not ruin your leather. Put a few drops of soap into a quart of distilled water and mix them thoroughly so suds form up. Before putting a damp non-abrasive cloth to the leather fabric always wring it out. Start by working the soapy formula into one piece of the sofa and then wiping it away with a clean soap-free wet rag. Use your third dry rag to dry the area of water and then buff to a sheen with the fourth rag.

Removing Stains in Leather

There are several methods for removing stains from your fine leather furniture. Be sure to follow the previously stated steps concerning the furniture’s leather type and cleaning instructions. The following instructions are given under the assumption your leather has a commonly used protective moisture coating.

●      Ink Stains

Use Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to rub a cotton swab over the ink stain. Set your blow-dryer to low and dry the area using a waving hand motion.

●      Dark Stains (food, blood, coffee, etc.)

Using cream of tartar and lemon juice mix both ingredients together in equal measures until a smooth paste is formed. Rub the paste into the area on your sofa with a stain. After it has set for 10 minutes, wipe away with a soap rag as described above. Next, proceed to clean the area with a damp water rag dry with a dry rag, and then buff with a soft cloth.

●      Grease Stains

Grease stains are simple. Nothing fancy, just wipe away the grease and let dry. No not use water. No need for soap.

●      Newspaper Print Stains

Sometimes, when leaving a newspaper on a leather sofa, the ink can bleed onto the leather due to the heat released by the material. Grab an aerosol can of hairspray and a soft cloth. Spray the stained spot with hair spray and wipe it away with a cloth. It’s as easy as that!

Leather Sofa Disinfection

The techniques listed above are great for general maintenance and upkeep. They will keep your furniture looking cared for and feeling great. However, sometimes you need more than a good looking sofa, it needs to be clean. Houses with children or if a member of your house has been sick can be worn with germs. However, it is possible to disinfect your leather sofa in addition to general cleaning.

First, moisten a soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Use the rag to wipe down the area that has been infected, as well as tight corners and under, on top, and inside everything on your sofa. After wiping down the leather with rubbing alcohol, use a leather cleaner or conditioner to remove the residue from the rubbing alcohol.

A great homemade leather cleaning mixture is simply one part white vinegar and two parts boiled linseed oil. It is also possible to add essential oils to this mixture in order to improve the scent and aroma of the area. Use a rag to wipe this mixture onto the leather, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Afterward, wipe away the excess with a damp cloth.

If you ever have doubts or questions about the proper cleaning methods for your leather furniture, consult a professional leather furniture expert for guidance. 

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