How to Clean a Leather Sofa – 5 Simple Steps

How to Clean a Leather Sofa - 5 Simple Steps 1

Your leather sofa is like a precious jewel that should be cared for and cherished until the very end of its lifespan. Of course, your sofa will eventually have to handle quite a bit of wear and tear. However, cleaning your sofa is the most effective way of maintaining its quality over time, and will end up saving you more money in the long term as well. So let’s look at the tips and tricks on cleaning your valuable leather sofa.



1. Get your equipment

You will need the following items:

  • A vacuum cleaner (optional)
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swab
  • Leather conditioner

For maximum effectiveness, you will need all of these materials, especially the leather conditioner.


2. Clean any initial dirt

Using the vacuum cleaner, remove any dirt that could potentially be rubbed into your sofa with the cleaning solution that will later be used.

Try to use the brush setting on the vacuum to avoid any scratches, or you can use a dry microfiber cloth, which will also do the trick.


3. Make the cleaning solution

To make the solution, there are two ways. Firstly, you can use a normal bar soap found in your bathroom to clean any stains. You can also mix in some mild, pH-balanced soap (such as Dove) with some water to create a soapy solution. Use this to then clean your leather sofa thoroughly. Remember, for the soap, the gentler it is, the better. So try not to use any harsh chemicals, or this can damage your sofa instead of improving it.

The second solution is a simple mix of 50% water and 50% white vinegar. This creates a gentle, yet effective stain remover for most materials, as well as leather. This is handy if your soaps are too harsh or if you want an efficient method of cleaning your couch.


4. Clean the sofa!

Once the cleaning solution has been made, it is now time to get your hands dirty and give the old sofa a thorough wipe-down. Dip the soft cloth in the solution and wring it out. The cloth should be damp, not soaked. Test it on part of your sofa and let it dry out a bit. See if it is suitable for your sofa and if there is no discoloration. If there is, you may need to alter your cleaning solution.

Once you have tested it, use the solution to clean every bit of your sofa. Use your keen eyes to scrutinize your couch and make sure that every part of it has been perfectly scrubbed. If there are stubborn patches, such as pen ink, then use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to scour the stain effectively. Check all corners, and, working from top to bottom, check all surfaces as well.

Once you have cleaned your sofa fully, get a new, clean, dry cloth and wipe down the sofa so that it is not wet. This prevents mildew and mold from forming on your couch, so don’t skip this step! Preferably, leave the sofa overnight to dry before moving onto the next step.


5. Use leather conditioner

To re-moisturize your sofa and get it to look pristine, take a clean cloth and put some leather conditioner or cream on it. Use this cloth to then apply this to all of your sofa’s surfaces. Usually, this should be done approximately every 6-12 months, but make sure to check the care label on your couch’s upholstery to get optimum results.

If you don’t know where to look for leather conditioners, we will link two great, quality ones down below.

The first is the Leather Honey Conditioner, perfect for protecting and restoring upholstery using non-toxic substances and leaving no oily residue. It is also water-repellant, meaning that it prevents mold from forming on your sofa, keeping it in top working condition. Use the link below to purchase it.

The second is the TriNova Leather Cleaner, which removes dirt and grime using a pH-balanced formula for gentle treatment of your leather sofa. Similar to the previous conditioner, it is also residue-free, making cleaning your sofa stress-free.


Extra tips

We have talked about how to clean your leather sofa the right way. But what about maintaining it? Well, here at Sofa Savant, we care about your sofas as much as you do, so we are including some bonus tips on how to effectively maintain your leather sofa so that it lasts as long as possible.

  • Clean stains right away – If you have had the misfortune of spilling any food or drink on your sofa, then you need to quickly remove the stains before they have time to set. Rubbing alcohol is great for lifting ink stains, and baking powder is fantastic for removing grease marks.
  • Place your furniture tactically – If your sofa is right next to the AC unit, or next to a lit fireplace, the leather will dry out at a more rapid pace. Sunlight has the same effect, so avoid placing your couch next to the window if possible.
  • Keep pets at bay – One of the main causes of damage with leather sofas is the fact that your cats may use them as a place to scratch themselves, to the detriment of your couch. So make sure that you train your pets to not damage the furniture, or simply implement a mechanism that doesn’t allow them to jump around on your precious upholstery.
  • Moisturize your leather regularly – This has been mentioned previously, but it is a very important tip, as the leather creams and conditioners are extremely helpful for preventing your lather from drying out, and helps to smooth any scratches present. However, make sure to test the product out first, especially for colored sofas, as the product has a very high chance of darkening the material when applied.
  • Go to a professional – If you have any problems with your sofa, such as cuts or tears, now is not the time to show off your DIY skills, as this could damage the leather! So make sure to check it up with a professional first.

Thank you for reading this article. Check out this article on Leather vs Fabric sofas: Leather vs Fabric sofas.

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