How to Clean Your Leather Furniture

Brown leather couch with wrinkles and white pillow

One of the advantages of leather furniture is that it generally holds up better and with less upkeep than furniture made of other fabrics. However, it is important to know the specifics for cleaning leather furniture, especially when you find a stain or a scratch. Take a look at our guide to find out the best way to clean a leather couch, from general principles to conditioning.

General Principles

Before getting into specifics, let’s go over some general principles of cleaning leather furniture. Acting fast is critical when you see spills, scratches, scuffs, tears, or stains, as we’ll get into later, and there are important steps for how to clean leather furniture. But first, remember you want to preserve the natural shine of the leather.

For example, you should not put leather furniture in a location with direct sun exposure as this can age the leather faster and result in discoloration or early cracking. You should also do your best to prevent sharp objects (like pet’s claws) coming into contact with the furniture.

When it comes to cleaning leather furniture, we recommend you treat leather like you would your skin, with gentle products to keep it moisturized. Your biannual leather conditioning is an important part of this, but it’s still a general principle that’s critical beyond that specific application.

Regular Upkeep

Brown leather couch half in the sun, half in shadow

Routine cleaning for your leather furniture is similar to any other upholstered piece. If your kids are enjoying a snack on the couch, make sure you don’t let the food residue stay on the surface after snack time ends. We recommend using a microfiber cloth to get rid of crumbs or dirt. This type of cloth is gentle enough to be used over the entire surface.

Biannual Conditioning

When you’re learning how to clean leather furniture, you’ll have to get some cleaning supplies. The most important one is called a leather conditioner. This product should be used about every six months. This conditioner can be gently applied to the surface of the couch and massaged in like moisturizer for your skin. Leather conditioners should be treated on dry surfaces only, so make sure the leather is dry. This will condition the leather, not only protecting it from stains, but it will make it easier to remove any stains that do come in the future.

Addressing Obvious Stains or Scratches

Calico cat in a blanket on a leather couch

Ideally, the above descriptions are all you’ll ever need for cleaning your leather furniture, but realistically, you’re likely going to see some scuffs, stains, or scratches over time.

You should blot stains as soon as you see them, then sprinkle flour, cornstarch, or talcum powder over the area. These powders will draw the oil out of the stain if you let it sit for a few hours — ideally overnight. At that point, the powder should look saturated with the oil or liquid from the stain. Then you can wipe it with your microfiber cloth.

Stubborn stains may need to be washed out with your leather conditioner. Whenever you rinse with a damp cloth, you should buff with a dry cloth. There are also degreasing products you can look into for cleaning leather furniture.

Get Quality Leather Furniture

While it’s good to know how to clean leather furniture, it’s best when you start with quality furniture pieces. Here at Caravana Furniture, our Italian leather sofas combine premium quality with gorgeous style.

You know the best way to clean a leather couch: now you can get the best one around. Check out our selection of modern home furniture to indulge your good taste. We also have options for you to craft a custom sofa with us. Your leather couch will look beautiful with our quality and your cleaning.

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