How to Clean Leather Furniture

Leather is heralded as the most luxurious and durable of furniture textiles. It is harder to stain than cloth upholstery since many spills can be mopped up quickly with a damp cloth. It doesn’t harbor allergens or dust mites, so it’s perfect for people with allergies. It also doesn’t tend to retain those smells that would otherwise permeate through. However, it can be a bit tricky to clean. Leather is both durable and delicate, something you need to take into account when cleaning. It cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals, and it surely cannot be ignored. Cleaning leather furniture requires care and patience. When treated with care, it will hold up faithfully for many years.

When cleaning leather furniture, the first step is to vacuum it with a soft brush attachment. This will pick up crumbs and dust, and keep them from grinding into the grain of the leather. Leather is porous, easily taking in small pieces of sand and other dusts.

Next, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. This will be your “soap.” Dip a soft cloth in the solution, and wring it out until it is damp. Using the soft cloth, wipe the leather, starting at the top and working down. Dry the leather with a cloth. Do not use a blow dryer, since the heat could damage the leather. Also, do not just set it in the sun to dry. Sunlight is leather’s enemy.

To condition your leather furniture, use a mixture of white vinegar and linseed oil or flax oil. In a pinch, olive oil works well also. Rub it on gently but thoroughly, and leave it on.

To maintain a happy leather piece of furniture, there are some precautions you can take. Whenever something spills, wipe it up immediately with a dry cloth. To remedy those tiny cracks time inflicts on the leather, buff with a microfiber cloth. When not in use, the leather furniture should be covered with a lightweight cloth, to protect it from dust and sunlight.

If you give your leather furniture proper care, it will be beautiful and classy for many years.


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