If you are reading this article, chances are that you might be searching for a new leather sofa or you have bought leather furniture recently for your home. In both cases, it is a time to be excited because you are investing in something that will last a lifetime! As a matter of fact, it will even look better and gain more character as the years go by. Look forward to an elegant piece of furniture with the care and attention it deserves to achieve its timeless look.
Leather is usually thought of as high maintenance. In reality, it is a durable and low-maintenance material for home furnishings. Leather upholstery is also different from regular fabric or polyester upholstery, especially when it comes to cleaning and care methods. With the right approach, you can keep your leather furniture in great condition without the need for expensive cleaning services. On the other hand, improper leather care will result in wear and tear, stains, and ruined upholstery.
Since different types of leather call for different cleaning requirements, you must know what type of leather you have on your upholstered furniture. With this in mind, the following is a guide on how to take care of your leather couch, chair, or ottoman to last as long as possible.
What are the Types of Leather Upholstery?
1. Unprotected Leather
Some of its other names include aniline leather, naked leather, unfinished leather, or crust. Unprotected leather has no surface pigment, but it is dyed with aniline to have a little protective coating other than a dirt-resistant treatment. This makes the leather look raw and natural with a soft, luxurious feel. Patina can also be seen through natural surface grains and markings. This type of leather is typically more expensive but is more sensitive to staining. Other types of aniline leather are pull-up leather (injected with oils and waxes) and nubuck leather (distressed to create a soft velvet feel).
2. Protected Leather
Most leather furniture is made with protected or finished leather that has a coating over the surface, keeping it clean and tidy looking. These leathers can be labeled as semi-aniline, aniline plus pigment, or pigmented leather. Compared to pure aniline leather, it is more durable, stain-resistant, and uniform-looking.
Meanwhile, semi-aniline leather is aniline-dyed with a layer of pigment color. It combines the soft feel of pure aniline leather but with a little bit more durability because of the protective pigment coating. Other types of protected leather are coated with thicker layers of pigment and polymer, which gives it a stiffer feel and resistance to wear and tear.
How to Take Care of Your Leather Couch?
1. Clean Regularly
Take care of your leather furniture at least once or twice a week. Start your weekly cleaning routine by removing dust and dirt on your leather sofa with a vacuum cleaner. Make sure to avoid scratching your furniture by using the soft brush attachment. After you get into the nooks and crannies with the vacuum, wipe the sofa with a dry microfiber cloth to brush off the remaining particles that might have settled on the surface.
Avoid having mismatched upholstery by gently wiping every part of your sofa, as treating leather can cause a slight alteration in its color. Use a clean cloth dipped in water and mild detergent or commercial leather cleaner. It is also advisable to use distilled water since the chlorine in tap water can damage the leather finish over time. Do not soak your sofa in water as well.
At least once every month, you must use a specialized cleaning product to treat your sofa’s upholstery. Using all-purpose wipes and sprays is not advisable, as they can contain chemicals that can damage your sofa. Use a soft cleaner that is proven and tested on leather instead. Lastly, leave your sofa to dry naturally, and do not sit on it while it is still damp.
2. Blot the Spills
Spills are unavoidable if you have children around your house and lot. Leather is sensitive to spills, especially if it is liquids. They should be removed as soon as possible to keep them from soaking and forming a hard-to-remove stain.
For minor spots and spills, use a dry absorbent cloth or sponge to clean it immediately. Do not wipe to avoid moisture from spreading out. If needed, use a slightly damp cloth with clean lukewarm water and let it air dry. If water is used, clean the entire area where the spot is located.
To remove permanent ink stains, dip a cotton swab in Isopropyl alcohol and gently rub it over the stain. Apply a leather cleaner and conditioner after removing the spot.
For butter, oil, or grease stains, blot up as much as you can from the surface of the leather with a clean dry cloth. Try sprinkling talcum, baking soda, or cornstarch on the area and let it sit for a while. Brush it off and repeat the process a few times.
With regards to difficult stains, it is recommended to consult with a leather cleaning professional on how to take care of your leather couch better to avoid any potential damage.
3. Condition Your Upholstery
Regular use of your leather furniture can diminish its natural properties. Leather contains oils that need to be replenished in order to keep the upholstery soft and free of cracks. It is recommended to use a specialized leather conditioner on your sofa every 6 to 12 months.
Don’t forget to check your furniture manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions first before applying any product. If you notice cracks or rips on your leather sofa, get professional help from a sofa repair company. It is also best to engage with professional cleaning services when needed.
4. Buff and Plump
One of the best things about having a brand-new leather sofa is its natural shine. Buffing is a way to reduce the appearance of scratches and scuffs on your leather sofa. Preserve its quality by buffing the upholstery with a microfiber or soft cloth. Remember to do this once your sofa is dried after cleaning.
Furthermore, plumping your sofa cushions every day will maintain its shape and provide maximum support. This simple task will also keep unnatural creases from forming in the leather. If your sofa has feathers inside, plumping is essential, since it does not have the ability to bounce back like the way foam does. Do not forget to give your cushions or throw a quick shake too.
Things to Avoid when it comes to leather care
Protect your furniture from being exposed to direct sunlight to keep your long-lasting furniture pieces look good for a long time. Leather and any upholstery material can crack and discolor when exposed to the sun. Move your leather sofa at least two feet away from excessive heat sources.
As much as possible, keep your pets away from leather. It is prone to irreparable damage from scratching and chewing. In line with this, you should also be careful of sharp objects, such as scissors, knives, watch straps, or belt buckles.
When moving into your newly owned Bria house and lot, choosing new furniture and materials can be difficult. Leather is considered an excellent choice with regard to durability, ease of cleaning, and aesthetics. Now that you know how to take care of your leather couch, you can keep your leather pieces looking their best and you can make your next leather purchases with confidence!
Written by Gianne D. Inumerable