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Caring for Leather Furniture

Leather Furniture

Keeping Your Leather Sofa Looking New

Have you been thinking about buying a leather sofa, or do you have one that you love like an old friend?  If you're concerned about maintaining the beauty of this classic piece, worry not.  This material is quite forgiving, and is not high maintenance.  With a little care you can preserve its beauty for years to come.  

1.  General Light Cleaning
To start off, what kind of leather do you have?  The type of leather will determine how you should clean it.  You can usually find this information on your sofa's tag or the manufacturer's website.  Some basic distinctions are semi-aniline and pigmented leather vs alanine leather.  Semi-alinine leather is made with a dye that is slightly pigmented and it's coated with a light protective layer.  This extra layer gives semi-aniline leather a uniform color and enhances its durability which means it can be easier to clean.  Alinine leather is treated with transparent dyes which allow the natural color of the leather to show through.  It doesn't have a protective topcoat, so it is highly absorbent and stains easily.

Cleaning Semi-Alinine and pigmented leather: 

For spots, take a clean white microfiber cloth and dampen it in distilled water, then dab the spot. Let it air dry. If the stain doesn’t go away, mix 1 part mild non-detergent soap and 8 parts lukewarm water together. Dip the clean white microfiber cloth in it and dab the spot. Blot it dry with another cloth. 

For oil-based stains, dab the stain with a dry white microfiber cloth. Do not use water as this can dry out the leather’s natural oils. If needed, sprinkle baking soda on top of the spot, let it sit for a few hours then wipe it off. 

For ink stains, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and lightly dab the stain. Once the stain is gone, take a damp cloth and dab it on the same spot. Then dry it with a dry cloth. 

For tougher stains like wine, take a dry cloth and soak up the liquid. Then take a leather cleaning solution (preferably one recommended by the manufacturer) and gently dab the spot with a clean cloth. Caution: If you're testing out a new cleaning product use it on an inconspicuous area of your furniture first to see if any damage occurs as a result.  

For small scuff marks and scratches, simply rub your finger over the blemishes. The natural oils in the leather will take care of the rest. If this doesn’t work, use a clean cloth and leather oil or conditioner to buff the scuffs. 

If your leather has large or deep cuts and scrapes, we recommend working with a professional to properly repair the leather. 

Cleaning Alinine Leather

For spills, take a clean, white, microfiber cloth and absorb the spill. If it does not disappear, check the owner’s guide to see what they recommend. 

2. Long Term Care 

Leather is a natural material that can be affected quite a bit by it's environment.  Low humidity can cause it to dry out, become brittle and crack.  Direct sunlight and heat can cause fading, cracking and flaking.  Place your leather furniture strategically away from large windows and heat registers to help protect it from potentially damaging elements.  To maintain the soft suppleness of your leather, it should be conditioned once or twice a year.  Check with the manufacturer for their recommended product.  If conditioning your leather furniture is something you would rather not do, schedule an appointment with Doctor Clean.  We'd be happy to take it off your to do list.