How to Clean Leather Furniture (Without Ruining It)

leather-furniture-cleaningUsing household products, cheap supermarket cleaners and ‘old wives’ remedies are very short sighted when it comes to cleaning and caring for leather and can become very costly in the long run as problems they generally cause will be expensive to correct.

You need to use a good quality water-based foam leather cleaner. With light coloured leather, dye transfer from clothing can be a problem although using a good quality leather protector will help inhibit this. For dye transfer and ingrained dirt you may need a much stronger cleaner like Strong Cleaner or Maxi Cleaner – these should be used with caution.

DO NOT use anything containing oils, waxes or silicones. (Most ‘conditioners’ contain waxes or oils) and furniture polish, like Pledge, contains silicones that will eventually destroy the finish on the leather. Most car cleaners also contain oils or waxes so should not be used as they leave residues on the surface of the leather that will attract more dirt and eventually leads to cracking.

Baby Wipes are the worst thing you can use. They will destroy the finish on your leather. This has been verified and proven to be the case. Wipes are a very strong product and this is why they break down the finish. Leather is not like skin and should not be treated in the same way.

Saddle soap should never be used on upholstery, leather, or garments. It is meant for saddles, which are very different from today’s finished leathers.

A lot of leather wipes contain chemicals, which will also destroy the finish or leave residues on the leather. They are not cheap in the long run because you would need a lot to get your leather furniture clean. A bottle will clean your car 3-4 times but might not be enough to clean your entire sofa.

Fairy liquid contains more salt these days to get dishes clean and this will break the finish down on your leather. This has been verified by the manufacturers – just as the Baby Wipes have.

Magic Erasers should not be used unless you are going to renew the finish on your leather. When tested these have sanded away the top finish on the leather.

Lux flakes used to be a good thing to use but now contain ingredients that will damage the finish on the leather and cause it to peel off like a skin (we have seen these happen hundreds of times with customers who have been ill advised by shops).

You should always follow a cleaning with a good water based leather protector. This will act like a ‘Scotchguard’ and inhibit dirt and stains from being absorbed. This will make cleaning easier in the future. Conditioners are totally unnecessary and only a product pushed by manufacturers.

It is important to maintain a regular cleaning regime. Cleaning dirt off the surface regularly and inhibiting the absorption of body oils into the leather with a protector is the best way of doing this. The only ‘moisturizer’ leather really needs is water.

Using incorrect care products is usually the cause of deterioration in leather furniture. If you’re unsure how to best clean and care for your leather, call us today. We’ll give you a free quote, thoroughly clean your leather, and give you instructions on how to keep it in great shape for years to come.

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