5 Tips to Help You Clean Your Leather Couch

How to Clean a Leather Couch

Leather furniture is beautiful and elegant. It is also a costly investment, so you want to do your best to maintain its look for as long as possible. Cleaning leather can be challenging since it cracks easily, and it may stain if you clean it incorrectly. Knowing how to clean a leather couch will help you avoid these issues, while keeping your furniture in perfect condition.

No matter how careful you are, the chances are, your couch will get dirty eventually. Accidental spills, pets, and children could result in marks and stains on your beautiful leather. While some messes may be easy to wipe off, others may become worn-in, especially if the spill is the same color as the couch. Here are the best ways to clean a leather couch.

For General Cleaning

Before putting any liquids or cleaning agents on your couch, vacuum the dust off. Then, make a cleaning solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Using a soft cloth, dip it in the solution and squeeze it out so it is damp, and wipe the spots where the stains and dirt are showing.

Once you have wiped the spills and messes, you can proceed to wipe down the rest of the couch. Make sure your cloth is not too wet and that your couch dries away from sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can cause the leather to crack.

This method is great if someone spilled soda or water on your couch. It is also an easy method that uses household substances, so you do not have to buy any special chemicals or polish.

For Ink and Grease Stains

If you have children, you might have issues with ink stains on your couches as they explore their artistic skills. It is important to remove ink stains as soon as possible to avoid them soaking into the leather.

You can remove ink stains by applying rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and then dabbing at the stain. Wipe the alcohol off with a soft dry cloth to avoid staining the leather.

Grease stains are a lot easier to remove. Just apply baking soda and leave it to sit until the oil seems to be drawn out. Follow this up by wiping with a damp cloth, and then wipe the whole couch with the same damp cloth. This will ensure that the grease comes out without losing the color of the leather dye, and it is also a low effort method. It requires no special chemicals and no scrubbing.

For Scratches

Unfortunately, scratches happen. You can go through every effort to keep sharp objects, pets, and children away from your leather couch, but you may still find scratches.

While many people will tell you to re-upholster, minor scratches that do not penetrate through to the liner can be buffed out. You will need a mild cleaning solution, such as one made with equal parts vinegar and water, a mild oil, such as baby oil, and a soft cloth.

First, use the cleaning solution and a soft cloth to clean the scratch. This removes any dirt and particles that could further scratch the leather. Then, using a cotton ball, apply the oil and rub in circular motions.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping away the excess oil with a soft cloth. You do not need to remove the excess oil with a cleaning solution, as oil aids in conditioning the leather.

How to Clean Unprotected Leather

While many people imagine the smooth, shiny leather of most couches, you might be looking at unprotected leather. You can identify unprotected leather by its soft, luxurious texture. Unprotected leather may have a waterproof barrier, but there is little else in the way of protecting the leather from stains and messes. It is important to clean this leather regularly rather than waiting for a mess to happen.

To clean this kind of leather, vacuum it using the brush attachment and dust it with a clean, dry cloth. If the leather appears particularly dirty, you can clean it with a cloth dampened in distilled water or an approved, high-quality leather cleaner. It is important that the leather cleaner is specific to unprotected leather to avoid any damage caused by the chemicals contained in the cleaner.

How to Remove Dark Stains on Light Leather

Many people keep away from light leather for fear of being able to see stains more easily. As a result, most people own dark leather, and most leather cleaning methods apply to dark leather.

However, light leather can be beautiful and could even be more practical, especially if you do not have pets or children. However, no matter what precautions you take, you may still end up with stains on your leather.

Light leather can hide water or light-colored soda stains, but if you spill red wine or dark substances on your light leather, the stain will be obvious. Removing a dark stain from light leather requires a slightly different approach than those mentioned above.

You should mix equal parts lemon and cream of tartar, and apply it to the stain. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before removing it with a damp cloth. Then, dry it with a clean cloth. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process until you are satisfied.

More Tips

Rather than waiting for stains to happen, you should clean your leather couch weekly. Vacuum the couch and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Vacuuming first is very important, as it can remove crumbs and dust that may scratch the leather when you apply pressure with a cloth.

Keep your couch away from sunlight, as sunlight ages the leather and this means cracks and discoloration may occur. This is especially important if the couch is wet or was just cleaned, as water can magnify the sun’s harmful effects.

Similarly, keep the couch away from air conditioning and heating vents, as this will cause damage to the leather. Make sure to deal with spills and messes immediately, so they cannot soak into the liner or spread. Also, make sure to blot stains that are wet so that they do not spread.

For bigger or more difficult stains, hire a professional so that you do not cause damage to your leather. It is also important to treat the leather with conditioning oil regularly to maintain the protective layer.

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