How to Clean Leather Upholstery

pet odor and stains

Tips on How to Clean Leather Upholstery

Leather is a surprisingly durable upholstery material. It is elegant and beautiful. The supple feel and rich color invite luxury into the décor of a room. It does require cleaning and triage from time to time. The painstaking maintenance of other refinement does not escape leather upholstery.
Maintaining it can be a challenge. Improper cleaning techniques can easily damage leather. Professional cleaning is high on the list of maintenance options. Some home remedies can be used on leather sofas, chaises, and chairs, especially when spills occur.

Before You Start

Before attempting to clean leather upholstery, it is essential to know the type of leather covering the furniture. Tags are typically attached to furniture that provide the information. Tags offer cleaning tips for particular kinds of leather.
The literature that comes with the furniture when it is purchased also give the information. If those sources do not tell what kind of leather was used when the furniture was made, contact the manufacturer or furniture retailer.

Retailers sometimes supply leather care products when customers purchase furniture. Those products are more appropriate than any homemade cleaning solution. The method suggested here is usually safe to use on today’s leather with a protective top coat. Before using any method of cleaning, test a small inconspicuous area.

Cleaning Process

The materials needed are found in most households. They include:
•A vacuum with a brush attachment
•Four clean microfiber or cotton cloths
•Mild liquid body or facial soap such as Neutrogena or Dove
•Distilled water
•Water-based leather protector or conditioner

benefits of professional cleaning

Distilled water is recommended because tap water may contain contaminants such as chlorine that can damage leather surfaces. Thoroughly vacuum the piece of furniture. Use a soft brush attachment because leather scratches easily. If the vacuum suction is too strong, a smaller hand-held vacuum that has less power will prevent marks being left on the leather.
Work in sections of the furniture instead of the whole piece at one time. Mix a quart of distilled water with enough drops of liquid soap to form suds. Dip a cloth in the soapy water. Wring it out thoroughly. Wipe a section with the damp cloth.


Dip a second cloth in distilled water with no soap, also wringing it out thoroughly. Wipe the soap residue from the surface. Use a third cloth, to completely dry the section. Continue until all parts are finished. The fourth cloth is used to buff the surface to restore luster.

Stain Removal

Ink stains can be removed by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rubbing over an ink stain. Use the lowest setting of a blow dryer to dry the spot. A paste of equal parts lemon and cream of tartar can be rubbed on dark stains.
Allow the paste to set for ten minutes. Use a damp cloth and moisturizing soap to remove the paste. Buff the leather dry with a soft cloth to dry. Remove grease stains with a dry cloth only. Do not put water on grease stains. Ink from newsprint can stain leather. Lightly spray a newsprint stain with hairspray from an aerosol can and wipe with a soft cloth.

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