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How to Clean Leather Furniture
|Leather furniture is durable, luxurious and expensive, so you'll want to make sure it stays in pristine condition for as long as possible. Proper cleaning and stain removal methods are imperative to keep your leather furniture looking new for years to come.
Before you begin
Before you start cleaning your leather furniture, it's important to know the type of leather. Some leather isn't tolerant of water and requires special leather cleaner or the help of professionals. This information is usually found on your furniture tags or any written instructions you received with the purchase. If not, contact the retailer for more information. Most leather furniture is made from top-coat protected leather, which can be cleaned with water and mild soap.
What you'll need:
- Vacuum with soft brush attachment
- Distilled water
- Mild liquid soap
- Several clean, soft cloth rags
- Water-based leather protector/conditioner
Cleaning the furniture
- Vacuum the furniture to remove loose dirt and dust. Use the soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the leather, and keep it on a low setting to prevent dents.
- Put a few drops of soap into a quart of water, and mix until sudsy. Dip a rag into the water and wring it out.
- Test the cloth on a small area of the furniture that is normally out of view to ensure it doesn't harm the leather's surface.
- Wipe the surface gently, one section at a time.
- Dip another rag into plain water, and wipe off the soap mixture.
- Dry each damp section of the furniture with a third dry cloth.
- Use a fourth cloth to gently buff the furniture and increase shine.
- Apply leather conditioner to the furniture, following instructions on the bottle.
There are a variety of DIY methods to treat stains on your leather furniture. Always test the method on a small, hidden area of the piece, and make sure the solutions are permitted for use on the type of leather you have.
- Dark stains (mud, food, blood): Create a paste that's one part cream of tartar and one part lemon juice. Rub the paste into the stain and allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the paste with a soap and distilled water soaked cloth, wipe dry, and buff.
- Water stains: Wipe up water immediately with a soft cloth. If a stain forms from spilled water that's dried on the furniture, you will have to blend the stain with the surrounding area. Dampen a cloth with plain, distilled water and wipe outward from the center of the stain. Be gentle, and use a dry cloth to blend the water into the outer edges of the stain.
- Grease stains: Wipe up as much of the grease as possible, and shake a layer of cornstarch onto the surface of the stain. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and vacuum the particles using your soft brush attachment.
- Nourish the leather. Restore your leather's shine by mixing two parts linseed oil with one part white vinegar and shaking the mixture thoroughly. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and gently wipe the surface of your leather furniture in a circular motion. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes and then buff with a dry cloth.
- Avoid abrasive chemicals. Harsh cleaning products such as ammonia-based cleaners, varnish, and bleach should be avoided on or near your leather furniture because they can cause damage or discolouration. You should also never use baby wipes, other alkaline products, oils, or anything containing wax or silicone.
- Vacuum your furniture regularly. Vacuum frequently to remove dust particles and other debris. This helps your leather breathe and eliminates dirt and other film that can cause unsightly stains.
- When in doubt, call the professionals. If you have an especially difficult stain or a question about the type of leather furniture you have and the proper way to clean it, don't hesitate to call a professional leather cleaner. He or she can help you determine the best way to remove any stain for the type of leather furniture you own while avoiding further damage.