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How to Clean & Care for Leather Furniture

Purchasing leather furniture can be a wise investment – it’s durable, elegant and can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. However, it’s important to learn how to care for leather furniture before you purchase your first piece.

There are conflicting opinions when it comes to caring for leather furnishings. Some people believe mink oil or saddle soap effectively cleans leather. Others are under the mistaken impression that the same products used to clean the leather interior of a car can be used on your sofa or chair.

According to the experts at FurnitureFind.com, oil-based cleaners are not effective care products for leather furniture. They have a tendency to stretch the leather, which can cause a variety of problems including discoloration and damage to the stitching.

Leather FurnitureDon’t be alarmed if you notice your leather furniture changing colors naturally, however – all leather furniture develops a “patina” with age, even with regular cleaning and care. This will not damage the furniture.

However, to avoid unnatural discoloration and damage, it’s recommended to forego oil-based cleaners altogether and use a water-based formula to care for leather furniture.

Dust leather furniture once a month to keep the leather in excellent condition. It’s simple and easy to do – grab a soft cloth and lightly dampen with warm water. Gently rub the furniture, paying particular attention to any areas that are frequently used.

Using a high quality leather conditioner approximately every two to three months will also ensure your leather furniture remains in excellent condition.

If you are unsure about which leather conditioner to use, the gurus at FurnitureFind.com recommend Lexol or Leatherique, both of which are known for their high quality leather conditioners and cleaners.

Both of these leather conditioners are designed to work on almost every type of leather, but perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the furniture beforehand to ensure it will work effectively.

Stains can be a tricky problem to deal with when caring for leather furniture, but most stains will respond to some warm water or a dry cloth.

When a water-based spill or stain occurs, blot the soiled area with warm water. DO NOT RUB! Once the stain has been cleaned, allow the furniture to air dry. If warm water doesn’t do the trick, a high quality leather cleaner may solve the problem.

The tricky part happens if ink stains your leather furniture – these stains can be very difficult to take care of on your own. Several types of ink will dye leather furniture. If a stain like this occurs, call a leather cleaning professional.

Butter and grease stains can be removed by simply blotting with a dry cloth. Don’t use water on a grease stain – it will make the stain worse.

If the stain remains visible after a day or so, you can use a leather conditioner to rub out the stain. If that doesn’t work, contact a leather cleaner to discuss a professional cleaning.

By utilizing these tips, you can learn how to care for leather furniture to get the most out of your investment. With proper care and maintenance, your leather furniture can last a lifetime.