An overview of common issues with the cleaning of leather sofas and how to overcome them
You opt for leather sofas to give an elegant look to your house. Moreover, leather sofas are durable and easy to maintain.
Types of Leather:-
Leather is of many types based on their quality. The two major divisions are
- Protected leather– Protected leather is of two types semi-aniline and pigmented. It comes with a protective pigment coating and is more resistant to stains and wear and tear.
- Unprotected leather:- Also called as aniline leather brings a soft and luxurious feel. It has a dirt-resistant treatment done but no protective coating is present.
Once you are clear about your type of leather, you can confidently proceed with the leather care instructions.
The three basic steps for cleaning leather sofa are :
- Vacuum clean to remove dust particles:-
The first and foremost step for any kind of cleaning is to make it dust free.
You can clean your leather sofa at home firstly with a vacuum cleaner having a soft brush attached to it.
Ensure all crevices and corners are cleaned properly to get the best result, as a residue of any kind of dust may get rubbed further into the sofa when you wipe it with a solution.
Again if you don’t do regular dusting, the abrasive nature of dust particles may damage your sofa when it comes in contact with moisture.
- Wipe with a clean soft cloth or use a leather cleaning solution:-
The best and a widely used homemade leather cleaning solution is a solution made by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar.
Another common homemade leather cleaning solution is using a moisturising soap like dove with water to form lather on the sofa.
A third option is using saddle soap but it is proved that saddle soap may tend to dissolve leather with repeated use.
Finally, you can go for any kind of commercial leather cleaning solution diluted with water.The technique is to ensure using a soft cloth (preferably a microfiber one). Keep the cloth a little moist and wipe the entire sofa with it. Do keep rinsing the cloth in between if needed. It is generally a good practice to wipe the sofa from top to bottom and testing the effect of the solution once in an inconspicuous part of the sofa, before applying it to the entire sofa.
Dry the sofa with a clean towel. Don’t use a blow dryer as it may dehydrate the leather
- Apply leather conditioner:-
Yes you can make the leather conditioner at home too.You can use normal coconut oil.
This can also be done by mixing white vinegar with linseed oil or flaxseed oil in the ratio of 1:2.
Using this mixture apply the conditioner on the sofa with a soft cloth in circular motions. Leave this mixture on the sofa overnight to get best results.
Finally the next day buff the sofa with a clean cloth to revive its shine.
However, sometimes you face some tough challenges for cleaning too. In that case, you should approach leather sofa care professionals.
Stains – the dark spot spoiling the beauty of your leather upholstery
Your beautiful leather sofa may fall victim to stains caused by spills, pen marks by your little one or any other kinds of marks left due to carelessness. If your sofa is ruined by these stubborn marks you can try some of the following leather sofa cleaning ways.
- Grease stains should be blotted immediately with cloth but not washed as fluid may cause the grease to soak in. However, if it has already dried you can use baking soda in that area to get rid of the grease.
- Ink stains can be removed by dabbing rubbing alcohol on the affected area with a cotton swab.
- Water stains can be removed by immediately blotting it. However, if the stain has dried, you can use a damp cloth to wipe outwards from the mark of the water stain. Reduce the moisture of the cloth as you keep moving outward.
- Scratches can be treated with baby oil or olive oil. Apply the oil with a cotton swab on the scratch and let it sit for 5 minutes. Later buff away the excess oil gently with a clean cloth
- For any other kind of tough stains, you can make a paste using lemon juice and cream of tartar equally and apply it on the stain. Leave it there for 10 mins and then wipe with a clean cloth.
- Of course, the best option would be to contact expert leather sofa care professionals for help.
So the key formula is to blot and not wipe stains, use leather stain removers and treat the affected area with leather preservatives.
Always remember to try treating a small hidden area of your leather sofa, with any kind of cleaning solution to the above problem before applying it on the entire sofa, This helps you to understand the after effects of using the leather sofa cleaning liquid and prevents any serious visible damage.
- No exposure to extreme temperatures:- Exposing your sofa directly to the air-conditioner, fireplace or sunlight is harmful. This will take away the moisture of the leather and cause cracks.
- Keep it away from scratch-causing conditions:- If you have pets, train them not to scratch the leather. Be careful while using any sharp objects that may cause a scratch or tear on the sofa.
- Moisturise it to keep the supple feel:- Use best leather sofa cleaning products to keep your leather sofa supple and comfortable.
- Keep it in cool dry place:- Don’t keep the leather sofa in any humid place. As it may result in the development of mildew that can deteriorate the quality of leather.
- Let it breathe:- Never cover your sofa in plastics which may cut out total air supply to it. If you need to transfer your sofa or pack it up for some reason, always use some breathable material for it.
- For severe damages call the professional:- Don’t risk fixing big tears yourself as you may end up causing more harm. It is advisable to seek the help of certified professionals with best cost-effective care options.
I hope the above information will be helpful for you. Do suggest if any other ideas worked for you in the comments.