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5 Tips to Clean Your Leather Sofa Without Breaking a Sweat

Real leather sofas and armchairs are a popular choice in living rooms all around the world, and for good reason too. Genuine leather has a range of advantages, including a luxurious and soft look and feel that simply can’t be replicated with other materials. Leather is also hard-wearing and tough and often looks better with age (unlike many other upholstery materials). However, while leather is a natural material and therefore much more resistant to stains and dirt than some other materials, it will still require cleaning in a specific way. Below you can find 5 top tips on how to clean a leather sofa.

Vacuum with a soft brush 

Before you start any cleaning with cloths or cleaning products, you need to make sure the leather sofa is free from dust, dirt, and debris. The most effective way to do this is with the soft brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Removing these particles before you apply pressure for cleaning will ensure that they do not cause any damage to the leather surface by scratching and that they are not pressed into the fine grain of the leather during the cleaning process.

Blot with a damp cloth

For small marks, or stains, or for excess dust removal (that has not been removed by vacuuming) use a damp cloth, but not a wet one. Wring out the cloth thoroughly before use and ensure that there is no excess water that could potentially cause damage to the sofa by saturating the leather. Try and avoid scrubbing or any kind of aggressive rubbing as this too can cause damage to the leather surface. Gently blot any spots that are on the surface of the leather and be patient as they may take a little time to come away. If the stain or spot is really stubborn, then you can use a damp cloth with some soap to help remove the stain. Alternate with a clean dry cloth to remove any excess moisture or product for more effective cleaning.

Use specialist leather cleaning products

Any larger or deeper stains on the leather may require some more specialist cleaning products to remove. Always remember to only use products that have been specially designed for use on genuine leather, as some other household products can strip away the top surface that contains the natural and protective oils and this will cause lasting damage - usually taking the form of the leather drying out and cracking over time.

Carry out a test of any products you use

It’s always a good idea to test out any new leather couch cleaner on a small patch in a less visible area before diving in and applying a coat all over the surface. That way any damage that is caused will be minimized to a small and non-visible area. And always remember to read and follow any instructions on the products themselves and on the manufacturer’s label on the sofa. This is a top tip on how to clean a leather sofa while minimizing the risk of any damage.

Condition the leather regularly

When thinking about how to clean a leather sofa, like so many things in life, prevention is always better than cure. One way to ensure that your leather sofa always stays in tip-top condition and is able to withstand staining is by giving it a regular conditioning treatment. There are various types of leather conditioners on the market. For the best results, use a wax-based conditioner which will restore the natural protection of the outer layer, making it more resistant to staining and looking better all around.

Apply conditioner after a thorough clean and when you are sure the leather is dry and free from debris and dust. Again, use a suitable dry cloth and gentle circular motions to avoid scratching the leather surface. There are a number of reasons why a leather sofa might peel but failing to properly condition it is one of them that can be easily avoided. Once or twice a year should be enough to keep your sofa protected and looking its best. Don’t overdo it with the conditioning as this will have a little positive benefit.

If you follow the above tips closely, then you should be able to make your leather sofa both look and feel better for longer. Just by taking an hour or two every six months or even once a year to treat your sofa with the right conditioner, and deal with stains quickly and efficiently, you can help to prevent damage and ensure the leather surface is protected. And knowing what to do and when should a spill happens, can help you to clean any stains without causing further damage to the sofa.

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