Leather is a popular upholstery material because of its luxurious look and feel, as well as its durability and cleanability. Taking care of the leather on your furniture with a few basic steps will protect your furniture and keep it looking great for many years.
The first step to proper leather furniture care is understanding the type of leather upholstery you have chosen. There are different types of leathers and leather finishes. Each variation requires different a type of care. In this post, we will discuss how to care for protected leather. This does not include natural leather (with no surface finish), waxed leather, suede or nubuck.
Most of the leather furniture we sell falls under the protected leather category. If you’re not sure if your leather is protected, or if you know that you have purchased natural, waxed, or suede furniture, please contact us with questions!
How to Care for Protected Leather
For our purposes, protected leather is simply any leather that has a coating on the surface. These instructions will apply to most protected leathers. (It is always a good idea to ask about the best care practices for the specific leather you have chosen, since each leather is unique.)
Dust your Leather Furniture Regularly
Dusting is a great way to keep your furniture clean and looking great. Use a vacuum with an appropriate hand attachment or a dry, soft cloth to dust your leather furniture on a regular basis.
Use a Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Using cleaning and conditioning products formulated specifically for leather will help maintain your leather. These products help prevent surface cracking caused by dryness and allow you to clean your leather safely. We suggest focusing most heavily on armrests, headrests and high use areas of the furniture when cleaning and conditioning.
Always test a new care product in a small, inconspicuous area of your furniture before applying it to the entire piece of furniture.
A frequent question we receive is “How often do I apply a cleaner and conditioner?”. The answer varies depending on factors like the amount of use the furniture receives, the climate and the type of leather. Generally, we recommend cleaning and conditioning leather 1-4 times per year. Be sure to check the instructions provided on the care product you choose for your leather.
Cleaning and Care Products for Leather
One of our favorite leather care products is Hide Bracer, which is an all-in-one solution. Hide Bracer cleans and conditions in one step. It is easily applied with a clean white cotton towel and has a consistency similar to hand lotion.
There are also products available that split the cleaning and conditioning into two steps. The Stressless Leather Care Kit comes with bottles of cleaner and protector. If you’re looking for hassle-free 2-step cleaning, we recommend the Stressless Leather Care Wipe Kit, which includes disposable single-use cleaning and protecting wipes.
Dealing with Difficult Stains
Occasionally, you may encounter a difficult stain on your leather furniture. This is a stain that is not removed using a standard leather cleaning product like the ones discussed above.
When normal cleaning it not enough, a product like Ink-Away Ink & Stain Remover can sometimes be the answer. This handy cleaner comes in a stick form and is great for stains such as ink, lipstick and heel scuffs, and can be used for other difficult stains as well. To use the product, you rub the stick onto the leather and the stain transfers. We’ve successfully used this to remove pen marks from leather ourselves. It takes a little bit of time and patience, but it does usually work.
If you still have not had success after applying Ink-Away, consider contacting a professional cleaner specializing in leather or a leather repair specialist.
Leather is a Natural Product
Leather is a natural product, and can have natural occurring marks and irregularities; these are most commonly found on high quality leathers because these leathers are less processed. Leather can also change in appearance over time. Oils from our skin and moisture from the environment can be absorbed by the leather, and tend to darken the surface appearance. Some leathers change in appearance more than others and this too is natural, you should enjoy the changes in your leather furniture as it ages!
These are the basics when it comes to leather furniture care. A few simple steps will help ensure your leather furniture looks great for many years to come. If you have purchased furniture from The Century House and have specific concerns or questions, please contact us. We’re here to help!
View all of our furniture care products.