Leather upholstery makes a beautiful and sophisticated statement about your home. Simple maintenance will allow the natural surfaces to shine for years. To keep it looking its best, practice both regular care and give immediate attention when an accident occurs.
Every six months or so, your leather furniture should be cleaned with a mixture of water and mild facial soap (such as Dove or Neutrogena.) Simply wash and rinse thoroughly with a soft cloth, paying attention to arm rests and head rests where body oils tend to discolor surfaces. Finish by buffing with a clean white cloth to restore luster.
Periodically, you can revive your furniture with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil. Use a clean white cloth to apply the mixture in a circular motion. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then, again, buff with clean cloth. You may need to buff the surfaces twice before sitting on it.
It is inevitable; perhaps a dog, a glass of red wine, a ball point pen, or a foreign substance will require n emergency stain response. Remove large debris with a vacuum. Using the vacuum’s hand tool, remove any residue from the sofa. Focus around the creases and folds of the couch. Use the brush attachment; the bristles are soft and less likely to scratch the surface of the leather.
Remove stains such as ink by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rubbing over the spot. Dry the area with a blow dryer, applying a thick coat of non-gel, non-oily cuticle remover. Leave on overnight, and then wipe off with a damp cloth.
Remove dark stains from light colored leather upholstery by mixing a paste of one part lemon juice with one part cream of tartar. Rub the paste on the stain and leave in place for about 10 minutes. Apply another layer of the past, work it in, and then remove with a damp sponge.
To remove grease stains left from food or hair products, try sprinkling baking soda or corn starch on the stain. Sometimes drinks like coffee, tea, and wine spill on furniture, it is best to remove the liquid immediately. Once the spill is dry, clean the surface with a leather cleaning solution. Remember to completely dry the surface with a dry rag when you are finished cleaning.
Protecting Your Investment
- Using leather protectant (available at most furniture stores) will help keep your leather upholstery looking its best,
- Never use any kind of oils (such as mink oil), furniture polish, or any kind of product containing waxes or silicone. This includes many car care products. These may damage the leather and leave it feeling sticky. Be careful when prying wood polishes near leather surfaces.
- To keep you furniture pieces from drying out, avoid placing pieces in direct sunlight and keep at least two feet away from any heat source like fireplaces or heat vents.
- Never use baby wipes or any other alkaline cleaner on your leather upholstery as it could damage the finish.
- If your upholstery is seriously soiled, you may consider hiring a professional cleaner that specializes in leather goods.
Professional companies can repair more serious scuffs, tears, and rips. Contact a certified leather restorer to serve you at your home or at the plant. Chet’s Cleaning serves metro Detroit and provides free consultations.