How to clean a leather lounge or sofa without stress

A leather lounge or couch is a comfortable and luxurious addition to any home. But for all the grandparents out there, leather is especially valuable because you can at least wipe it down after the grandkids have visited. To ensure the suite is kept sweet, we consulted cleaning experts Cleanipedia, which provided this handy guide to the most commonly asked questions on cleaning a leather couch. Here’s what you should do and what you shouldn’t.

How do you get rid of loose dirt?
Use a vacuum to suck up all those crumbs, dirt and more – checking first that there is nothing valuable under or behind the cushions. This will prevent dirt being rubbed into the sofa when cleaning. Use the brush attachment to make sure you dust the surface too.

What materials should you use?
Be sure to use a soft cloth, such as one made from microfibre.

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What household products can be used to clean leather?
There are a couple of items you can use to create a homemade cleaner, such as:

  • a drop or two of washing-up liquid in warm water for light dirt
  • a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar for more stubborn marks
  • rubbing alcohol is good for treating set-in stains
  • ice inside a sandwich bag is a great way to loosen and remove sticky gum, candle wax or slime
  • mix one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil to make a homemade conditioner.

Whatever products you choose, be sure to test them on an inconspicuous part of the sofa first. This will allow you to check for any adverse reactions.

Will baking soda damage leather?
No. In fact, baking soda is great as part of the cleaning routine. It works as a deodoriser – perfect for getting rid of smells if you have pets rambling around the house. Simply sprinkle it over the surface, let it soak up the odours for 24 hours (or overnight if you prefer) before vacuuming it up.

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Is there anything you shouldn’t do when cleaning your leather sofa?

Yes. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Never use a blow dryer to dry your leather sofa as it will dehydrate the leather.
  • Never use a product without first testing it on an inconspicuous spot to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
  • Never use abrasive products as they could damage the surface of your sofa.
  • Never saturate the cloth you clean with. Too much water will damage the leather.
  • Never leave stains to set. This could lead to discolouration and spots on the leather, so always blot up spills as soon as they happen.

So in a nutshell, this is Cleanpedia’s step-by-step guide:

  • dip your microfibre cloth into your chosen cleaning solution. Ensure it’s damp, not soaking
  • wipe the surface of your sofa with the cloth
  • clean from the top of the sofa to the bottom
  • use a clean towel to dry the sofa
  • leave to air dry overnight
  • condition the surface of the sofa
  • leave your conditioner overnight
  • buff the sofa the following day using a clean rag to restore its shine.

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How can you stop the leather becoming discoloured?
Avoid exposing it to sunlight. Sunlight can dry and age the leather, resulting in it becoming discoloured but possibly even cracked.

Do you have any other tips for cleaning a leather couch? Why not share your suggestions in the comments section below?

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