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some useful tips to maintain leather furniture

Jennabutala's picture

1. Like other furniture, upholstered or wood, try to place your leather furniture in locations where it will not be exposed to excessive sunlight that causes the color to fade. Use shades, blinds or draperies to help block UV rays. Window tinting often helps.

2. Maintain a safe distance between your leather furniture and heat sources in your home.

3. Keep sharp objects away from the leather furniture. Pens, pencils, pets with sharp claws can create scratches.

4. Newspapers or magazines printers' inks can leach into the leather if kept in contact for a long time.

Cleaning (Finished Leather):

1. Place a small amount of a gentle, moisturizing soap such as Dove on a damp cloth and bring it to a light lather.

2. Rub the damp cloth on the leather without putting too much water on the leather.

3. Wipe away lather with a fresh damp cloth. Don't rinse the leather in water.

4. Polish leather with a dry towel.

5. Treat leather with a leather conditioner after it has dried completely.

Cleaning (Unfinished Leather):

1. Use a damp cloth or sponge to rub saddle soap into the leather; work soap into a light lather.

2. Wipe away lather and allow to air dry.

3. Oil leather with a leather preservative such as mink.

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bendjamin's picture

Hi When you buy leather furniture for your home or office you expect it to be durable. With the proper care and handling your leather furniture can and will meet those expectations. Here are some tips for cleaning and caring for your leather furniture. Maintenance: Do dust your leather with a soft dry cotton cloth on a regular basis. Dust and oils from human skin can wear down the leather over time. Don’t use an abrasive brush or a microfiber cloth. Also, keep your leather furniture from being exposed to the sun, which can cause discoloration. Use Distilled Water Only: Do remove or minimize a stain by blotting with distilled water. Blot at the stain until the towel or rag comes back dry. Then let the stain sit for 24 hours before re-evaluating it. Don’t soak your leather in tap water or cleaner, as this could create a worse stain than the original. Please don’t use a rubbing motion! Gently blot as much of the stain away as possible. 

lovetodec's picture

Where do you buy a leather conditioner from?

mzimmermann's picture

Oh, one extra tip - for finishing and other leather products, I find that either small local stores, or the Tandy Leather Factory (all over North America) are the best places to look. Tandy's offerings are mainly for craftsmen, but their employees and managers are very knowledgeable (your mileage may vary - I've got no affiliation with them). 

mzimmermann's picture

I work with unfinished leather a lot, and would like to add that it's fairly rare to see completely untreated (just tanned) leather on furniture. If, however, you do happen to come across any, be very careful, as it can stain quite easily and permanently until waxed or oiled. Any stain (on purpose) should be applied as evenly as possible, and sealed with a commercial product or oil, or beeswax.

The colours can bleed for a bit after, but as it weathers, the leather absorbs and will become soft and comfortable - one of the great things about it.

Untreated leather will also discolour when it comes into contact with any ferrous metal - unpainted iron, etc. will cause a chemical reaction that will create a permanent stain on tanned leather that hasn't been oiled.

SuzanneNlace's picture

We use the same stuff that you use for leather car interiors - seems to work very well

DECOR8R's picture

Leather conditioners are not always recommended, so check with the manufacturer. If you apply a conditioner to Natuzzi leather, for example, it will void your warranty.

It's a better idea to simply run a damp (not wet) cloth over your leather when you do your usual cleaning to keep dust out of the pores and introduce a little moisture.

A mild soap will clean most things off a protected leather and a damp white cloth can clean spills from a natural leather (get it as quickly as possible though), but it's expected and desired that a natural leather will age and develop a patina over time. Greasy spills cannot be easily cleaned from natural leather, but will smooth out and become less noticable with time and use. Scratches should not show on a protected leather (unless they are particularly deep - in which case you will need professional repair). On a natural leather, some people like the look of scratches as it adds character, but if they are too pronounced you can blow-dry them and rub with your fingers to redistribute the natural oils.

Be careful with applying oils as they can cause darkening, transfer (to your skin/clothes) and mottling.

A lot of people like the look of white leather but are afraid of staining. A protected white leather (which means it has a thin coating of poly-urethane applied in production) has soap and water clean up and virtually no maintenance. The only thing to be wary of is wet denim which can transfer and stain.

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