Cleaning a leather sofa regularly can go a long way in keeping it in good condition for a long time.
Various methods can be employed in the cleaning of your leather sofa which is dependent on the kind of stain or debris that you need to get off it.
Leather Sofa Cleaning Procedure
Although cleaning off ink stains may prove harder than brushing your leather sofa to remove dust or debris, this article on how to clean a leather sofa, makes every stain or dirt removal as easy as ABC, regardless of how it came to be.
This article highlights some steps applicable to cleaning leather sofas.
Method One: Basic Leather Sofa Cleaning
Over time, dust and small debris accumulate on the surface of a sofa and also at the creases and folds. If these are not taken care of regularly, they would pose a big problem that can hamper the condition of your couch.
The first step to take when doing a basic cleaning of your leather sofa is to run a vacuum cleaner on its surface to help with the removal of large debris.
Don’t forget to reach into the crease and folds and if your sofa’s cushion is removable, do well to remove it and vacuum its undersides.
The next step is to brush your leather sofa’s surface with a microfiber duster or a soft brush to prevent scratches. It is essential to perform this dry method of dust removal as dust particles are abrasive and can cause damage to your leather sofa when they come in contact with moisture.
After the dusting and debris removal, you can move on to the wet cleaning of your couch with a solution of equal portions of distilled water and white vinegar mixed in a bowl. You can also save yourself the stress of manufacturing a homemade leather cleaner and use a commercial leather cleaner.
With your leather cleaning solution ready, dip a dry rag into the solution and thoroughly squeeze out the solution absorbed until it is just damp, not wet or dripping (the excess liquid can damage your sofa). Then scrub the sofa gently. Repeat dipping, squeezing and scrubbing until you are done with every portion of the sofa’s surface.
It is advisable to start cleaning from the top and work your way down. With these basic steps, your sofa is cleaned up and fresh-looking.
Now, we move on to the next method which has to do with a more advanced method of keeping your leather sofa looking clean and fresh.
Method Two: Advanced Leather Sofa Cleaning
An advanced method for cleaning a leather sofa applies to sofas that have been stained with either ink, grease, or liquid stains such as red wine, coffee, or tea.
In other words, this method should only be applied if your leather couch is stained by any of these elements.
- Ink Stains
Ink stains can occur at any time, especially when you least expect it. If you keep a pen in your trouser pocket, then you are more liable to get ink stains on your sofa. But don’t worry, this stain can be dissolved, easily.
For starters, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and blot at the ink stain gently. Be careful not to soak the leather with rubbing alcohol in the process.
Once the stain is visibly gone, wipe the surface of the leather with a damp rag and dry it afterward with a dry one.
- Grease Stains
Grease stains can appear on your leather sofa due to spillage from food or beauty products.
While it is advisable to clean off grease stains as soon as they are noticed, you can also clean them off after they have stayed a while on your sofa by applying this easy step.
Firstly, clean the surface of the leather with a damp rag dipped in a leather cleaning solution.
If you are not satisfied with the result, proceed to apply baking soda or cornstarch to the stained area. Leave for several hours, maybe two or three, then proceed to brush at the stained area with a soft brush.
With this, your sofa is stain-free!
- Liquid Stains and Dark Colored Stains on Light-colored leather Sofa
It is sometimes inevitable for liquids such as coffee, tea, or red wine to spill on your light-colored sofa, especially if you like to take any of these drinks frequently.
Or worse, your little child might spill watercolor on your sofa, oops!
These stains shouldn’t bother you as they can be removed easily by applying a homemade mixture of lemon and cream of tartar to the stain.
This should be left for 10 minutes and then wiped off first, with a damp rag and then with a dry rag. It should be noted that this technique can also be applied for light-colored stains on dark sofas.
It is advisable to remove liquid stains immediately they occur to ensure their thorough removal and to prevent damage to the overall look of your sofa.
For mild stains, clean the couch with a damp rag dipped in a basic leather cleaning solution.
Keeping your sofa looking clean is essential, but that is not all your sofa needs to appear good-looking and fresh. Your sofa should also be conditioned from time to time to keep it in good shape for a long time.
But before we go into details about leather sofa conditioning, what about scratches? How do you remove simple scratches from your leather sofa?
Removing Scratches from Your Leather Sofa
Your leather sofa can be prone to scratches especially if you own a pet, who scratches things up! Well, a simple scratch shouldn’t wear out that happy curve on your face as this too can be handled, easily.
To remove scratches from your leather sofa, clean the area of the scratch with a damp towel dipped in leather cleaning solution, dry afterward with a dry rag, then rub a cotton ball dipped in a mild oil such as baby oil over the scratch in a circular motion, after which you wipe it again with a dry rag and leave to dry.
Voila! The scratch is gone. But make sure to tame your pet to avoid worse future damages.
Leather Sofa Conditioning
Conditioning is the final step in leather sofa cleaning.
You can make a homemade leather conditioner by adding 10 to 15 drops of lemon or tea tree oil to a bowl containing two cups of white vinegar, or you can go for a commercial leather conditioner.
Whichever way you choose, you must follow the following steps to ensure a well-conditioned leather sofa.
- If using a homemade leather conditioning solution, ensure you stir the vinegar and lemon/tea tree oil solution to promote the proper mixture of both elements. Also, if you fall among the class who have chosen commercial leather conditioner over the home-made one, you should read the label properly before use.
- Dip a rag into the leather conditioning solution and rub it gently on the surface of the sofa in a circular motion. Ensure that the solution isn’t dripping from the rag by squeezing it properly until it is damp. This precaution is encouraged to prevent damage to the leather.
- Leave the sofa with the solution applied to it overnight
- The next morning, gently rub the sofa with a dry rag to bring out its shine. Begin rubbing from the top, down, in a careful circular motion.
A leather sofa should be cleaned and conditioned every 6 to 12 months to keep your sofa shiny and presentable.
Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Leather Sofa
Lack of information makes people make little mistakes which can escalate to bigger problems for their leather sofa.
Some of them include:
- Using a blow dryer to dry the surface of a leather sofa after cleaning: This is a blunder that should be avoided, as using a blow dryer for drying your leather sofa can cause dehydration to your leather, making it look almost crispy and flush.
- Using Olive oil to condition their leather: This is a no-in leather sofa cleaning and should be avoided as olive oil can cause long-term damage to your leather sofa.
- Not following the instructions outlined on the cleaning solution label: Don’t make this mistake, please.
- Failure to perform a test patch before using cleaning products: Leather cleaning solutions can be harsh or they might not, but the best way to ascertain this is to do a test patch on a hidden portion of leather on your sofa to be sure of the product’s harshness before use.
- Letting cleaning solution or water soak a leather sofa: This is one of the cleaning mistakes you have to prevent when cleaning your sofa because this can cause damage to your leather sofa over time.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have learned all about cleaning leather sofas, including steps to take when conditioning one.